I’m always interested in hearing how founders started out. Today, I talked with someone who recently exited. She had a great origin story.
In the beginning, she had a growing family and couldn’t afford to put her own capital into her idea. And she didn’t know how the investor world worked. She turned to the tools at her disposal. Her idea required physical space to provide instruction. She went to venues that were entering their slow season and negotiated to split revenue from courses in exchange for using their space. No upfront payment required. Using Constant Contact, she began emailing people in his network and offering the service. She built a free professional-looking webpage for registrations.
The registrations and turnout exceeded expectations. The cash from that one event was enough to make a down payment on his own building, and things took off from there. Eventually she scaled the business to over one hundred locations before selling it recently. All with no investors or other external capital.
This is a great story of hustle and making the most of the resources available to you, even if they’re far from ideal. Play the hand you’re dealt and play it well, even if it looks bad, and you can still win the game.