Business loan? No way!
Business loan? No way!
My subconscious tells me it is not really my money, when it comes to credit, said Jim Zamichieli, who started his business without bank loans.
Company: Zamolution
Owner: Jim Zamichieli
Headquarters: Philadelphia

I sleep in Wells Fargo's house every night. And for the next 20-some-odd years, Wells Fargo will let me stay in the house until I've paid off the mortgage.

Because of this, I don't want that bank or any bank holding the fate of my business in its hands.

I didn't take out any bank loans to start my digital marketing company Zamolution. Instead I invested $20,000 in personal savings to get it going. It was a grassroots, Apple-type, startup-in-the-garage venture.

I had been in corporate America for almost 15 years. Part of the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur was not starting out in the hole by getting a small business loan.

I could grow dramatically with a loan. But I went through the dot-com era and saw how a huge influx of capital can make companies undisciplined with their expenses. Not taking out a loan absolutely makes me more conservative in my spending.

Not wanting to take on debt probably comes from my upbringing as well. My dad had his own business, re-upholstering furniture. When I was eight or nine years old, he paid me a nickel for every time I took the old material off of a kitchen seat. For every 20 seats I did, that was enough money to buy a Matchbox car.

Sounds pretty silly, but that ingrained in me that if you want more, you really need to work harder. It's as simple as that.


Last updated October 17 2011: 4:34 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Regulation nightmares

Regulation nightmares are keeping many small business owners up at night. Red tape is either adding more costs or gumming up the hiring process. Here's what seven entrepreneurs had to say about it.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.