Starting A Business with Zero Dollars

Being an entrepreneur, everyone tells you that you need seed money to start. Starting a business is for people with good credit, savings and family money. I want you to know that is 100% BS.

In December of 2018, I was ready to give up on Pachyderm Music Lab. Business was slowly growing, but my personal life was falling apart and I knew that for the sake of mine and my 6 year old daughter's happiness, I had to get out of our Indian Trail location because of all of the ties that bound me there. There was a special time of joy in that space, it gave us our start but the joy of it became a memory.

I resisted for so long. My whole heart is in Pachyderm Music Lab. But the day came that I internally said, "OK, this is over now. I will figure out something else to do with my life." Not even 24 hours later I got a message from a friend saying that I needed to come to NoDa and look at this house that would be perfect for a new location.

I went and saw the house with my close friend and founder of Girls Rock Charlotte, Kelly Finley. Cadence (my daughter) came too. I was overwhelmed with excitement, wonder and fear.

How could I afford this place? I had no money saved and it needed a lot of work. Can I really leave? Am I strong enough to do what needs to be done?

It would be like starting over again.

Starting over. That actually seemed appealing to me. It seemed like if I started over I might just be able to breathe again.

Exactly a year ago today, I had left my husband and moved to a new home and I was in the process of moving my business. The air didn't come into my lungs easily. The first few months were filled with panic and I felt like I had a plastic bag over my face most of the time. The anxiety of not knowing when I'd see my daughter day to day before a custody agreement was finalized was unlike any over pain I've ever experienced.

Yet at the same time, I was surrounded by love. So much love. Because my own love is so big. I'd been genuinely helping others in my community for years at this point and had built a solid group of friends. Clients that became my family, rockstar friends, moms, dads, sons, daughters and business owners. People that saw me suffering and reached out and helped me. People I trusted so completely that I was actually able to ask for help.

We began work on the house. One of my students parents worked construction and we asked him if he could help us in some

way. He offered to build our wheelchair ramp for free and then the company he worked for offered to sponsor the entire project of getting the house ready to be rezoned.

DPR construction ended up donating over $180,000 worth of materials and contract work. It turns out I didn't need money to move after all.

In September of 2019, we had our grand opening event. It was incredible. The house is so beautiful. When you walk into the doors you immediately feel a warm, rocking hug of good juju. Rock on 22nd (what we call the home of Pachyderm Music Lab and Girls Rock Charlotte) was built on wishes, dreams, love and possibility.

If there is something that you are passionate about, a special gift that you have that this world needs. Show the universe that you are about it, that you will do the thing even if you fail. Take those tiny steps, create the good karma and if all seems lost and you feel defeated, I invite you to surrender in your heart and soul. Trust that whatever needs come come will come and whatever needs to go will go. It's much easier to receive with open arms than with a clenched fist. I invite you to read "It's Not Your Money" by Tosha Silver. It's given me language for concepts I was already using and didn't quite understand yet.

Sometimes the feeling of gratitude is so big, I feel like I can't hold it in my body.

Every day I come to work, I am overwhelmingly grateful for that 120 year old house and the people that rallied around me to help make a dream a reality. It's a symbol of transformation, something I've become all too familiar with over the past few years. I look forward to seeing how the space and myself continue to blossom in the years to come.

If you haven't been to Rock on 22nd yet to see the new Pachyderm Music Lab, I invite you to come book a tour with me. Better yet, get some music lessons or sign yourself up for Lady Rockstars if you are a woman or non-binary human over the age of 21.

We need registrations for March. Sign up with a friend and get half off $250. You'll each pay $125. Use the code: stringsisters

Click here to register.

"It was super easy to just do Lady Rockstars" - Allison

"You've created an amazing facility. I haven't been exposed to music since I was really little, and I appreciate having exposure to this kind of environment. It's cool to be a part of this." - Meredith

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