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How To Start A Business With No Money



You can absolutely learn how to start a business with no money. I’ve done it, and I’m going to show you how.

I feel so strongly about this position that I had to make a video on it.

Because of shows like Shark Tank and the media being the media, young and old people out there think the only thing stopping them from starting a business is money.

Once they pay off their loans, they’ll start that business. Or once they receive an inheritance, they’ll follow their dreams.

I don’t get it!

Why put off something you know you want to do? And the truth is you don’t need any money to generate profits. There goes two excuses.

Just do what the video suggests and you’re going to be just alright—better than alright, you’ll be balling.

Here’s how.

Invest Time To Grow Your Business

What you think is a money issue is truly a time issue. Check out what I mean below.

Goal: To start a profitable business.

Problem: You have no money.

Real problem: You’re not spending enough time to grow your business.

Solution: Spend time (or make time) to build a company that generates profits.

Once you recognize the only thing separating you from owning a profitable business is time in the morning before work, during lunch, after dinner, and on the weekends—all that’s left is to know where to invest that time.

Here are 5 steps you should take to put in time to grow an online business.

Step 1) Find a specific online business to pursue.

Don’t overthink this step. Combine a passion you have with a service or product people are willing to pay for, and then you have your business idea.

A caveat here is you want to make sure other people are making money in the niche you pursue so you don’t end up wasting your time.

For example, if you love the yoga lifestyle, then teach people yoga online or coach others on how to get the most out of their yoga routine. Since other people are making money doing this, you can move forward in confidence.

Here’s a helpful video that should take away some pressure of finding a business idea.

Step 2) Buy a domain and set up email offer.

Ok, this is the only step where you need to spend money and it comes out to like $4 a month. You’ll need to buy a domain and website hosting to set your business up.

Click here to buy a domain and hosting from the company I use.

Once you set up WordPress (free) and your email service (free if you use MailChimp), you’ll want to create a super simple, one-page website. It needs to clearly explain the benefits of your offering for visitors, and include with a place to enter their email to get updates on when this site is officially launching for business.

It’d be smart to offer an early bird discount rate or attractive incentive to encourage more visitors to submit their email. Ultimately your email list becomes your sales tool so don’t ignore it once you collect email addresses in MailChimp.

See the images below to see a Step 2 done right. (Admittedly it’s a little fancier with the video than you need, but it’s a nice one page website to shoot for.)

Your first 10k readers website.

An email capture form on a website.

What appears after clicking the ‘GET MY FREE TRAINING’ button in the first image.

If you do Step 3 correct, you’ll have tens to hundreds of interested email leads ready to buy from you the moment you email them to pitch your paid service.

Step 3) Send as much traffic as possible to this website.

With your simple website and email capture set up, do everything in your power to flood that website with interested people.

Here are proven ideas to quickly send traffic to your new website:

  • Share the link on all of your social media profiles, multiple times
  • Email the link to your family, friends, and peers so they can learn about your business
  • Write guest posts on other blogs and link back to your site
  • Consider spending $50 to $100 in Facebook ads
  • Go old school and call people to see what they think about your business
  • Post your idea in forums and Facebook groups

The ideas are endless and you can find more in one Google search if you run out of them. The goal in this step is to get enough traffic over the next few months so you can complete Step 4.

Step 4) Analyze the results.

Like the scientific method, you need to analyze your business after a few months to see if it’s a good thing going or something you need to pull the plug on before it goes any further.

The way you can tell is by the human interactions around your business. Have people signed up for your email offer? Have they liked your Facebook ads and commented that they have been looking for this? What’s the feedback of your social media posts? How have your friends responded?

If you’re not sure about the results, you need to do more promotion or do a better job of putting your business idea out there to see what the market things.

Unfortunately if the results are terrible and you now know you can’t build a business off of this, you want to go back to Step 1 and restart this process. It’s better to restart now than 12 months down the road where you’ve lost all that time and still haven’t generated interest.

Step 5) Go all in to build the business.

Found a winning business idea? It’s time to expand your marketing channels.

I recommend you start blogging, recording videos, or doing a podcast to become a thought leader in your space and drive organic traffic to your website.

And don’t forget about adding more services or products based on the desires of your customers.

