by Yuwanda Black
If I told you that you could start a small business — and that you already have the money, what would you say? Probably, "Yeah, right. Where?"
Many times, achieving a dream calls for radical action. Meanwhile, we spend most of our lives in jobs we hate. The years slip by.
I've never been able to do quite what is expected of me — not matter how hard I try. In effect, I had no choice but to be an entrepreneur. Guilty admission: this streak of nonconformity has also lead to some bad
decision making. However, smart entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes. And, I like to think of myself as somewhat intelligent.
But, I digress. Now, everything I'm going to suggest is unconventional, risky and some would say downright crazy. However, we only get one shot at this thing called life. And, if we don't reach for the gold at some point, we'll be in our silver years uttering the saddest words in the English language, "what if".
So, here are some unconventional ways to get the money you need. However, realize that you may lose everything and have to start over (this can't be stressed enough).
1. Plastic Money:
According to CardWeb.com, the average American household with at least one credit card has over $8,000 in credit card debt. Instead of a new outfit, why not finance a dream? When I started my second business, initially, plastic paid for materials most of the time.
Amazing how banks wouldn't dream of giving you a small business loan, but give plastic to practically anyone with a name and social security number.
2. Retirement Funds:
Will you make it if you spend 30 or 40 years at jobs that make you unhappy? Worst case scenario? You lose everything and have to start over.
Note: Not recommended for those close to retirement. But, if you're young and healthy, you have time to replenish.
3. Education Fund:
In my opinion, parents don't owe children an education. Nope, I haven't been drinking and I haven't broken the 11th commandment. Education is a luxury, not an entitlement. And, trust me as someone who recently paid off student loans and is now financing a graduate degree, you take it more seriously if you pay for it yourself.
If you have the funds, great, help out. However, parents have a right to their dreams also. And for all you know, little Johnny might run off and join a rock band at 18.
4. Other Ideas:
Work a second job, home equity, sell valuables. All of these are means that most of us don't even consider when we think of financing a small business.
Just so you don't think I'm completely off my rocker, some guidelines to follow:
1) have experience in the field in which you want to open a business;
2) work your small biz on the side for at least two years; and
3) by all means, keep yours skills updated and stay in contact with those in your industry. This will make it infinitely easier if you have to re-enter the job market.
I know these ideas are radical. But, my mother used to say, "If you want something different, do something different." Give yourself permission to follow your dream for a few years. Worst case scenario? You go back to 9 to 5 penniless, but richer for the experience.
Finger and toes crossed to your success!
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