“I’d love to, but I can’t afford it…”


Sound familiar? This is something I hear every day. People want to start a blog, a business, a coaching business… you name it. They know that they have a dream, but they don’t think they have the money to spend on making it happen.


I felt this way too, and there’s nothing fun about it. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Stop holding yourself back and listen to this episode to understand how you can find funding for your business.


Tune in to this episode to hear:


  • What it means for your business when you can’t afford to invest in it (whether you know it or not)
  • How to practically create a business timeline to understanding your funding
  • Knowing when you should or shouldn’t invest, and on what!
Tune in to this weeks episode to hear Leah's best tips on finding funding in your business.
Podcast Episode  

Facebook Live Replay 

Transcript of Episode

Leah Gervais:  

So visionaries  we are back with another episode of the Your Biggest Vision show. I’m your host, Leah and I am the founder of Urban 20 Something, a multiple six figure business as well as the host of this podcast, the Your Biggest Vision show. And when I started Urban 20 Something I would say that I spent the first year not actually getting anywhere because I didn’t have the money to do it like at all. So I want to talk today about how we’re supposed to afford our businesses and this is a topic that’s really near and dear to my heart because it is something that crippled me for about a year before I really was able to understand the content that I’m going to teach you today and completely change my business and my investments and my income. And my financial reality as a result of it, and I have a lot of compassion for the person who wants to start business, but they don’t have enough money for a wordpress or they don’t have enough money to join a program where they don’t have enough money for ads and they’re just feeling like if they had enough money, then they could do all these different things. Um, I was that girl for a year. I know what it’s like, and I don’t want you to think that I’m going into this without sympathy for that. 


When I started out, I did not have $10,000 saved in a bank account. I did not have a loan from my parents or from a bank or from my grandparents or from anything like that. I did have a job, but I was living in Manhattan, which is obviously very expensive, so I didn’t have any leftover income. All this is to say when I started and when I really decided to go all in, one of the biggest indicators for me was that I joined a $5,000 year long program. I did not have $5,000 and I want to explain it. How I find found that $5,000 so that I could move forward and actually get my business going. So a bit of background, when I started, I was making $45,000 a year and I vividly remember waking up on the 15th of, I think it must’ve been April because I got paid on the first and on the 15th and I felt so excited that morning because I knew that I had been so frugal for about three weeks at that point, not going out, not eating out, nothing like that. 


You know, waiting extra long for laundry, like whatever I needed to do to have an additional $50 in my paycheck to that day, that morning, go and buy an ebook on how to start a wordpress site and my domain and use bluehost. I had already calculated it and I knew that was going to be $50 and it talks probably took me three weeks to save and be frugal enough until I actually got that $50. And I still remember feeling like it was Christmas morning when I woke up and realized I had enough money in my bank account to go put this on my card to then actually start my website and start what I hoped would become the next big thing. Of course. So that is where I started out from. I started out not having extra money, not having savings, not having a business loan, not having anyone giving me money. 


And I want to be really clear about that. So, um, if you are listening to this and you’re thinking that, you know, you have said something similar along those lines over the past few weeks or months or maybe even years where you’ve known you’ve wanted to spend on money or you’ve wanted to spend on your business, but maybe, um, you were moving, that’s an excuse I heard recently and you needed to buy new furniture. Maybe you had a lot of weddings to go to that year and that’s where your money needed to go. Um, maybe you just didn’t have money as side of your paycheck. Maybe you didn’t want to stop saving as much as you are. Whatever the reason is, I want to show you today how you need to rethink your prioritization to actually invest in the right way in your business. So again, I’m coming to this from a place of understanding how you feel, not having extra money, not knowing where I was getting it from, and really saving for weeks to even be able to spend the $50 to get my website up and running. 


