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- Aug 12, 2020
@FauxPas, is there a specific business opportunity you are pursuing where you perceive the need for start-up capital to be an obstacle? If you can describe your situation in general terms (no need for revealing details), I am sure there are lots of people on this forum who would be happy to make suggestions.
In your original post, you mentioned that (I paraphrase) you did not believe a manufacturing company could be easily bootstrapped. I run a business that manufactures a physical product. In order to bring the product to market, the business had to invest $140k in tooling for injection moulded plastic parts.
We did not have $140k, so we spent a much smaller amount of money (perhaps $2k) to have prototypes 3D printed and ran a crowdfunding campaign, which brought in the capital required to pay for the tools. The successful crowdfunding campaign also provided some credibility which I leveraged to raise $800k in angel investment.
I will not pretend this was easy - but it was possible. The crowdfunding campaign brought in enough capital to pay for the tooling but not enough to pay for the products the campaign backers had ordered (or the many other costs we needed to cover). Raising investment was a close call - on the day I closed the angel round, we were five days away from being totally out of cash and defaulting on some payments (and I had already done a lot of work to delay our payment obligations).
Some businesses are certainly easier to start than others in terms of the capital required. However, obtaining capital is just one of many challenges you may need to overcome in order to build a business. I do not think the MFL is misleading in this regard and frankly, I don't think it's reasonable to expect MJ to lay out al the details for you. The replies in this thread alone detail the very different steps that are required depending on the context. I believe that the MFL provides a great framework for approaching business creation but it is not (nor is it presented as) a guide to starting any specific business.
To echo the point made by @Kak, this is an issue of mindset. If one believes that obtaining capital is an impossible obstacle to starting a business, it almost certainly will be.
If you want to talk about the details of raising capital for a specific opportunity - let's do it.
It's just at this stage of my life, I don't feel ready yet to take on the full leap of entrepreneurship. I'm 19 trying to establish my financial self-sufficiency and figure my life out so that I no longer have to live with my parents anymore. Because I know that I can't live in my parents house forever and try to achieve the fastlane at the same time, it's not going to work and neither is something I would like to do either. So then I was like
"Ok well the clock is ticking and I want to be moved out of my parents house by 2022, I need to gain some valuable skills fast so that I can leave my parent's house and begin my adult life. I don't want to go to college because it's just very expensive as f*ck and is very time consuming. I don't want to spend too long in post-secondary schooling as I want to get started with the fastlane shit as soon as possible."
But then I come across the problem of the difficult job market of Virginia. The people that make a true living wage in this state are mainly military, government working people, and business owner/managers. A lot of jobs pay a shit wage as the median salary here is $70,000 which is not as bad as some other states like California and New York but that's still pretty difficult nonetheless. So then I'm like
"Ok great... I would either have to get into debt to get a college degree to get a decent paying job, study a trade (Not for me), or move to a different state with a better job market and not as high of a cost of living (Except I'm afraid to just move to somewhere I've never been to, especially when I have never lived on my own before.)"
If it's already hard enough to get a decent paying job (Given how even if you have the credentials, they still require that you have experience even if it's an entry-level job, which is absolute bullshit (but I digress). So it's a f*cking shit hole process to get a decent paying job. With that in mind, if I do happen to get an entry level job with the credentials matching it I would be forced to stick with that job for a couple of years so that I can have the experience to get re-employed if I were to quit my job for entrepreneurship and then fail at it. And I'm naturally risk-adversed. I do not like to making decisions without calculating the risks and consequences that come with it. I cannot simply do what MJ did and just go to a different state with the $5200 I have and expect to just magically make it like that. I'm not at all saying that MJ was lucky to have been able to support himself when he did that, however, just imagined what could've happened had he failed to figure out how to support himself, he would have either ended up homeless or have to move back to his mom's house. And the thing is, not everyone has the luxury (And yes I say luxury because your parent(s)/guardian(s) are no longer legally obligated to support you once you become of legal age) to have someone to stay with incase you lose your ability to support yourself financially, so MJ took a big gamble that paid off for him wonderfully. However not everyone is good at thinking on their feet like that, and taking risks like that could be more detrimental than beneficial (Basically the survivor bias that he's talked about before in his books is basically what I'm saying here). It would be like having a college student drop out of college and go start a company to only fail at it miserably to only end up with debt to pay and time wasted. Making you feel like an absolute failure. I do think that taking risks make sense, but only when they're calculated, not blind. And the thing is I don't want to wait too long to get started because I know that the fastlane takes time to happen. So I don't to wait until I'm 25 to get started, because then I won't achieve it until I'm in my thirties or later, which would be very disappointing to me because I would much rather have Wealth at a young age, or never have it period. I want to live the best years of my life in the best way possible, which can only be done when you have wealth. So I would really despise the journey that would have been taken should I achieve but wake up being in my thirties or forties. So while I could just focus on getting just enough so that I don't have to trade my time for money, I would also feel like that I would be settling for less because I know that's not what I REALLY want. I have no shame to say that I want to be as rich as f*ck I as can possibly be in my twenties. And while this does sound like money chasing the truth is, what would be the point of going through all that pain and sarcificie if you weren't doing it for the money? it would make no sense (Unless you already have wealth). It's not a probable to crave for money as long as you don't do unethical things and destroy your life in the process of doing it. Just as long as you have the right mindset and methodology (which I current don't). So right now I have to figure out how the f*ck I'm going to support myself decently before I even think about pursuing the fastlane, and have to accept the reality that I won't be as rich as I'd like to be or wait until half of my life has been pissed away chasing after money. It also doesn't help that I'm very bad with coming up with business ideas... (I've tried to apply the advice that I was given on the forum when I posted a thread on ideas and yet I still cannot find ideas that are easily scalable and bootstrappable) I don't know to be honest... maybe I'm just not smart enough to take on the fastlane and perhaps should live an average life to make things easier myself. Life is already hard as it is. All of this time pressure is making it difficult for me to figure things out in my life because I want to f*cking do the fastlane but face obstacles that prevent me from doing it at this time.