Skip to main content
Lansing Winterfest Ad

Starting from the Bottom can Provide Motivation

Having a business is a dream for countless people. Many new business owners have gone all-in, spending every last dime to open their doors. But is starting your business from broke a recipe for success?

Daymond John, FUBU founder and a face that you may recognize from “Shark Tank,” said it absolutely can be.

John, in collaboration with Daniel Paisner, had an instant bestseller with the book “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage.” Readers resonated with John’s sentiment that starting a business from broke forces entrepreneurs to be motivated by their passion and to think more imaginatively.

The book features a cast of real-life entrepreneurs, including a cleaning lady who built a cupcake empire on faith and her maxed-out credit cards. She now has stores throughout the United States, one of the resulting franchises is right here in our region. You may recognize the name —Gigi’s Cupcakes.

The insights provided offer real moments of clarity and thought-provoking examples of entrepreneurs who became successful using their passion to break through in a sea of new business.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of U.S. small businesses fail during their first year of business. That figure grows exponentially during the first five years. This can be because the entrepreneur was in the wrong market, because they failed to do the research and follow through for their business plan or because of deep financial loss beyond their control, much like what happened during the coronavirus pandemic, for example.

John’s book drives home the point that money isn’t the only driver in success. Many can indeed start from broke with enough moxie, planning, research, follow-through and a whole lot of hunger.

Cupcake, anyone?