I stayed in that place for about a year. I was very, very terrified of spending any money that I didn’t know I would make back immediately. I was very terrified of not contributing to my 401k like I always consistently had. I didn’t know that all these investments would make me money back, I thought they might, but I didn’t know if they would. Needless to say, I stayed really stuck. And for me at the time, investing was things like waiting until there were sales. Um, you dummy.com and then buying $10 e-courses on things like SEO or Facebook ads or email marketing or something like that. It would also mean that I would shop around for the cheapest I could find on how to grow your Facebook page or how to use Photoshop better or something like that. And where that got me was about a year later making a few hundred dollars a month with a bunch of little pieces of mediocre information that didn’t really work together in any effective way that I was sort of having to glue in a way that I thought might work and how I’m spent and wasted, frankly, a lot of time searching for these quote “bargain investments”  so that I didn’t have to change my spending habits. 


What eventually happened was I got sick of this and I realized that I had actually spent more money because I had wasted time and truly wasted money on things that weren’t actually cohesive. And I’d spent about a year not actually doing anything big, being big, acting big, putting myself out there in a big way. So at this point I didn’t really have that much more income than I had the year before. I think maybe I got a little raised but there nothing to ride home about my rent raise so it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t making any more money and I had been doing this for about a year and eventually I got to a place where I made around a thousand dollars a month from my side hustle at the time, this was my side hustle is not my full time business and I knew that I was at a crossroads here. I knew that I either had to do something really, really big and invest in my business like never before. 


Hire people who could piece together the information. I had learned, people that could hold me accountable, people that knew what I was going through, people that it could help me set bigger goals or I needed to throw in the towel because when I was not available for was another year of slowly but surely inching up my… but not surely inching up my income scale and hoping that this month would be different and hoping that someone would find out about me and hoping I’d be the next big thing and just hoping sort of like waiting for someone to give me my quote, reward for working so hard. If you felt like that maybe you’ve been one of those really high achievers when you were younger, so you were used to working hard and then giving, getting a spot on varsity or working hard and then getting an a or working hard and then getting into college. 


Well and entrepreneurship, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you don’t actually go for the thing you want and put yourself out there for it, no one’s going to give it to you. You have to go get it, and so I realized I had to choose either I was going to go get it and go all in or I was going to throw in the towel because I wasn’t going to do both of these anymore or I was, I wasn’t just going to wait anymore and what actually was going on here at the time, what I now know and what I now have the language and awareness for, but I didn’t at the time was actually a universal law and it’s called the law of sacrifice. And I hadn’t heard about this at the time, but just bear with me. If this sounds a little bit, we will. 


The law of sacrifice is actually not as crazy as it sounds. I obviously didn’t like go kill a goat and sacrifice something. What it means is that in order to reach a new level of something you do want or have, you need to sacrifice something that’s keeping you at that old level. So a lot of times this comes up when people do want to start a business or they do you want  to go on a date or they do want to go on a bigger vacation or they do want to ask for that promotion, but they start getting conflicting signals in their subconscious has to go to that next level. You need to do something you previously haven’t been okay with. And that’s what really important to understand because if you had been okay with it, you would have already done it. So this means that but you are going to have to do something that conflicts with your values a lot of the time. 


And a lot of the times that’s really scary. This might mean that you are flying first class, but you all the sudden feel like you’re quote elitist and then you start getting all these things Ricky contradictions internally. Um, this might mean that you need to ask a guy out on a date instead of him asking you, and that starts putting these alarms off because that changes the sort of, um, politeness roles that maybe you grew up with. And then you start getting really confused. For me, what that ended up meaning was that I needed to spend $5,000 on a program because I was no longer available for another year of fighting waiting for someone to come give me a few K so I had to put it on a credit card and that was a huge conflicting value of mine. I had really prided myself on never having had an outstanding balance on my credit card. 


I always thought I was really personally financially savvy, if that’s the right word that I’m looking for and that I was really responsible. So I had a lot of ties to why it had been a good thing that I had never spent that much money or put that much money on my credit card. And there were tons of conflicting values in deciding to do that. I felt like I was giving away my responsibility. I thought I was burning all the personal finance books I have ever read. I thought I was going against the advice of my parents who I really admire. You know, really deep stuff that goes into these conflicting beliefs about who you are as a person and what you like about yourself and now I know that it was about the law. I had to sacrifice those notions of what it meant to be a good person or to be proud of myself or to be responsible so that I could reach that next level. 


