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Posted by Randy Z.
So recently I had the honor of participating in a panel discussion for Fresh, Inc. In the video above I was lucky enough to have two of my responses featured in the promotional recap video. I want to address both of my answers -- build upon really.
We were talking about what sacrifices we have had to make as entrepreneurs -- and of course, next to time, money was one of the biggest talking points. When the topic of money comes up in this kind of setting, people who are just starting out or are unsure about pursuing this path can be easily deterred. There is a common misconception that you need to have a huge amount of money saved up, investor, or some type of funding to be able to start a business; its not true. Depending on your business plan, there are many different ways to find funding for your company. Since I didn't want to owe anyone money, nor was I fully sure how I was going to generate money with music early on I decided to use a "pay as you go" method.
I'm stubborn. Also, I was reluctant into picking up the towel -- which I'll explain in another blog post. Starting out we didn't have very much -- money nor equipment. In 2002 I bought the first generation powerbook, and given a free copy of garage band (before it came standard on all computers). I had a strat and an acoustic guitar, and Cliff had a bass. We hadn't even gotten our first midi keyboard yet -- recorded everything strait into the laptop. Our friend Sua Malo can attest to how we got around the fact that we didn't have a mic but still were able to record vocals -- they sounded mickey mouse; but we could do it!
All this to say we chose not to get ahead of ourselves. When we decided to create AG One, Cliff and I brought together all the equipment that we had acquired over the past 4 years. We knew what key pieces we needed to invest in, made a list and then hit the pawn shops and scoured craigslist (that's actually a more recent tactic, craigslist wasn't as big back then -- but ebay was!). So we kept a budget, and saved to purchases hardware we needed as we could afford it. That way we wouldn't have to worry about debt and any money we made would be strait profit rather than going to pay off credit cards.
So if you're just starting out, and are intimidated by how expensive it can by to build a moderate home studio...don't get ahead of yourself; and don't spend outside of your means. Big budgets are the only way to go, and baby steps are okay. If you have the confidence in your ability to run up a huge tab before you event start selling hits because you know you can make that money back -- well stick to your guns. I admire that faith; its not impossible.
Perspective is so crucial; if this is what you really want to do then don't get so caught up in the negativity of the sacrifice; the most important thing you can ever do is invest in yourself.