in personal development, products / boostrapping

Nothing to lose

An extremist, willing to die for his religion, is scaring all of us. Why? They have nothing to lose. The less you have to lose, the more risk you want to take. That is why a younger and more naïve entrepreneur is more likely to start and grow a business than a high level manager (=employee).

The high level manager learned over the past 20 years how to make a career. This means: he has learned how to please the shareholders of his company, trading his time for money. He’ll have a company car, a high salary and insurance for his family. If he now wants to learn how to make or grow money instead of earn money, he has something to loose. Especially if he has lived according to his high standard. A high mortgage, expensive hobbies, and lots of restaurants. The more your standard of living (cost) approaches your salary (income), the more you have to lose. And the less likely you’ll dive into the making of money, instead of the earning of money.

The young naïve entrepreneur does not have anything to lose. He is broke. He can only win. He could go for the “quick win” (salary), or to go for the “long term win” (growing a company). The more easy and secure is the quick win. Find a job. The more funny and profitable is surely the long term win. You live only once, no? Then give it a shot!  Try it. Try how to make money, in stead of how to earn money.

The process of learning how to make money is slow. Super super slow. It’s not rewarding in the short term. It asks time, effort, sweat, stamina, hard work. You’ll make mistakes while finding out how to make money. If you decided that you want to learn how to make money, you’ll have hard times seeing your friends earning much more money than you do. They’ll have a company car.  They just find a job and HOP, every month they get a paycheck. While you don’t. You see time ticking away. For months. For years. While everyone earns money (trading their time for it), you are still in the process learning how to make money.

But little by little, over the years, you’ll learn how to make money. And you can repeat your small successes into bigger ones. You don’t make the same mistakes as in the early days. You are learning how to make money. They don’t teach you at school how to make money. They prepare you for earning money. So you’ll have to figure out yourself. But once you get the basics, you can repeat that process. Into bigger and bigger successes. You only get better and better at making money. You can scale it. After 10 years of focussing on the question “how can I make money” (in stead of trading 10 years your time for a paycheck), you will have learned so much that it feels as if you have your own money printing machine.

It’s never too late to learn how to make money (= become an entrepreneur)! 3 years ago, I was earning money. More than enough for a twenty ager. I had a company car, a nice salary, other advantages, I had a nice expat position in the south of Spain. But still. I felt like I was not part of a dynamic, young growing machine. I was working in a big company, trading my hours for money. I didn’t learn how to make money. I was a piece of a money generating machine, but that was it. I didn’t control that money making machine. I didn’t grow anything. I decided to give it a shot, and start learning how to make money in stead of how to earn money.

Most people think they risk big things when taking the leap. It’s not true. What will happen when someone that can not swim falls into the water? Will they sink? For sure not. They will survive, since there is no other way. They MUST swim, or they die. You risk much less than you think you do. What is the worst that could happen when you give up your job and try it yourself? Well, the worst is that you have to take another job in a few years since it didn’t work out (= the same situation as you are into right now).

If you want to learn how to make money, my biggest advice is to put yourself in a “nothing to lose” position, the sooner the better. If you have nothing to lose, you are prepared to take bigger risks. Much bigger risks. You have more energy. Do you have to speak in front of a 2000 people audience in order to succeed? OK, so it be. You have to work every day of the week, 10 hours per day, in order to launch and get your first 100 customers? OK, let’s go! I did tell my former boss I won’t come back. BAM, I was in a nothing to lose position. I HAD to find a way out, there was no other way. It’s all in your mindset. If you are fired, if you have no job, if you hate your job, you have nothing to lose. For some people, there is no other way than to succeed. Those are going to get there. It’s that simple.

Are you happy with your job? Then by all means stay there! Are you NOT happy with your job, you don’t have a job? Hooray! Good news. You are in the best position to start up something. You have nothing to lose.

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    • Hey Nayan,

      I wanted to be free to work where and when I wanted, no matter what. That was my main trigger. I was so motivated to achieve that. Nothing could stop me. Once I realized that there are a hundred other companies out there that would hire me immediately if I had to get another job, I realized there is nothing to loose in giving it a shot. I had a backup plan.

      There is nothing difficult, it’s just about getting the right mindset. With a right mindset, everything is possible. Success!