Most people would not think that there is an advantage to starting out broke, most especially in business. People tend to think that it is always better to start out with stable funding. Entrepreneur Wayne Liang, however, has a different perspective where it concerns being broke. For him, being broke has so much value to an entrepreneur, whether aspiring or experienced, simply because of the priceless teachings it brings.
His entrepreneurial journey started back in 2014 and from then has had the rare privilege of meeting multiple entrepreneurs like him, both trust-fund individuals and self-made ones. Throughout those encounters, he would listen to their stories, both the good and the bad, and collect their insights regarding creating a successful venture. The diverse and inspiring set of ideas he collected over time opened his eyes to a lot of realizations, including how starting out broke can actually shape better entrepreneurs.
One of the most important realizations he acquired is that it takes time for people to fully digest the basic tenets of financial literacy and what it takes to apply them in real life. “Financial literacy can only be learned, not given. Simple tasks like budgeting, asset-tracking, credit score control, or retirement planning are skills that develop over time. Those who have financial security given to them, often lack these fundamental components of financial literacy,” Wayne Liang explained.
Another wise realization that he gathered over the years is that learning the true value of money comes from experiencing the lack of money. Without a doubt, it is close to impossible for someone to fully understand how difficult life can be when there is a lack of money. An abundance of money, after all, keeps most people complacent and confident. When there is a lack of it, only then do people realize how important it is to live within one’s means or simply set aside something for a rainy day.
Wayne Liang also said, “When you’re starting behind everyone else, you’ll not only learn to work twice as hard, you’ll also start finding ways to become more productive and efficient.” This is especially true of entrepreneurs who have encountered failure at some point in their journey. Failure reveals the true character of people, and it also has the capacity to shape it.
Another nugget of wisdom Wayne Liang wishes others to grasp is the reality that starting broke will teach people the importance of being prepared. After experiencing what it feels like to be broke, people will be more cautious and take more calculated risks. As much as possible, they take steps that minimize unnecessary risks, and these can only be achieved through careful planning.
Ultimately, being broke can be just a temporary phase if people choose to use it as motivation to pursue a better life. Those who are currently in dire need of a financial breakthrough can be guided by Wayne Liang’s wisdom when he says, “If you’re starting behind the eight ball, find a way to catch up and get ahead. You’ve got nothing to lose and just about everything to gain.”