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Blogosphere on Bootstrapping: Anne Clelland

Posted on Sunday, Jan 31st 2010

Anne Clelland sent me a set of posts straight from her heart. She describes the agony of her journey with all its emotional ups and downs. In What a Company Founder Can Lose she lists a series of things she really misses:

I had no idea how much safety, security, freedom, and intellectual power a salary gave me. Hunters and gatherers created writing only after learning to farm gave them time to contemplate the possibility that a symbol could stand for a thing, even an idea. Scrabbling to collect revenue, I have so little of that essential seed for creativity: time for quiescence.

In What a Company Founder Can Gain, she explains some reasons that make it worthwhile:

When I was an employee of a corporation or an institution, I often felt in the presence of a great expanse of possibility, trapped at the edge, slogging through the muck of meetings, forms, and politics.
As a company founder, without the permission and, albeit, guidance of a committee, I have built a boat and I have nimbly jumped aboard. No bureaucracy, no paperwork, no personality workarounds. We’ve set sail.

She lists what she has sacrificed in A Sabbatical from Force.

Today, I grant myself an entrepreneur’s one-year leave of absence from what I seek and what I love outside of my start-up. The angst of having too little time and too few resources takes my mind and heart away from passion for my idea and my execution of it as a business. That feels like force against flow. I’ve had them. I will have them again. For one year, I relinquish:

Great writing, Anne. If you need support, come to my roundtables.

This segment is a part in the series : Blogosphere on Bootstrapping

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Anne has the courage (and the skill) to express the feelings of many/most entrepreneurs that I have met. And the boot-strappers are absolutely the most adventurous. It’s really not that scary when you have $5 million in venture capital. With just a good plan and a credit card, it’s a far more challenging road.

It takes real MOXIE.

Jim Flowers Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7:17 AM PT

Thank you so much for the praise and support and for finding value in my posts on bootstrapping. “Delayed gratification” takes on quite a meaning when the first start-up year turns to the second and the third is a few months away…

The challenges of bootstrapping are mitigated for me by my company’s membership in a business incubator/business accelerator. The classic errors that company start-ups make, only because they don’t know enough not to make them – incorporating, getting trademarks, keeping the books, for example – I haven’t made because I’ve been advised by experts during the process. My work is with making my idea work, not with putting out fires from a poor company founding. In spite of the travails of bootstrapping, my chances of creating a viable business are hugely increased because I have asked for – sometimes gratefully, sometimes begrudgingly – and received, help.

Anne Giles Clelland Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 6:49 AM PT