On Starting a Business Without Money Or Connections

Dmitri Lihhatsov
Nov 19, 2018 · 3 min read

Every day, millions of people around the world talk about starting a business. In the UK, one out of ten owns a business. However, 90% of businesses fail in the first five years.

So, with such odds against success, with the need to find money, people and time to start a company, why do we still have risk takers who prefer the complexity and uncertainty of running their own business to the safety and stability of a 9-to-5?

There are lots of reasons, and it would make little sense to start listing them here. What motivates me every day to endure the pressure of building a business is the freedom to work on ideas that I feel worthy about and making a positive impact on people’s lives and the world around.

At the same time, the chance of making lots of money in the process and living a more comfortable life is also appealing. Yes, it’s when you change your perspective about money that you start feeling great about charging people for your products and services. As Gary Vee, an entrepreneur and speaker, expands in one of his articles, “You have to be selfish in order to be selfless”.

So, how do you get started with your own business? People often complain that the only thing that holds them from getting started is the lack of money or connections.

Well, let’s clear up something. When I started my first business, an online store, in 2015, I took a £9,000 loan in a bank because I had to purchase stock. It was a few years before I started reading business books that kept telling me that I need neither money nor connections to start a business.

Firstly, let’s talk about the money. Looking back, could I have started that business without the loan? Without a doubt, money allows achieving goals much faster. For example, you can hire someone on Fiverr or Upwork to do less important tasks for you, and you can purchase goods that you plan to resell. Money offers an easy option to start a business and as a result, many people, including myself, miss other essential ingredients.

Secondly, does having the right connections help when building a business? Again, it depends. While knowing someone might be a shortcut to getting a deal, if you don’t know anyone around, it shouldn’t stop you. I started my first venture by merely writing an email to a company I wanted to work with. I’m now convinced that the skill of communicating with people and building relationships is more important than connections because this skill helps you make any connections you need.

So, if it’s not about the money, nor about who you know that makes a business successful, then what? During the last five years, I’ve been studying successful people and, in fact, joined a successful FinTech startup founded by my coalumni. For example, Mark Cuban, an American businessman and a self-made billionaire, is convinced that everyone has the right ingredients within to become successful.

Perseverance, grit, and a bit of luck — that’s all it takes. Luck? Yes, that will be the topic of my next article — how to become lucky!


It’s in the pursuit of goals greater than yourself that you become unstoppable.

Dmitri Lihhatsov

Written by

Entrepreneur, explorer, and dreamer. Runner, swimmer, and cyclist. I love early morning hours, elegance, the synergy of ideas and the relentless execution.


It’s in the pursuit of goals greater than yourself that you become unstoppable.

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