The beauty of business is the work is never done so you won’t get bored. And you’re going to enjoy the challenge of your life.

Go all in with the time you have to ensure you grow your business and you don’t regret procrastinating later on in life.

Your business will return as much profits as you invest time into it. That’s a positive because it means you’re in control.

Start A Business With Zero Cash

You now have the formula to start an online business without funding. It’s time to execute.

Follow those 5 steps, be patient until you’re successful, and keep hustling every day to make your dream a reality.

There are going to be bumps and bruises along the way. Sometimes you may feel lonely or doubt yourself, but promise yourself you’re going to stick with this until you accomplish what you set out to.

Running a profitable business comes down to your mindset and commitment more than anything else.

If earning passive income and quitting your 9 to 5 job is a strong desire, prove it to yourself by investing the time to grow your company.

You can do this!

Subscribe to Brian Robben on YouTube to watch more lessons on entrepreneurship and how to build your business.

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10 Best Gift Ideas For Entrepreneurs




Since they’re a different breed than the normal human, I’m not surprised if you’re struggling to find a gift idea for your entrepreneur.

It’s straight up difficult to understand their wacky brain that’s always thinking business if you’re not wired that way. And this can make buying a creative gift for them next to impossible.

Did I describe your situation to a tee?

But fear not. As one myself, I’m confident I understand the thought process, pressure, passion, and weird quirks behind being an entrepreneur.

And I’m going to share with you the 10 top gift ideas for the business guy or gal you’re shopping for.

Whether you’re looking for present ideas for a top business owner, your boyfriend who thinks he’s an entrepreneur, or yourself, look no farther than this list.

Best Gifts For Business Owners


1. Extra battery reserve or portable charger

Running a company means I’m always on my phone communicating with my team, clients, and prospective clients. And I’m on all of the major social media apps publishing content for myself or my clients.

This is exactly why my battery is depleted down to 20% before lunch often.

Not anymore though. With an extra battery pack or portable charger, my phone gets double the charge and lasts more than twice as long.

The entrepreneur you’re buying for could definitely use more phone battery throughout the day if they don’t currently use one of these!

2. Apple Airpods

Buying for a busy entrepreneur who is always on the phone wheeling and dealing?

Considered the future of headphones, Apple’s Airpods are literally the perfect present for the person you’re buying for—and realistically it might be the company’s best invention since the iPhone.

The audio quality on these headphones is excellent and the powerful mic picks up the voice of the human loud and clear. They come with a convenient carrying case too so you can take off and place the Airpods in it and put it in your pocket until you’re on the next call.

Plus, Gary Vaynerchuk wears Airpods and if he does it then it has to be cool, right?

3. Company branded swag

Inspired by my girlfriend buying me a long sleeve t-shirt with my marketing company’s name, logo, and brand colors, I felt awesome when I opened this gift. And now I wear it all the time!

If you take the effort to buy your entrepreneur a custom branded swag item that showcases their company—whether it be a hat, t-shirt, jacket, shorts, pants, you name it—I’m convinced they’re going to love it.

This is a creative gift for your entrepreneur that shows you support their business, and doubles as something they can get a ton of use out of every week.

Want to one up this? Buy a couple pairs so you can give it to other family members or friends to market the business.

4. Video equipment to vlog

What better way to tell the market who you are, what services or products you offer, and where they can buy them than video? Vlogging is the way of the future.

This is why video equipment is a great gift for this kind of person. Any entrepreneur who cares about marketing is making a mistake if they’re not recording video content.

You can choose to buy them a camera, a stand, a memory card, lights, and potentially a microphone.

Don’t be surprised if your gift is the push they need to record video content and one of those videos leads to their next big opportunity.

5. A ticket to a business conference

Younger entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs are especially prone to getting inspired after attending a special business conference. The knowledge, connections, and realizations they make at an event can single-handedly kickstart a successful business year.

I just say that because it goes to show the power you can transfer to this person if you so choose to gift this expensive ticket. Positive experiences go much farther than nice material items, especially for a true entrepreneur.

Some of the top business conferences for entrepreneurs include:

Older entrepreneurs may not learn as much at these events, but you never know.

6. One year photo subscription

An entrepreneur in just about any industry will need quality pictures almost all of the time.