I was engaging in the law of sacrifice in a way that ended up benefiting me greatly and I’m so glad I know this now because all the time I have to do things that feel scary or uncomfortable or conflicting to get to the next level, but in this moment I really want to be clear about what happened because it’s [inaudible] so, so critical. If you feel like you don’t have funding for your own business. What I ended, what broke the straw in the camel’s back for me. What ended up making me [inaudible], I realized that I, yes, I was going to have to go against my definition of responsible and I was going to have to conflict with my own values and I was going to have to do something that I thought was not right. Was realizing that all those years of being personally financially responsible of taking the advice of my elders, of uh, paying off my credit card info, looking at where it had got me, it had got me exactly there. 


It had got me stuck. It had got me waiting ideally by, for someone to come give me a award, her certificate because Yay. I had never had a credit card balance like once that that actually do for me in my life. Nothing. And I’m not saying that there wasn’t value in having done it beforehand, obviously, and grateful that I’m educated in personal finance and it’s good that I had those years of saving and whatever. Uh, I don’t regret it. That’s not what I’m trying to say. But if you are not deciding to move forward and investing in your business because you’re afraid of what it might mean for your own morals and values in you as a person, I want you to ask yourself where your morals and values have gotten you. And if you’re in a position where you’re still waiting to get enough money to invest in your business, you’re still waiting around until you get a raise or some sorts of Crum drop $5,000 on your doorstep because you’ve been a hard worker or you’re still waiting for someone to give you the permission or the money, whatever you’re waiting for. 


That waiting because of your like value system has gotten me to exactly where you are right now, which is not where you want to be anymore. This is so important to understand and this isn’t about throwing out your values or like going against what you think is important. It’s about reexamining who you need to be at the next level. And so I had to refrain in my decision instead of telling myself that I was a girl who put $5,000 on a credit card that he didn’t have. I started explaining and reminding myself that I was an entrepreneur who believed in myself enough to take a big risk so that I could do something big with my life. I knew that if I wanted to achieve the goals that I have for my business and my lifestyle, it was going to take risks obviously, or that everyone else would do them. 


This is what this is about you guys. If you are doing the quote safe things and you are being quote responsible because that’s what everyone else in your life is telling you to do, look at how they’re living and ask yourself, is that really how I want to be living? My guess is no. My guess is that if you’re listening to this episode, if you’re watching these talk about this right now, you have big ass goals and dreams and you do not want to go another year, five years, 10 years, God forbid, 20 years waiting anymore. You want these things to come to fruition, but they’re not going to do it if you are operating under the same actions as everyone else, but expecting different results. There’s just not. So when I stopped telling myself that putting this money on my credit card made me irresponsible or made me going against the advice of personal finance experts or made me going against the advice of my parents, but instead made me a bad ass entrepreneur who believed in myself and was going to put my money where my mouth is and go all in, put everything I had into this, made it so that I had to succeed because I had to pay this off. 


Then everything, everything changed and then everything in my business has changed. Do you guys, I can’t even imagine it makes me sick or want to cry to think about it. If I didn’t put that money on that credit card and galling, everything changed for me after that. Once I had a mentor, once I had communities, once I believed in myself, once I had a big fire lit under my butt, I did not indulge in my own excuses. I started believing in myself. I started asking better questions. I started selling more. I started seeing my own value and within six months I was making more from my side hustle than I was at my nine to five job. So that happened quickly. That happened after a year of dabbling, you’re of a few hundred dollars a month, a year of waiting a year of bargain hunting on investments. 


All of a sudden, I paid that off. In no time I was making more than I was at my nine to five job. I since went on to quit. I now make over six figures a year and none of that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t have taken that risk. So that’s my story on how white found the investments in my business. It was from a credit card. It might not be the same for you, but I want you to hear the message clearly. The message is not go charge everything on your cross credit card. The messages, are you treating your business and your side hustle, like your lifestyle and goals depend on it or are you treating it like something that is below the priority list of your friend’s wedding or your new furniture for your house or your that I don’t know, savings that you’re saving for who even knows and.


