For years you have been searching for capital to fund your business idea but to no avail. You have been seeking to escape poverty by forming your own enterprise but capital remains the challenge. You have been on the entrepreneurial road for all these years but your destination has remained obscured by lack of funds. Today marks the end of your once endless search! Very soon your firm will be up and running!
Lack of capital can be defeated.
This is not some other micro-finance advertisement you are about to encounter. Yes! You read that correctly! Your search for capital ends here! Now consider what would have happened if successful entrepreneurs were to entertain lack of capital as an excuse. Do you think today we would be having wealthy individuals like Oprah Winfrey, Roman Abramovich, and Richard Branson,if lack of capital were indeed a hindrance to business formation? It is true that inadequate business funding is one of the greatest challenges be-devilling most business start-ups. However, there is a simple way of overcoming this hurdle.
The challenge can be overthrown by redefining capital. Paul Tudor Jones says ‘intellectual capital will always trump financial capital’. This implies two forms of capital with intellectual capital being the most powerful. Most would-be entrepreneurs reason from the financial perspective of capital. Nevertheless, this is just an accounting notion. Alfred Marshall, the father of Economics posits that ‘capital is that part of wealth which is devoted to obtaining further wealth’. Let us rename wealth as ‘something desirable’. We remember phrases such as: ‘wealth of knowledge’; ‘wealth of information’; and ‘wealth of skills’. These justify the phrase ‘intellectual capital’.
Capital is on your person.
Realizing your intellectual capital is vital to acquiring the financial capital or money with which to start business. The majority of people who venture into business after carefully identifying their talent and passion succeed in making money not because of ploughing large sums of cash into their undertakings. They use personal intellectual capital. Such represents the valuable intangible personal strong points on the person of the entrepreneur such as skills, talent, energy, knowledge, distinct advantage, or some other individual capabilities. A person’s negotiation, interpersonal and communication skills are so valuable that they can be used in accessing financial capital also.
Skills generate capital.
Skills can instill confidence and independence in you if you want to raise money to commence a firm. They are absolutely necessary for business success. These skills can be analytical, organizational, leadership, management, professionalism, or team-building skills. What skills do you have as an individual? The list extends also to personal life, learning, and sports skills. Most skills are acquired through formal or informal education. Garrett Camp of the Uber fame simply used his computer programming skills to develop a computer application that links car riders to drivers of available vehicles. Uber is now the world’s largest car service provider yet it does not own a single vehicle to provide for hiring! Wall Street investors valued it at $120 billion in 2019! Your skills can be easily converted into cash capital. Use them.
Talent begets capital.
The value of your talent cannot be underestimated. We have some individuals who naturally are excellent in doing certain things than others. They achieve this even without having been taught by anyone. Such uniqueness in performance eventually leads to financial capital if used judiciously. Cristiano Ronaldo is a good example of someone who was propelled from rags to riches by his talent. This nimble footed soccer player was at one time the world’s best paid footballer. Many are talented in singing, acting, listening, innovating, writing, talking, dramatizing, brain-storming, self-managing, inspiring, and researching. Such natural ability is good enough to provide you with the capital you are looking for to set up an enterprise.
Energy acquires capital.
Much importance needs to be placed on the energy that most people have. Uncommon strength used in completing either physical or mental activity is the greatest source of capital. The founder of Forever 21, Do Won Chang was excessively aggressive that he held three jobs concurrently over a period of three years as gas station attendant, janitor, and coffee shop employee. He used both his brain and brawn to augment the capital to establish his first clothing shop in the 1980s. This billionaire presently has over four hundred and fifty shops that generate average annual sales revenue in the range of US$3 billion.
Knowledge creates capital.
If you possess an understanding of something or you have information pertaining to a particular subject on account of your experience or exposure, you can use that knowledge to raise finance. Proper knowledge is power. It is an asset that lasts for a person’s entire lifetime! The man of knowledge must be able to use his expertise to get rich. One popular company that built financial capital from the possession of knowledge is Alibaba through an understanding of existing technology. This firm simply provided and is still providing e-commerce infrastructure and marketing services without engaging in direct sales. They do not hold inventory. Neither do they compete against merchants. However, they handle the largest gross merchandise volume in the world, making Jack Ma and his co-founders very rich.
Distinct advantage builds capital.
A distinct advantage is something special that puts you in a better position than other people. The unique advantage makes it relatively easy for you to gain access to many things like people, funding, partners, business contacts, resources, markets, or even workers. If used appropriately, it can help you create capital. Presently, Zimbabwe’s popular television personality Tinopona Katsande is using her fame to sell eggs to hard-to-reach people and her fans. She is in a way better than most people in the same line of business because of her well known name. We are sure to witness her accumulate more capital from her egg sales for a bigger enterprise as she builds on the profits she is presently achieving.
In a nutshell, a self-funded enterprise is possible to establish. The best source of capital is within you. You are the capital! The moment you reformulate the meaning of capital and use your skills, talent, energy, knowledge, and distinct advantage over others, you will be on the path to raise money to finance your dream business.
Oga Chapwanya is a marketing researcher, trainer, writer, lecturer, and teacher.
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