(Guest Post by Evan from My Journey to Millions)
There seems to be a recent trend as so-called “cool companies” put in a founder’s statement every time they go public. For example, when Google went public in 2004, they included the statement, “Don’t be evil.” While good, it is not very inspiring. However, Facebook’s recent investor statement literally changed my outlook on starting my own additional streams of income.
In it, founder Mark Zuckerberg said:
“Done is better than Perfect”
He was talking about rolling out new ideas without anything more than the initial rounds of testing. If it is good enough for Facebook, it is good enough for me!
Better to Get Moving on Streams of Income
Whether we are talking about investment strategies or business idea, I often suffer from paralysis by analysis. When I heard that statement from Zuckerberg, however, it completely changed my view on things. According to Wikipedia, Analysis Paralysis is when one partakes in:
“Over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution”
While I am not “cured” of this, nor do I believe I ever want to lose that analytical part of myself, I do think reading Facebook’s statement inspired me to take charge of certain ideas – including the example below.
Starting Another Stream of Income
When The Wife was pregnant with our boy, I thought it would be fun to run a pregnancy pool – where everyone guesses when the baby will be born. When I searched the competitors out there, I found that either they weren’t free, or they looked like they were built in 1997. I was shocked, so I quickly used freelancers to put something together. After our baby was born in December of 2010, I more or less let the site go dormant (it made some money but nothing too crazy).
Fast forward to January, 2011. A very good buddy of mine cornered me one day, and said he wanted in on some of my online ventures. After explaining that I wasn’t comfortable partnering with him on my personal finance blog (since the domain was hush hush, and he would be worthless when it came to it anyways), the idea to update the Free Baby Pool came to mind. He happened to have some of the best programmers around working for him, so he said he was down! He’d bring on the programmer, and I would bring my experience in inexpensive online promotion. We hired one of his employees as a freelancer and got right to work.
After about 3 weeks, we had a functioning site and that is when the debate began. My partner wanted to wait until the site was perfect, with all the bells and whistles, but after reading what The Zuck had just said, I emailed him right back and said (not “asked”) – “We are going live!”
My Goal is to Inspire
I think budgets are as sexy as the Tuesday Noon J.V. squad at the local strip club. Some of J’s other projects, however, like Love Drop, are amazing! Could J$ have waited to perfect the project? Of course. He could have filed 501(c)(3) papers to make it a recognized non-profit or even lined up sponsors before launching. He could have also waited to build better protection for the site against freaking dirtbags that would eventually try to take down such a fantastic project. He could have done all of that, but he didn’t. (J$: Actually, we kinda did ;) We spent the first 8 months thinking and wondering and then even more thinking, until one day we just said “F it… Let’s just put it out there and see if people LIKE it!” – and it was on the up and up from that point forward… which still backs up all your points here in that we shouldn’t have waited so long!)
And look at all the people Love Drop helped last year: Jill, Ethan, Alex, Katie, the Kahlen family, the Stalnackers, the Aubins, Felicity & family, Lucy, Melanie, the Triplets, Marci, and Diomi & Nalee.
While I don’t consider myself a very inspirational guy, I hope that this post today inspires just one person to launch their project this week.
Why is the Topic of Multiple Income Streams So Important to Me?
For me, multiple streams of income can be used to better your financial situation one month at a time. I am not crazy enough to think that Pregnancy Pool is anything more than a fun way for people to set up a free baby pool, but it is possible to make a couple hundred bucks off it every month (eventually, lol). I like to call it the Circle of Financial Growth – when one small income stream builds another, and another, and another! I will use this income stream to build another from dividends, then eventually pay down all debt which will also free up even more cash flow – thus allowing all of the circles to grow!
What About Those Who Are Paying off Debt? Or Just Starting their Personal Finance Journey?
What if building streams of income isn’t your “thing” just yet? It doesn’t matter – the message applies to any level of personal finance. For example:
- I am often asked how a person should pay off his or her debt (highest interest rate vs. lowest balance)? I always respond the same way: What motivates you? The type of repayment system you plan on implementing DOES NOT have to be perfect – you just have to get started!
- What about setting up your first budget? Your budget doesn’t have to be perfect either, it just matters that you have a clue as to where your money is going.
- What about your first investments? Isn’t it better to at least get yourself in the game, than just reading book after book after book with no action?
There is no such thing as the perfect investment or debt repayment system. How can I be so sure? Because if there were, there wouldn’t be so many to choose from!
No more excuses! What projects or plans have you been holding off on?
(Photo by stevendepolo)