Most people would love to be a successful entrepreneur.

Very few actually accomplish this.

But there’s no reason to give up hope. You can learn how to become an entrepreneur with no money if you have enough smarts, determination, and persistence. Read these eight steps you need to take to start your empire.

How to Become an Entrepreneur in 8 Steps

The entrepreneur’s life isn’t for you if you can’t follow these eight simple steps.

1. Come Up with Profitable Ideas

First and foremost, you must have a good business idea. If you try to be an entrepreneur without a solid idea, you’re just spinning your wheels. You’ll waste time—something no good entrepreneur should do.

Now, if you’re panicking about not having any ideas, get over it, and look around you. Is there a product you can make better? Is there a frustration you or your loved ones have that needs a solution?

First lesson on how to become an entrepreneur with no money: You need to see opportunities everywhere.

For example, Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp, the founders of Uber, came up with the idea after having trouble getting a cab.

2. Set Goals

Now it’s time to make some business goals—this requires you to fix your brain. You need to recognize and fight against biases and mechanisms that disguise reality so you can set goals with clear eyes.

Once you’ve broken away from the delusions of what makes a successful entrepreneur, you can get to work to see the path and the REAL obstacles in your way.

Goals to work on are:

  • Figure out your unique selling point
  • Figure out what your value is
  • Determine your weak skills and how to strengthen them
  • Learn what’s needed to make your business successful
  • Break down the boring details of a business (ownership, location, etc.)
  • Plan how you’re going to crush competitors
  • Sort out where the goalposts are and how you’re going to hit them

3. Get Educated 

Since you’ve already figured out your weaknesses, you now need to find resources to learn how to eliminate them.

Typical weaknesses are:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of charm and charisma (yes, these qualities can be learned)
  • No knowledge of financial literacy
  • No negotiation skills
  • Lack of communication skills
  • No marketing skills

Lucky for you, people love to talk about how they became successful at what they do. There are plenty of articles to read and videos to watch. Once you’ve explored these resources, decide whether or not it’s worth investing money into new sources.

Education is what makes a great entrepreneur and separates them from the losers. Why? Because when an opportunity comes around and you need to make a split-second decision, your skills, knowledge, and experience will make that decision for you.

It’s better to gather these resources before starting your business because it’s during a quiet time. Once your business opens, tumultuous times will come, and you won’t have as much time for education. Being ready during turbulent times is how you make a lot of money.

4. Research, Research, Research

Before risking your money or your reputation, you need to start researching the market for your product or service. If your idea stinks, why waste time trying to make it not stink? 

You need to research and understand the following:

  • Who are your customers?
    • What are their demographics?
    • What are their needs?
    • How do you reach them?
    • How much are they willing to pay for your product/service?
  • What are your competitors’ weaknesses?
    • What are their strengths?
    • What can you mimic for your benefit?
  • Is there a market for your product or service?
    • Does this market allow you to scale your business in the future?
  • What paperwork do you need to get your business running (patents, licenses, etc.)?

5. Figure Out What You Can Do for Free

Part of what makes a good budding entrepreneur is figuring out what you can do yourself so you don’t have to pay others. Ask yourself, “What resources are available to assist entrepreneurs?” It’s your job to find these tools.

For example, do you need marketing visuals? Use a free tool like Canva or a stock photo site.

Do you need a website? There are plenty of free website makers. You could skip the website entirely and create social media pages for your business—you’ll have to do that anyway.

Marketing? You can make your own social media posts, start a podcast, a series of videos, and more to get your name out there. There are even free marketing manager tools you can use with ease, or try a free trial of a paid tool like Sprout Social

6. Figure Out Funding 

Time to talk money—how are you going to fund your business? 

If you want to learn how to become an entrepreneur with no money, you need to figure out how to convince others to invest. You have some options to choose from:

  • The kindness of loved ones: If your idea is sound enough, it should be easy to ask the people around you for a small investment.
  • Microloans: Most banks aren’t going to give a new business a loan, but the Small Business Administration has a microloan program where you can get up to $50,000.
  • Grants: Federal and state governments offer various programs to help small businesses—all it costs you is the time you take to apply (It’s also good practice for selling your idea).
  • Crowdfunding: There are plenty of crowdfunding platforms you can use—you must be able to sell yourself and your product. (You’ll also get feedback and free press if your idea catches fire.)
  • Angel investors: This type of investor loves to help small businesses get started because they can make a lot of money on a small investment—make sure to have a thorough business plan and the communication skills to convince them to invest.
  • Yourself: If you hate being in debt to anyone, then it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.

7. Be Productive

It’s time to get things done. Do you want to know what makes a successful entrepreneur? They never stop working.

Ask yourself what you can say “no” to so you can say “yes” to what you want most. Be more guarded with your time. Turn down bar hopping all weekend and stop spending all your free time staring at your TV.

This can even mean sacrificing sleep. If you’re in the middle of a project and you have a good flow going, ignore sleep and keep working. That hour of sleep you lose today could save you three hours of work tomorrow. People who can’t sacrifice a few hours of sleep will never have a successful, financially independent future.

8. Demand Perfection

Once you’re up and running, 100% perfection is required. This isn’t like when you’re in school and you ace a test with a 95% score. In entrepreneurship, with 95% perfection, there’s a 5% chance you messed up spectacularly.

Be careful to not repeat the mistakes you do make, and keep your head clear so you can properly analyze new situations and arrive at a solution.

Become a Successful Entrepreneur Now!

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is stopping you from achieving success as an entrepreneur. It’s time to stop procrastinating and get moving. If you’re unsure where to start, try Derek Moneyberg’s mentoring program.

Derek Moneyberg is a successful serial entrepreneur. He’ll teach you how to become an entrepreneur with no money by building your knowledge base, giving you step-by-step guidance, and connecting you into a network of fellow entrepreneurs.