Throughout my 15-year career I’ve never taken on an investment.
I’ve never taken a loan.
I’ve never gotten myself in debt.
All of my companies have been bootstrapped from the bottom up.
In recent years it seems like the term “investor” has became very well known throughout the tech industry.
“I built this awesome app; now I’m just looking for an investor to adequately capitalize my venture.” <- Far to often I hear this at trade shows and when speaking to many Entrepreneurs fresh out of college.
I always follow up with, “well how do you plan on making money from that investment?” Most people I talk to aren’t even sure of that. They just know they need money, the more the better.
To me, this thinking is flawed.
Maybe I’m just talking out my rear here, as I don’t have a fancy Ivy League education (I went to WVU – a/k/a party school) but I have co-founded five multi-million dollar profit companies throughout my career (three of them over the last two years).
As I said above, I’ve developed them without financial help from anyone.
You can’t make money by spending it.
Somewhere along the generations, thinking got flawed.
Both of my grandfathers were Entrepreneurs and came from very little means. They too bootstrapped their ventures turning them into multi-million dollar corporations. They didn’t do it by taking out loans and paying ridiculous interest rates.
But Ryan, I need monies to buy my traffic!
Buying traffic for your websites/mobile apps/affiliate campaigns should be the route you take ONLY after you have heavily capitalized your company.
I personally didn’t buy one click of traffic to my websites until I had a strong six figures in the bank. Why would you?
We’ve become a culture of instant gratification. We want to work our butt off one day and see success the next. It’s how we’re programming ourselves.
Consider how far we’ve come since the 80s.
When you want to talk to someone you simply call or text them using your personalized mobile device.
When I grew up in the 80s we had one telephone in the kitchen with a long cord and a dialer you had to physically turn to enter the number.
We can now tell Siri a name and the phone will begin the call for us!
When I built my first website in 1998 I wanted one thing: People To Visit.
At the time I didn’t even think or know that I would make millions from the traffic. I just wanted people to read!
Was this accomplished by SEO?
How about link exchanges?
Well yes, I used every organic traffic channel I could find. From doing a daily email newsletter to optimizing every page for Google and other search engines, I did it all. But people visited my website because of the information on it. Each article published was full of quality containing information they wanted to read.
I’m baffled when I hear stories of affiliates in hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt trying to become successful at buying traffic to send to campaigns. This is ridiculous!
My advice: CUT UP THE CREDIT CARDS
If you want to buy traffic for your campaigns then use a debit card.
If you don’t have enough funds in you account, then you’re not ready.
It’s that simple.
If you’re just getting started and want to have a successful online business, consider every dollar you spend. Did it HAVE to be spent?
From the wise words of Mister Ruckman, crap in one hand and want in the other. Which one fills up first? You’re always going to want.
It’s easy to spend on things you “think” you may need but before you do, make sure it is absolutely necessary.
Once you start making money, remember you don’t have to spend it, just because you have it. Over the years, I’ve met my fair share of thousandaires wannabe millionaires. You know the type. The ones that lease the $350K car so they can cram as many pictures on Facebook as possible to show others that “they’ve made it.”
Don’t do that. Re-invest your profits so you can scale your business. If you make $100K a year, pay yourself $30K and re-invest the rest. There will eventually become a day you can buy that nice automobile, dream home, or insert whatever materialistic object tickles your fancy.
You can become very successful without wasting your time getting an investment or dealing with a bank to get a loan.
You just have to build with quality and don’t give up.
You may fail the first time. I’ve failed many.
As long as you learn from your mistakes and keep building, you will eventually succeed.
PS. Don’t forget to cut up those credit cards. They’ll only hold you back.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.