Saturday, 22 January 2011

Tales from the Frugaleur (Frugal Entrepreneur).

It's Saturday morning, just gone 10am. I'm sitting drinking coffee, eating toasted crumpets with homemade blackcurrant jam made with berries picked from the garden. Two thirds of the household hasn't, yet, surfaced, so I'm now wondering if it's the same all over Britain. How many people just don't waken at their normal times when it's the weekend? I could fill several books with the numbers and percentages my mind queries.

Over the past week, I've crunched hundreds of numbers - household accounts, website affiliate figures, followers on Twitter, response levels to numbers in headlines, the number of 'professionals' who seem to have missed out that part of their education that dealt with spelling, punctuation and grammar (mine is far from perfect)... the list goes on and on and on. I must be mad to even contemplate being a part of this online media circus, let alone write about it, but it's so beguiling! It's TwitLit at it's best!

If the majority of the nation is still asleep, what better chance to capitalise on their absence? The ducks and hens have been fed, eggs collected, stove's lit, bread is baking and the cat is calling in the kitchen, making an almighty racket that echos around the red and orange walls, yet still they sleep - the other occupants of the Frugaldom household, that is, not the walls! For now, this idiot is sitting here contemplating the future as a frugal entrepreneur, a frugaleur, if you like.

It is not impossible to earn enough cyberdosh (cyber = virtual, dosh = cash: I felt the need to invent a few new words along the way) to generate yourself a healthy income and build a business. The biggest difference between success and failure seems to be based on cash! Most people and projects need it to start up, advertise, generate business, achieve targets and grow to become successful enterprises. Most people, that is, except for the 'frugal entrepreneurs'! They start out with very little, in some cases nothing, and pursue dreams of creating empires.

Never give up on your dreams: at worst, you could become self sufficient in baking your own bread, even if you're rubbish at earning it - or vice versa!

Frugal Entrepreneurs (Frugaleurs) are driven not by the need to make money, but by their need to realise dreams. (Shamelessly adapted from a definition found on

A 'frugal entrepreneur' is someone who tries to make as much out of life as possible without focussing on cash and an advanced education. The ultimate goal is to live a rich and fulfilling life, free from financial worries. This goal needn't necessarily be achieved with copious amounts of cash and we'd do well to remember that.
  • Business entrepreneurs judge their successes on how much profit they make.
  • Social entrepreneurs judge their successes on how much social change they can achieve.
  • Frugal entrepreneurs judge their successes on freedom from debt and fulfilment of a lifestyle dream.
If becoming a frugaleur happens to lead to a fortune in the bank, then so be it. It's simply a by-product of a frugal lifestyle - making do, mending, bartering, recycling, reducing, reusing, sharing and helping others reach their goals. You can always give the cash away if you don't want it.

I've pursued many, many different projects - some work, some don't, none have earned my fortune. But I think the secret has to be about living well within your means, regardless of how little or how much that may be, and making what's left work hard for you. Risk is unavoidable, but frugality should allow you to minimise that risk considerably. If needs must, pool funds with friends or family rather than pay interest to the banks.

What is risk free, can provide you with an income and can guarantee that your capital increases to beat inflation year on year ad infinitum? I don't have the answer to that question. (I wish I did!) Banks and building societies certainly can't guarantee this, nor can Premium Bonds, so my guess is that people could pull a great deal of cash from those financial institutions, in favour of investing elsewhere.
The big question is, where?
The bigger question is, would they invest in you?
The biggest question is, would you invest in you?

  • Frugal - economical, thrifty, resourceful, financially savvy without being mean.
  • Entrepreneur - someone with initiative who takes risks in an attempt to make money, but should also accept responsibility for the consequences, come what may.
  • Frugaleur - A frugal entrepreneur is in the business of making frugalism pay.
My plan is to explore all avenues, regardless of how ludicrous they may seem to others. Words flow freely, it costs nothing to talk, write or type, so feel free to take this journey with me and share your own experiences.

If nobody ever reads this, it has neither cost me, nor lost me a penny and that's the best way to look at doing anything on a budget. Building a frugal business is no different.

I'll be charting my journey along the way, win, lose or draw. If anyone would prefer I didn't make it public - the rights to the books will always up for negotiation.

One more member of the Frugaldom household is now up and about and I've already taken a gamble on this article...

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, first and foremost, you began your career as a frugaleur, did you not? My sincerest thanks, in advance, for any comments you are prepared to make.

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