In America, the phrase “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” is a popular term used to describe someone who gets themselves into a better position (in work, financially, or otherwise) through their own hard work.
It’s since been adopted by the business community to mean starting a business without finance and relying on your own resources and efforts. There are countless examples of this in the real world, including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and eBay. Though they all eventually had to seek outside investment from angel investors to grow into the giant conglomerates they are today.
Another big name to have originally bootstrapped is GoPro. The company was founded back in 2002 by Nick Woodman who used his savings and a loan from his mother. By 2004, it had reached an annual revenue of $150,000. The following year, it achieved $350,000. However, the bootstrapping paid off because nine years later, the company listed on the stock market with an IPO that valued them at just shy of $3 billion.
Bootstrapping can be a great way to start a business without having to give away equity and to retain control over your business. However, this means that you must forego paying yourself a generous salary (or even any salary at all) to keep cash in your business.
So while you’re bootstrapping your company, you will likely find you need to bootstrap your own lifestyle. If that’s what you’re doing, here are some ways to keep your own personal overheads down.
Cut Down Your Rent
Renting or buying your own place is a great way to have your independence, but it comes with a huge cost. For most people, mortgage repayments or rent are the highest monthly expenses, ahead of food, utilities, and other necessities.
That is why you see many entrepreneurs living with their parents well into their 20s. This is a great option to spend significantly less every month as you’ll pay nothing or at least less than almost anywhere else.
If that is not an option, sharing a house or flat with others can be a great way to cut the costs of rent. You may also be able to find like-minded people who you can bounce ideas off and get help from when you need it.
Look For Free Alternatives
As the founder of a startup you likely won’t find much time for yourself, however, it is important that you do set some time aside to relax, entertain yourself, and destress.
This doesn’t need to cost money though, since you can find plenty of free ways to have fun.
For example, gamers can enjoy free-to-play games from their computer, console or mobile device without having to spend money. There are options in most genres too, such as PokerStars, which offers a free platform with access to many of the most popular variants of poker; Call of Duty: Warzone, which is a free online battle royale game that runs on the same game engine as the paid-for Modern Warfare title; and Hearthstone, a digital collectible card game that requires you to think strategically.
You can listen to music for free through streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, and Deezer. They are ad-supported, but that doesn’t matter when you’re trying to save money.
You can also find countless hours of TV shows, documentaries, live sport, movies, and shorter video content through services like Twitch, YouTube, and Crunchyroll. If these don’t get you excited, there are countless streaming options available that cost about the same as a single Starbucks coffee every month.
Stay In And Cook
When you are spending hours hunched over your computer so that you can focus on work, the easy option is to order some sort of takeaway or stop at a restaurant on your way home. However, this costs significantly more than if you prepared your own food at home.
If you are short on time, look for easy meals that you can cook in bulk and store in your fridge or freezer. This way, you can prepare an entire week’s worth of meals at once, saving you precious time and money. Overall it helps to practice frugal finances whenever possible to help bootstrap your business or the future life that you’ve always wanted.