Mission: Cover Your Rent and Food

Kyoto, 2016
Kyoto, 2016

What is the first mission of an entrepreneur?

Just cover your rent and food.

Don’t aim to make billions

The biggest mistake we make as entrepreneurs is that we rush to make a million (or nowadays) a billion dollars. We focus on growth, profits, and to (quickly) gain power and influence.

I feel this is a horrible way to pursue entrepreneurship. Why? Because it isn’t grounded in reality.

We should first start off by just covering our basic expenses in life. Just to cover our rent, food, and wifi connection (and of course, coffee).

Think starving college student lifestyle

A lot of entrepreneurs want to learn how to make a killing and to become wealthy. My suggestion: first try to aim to make a “living.” Think of when you were a starving college student. You were still alive then, why can’t you do it now?

You might think your children, mortgage payments, or other “serious” commitments hold you back.

But honestly, you can downscale. You can downgrade your life. You can get rid of your car, sell your expensive home (or move out of your expensive neighborhood), stop eating out, and reduce your expenses to the bare minimum.

I feel the easiest way to gain more independence, time, and money is to reduce or subtract superfluous things from our life — rather than trying to “gain” more.

First, survive.

If you’re starting off creating your own business, freelancing in photography, or whatever— just make your first mission to be covering rent and food.

Then the secret to becoming wealthy is to not die, and to not go bust, and not to go bankrupt.

Survival is first, thriving is second.

Never stop hustling,

Learn more: Entrepreneurship 101 >