Some time ago, I read the free manifesto version of The Bootstrapper’s Bible by Seth Godin. The book describes (among other things) what it takes to be a bootstrapper or entrepreneur (rather than a freelancer), how to take care of your business, raising money, finding your right business, refocusing, and more. The book is ideal for anyone who wants to build a successful business from the ground up, and avoid being just a freelancer (it’s where I am today). Seth Godin has a lot to offer on his website, so make sure that you check it out (I am not an affiliate and have no financial stake in his website).
To follow is what I learned about being an entrepreneur (specifically, nine rules for taking care of your business) from The Bootstrapper’s Bible, and what I hope to apply in building my business:
- Find people who care about cash less than you do. Establish credit with your suppliers. Ask customers to pay in advance to fund your purchases and growth.
- Survival is success. Focus on just making money in some part of every week.
- Success leads to more success. Being busy creates more success, as it leads to positive cash flow, teaches you new things, builds your reputation and credit rating, and puts you in contact with smart people and new customers.
- Redo your mission statement and business plan every three months. The path to success is a maze, not a straight line, so you have to adapt and change your plans.
- Associate with winners. This means that you should work with great clients, employees, vendors and peers. Even better, send clients who don’t fit your business to your peers, so you can make two people happy with you.
- Beware of shared ownership. Assign ownership based on the amount of work people do, or pay for services. Also match compensation with performance.
- Advertise. Spend regularly on advertising. Persistence in advertising leads to success. Be clear in what you are advertising, and constantly test and measure results.
- Get mentored. Find the right person to mentor you. Make it easy or them to say yes or no.
- Partner with large organizations that you can service. Do what they cannot or what you can do for less than they can. Create a mutually beneficial relationship, which will improve your credibility, give you greater access to large corporations, and improve your cash flow.
Seth Godin has a lot more to say on his website (he has written a lot of great books, and he blogs daily), and in The Bootstrapper’s Bible. I shared what I thought was most relevant here. Make sure to give it a read.
If there are any eBooks that you’d like me to read and summarize for you here, or give my thoughts on, let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.