Bootstrapping Your Biz: Like Building a Car While You’re Driving It
I just interviewed my friend Bijoy Goswami for a podcast episode about bootstrapping that will aire early next week. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I wanted to highlight one of the concepts we covered; one that’s pretty close to B’s heart.
Over the last decade, Bijoy’s life and work has centered around bootstrapping businesses.
And that means what to you?
What is Bootstrapping?
Let’s start with what bootstrapping isn’t.
You’re not starting a franchise. You’re not using an existing model.
You’re also not using venture capital or major 3rd party investments.
Bootstrapping is about starting with little money and (relatively) infinite time, and then starting on the journey of building your business. You begin with a seed of an idea, but remain open to and embrace the notion that your business will come to fruition through the process of figuring out HOW it will come to fruition.
In other words, you’re okay with not having the answers right from the beginning. In fact, you appreciate the fact that “the journey” is what will create the business and all its parts.
For example, Southwest Airlines (profiled in our interview) started as a small, puddle-jumping airline. By the time it was ready to begin operations, it had no planes, and no money to buy them.
By looking around, talking to people, and eventually going to Boeing and telling them their situation, they were able to get what turned out to be their trademark 737s for cheap, and Boeing was willing to finance them.
The idea of being open to “whatever shows up” is tough for those of us who mold, craft, and fantasize about every little detail of our impending vision. But the notion of bootstrapping a business is about a willingness to relinquish the “how” and just let the world shape it as you go along.
A little scary, but so is life.
What aspect of your business have you bootstrapped? What else could you do to get further along by finding answers along the journey?