A one year subscription of pictures could go a long way for spicing up their website, blog posts, videos, pitch deck presentations, product photos, PR material, social media presence, you name it!

Personally, a license to stock photos is next on the holiday wish list for my digital marketing company.

Some of the best photo subscription services include iStockphoto, Shutterstock, and Adobe Stock.

7. An Apple Watch or Fitbit

It’s wrongly a badge of honor in entrepreneur culture to sacrifice exercising for “the cause” of growing a business.

On one hand, I respect the mentality there to do whatever it takes to have a successful business.

But realistically entrepreneurs who dismiss healthy exercise are a ticking time bomb from making bad decisions and burning out before they ever reach their long-term goals.

That’s why the Apple Watch or Fitbit is a solid gift here.

They’re also pretty fashionable so it won’t be an eyesore for your man or woman to wear to the office.

8. Deep tissue massage

Spending 10 hours in front of your computer every day may help your entrepreneur improve their company’s revenue, but in the process this is taking a toil on their body.

Business owners often have chronic neck and back pain as a result of overworking. (That’s why I go to Dr. Mark Scanlon to get an adjustment.)

But this is where you come in. Buy them a 60 minute massage for Christmas so their muscles and joints can heal before the new business year kicks off January 1st.

The present is the massage, while the true gift is the pain relief, stress reducer, and mental relaxation for this special person of yours.

This gift covers the muscles. Go on if you want to give a present for their mind.

9. Motivational office wall decor

Humans love visuals. And entrepreneurs are people who sacrifice in the present for a better future.

When you mix the too, it’s not hard to see why motivational office wall decor makes the perfect gift for your hustler.

Every day they walk in their office they can be reminded of why they started this journey, who they’re doing it for, or what’s the treasure at the end of the tunnel.

And extra motivation goes a long way when they’re in the middle of a fire where everything’s going wrong with a deal or client. Maybe they look up for a second and see your gift on their wall, which refocuses them to solve the task at hand.

That’s how you offer a helping hand without being there.

10. An inspirational book/audiobook on entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurs I know are big dreamers. And they always appreciate adding more mental troops to their brain in the form of reading.

If your entrepreneur is a book nerd, look no further than the books below. And if they can’t stand reading, gift them an audiobook for their commutes or next road trip.

These are classic books for anyone remotely interested in business:

Or step up your gift a notch by not giving a gift, but a one year subscription to listen to audiobooks on Audible!

Related: 15 Best Books Every Entrepreneur Needs To Read

Wrap Up

That’s my top gifts for entrepreneurs list for this year. What did you think of it? Agree or disagree with my choices?

I did my best to find the most helpful links I could, but honestly you’ll want to just Google search some of these items to make sure you get the right gift at the price you’re willing to spend.

And this last message is important, so listen up.

The best gift you can give an entrepreneur is loving support through the ups and downs of their business.

Running a company is often the greatest challenge in life and it will take their emotions for a wild rollercoaster. But if you’re there as a sounding board and encourager, that will mean the world to that entrepreneur and it will completely overshadow any material possession you can think of giving them.

With your relentless support, they’ll feel loved and unstoppable. That’s a powerful combination they’ll get to walk into work with every day.

Related: Like Brian Robben on Facebook to see the daily ups and downs of entrepreneur life.

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This Thanksgiving Proves Why I’d Never Give Up My Online Business




Let me tell you about my Thanksgiving. I got to enjoy food and quality time with friends, all while my online business made me passive income.

That’s sweeter than my favorite Thanksgiving food—sweet potato casserole.

I mean just consider the details: While I chose what to eat next on my packed plate of turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and bread, my website is working for me to put more dollars in my bank account.

Poor guy is hustling his heart out while the rest of the United States pauses to relax and stuff their faces with all types of different, delicious flavors.

Mr. Website gets zero days off, not even a lunch or bathroom break. It’s just non-stop grind until the rest of time.

But I don’t feel too bad for Mr. Website because he’s not human. He doesn’t have emotions. That’s why he’s the best employee I could ever ask for.

If he did have feelings, I bet he would feel happiest knowing he’s doing a stand up job while his owner is off duty at a Thanksgiving party. What a guy!

Years Of Work Led Up To This

Let’s be real. No one specifically paid me to eat turkey.

