If you are bootstrapped, you are going to have to run super lean. You need to be, act and think scrappy. A real entrepreneur relishes the grind and digging deep to struggle. Embrace the tough times because you respect success that much more. The road of an entrepreneur isn’t fast money, unicorn dreams and high profile exits. To be successful, 99.9% of us have to do the work without investor cash cushions. You put your own skin and all the risk in the game. You go all in. Here’s what I did. * picture circa 2003
Used my current computer
Used a spare bedroom ( No need for an office )
Used my current chairs
Used my current desk
Used all the extra office supplies and paper, pens and scrap paper I had laying around.
I came up with low cost marketing and mailers and stuffed everything myself combined with aggressive free social media.
I hired no one and only my wife and our two other business partners were the company. We all had to do everything ourselves. Sales, marketing, technology, finance… etc. You name it we did it.
Don’t expense or buy lunches, meals or any frivolous items. (Trust me, I had a business partner one time claimed he needed to buy landscaping tools and plants because it was a business expense since we worked at home. Oh really?)
Don’t buy any promotional items, hats, t-shirts and coffee mugs. (All a waste)
You wear every hat, you grind, you work and you build something that is meant to last. Don’t dream of exits. Dream of building a real company that is successful, profitable and delivers a great product or solution you can be proud of.
That’s my 2 cents.