You need to really ask yourself if why are you expecting to get the financial return and the financial results on something that you’re not giving this same belief into? You get what you give and so if you’re giving these halfway efforts, if you’re giving these, if I have enough money, if it’s convenient for me, when it works out, when the store comes and gives me money type efforts, you’re going to get that back. You’re going to get results whenever the world feels like it, you’re going to get results when it’s convenient for others. You have no control over your life, over your business, over your finances. When you are waiting for other things to make your dreams and goals happen. Do you understand how disempowering that is? And I don’t mean to sound like lecturing, you know, but I want us to really let that sink in. 


Think about it. If you are waiting for anything else to make your goals happen, whether it’s a raise at work, whether it’s a bank to give you a loan, whether it’s for your mom and dad to give you some money, whether it’s for you to save money, whether it’s for you to sell something, whether it’s for you to be done moving into your house, whatever that fill in the blank is you are giving that other thing in your life, more power over your life than you. And let me tell you, none of them care about your life and your future the way you ever will. Definitely not your house furniture or your friend at her wedding or whatever else it is, your mom and dad probably will care, but still we’ll never care about it as much as you. 


And they shouldn’t. That’s not their job. It is your job. It is your job to take control of your life. It is your job to invest in yourself. It is your job to go all in. Is your job to care enough about yourself and your life that you actually are putting your money where your mouth is and taking according action? Otherwise, why would anyone else believe in you with you can’t believe in yourself. Why should anyone else believe in you? Why should clients invest in you? Why should I customers buy from you? Why should people read your blog. Why should people like your Instagram posts if you don’t even believe in yourself? So that is my methodology on finding the money to invest in your business. It’s a mindset shift more than anything. And I want to tell you now when I hear people reach out to me and they tell me that they want to quit their job and they want to run a business and are so inspired by what I’ve done and they want to do the same thing and they want to work from anywhere and they are wanting to have tears rolling down their eyes at their nine to five job because they’re so sick of sitting in their corporate job and then in the same breath tell me that they don’t have the money to start their business. I don’t believe them. To me, all that says is I’m not confident enough. I don’t believe in myself enough. I’m not serious enough and I’m not getting myself full control over my life. 


It is easier for me to blame my corporate job, which is by the way, not even a person. Like that’s just a thing on why my life isn’t going the way I want to than it is to blame myself and that is so disempowering. That is not a role model to anyone. That is not inspiring to anyone. You’re not helping the world by living in demonstration of giving away your power, you’re helping no one. And so let me just read to you guys, I have a whole guide on this, like a workbook that you can work through to kind of talk you through ways that you can think of this differently given where you’re at in business, giving the way you make money, et cetera. And you can go to Urban20something/findfunding to download it. 


But I have a few ideas in here, there on how you can, uh, think of this in a more practical way. So, and, and really it’s just three steps. So the first step is knowing how and what to invest in your business. And this just comes down to what want to be building. So for a good example for me is that I knew all along that I wanted to be one of the top business coaches and I had this huge message about how important it was to me that I would never work in a nine to five job again. And that I wanted everyone to feel the freedom that I really cared about yet. I was learning from like a $20 ebook doesn’t really work, right? Like if you want to be a high class brand and a professional brands and you need to invest in professional mentors, coaches, branding, like whatever it is that you need to build your business. 


If you are just, you know, wanting to have a chill blog, nothing wrong with that at all. Most a lot of people can really love the lifestyle that comes along with just working from home and having a small team and having that flexibility and blogging and making the money that they need for their family. Totally fine, no judgment. Then you don’t need to be investing in, you know, a very expensive business coach or mentor, photographer, website designer or whatever. So there’s different levels. Um, but just be honest about where you’re at. For me, I knew I wanted to be one of the best and I’ve been really proud that I’ve, you know, gotten there. But the way I was investing completely did not match that at first at all. So I needed to realize that I needed to learn from people who had seven figure businesses. 


