When starting any enterprise or business, we all know the value of having plenty of capital (money). But I bet we both know or at least have heard of people who started with no capital who went on to make fortunes. How? you may ask. I believe there are some things that are more valuable than capital that can lead to your entrepreneurial success. Let me give you the list.
1. Time: The time you set aside not to be wasted, not to be given away. Time you set aside to be invested in an enterprise that brings value to the marketplace with the hope of making a profit. Now we have capital time. How valuable is time? Time properly invested is worth a fortune. Time wasted can be devastation. Time invested can perform miracles, so you invest your time.
2. Desperation: I have a friend Lydia whose first major investment in her new enterprise was desperation. She said, “My kids are hungry, I have to make this work. If this doesn’t work, what will I do?” So, she invested $1 in her enterprise selling a product she believed in. The $1 was to buy a few fliers so she could make a sale at retail, collect the money and then buy the product wholesale to deliver back to the customer.
My friend Bill Bailey went to Chicago as a teenager after he got out of high school. And the first job he got was as a night janitor. Someone said, “Bill, why would you settle for night janitor?” He said, “Malnutrition.” You work at whatever you can possibly get when you get hungry. You go to work somewhere—it doesn’t matter where it is. Years later, Bill is a recipient of the Horatio Alger award, rich and powerful and one of the great examples of lifestyle that I know. Desperation can be a powerful incentive when you say, I must.
3. Determination: Determination says I will. First Lydia said, “I must find a customer.” Desperation. Second, she said, “I will find someone before this first day is over.” Sure enough, she found someone. She said, “If it works once, it will work again.” But then the next person said, “No.” Now what must you invest?
4. Courage: If you’ve only got $1 and a lot of courage, I’m telling you, you’ve got a good future ahead of you. Humans can do the most incredible things no matter what happens. Haven’t we heard the stories? It’s humans. You can’t sell humans short. Courage in spite of, not because of, but in spite of circumstances. Now once Lydia has made three or four sales and gotten going, here’s what now takes over.
5. Ambition: “Wow! If I can sell three, I can sell 33. If I can sell 33, I can sell 103.” Lydia is now dazzled by her own dreams of the future.
6. Faith: Now she begins to believe she’s got a good product. This is probably a good company. And she then starts to believe in herself. Lydia, a single mother with two kids and no job. “My gosh, I’m going to pull it off!” Her self-esteem starts to soar. These are investments that are unmatched. Money can’t touch it. What if you had $1 million and no faith? You’d be poor. You wouldn’t be rich. Now here is the next one, the reason why she’s a millionaire today.
7. Ingenuity: Putting your brains to work. Probably up until now, you’ve put about 1/10 of your brainpower to work. What if you employed the other 9/10? You can’t believe what can happen. Humans can come up with the most intriguing things to do. Ingenuity. What’s ingenuity worth? A fortune. All you need is a $1 and plenty of ingenuity. Figuring out a way to make it work, make it work, make it work.
8. Heart and Soul: Money can’t buy heart and soul, and $1 million without heart and soul? You have no life. You are ineffective. Heart and soul is like the unseen magic that moves people—moves people to buy, moves people to make decisions, moves people to act, moves people to respond.
9. Personality: You’ve just got to spruce up and sharpen up your own personality, just develop it to where it is effective every day, no matter who you talk to—whether it is a child or a business person, a rich person or a poor person. A unique personality that is at home anywhere. My mentor Bill Bailey taught me, “You’ve got to learn to be just as comfortable, Mr. Rohn, whether it is in a little shack in Kentucky having a beer and watching the fights with Winfred, my old friend or in a Georgian mansion in Washington, DC as the Senator’s guest.”
And lastly, let’s not forget charisma and sophistication, charisma with a touch of humility. This entire list is more valuable than money. With $1 and the list I just gave you, the world is yours. It belongs to you, whatever piece of it you desire, whatever development you wish for your life. I’ve given you the secret. Capital. The kind of capital that is more valuable than money and that can secure your future and fortune. Remember that you lack not the resources.