Let’s face it. Bootstrapping requires micromanaging. One, you don’t have the financial luxury to delegate or outsource all the items on that exhaustive, ever-replenishing checklist to bring your creation to life. Two, you’re only one person with limited free time managing a product that would normally have multiple teams to get it done..
Any self-funded entrepreneur will readily share with you how arduous and painstakingly slow the process is when you’re bootstrapping your start up. Money disappears very quickly, and coupled with trying to be frugal to stretch your finite resources can be daunting. Time to completion seems eons away. In spite of the frustrations and the issues that befall self- funders, you exude and radiate the glow of a first time parent; smitten by the wonder of their creation. I know this feeling well. Three grueling years. I felt like giving up multiple times). Now, I wouldn’t even consider bypassing a single experience of this process.
Here are the reasons why doing it on your own tests your resiliency and makes
teaches patience: When you pay as you go, you learn quickly how to
prioritize, determine what you save towards, and what your needs are versus
wants. More importantly, you develop a pragmatic relationship with the amount
of time and effort it will take to get things done. I remember applying for the
trademarks for my business on my own to save money by not hiring a patent
attorney. It took two years. With an attorney: less than a year. My
applications were rejected numerous times due to my naivety of the process.
When I was finally awarded those trademarks, I was overcome with good tears;
proud that I persevered and persisted.
Tip: Reflect on the
wins you had and the journey it took to get there. Feel the joy of those
unleashes creativity: With limited funds to outsource work, the
creative mind [you] that created the product you’re making, will create
workarounds to get their creation created! Whether it’s through combing the
internet to read about areas in which you’re unfamiliar with to see if you can
teach yourself just well enough to “wing it” just so that’s one less thing on
the list of items that require money that you’ll take care. I learned how to
write non-disclosure and non-compete agreements by researching elements online.
Terms and Conditions was way above my brain tolerance, so I deferred to a
Tip: Reflect on
the times you had to pull a “gum and duct tape” move to quickly resolve a potential
crisis. Pat yourself on the back for your ingenuity.
bolsters street-smarts: Since self-funders, like you, touch every single aspect of your business repeatedly to
de-scope, refine, and enhance requirements, you know when someone is trying to
rip you off, asking too many pointed questions to copycat your dream, or promising
untenable results. You’ve done EVERY role in the company (tester, designer,
accountant, legal adviser, graphic artist, UX/UI, marketer, sales). No one can con
you. For instance, I used a tech company to build my app and was told they
could have it done in 16 weeks. They handed over an unfinished product a year
and a half later. When I did the rebuild with another company, I mentally
estimated a realistic timeframe of 10-12 months and was spot on!
Tip: Reflect on
how your intuition proved you right and saved you from people who weren’t a
right fit. Wipe the sweat from your brow from that great escape.
The bottom line is nobody will ever know your business better than you. No one will truly appreciate the sacrifices that you’ve made to bring your idea to life. So, bare your battle scars with honor! Those bruises you got by removing the obstacles along the way have presented a creation of immense beauty. So proud of you! If you made this happen without help, imagine if you had it all?…