“There’s never been a better time to start a business with no money.”
So, let’s talk about it. Last post I mentioned how I wanted to start discussing business. Here we go.
Currently, I’m reading Seth Godin’s The Bootstrapper Bible. I’m close to finishing it. And let me tell you, it’s been eye opener. Especially before reading Brainwashed. Get them now, while they’re free.
Honestly, I had no clue what a Bootstrapper was.
“AN ENTREPRENEUR WHO WORKS THEIR BUTT OFF TO START A BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH WITH NO (OR ALMOST NO) MONEY.”
Then I said after finding out, “Hey, thats me!.” In the book, you’ll find a lot of strategies to consider as you start small and humble as Dave Ramsey puts it in his book Entreleadership book (another good one). There’s no shame in it. As a matter of fact, you’re ahead of the game when you start at zero. You kind of have a lot of liberty in your hands. Room for tons of creativity. You’ll be surprised how much you can do and how one simple idea can be so profitable.
Before we go off talking about sales, marketing, and distribution (Not too detailed, I think), we need to make a public declaration. A small excerpt from the book thats worth printing out. Read it out loud. Live it. Be intentional about it.
The Bootstrapper Manifesto
“I am a bootstrapper. I have initiative and insight and guts, but not much money. I will succeed because my efforts and my focus will defeat bigger and better-funded competitors. I am fearless. I keep my focus on growing the business—not on politics, career advancement, or other wasteful distractions.
I will leverage my skills to become the key to every department of my company, yet realize that hiring experts can be the secret to my success. I will be a fervent and intelligent user of technology, to conserve my two most precious assets: time and money.
My secret weapon is knowing how to cut through bureaucracy. My size makes me faster and more nimble than any company could ever be.
I am a laser beam. Opportunities will try to cloud my focus, but I will not waver from my stated goal and plan—until I change it. And I know that plans were made to be changed.
I’m in it for the long haul. Building a business that will last separates me from the opportunist, and is an investment in my brand and my future. Surviving is succeeding, and each day that goes by makes it easier still for me to reach my goals.
I pledge to know more about my field than anyone else. I will read and learn and teach. My greatest asset is the value I can add to my clients through my efforts.
I realize that treating people well on the way up will make it nicer for me on the way back down. I will be scrupulously honest and overt in my dealings, and won’t use my position as a fearless bootstrapper to gain unfair advantage. My reputation will follow me wherever I go, and I will invest in it daily and protect it fiercely.
I am the underdog. I realize that others are rooting for me to succeed, and I will gratefully accept their help when offered. I also understand the power of favors, and will offer them and grant them whenever I can.
I have less to lose than most — a fact I can turn into a significant competitive advantage.
I am a salesperson. Sooner or later, my income will depend on sales, and those sales can be made only by me, not by an emissary, not by a rep. I will sell by helping others get what they want, by identifying needs and filling them.
I am a guerrilla. I will be persistent, consistent, and willing to invest in the marketing of myself and my business.
I will measure what I do, and won’t lie about it to myself or my spouse. I will set strict financial goals and honestly evaluate my performance. I’ll set limits on time and money and won’t exceed either.
Most of all, I’ll remember that the journey is the reward. I will learn and grow and enjoy every single day.”
All business noobs are welcome to form a discussion with me. Start thinking about what you want to sell and read the book. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Don’t go in to debt. Personally, I think debt is dumb. Even having investors is kind of stressing too. I leave you with this question: what can you do with what you already have?