When time is tight and money is tighter…

The two biggest hurdles to getting anything started are not having enough time or enough money. Wait, let me correct myself – enough time or money to get it finished. We can start quite cheaply. Picking up a pen to note your idea costs nothing. So if time or money doesn’t stop you starting something, how do we get over the fear of not being able to finish it?

Jar of Coins cropWith lots of money, you can pay for things to be done quickly. The opposite is also true – when money is tight, you can spread the task over years if you have to. A friend of mine, realising they couldn’t get a loan to do up their entire house in one summer decided to make it an on-going project. Five years later, the transformation is remarkable. They got it done – it just took a little longer.

So when you have neither to play with, consider 3 things:

Is it worth doing now?

Take a long, hard look at what you want to do and why. Is it something that could wait? At least, could you delay the most expensive bits of it until later. You may give yourself a better chance of success by taking more time to get your affairs in order. After all, very few businesses make a profit within its first 18 months. Putting it off and planning how you can make the most of your money and time later might be your best bet.

Are you worth it?

Take a long, hard look at yourself. Could someone else invest in you? Do you have what it takes (except money and time) to make this happen? Do you have a good reputation in this area? It could buy you a lot of favours and discounts. A colleague of mine is struggling with a project because they’ve upset one too many people in the past and have a bad name. That works against you when you’re in a tight spot and need a break. With money or time against you, ask advice from people with whom you have a good reputation. They may be able to help you out. Otherwise work on being of ‘good repute’. It might mean repairing bridges and eating humble pie. That may take more time, by the way.

Is anyone else doing it?

Take a long, hard look around you. Starting up on your own isn’t always the best answer. Is there someone else doing something similar? Could you get together and get it done? Not only could it help with your money or time, you’ll also get the benefit of their experience. There’s nothing like avoiding those rookie mistakes to keep a project on time and on budget.

Not having enough money or time isn’t a reason not to start something. Do as much as you can with what you have – then stop if you have to. It’s always easier to pick up where you left off than beginning from scratch.

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