Entrepreneurs are a great example of living the American Dream — the freedom to work and create our lives in a way that yields prosperity and success.

Unfortunately, one thing this dream often includes is debt.  As I think about all the recent economic issues, I wonder:  can the American Dream survive without any debt at all?

So many women that I have spoken to over the past decade tell me that they cannot start their business without an investment of money from another person.  I disagree. What I know is if you have vision — the “fire in your belly” and passion to make a difference in the world — you do not need a dime from another person… boot strapping it is often the best way to go!

I recently had a lunch conversation about this with Christine McDannell (an entrepreneur in San Deigo and owner of Social Starfish).  She told me that she had started a business with only $300… then sold it a year ago for enough of a profit to start her next new business.

Even though I hadn’t shared with her my thinking on this topic, she then said, “I wish I had not invested any money in the business up front; bootstrapping it is the only way to go!” I loved that she said this!  She went on to explain that she invested too much money in the infrastructure  (employees, nice office space, expensive website) without having the clients to support it.  It turned out that was a waste of money and resources before those expenses were even necessary.

This is the case with so many other businesses, spending time and money on “setting up our shop” perfectly before we even have clients or any income… so we get into debt when we really don’t need to!

I know it can feel like a big risk to start serving clients while we are still working on our infrastructure, but it is a small risk to take for the benefit of possibly starting a debt free business!

So my 3 Things business challenge to you this week is to come up with 3 things you can do to grow your business without spending a dime – TODAY!

What can you start TODAY?  And what can you put in your goals for year end??

I believe we can live the American Dream without debt …and help the economic situation — do you??