I needed to hire a photographer who worked with personal brands and entrepreneurs. I needed to, you know, hire people that knew Facebook ads in and out and needed to grow my list really aggressively like I needed to do to go big. So No, who knew? Know who in what you’re investing in based on your goals and your goals only. Um, so that’s one. Uh, and that’s just, that can just be a little bit of reflection. Again, if you download this guide, you will see some more specific questions to kind of help you dig that out and see your own space about where you want to be investing in. So if you’re not exactly sure how to figure that out, then you can download that there. 


Then the next thing is to ask yourself how quickly you want to build it. So, I don’t know how many of you know my story, but when I had this, ah, love you, Tanya. Tanya, great, great. You’ve been amazing to see your bills talking about building a business quickly. Like that’s the next question is how quickly you want to do it. Tanya joined my program. Scale your side hustle. Not even a year ago. You guys, not even a year ago. She now has, she’s about to hit her first five figure month. She’s totally self employed. She left her like 80 k job. She is just killing it and she did it all under a year. Hasn’t even been here. Um, so ask yourself, how quickly do you want to build it? When I went through that period of six months from, I’m investing everything I have to now, I make more than I do in my nine to five job. I had just gone through something very traumatic. I lost my father very suddenly. Um, and that lit a fire under me. I knew that within six months I wanted to leave my job. 


So for me, quick wasn’t even the game. I wanted this to happen quickly. I did not want to spend another day in my nine to five job. I wanted to, you know, be at a place where I could live comfortably. And so that meant I needed to be really aggressive. 


Okay. We’re going to just go onto the next section because I want you guys to just be able to download these questions on your own and answer them on your own because that is where I think you’re gonna get the most clarity. But the second section I want to talk about is literally finding the resources. And I just want to brainstorm a few with you so that you can think about what makes sense for you. So you can use a credit card, you can call and get a no interest credit card if you want to give yourself a few months where you’re not worried about it. Um, you can increase your credit limit, you can sell an existing asset. Maybe you have a bag lying around that you haven’t used in awhile or I dunno, like something in your living room that you don’t really need something like that. You can apply for a business loan, you can apply for a private loan, you can borrow money from relatives or friends or family. You can use money from a different account you have set up. You can pick up a waitressing job, you can pick up a bartending job, you can tell host to teleclass, you can write an Ebook, you can, I mean there’s like online the limited amounts of ways that you can make this happen. 


So the whole like there’s not enough money thing is not really an excuse because there’s always enough money and I hope that some of that can get your wheels turning about how you want to find it. It’s just about knowing that this is the most important investment to you, not your new furniture, not um, God, I don’t even know, like some of the other things that people think are so urgent to spend money on when really I learned firsthand that the most responsible thing I could’ve done for my money period would be to invest in my business. Like to be clear, I quit my job when I was engaged. So I was planning my wedding and a lot of people were like, well, how are you going to pay for your wedding? And I have much, much more money to pay for my wedding now that I did this than I ever would have had if I would’ve stayed in my job. 


And then after that, I just want to really honestly say that the best investment I made was having someone, not something in my corner. So I see a lot of people just like throw all their money at e-courses and think that it’s going to teach them everything. And e-courses are great. They’ve helped me, but they do not help you implement. And in the beginning, especially if you’re getting up to like the 5K, 10K mark, uh, I would really, really prioritize that as an investment. And you know, the key word here, you guys, is investment. These are things that pay you back. This is money you can make back time and time again. That’s what this is all about. So we don’t need to be, you know, feeling paralyzed about how we’re going to make this back if we’re going to make this back, et cetera. 


You can, you will. But it’s only gonna happen if you go all in. So I’m gonna leave you with that today. That is my invitation to you-go all in. All life is short. You are way more powerful than you know. You’re capable of way more than you know. And there is nothing more that you can do for the world than believing in yourself. Honestly. It is how you can be the best spouse, parent, partner, child, friend, Instagramer, than showing up and showing the power of bleeding in herself. So I believe in you. I hope you believe in you. Do you want to go deeper into this? And you want more advice on how to find funding for your business,  Go to urban20something.com/findfunding and you’ll be able to download my guide for free. Talk to you soon visionaries.

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