By in Make Money | 18 comments

Make Money-Start a Business

“I am 57 and have been on Disability ($850 a month; I live in D.C.). I can’t get a job because of my unimpressive work record. I want to create a business but don’t know how to persuade anyone to invest in it. I don’t have accomplishments to point to. But I have a lot of talent and drive. I’d also like to stop renting (a room) and own.
Any thoughts? Thank you.” SL

SL wrote asking for help on starting a business. After a bit more correspondence, I found out that SL’s disability has been corrected and she has a Bachelors degree in English and talents in the the humanities and the social sciences.

start a business

Many folks would like to start a business, earn extra income and pull themselves up financially. Learn some basics about how to make money and start your own business.

Starting a Business Basics

SL, there are awesome resources available online for starting a business. Begin with a self analysis; write down what you like to do and what you’re good at. Think about people who are doing something that you’re interested in. For example, I have a 3 part series on How to Become a Virtual Assistant (part 1 is published, parts 2 and 3 will be live soon), a work at home option for the super organized worker.

Mind first, Money Second

Your motivation will wax and wane. Whether you feel motivated or not, keep up your commitment. Expect your motivation to wane, as long as you continue taking action, results will follow.

Next, write out a few steps to get started. Just dive in, don’t spend too much time thinking and planning, you can adjust later. Most would be entrepreneurs spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. Use these resources to help you get started:

 Get Started Now

Do something right now, today, to reach your goal. In life, getting started and then following up are half the battle. The other half is taking an action every day to reach your goal.

  1. Choose an idea and write down a plan. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but you must put your plan in writing.
  2. Every day, write out your action steps to propel your business.
  3. Stay positive no matter what. Find supporters in your network or by reading motivational books.
  4. Hold yourself accountable. If you don’t reach a goal, figure out what went wrong, adjust and carry on.
  5. Keep in touch and let me know how you are proceeding.

Readers, share your own ideas about how to start a business.

image credit; google images_sprayfoamsys


  1. Good advice. It is going to take time to generate enough money to live on. She can network with other people who are doing what she would like to do. Informational interviews are also good ways to learn about different businesses.


    October 4, 2012

  2. Adapt (or fizzle out.) Businesses must be resilient, which parallels your..”if you don’t reach a goal, figure out what went wrong, adjust and carry on.”

    Fiddle with a new approach but don’t just give up!

  3. Having a plan is by far the most important item. You need to be able to see three steps down the road at all scenarios that might occur during the process.

    Sean @ One Smart Dollar

    October 4, 2012

  4. @Krantc,thanks for mentioning “informational interviews.” Theses are quick meetings with individuals to ask about “what they do.” Then you use their advice and information to help you move forward.
    @Jennifer-Thanks for hammering in the point of “keep on keeping on”. Everyone must readjust regularly and learn from their mistakes.
    @Sean-Write out the plan!!!!!!! So important.thanks for the reminder.


    October 4, 2012

  5. It’s hard to beat the resources you listed, Barb! I guess I’d start off by reading The E-Myth, Why Most Small Businesses Fail and What To Do About It. It’ll make sure you have a clear head about what business you want to be in and will give you a huge leg up in making sure it’s built to last.


    October 4, 2012

  6. Hi Joe, Thanks for the recommended resource!! No need to reinvent the wheel, great to follow up with existing books.


    October 4, 2012

  7. I’d say to just go ahead and start a business, based on one of your existing skills or interests. Just pick something and go! You definitely don’t have to have an investor to start a business. (And in fact I wouldn’t want one…)


    October 4, 2012

  8. Hi Barb:
    I suggest that your reader add “suspending disbelief” to your excellent suggestions. Whatever she chooses will be tough (especially at first), but likely doable as long she doesn’t stop herself.


    October 5, 2012

  9. “Expect your motivation to wane, as long as you continue taking action, results will follow.” This is great advice Barb…and it is something that we have to continually remind ourselves of. As long as we keep plugging away, the results will follw!


    October 5, 2012

  10. @Jackie-Action is the key, as you so aptly stated.
    @Taost- As you reiterated, life it tough, get over it.
    @Greg- I can’t tell you how many times I have to push myself forward…. motivation waxes and wanes, effort is the solution.


    October 5, 2012

  11. I just left my corporate job to start my own business in real estate investing, and if nothing else, it is an amazing way to learn SO much in so little time. It’s a huge challenge, very stressful, but so worth it. I’m typing from my pajamas as we speak :) And yes, The E-Myth is a necessity for any business owner! I’ve read it twice and recommend it for everyone.


    October 5, 2012

  12. Hi Ali, With low interest rates, it’s a great time to start a real estate investment business. Just be sure not to overpay for your re investment property. I’ll have to check out the e-myth.


    October 5, 2012

  13. At first I would work a set schedule. If you don’t have any clients, that time would be spend on finding them and building up your brand. It would be easy to procrastinate. You could also join a business networking group to meet other entrepreneurs.


    October 7, 2012

  14. @Kim, Working a set schedule is so important. (And of course being goal directed during that schedule). Yes, yes, networking is key!


    October 8, 2012

  15. I’d also throw into the mix Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the work you love and No More Dreaded Mondays. His podcast and website have great free materials too.

    Brent Pittman

    October 8, 2012

  16. Great tips. I started a business at 41 after being laid off from a corporate job. I now make more money and have more freedom than ever.


    March 31, 2013

    • Hi Linda,
      What type of business did you start, and how does it compare with your corporate job?


      April 2, 2013

  17. Thank you for sharing the article. It’s very interesting. Hope to hear more from you.

    Pascal Boivin

    December 24, 2014


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