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.
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.
|Under Sanders, income and jobs would soar, economist says February 08|
|Gas is near $1 a gallon in some places February 08|
|Quicken Loans' Super Bowl ad sparks backlash|
|University of Phoenix owner sells as 50,500 students flee|
|Stock market's terrible start to 2016 just got worse|