Starting a business is scary. There are lots of reasons you might think you want to start a business yet choose not to. One of the biggest reasons?
What if I fail and lose all my money?
Will I end up destitute?
How long can I go without a paycheck?
Ditching the fear of starting your own business
There are many reasons to start a business, and many kinds of businesses to start.
But one thing's for sure. When you don't need to rely on a monthly paycheck, it is much easier to stomach the idea of working on your own project that might not return any money for a long time.
This is one of the great things about earning FIRE. When most people think of the word retired, they conjure preconceived notions about what society tells them retirement looks like and what they've scene and experienced others' views of retirement.
I'll argue that the biggest part of FIRE should be related to the financially independent part. This is -- "I don't need to seek paid employment anymore. I can if I want. Or I can choose not to. But I don't need it."
And that sentiment is huge. Especially when financial uncertainties are one of the major entrepreneurial stressors. The ability to remove financial anxiety from the equation lets you pursue your interests, and your projects, at your pace.
Use grant funding when you need lots of cash
Some, require a lot of money. One area that often requires a lot of upfront cash comes from high-tech product-driven companies. For those kinds of businesses, assuming you are not wealthy, there is a high likelihood you'll have to raise some money. There are countless blogs, networking events, podcasts, incubators, and accelerators that will help teach you all about the world of raising capital.
One alternative to giving up equity at the earliest stages of your technology development (and thus, the highest risk - and most expenses - equity your business will possess) is to obtain SBIR funding. I do my best to explain how to write and win this equity-free startup funding.
Start small and treat your business like its own FIRE entity
Some businesses don't require so much upfront cash.
For example, there are tons of entrepreneurial ventures that only require a computer and an internet connection.
Now, most FIRE advocates (including myself), include internet connectivity as part of their core expenses and so these are already covered by your passive income. But, perhaps, a domain name and website hosting are not.
So, for an investment of a few hundred dollars a year, you can deploy all the capital you need to get started and to establish your first business goal - achieve business FIRE. In other words, the first goal of this business to find a way to earn enough revenue to cover its most basic expenses.
Say you pay around $200 for website and domain hosting, per year, and you want to try to use Google's AdSense to cover the cost of your site. So how much traffic to do you need?
This varies quite a bit, but you could estimate the amount of traffic you need with rough numbers and come to something like 4,000 visitors per year. (With a 5% click-through-rate and a $1 cost-per-click estimate, you would need 4,000 visitors per year, or a little over 10 visitors per day.)
Then, after your business FIREs, you've got nowhere to go but up! You can organically grow or not grow - it's up to you.
And that's the best part.
Just like your personal life, your business life with reach a position of choice and freedom that allows you to choose how much or how little you'd like to invest your time.