I think we’re probably all familiar with the idea of bootstrapping when we start our businesses, basically funding our start-up with our own money and driving the enterprise entirely with our own labor, doing everything ourselves, wearing all the hats. Whether it’s responding to every email, writing every blog post or piece of social content, crafting new offers, delivering to our clients: it’s a one-woman/one-man show. After a time, we get to a point where we can begin to pull others in to work with us — add a Virtual Assistant, farm out our bookkeeping, add staff, hire on marketing expertise.
This seems like the most common path that entrepreneurs I work with follow — a slow, incremental build. It’s something which I did myself when I started Do Your Thing, relying on a cache of personal cash at first and my own ability to learn whatever I needed to get me rolling. This meant being really careful about buying expertise in the beginning, until I felt like I could do it without sacrificing my ability to pay myself.
For me, Rule 1: pay myself. This ain’t a hobby! It’s got to pay the bills.
But I’ve seen first-hand that for some businesses, deliberately NOT bootstrapping appears to have landed them at success faster. What I mean is: they didn’t wait to join the pricey mastermind, take the expensive course, hire the fancy experts, bring all the best people on their team, and as a consequence, they spent 1-2 years building, and every subsequent year reaping the benefits. Unlike some of us who spend YEARS & YEARS building, reaping smaller benefits steadily over time, getting there yes but more slowly and possibly with more struggle. [AND Listen: I know, not everyone can do this. I couldn’t have, just didn’t have the cheddar to pull that off. Stay with me, and just read on, please.]
What I’m suggesting here is a continuation of what I wrote about last week: that maybe I wonder if sometimes we operate so much from fear and scarcity that we don’t gamble BIG enough on ourselves at the start, and it makes our success that much harder to achieve. I haven’t tested this scientifically, mind you, it’s just a thought I’ve been turning over in my mind, which I wanted to share with you.
Along with this question: where are you holding back on investing in your business, an investment that could make it possible for you to vault past some of the obstacles currently in your path? What one thing do you KNOW (‘cause i know you already know) would make all the difference in your ability to serve, to have an impact, to thrive?
What’s stopping you? If it’s this idea that you have to bootstrap your way to your goals, let me tell ya: it’s not the only way.
If i can help you plot your course, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org & let me know.
We get there faster together!