I’m Unemployed, Penniless, and I Want to Start a Company. What Do I Do?

The first step would be to find a job.  You need to pay to keep the roof over your head, food on the table, etc.  If you truly want to be an entrepreneur, I would suggest getting the worst job you can possibly think of.  Something you will absolutely loathe and hate.  That will inspire you to work harder on your business.

Also, if you are penniless, I’m pretty certain that no investor would want to give you money.  You would need money management skills to be able to successfully run a business.  What better way to learn money management skills than by having the worst possible job on the planet?

Then while you are loathing away at work hating your life, the second step would be to figure out what you want to do.  You would need to start outlining a platform on what you want to create or provide.

The third step would be to piece that together, whether on paper on in actuality.  I prefer paper, because then you can get all the links out of everything.   If you put it on paper, then you can make it.

While you’re doing that step, you may want to do some research and development to make sure there is a demand for the product you are offering, or you’ll just be wasting your time and your life, going back to a job you hate, each and every day of your life.

After you have this established, you need to find customers.  After you find customers and have proven that your business is successful, you may want to go to friends and family to raise a round of financing.  If that works, you can get more customers.  After you get more customers, you can consider either using the profit of what you earn to expand or approach an angel investor or VC fund to secure additional financing to expand.

This might be the time to quit your job.  However, if it was me, I would skip the raising capital phase and wait until I have enough customers to be self sufficient.  Once I’m able to earn 2x my salary at my job net after expenses, I would then work full time on my business and walk away from that awfully dreaded job that I hate.

But then again, this requires you to make a lot of steps and commitments.  I don’t know if you have what it takes to put yourself through the worst job possible while trying to juggle a dream on your shoulders.

If you do decide to take that route, then good luck!

You’ll need it.  A lot of it!

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media

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