By Tom Ottaiano, CEO, Today’s Business
If you want to have control over the destiny of your business, go fund yourself.
The First $400
When developing the concept of Today’s Business, we knew immediately that we were going to be self-funded. When you put your own money into your business, you are investing in yourself and your big idea. You are literally putting your money where your mouth is. The infamous $400 we put in our collective bank account came from each of our own pockets. Everything we have now all started from that small investment. We were passionate about the business, and we knew that the money would come if we were 100% committed to it.
When you are working in a service based industry, self-funding makes a lot of sense. The dollars we put in became dollars that we started making. Each and every one of those dollars held more value to us because it all started with our collective dream and our initial investment.
I am the biggest advocate for investing in yourself. If you don’t believe in your idea enough to invest in it with your own money, how do you expect other people to believe in it?
You maintain ownership of your vision when you finance your own business. No investor is going to have any say in the decisions that you make. No board is going to tell you what direction to take things. You control your destiny.
There are so many advantages to being self-funded. Business owners who funded themselves, myself included, are less likely to spend frivolously or make knee-jerk decisions. Your choices have a lot more weight to them when your own capital is on the table.
Today’s Business would not be where it is today if we had been largely dependent on outside funding. We would not have been able to go through the growing pains we did and survive them. From the start, our team relied on our own ability to hustle and create and as a result, we drove revenue and maintained control over the plans we’ve had for TB from the start.
Full autonomy does not come without its challenges. It carries a huge risk and is not for the faint of heart. You need to be someone who can effectively navigate risk assumption and asset exposure. It can be limiting in a sense because it all comes down to the bottom line. All of your decisions can make or break your path to success.
Self-funding your business means that you’re largely on your own. There is no one else on the outside funneling money into your operation. Success or failure rests solely on your shoulders. If you are able to handle the pressure, then ultimate entrepreneurial freedom is yours.
There are so many options and tools these days that give you the ability to scale your business without a huge initial outflow of revenue. Take ownership of your business plan and bet on your vision by investing in yourself. Once you know your margins and know your risk, it’s time to run with it.
Every single day in business is like a game of chess and every single morning you have to wake up ready to make your next move. There’s going to be a lot of obstacles and problems thrown at you daily, but being able to come out on top and succeed makes everything worth it. Knowing that this all started from our own funding and vision, despite the overwhelming odds against us makes it that much more worth it.