So You Cannot Secure Funding….So What!

So You Cannot Secure Funding….So What!


I have spoken to so many people and seen so many comments in social and traditional media around not being able to start a business or follow a passion because the person cannot raise or secure funding. In reality the majority of entrepreneurs out there don’t have the luxury of being funded in their start-ups and have to build a business based on sheer will and determination.

Believe it or not funding plays a small part in building a successful business.

I can only speak from experience and instead of insulting you with the idea of becoming a millionaire in 12 months like everyone else (blah blah blah), I want to explore what you need to do to climb into the trenches and succeed….no matter what!

Isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about? Going after something that you don’t have the resources for!

Climb into the trenches if you want to succeed

The biggest mistake entrepreneurs often make is they don’t actually start and do. Most entrepreneurs run the risk of either over preparing or over analysing before they start their business. A reality check is you won’t know until you try. You have to be ‘in the market’ to evolve and grow, not on the side lines.

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying go in blind. What I am saying however is there is only so much you can achieve from a distance. The market and customers will tell you what to do and where to go.

Building a business is an iterative process and will continue to be so as the market you are in evolves and changes. Learn and adapt to what is going on.

If I look back where I was two years ago with illusions of grandeur about how easy it would be to start my consulting business to where it is now, I might as well as have started off with planning to launch a fish and chip shop! The market has guided and moulded both my business and myself to a point where they align.

Related: How to Start Your Business for Free (Almost)

You aren’t generating revenue….now what?

Everyone that has their own business has been there. You have the concept or idea or product and you hit the market and……..nothing. Well what do you do? Not to sound like an economist here, but it depends! On what, you say? Well if you were cast into the market and had no time to prepare with no cash flow to keep you afloat, the answer is you do as much as you can and whatever it takes to survive.

You may need to find a simple business that can pay towards the bills. I started selling plastic chairs and tables online with a partner of mine. This business got us through some really tough times. You may need to find some extra work consulting or a full time job while you keep your business idea and passion alive.

There is nothing wrong with taking a little longer than you had hoped to achieve success.  I took four steps backwards in my own journey and left no space for ego. If you want it badly enough you will have the discipline and diligence to keep pushing until eventually success is achieved.

How badly do you want this?

This is the most important question that you have to ask yourself. Are you really prepared for what lies ahead? The highs and lows? Being pushed at every level to achieve something that very few people (for some reason) actually manage to achieve.

Being faced with periods of not knowing how you will get through the next month end. Having to decide on whether you should eat that week or put petrol in your car to go and see clients are the type of scenarios that I was presented with during my journey.

Decide on whether you want a life where you are living your passion and doing something for yourself and those that mean something to you in your life.

Do you want to build your own dream or do you want to work for someone else and build theirs? Push hard, fight hard and don’t give up because the rewards are worth it in every way possible.

Related: When to Quit Your Day Job

Andrew Bahlmann
Andrew has had the benefit of gaining experience as both an entrepreneur and a corporate Chartered Accountant. With personal experience of building, buying and selling businesses, he has built up significant experience in working with the owners of privately owned businesses in assisting them to grow and/or exit their businesses at maximum value. As the founder and Managing Director of Deal Leaders Africa he has built a team that resonates with his clients and delivers the results they need.