However, it’s not a stretch for me to make that claim based on the fact that the website you’re reading right now made me money while I was munching.

Where I went right is years before when I put myself in position to have this reality. It didn’t come easy and it didn’t come without smartly executed strategy.

But back in 2014 I decided I wanted to own an online business for the sole reason it’s the easiest way to spread my ideas to help people. And, not going to lie, the thought of earning passive income blew me away.

What did I do? I went to work by writing three articles a week in the middle of my senior year of college.


A young 21-year-old Brian at Miami University just got his online business start.

Other students partied and went on weekend trips, but I picked up my helmet and hammer and squeezed as much time as I could afford to build article by article into what it is today.

Don’t forget the intense book writing seasons where I went months deep into putting together three of my best works—The Golden Resume, Freedom Mindset, and How To College—additional assets to my online business portfolio.

Then there’s the time spent writing guest posts, going on podcasts, and answering interview questions to spread the word about my website. These are just a few of the many parts of the process to get to where I’m at today.

Now it’s a dream come true that I can share my experiences, knowledge, and tactical action steps to empower others to improve their lives.

And thanks to everyone of you who has supported this blog through your attention or money—especially the people who bought on Thanksgiving.

That’s still unreal to me!

Above all of this, I want you to know if I can do it, then you 100% can too. You just need to want it enough and work hard for this passive income.

Put Yourself In Position To Make Money Eating Turkey

The Internet revolutionized the world more than anything else in the history of business.

So if passive income is your goal, it’s time you take advantage of this incredible technology by creating a website. You’ll own this Internet real estate, and then start working on getting people to show up.

But before we create a site, it’s wiser to know what is it going to be about and what audience are you trying to target.

The best way to do this is to ask yourself what problem can you solve for people based on your skills or interest? What do you have that you know for sure other people want?

This answer needs to be at the heart of your business plan.

For me, it started with providing content on how to succeed in college and in a job search. That’s about all I could do at the time.

Now I’ve transitioned to solving other problems because I’ve developed skills in other areas.

Another example is Kate Crocco, who serves others and makes an income as a confidence coach. Whatever you’re good at, odds are people will pay to learn how to do it.

So what’s your thing? And are other people making a full-time income with their online business doing what you set out to do?

By answering those two questions you’ll set foot on the right path to build your online business and make passive income.

Then you’ll be the one making money while you’re eating turkey on Thanksgiving.

And I don’t want it to sound like running an online business is the only way to make passive income. I’d argue it’s the best route since you have control over its success, but other ways to make passive income include:

  • Investing in the stock market
  • Buying real estate
  • Renting out your place on a site like Airbnb
  • Owning or buying a business that requires little of your time

Passive Income Wrap Up

I know from experience, you’re going to be amazed once you make your first dollar online through passive income.

It’s a total mind-shifting moment when you don’t have to do business with someone, you don’t even have to know their name or what they look like, but they hand their hard earned money over to you in a fair business transaction.

The interaction isn’t physical, but let me tell you that the money is real!

You can do this. Put in work, have patience, and trust the process of entrepreneurship.

Does starting an online business sound interesting to you? Watch this video to learn the best business idea for beginner entrepreneurs.

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5 Things Successful Freelancers Do At Networking Events




As an independent contractor or self-employed freelancer, your level of success depends on your ability to create and sustain relationships. The number of clients you have, the stream of work you produce and the revenue you earn are all contingent on the scope of your business network.

The more dedicated and intentional you are about forming quality connections, the more professional growth, impact and advancement you’ll experience. “By growing your network, opportunities arise, business partners appear, connections are made and trust is garnered in the local community,” says Sharon Schweitzer, best-selling author and consultant.

And in the freelance and entrepreneur world, the service you’re promoting is ultimately yourself—which makes it even harder. If you’ve ever tried to write a personal bio, you know what I mean. Promoting yourself can be challenging, but successful business owners and freelancers know it’s necessary.

As you attend various networking events to grow your network of potential client and those who can support your efforts, keep these tips in mind.

Come Equipped with Business Cards

Every networking event is a chance to gain new clients. As such, you need to present the most professional version of yourself. That version doesn’t just dress well and act polite—that version of yourself always has business cards too. This gives everyone you meet something to remember you by, while showing that you take your work seriously.

Remember that the design of your cards should not only be polished, with readable text and all the right information. It should reflect your brand and personality as well. Check out these interesting business card ideas to find inspiration and a unique style that matches who you are and the work you do.

Pro tip: Find a way to make your business card actionable or helpful. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you could include a workout on the back of your business card. Not only is this more memorable, but you’re already helping the person who you just met—and you haven’t even done anything yet.

Release Fear

For some people, attending a networking event is stressful. Not only do you have to talk to people you don’t know—but you have to show them that you’re successful and worth connecting with. This is where the fear of personal failure, which was the number one fear among 1,000 Americans polled, can slow you down.

Successful freelancers push this fear aside to present a confident, successful person. To release any personal fears holding you back, use these tips from The Muse:

  •   Choose “non-lame” events and stick with events you’re excited to attend
  •   Stop saying “networking,” which makes it feel intimidating
  •   Volunteer at the event instead of going as an attendee
  •   Research the roster ahead of time so you know who will be there
  •   Reward yourself afterward, I.E. “If I give away all my business cards, I’ll…”
  •   Have conversation starters prepared
  •   Approach people in pairs, which may feel less intimidating

Pro tip: Practice your power poses before going to a networking event to boost your confidence. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, suggests that standing in these power postures, and using similar body language, boosts your confidence, even when you don’t feel confident. Learn the different power poses in her Ted Talk.

Seek Contacts to Fulfill Specific Needs

One of the many advantages going to a networking event is that it attracts different people with varying degrees of experience, interest and expertise to one place. As a freelancer, this means there are chances to meet a wide variety of people who could help you, from developers for your website to potential business clients.

Successful freelancers define what they’re looking for before they step foot through the door. I.E. a mentor, client, partner, or even just a fellow creative to bounce ideas off. Keep these goals in mind as you build connections at the event and afterward. Global entrepreneur Ted Rollins suggests:

“As these relationships grow, consider how they fit into that burgeoning ‘why.’ Someone could be more valuable in expanding your business, while another person might serve you best in a mentorship role.”

Pro tip: Stay in touch with everyone, even if you don’t need their help right now. This is one of the best times to be in touch with someone because it gives you a chance to help them instead. When the time comes to reach out for a request, you’ve done the work to maintain that relationship over time.

Use the Skill of Active Listening

This interpersonal skill is highly regarded in professional settings because it shows other people that you want to form a reciprocal relationship instead of just a self-serving one. Mind Tools describes an active listener as someone who makes a “conscious effort to hear not only the words another person is saying but, more importantly, to understand the complete message being sent.”

To practice this at a networking event, approach people with an open stance, hold eye contact, remember to smile and use receptive body language—freshen up on receptive body language with this guide from Skills You Need.

Don’t forget to ask questions that start with “Who?” “What?” “How?” and “Why?” The more attentive you are toward someone, the more they’ll trust your motives.

Pro tip: Practice active listening in every area of your life—with your friends, your family and your spouse. Work toward being an active listener, even in the simplest of conversations, so it comes easier to you when it matters most, like when you’re meeting a potential investor or business partner.

Send a Follow-Up Message Promptly

Communication is critical to solidifying your new potential relationships and successful freelancers follow-up within 24 hours. When you do, express your gratitude for their assistance, offer any other relevant information that wasn’t shared in person, and reiterate what a pleasure it was to meet them.

Not only does prompt correspondence keep your name fresh in people’s minds, it establishes you as a genuine individual whom others feel secure doing business with. If the context is appropriate, you can even add personal touches like inquiring about a recent vacation they took or mentioning a common interest you share to express that you’re invested in them relationally.   

Feeling uninspired? Check out these follow-up email templates.

Pro tip: After following up via email, connect with anyone that stood out to you on LinkedIn. This is a second chance to remind them of who you are, and once connected, you can casually interact via “liking” posts and commenting. This ensures you stay top of mind and makes it even easier for them to reconnect with you at any point.

Step Into the Networking Arena

Learning how to network effectively is an asset you can take straight to the bank. Move outside your comfort zone, engage with other professionals, and use these pointers to maximize your efforts and form connections that will provide value for many years to come.

BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time freelance writer and self-employed content marketing consultant. She’s been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and has written for Virgin, Glassdoor, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.

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