The bootstrapper will inevitably come up against a stream of seemingly insurmountable problems. This is when the Unconventional Mindset comes into play. Your motto on all these occasions must be, “There is always another way.” In the Herculean task you are undertaking—starting a business from scratch—conventional wisdom does not apply. Your problems are unique, and it might take a unique set of solutions to overcome them. But remember, for every business problem there are many solutions. The biggest “problem” is simply that you haven’t thought of a solution yet. But you will. You will always find a different way to move forward, and a way that doesn’t involve spending lots of money. If the bootstrapper makes a habit of demanding creative solutions from his or her staff—that is, discouraging the conventional mindset—your company’s fortunes can be transformed.
Shortage of assets is no barrier to the rapid development of businesses. Such businesses must instead formulate inventive and highly imaginative solutions to what might at first seem like insurmountable problems. The stories of finding innovative ways to avoid costs and getting over (or under) hurdles are legendary among bootstrappers.
The benefits are potentially huge. For one thing, you will be building a lively, challenging, and stimulating work environment for your staff, one in which creative and innovative thinking is the daily norm and not the exception. Make your workplace the home of Good Ideas, and reward those who come up with true “strokes of genius” that accelerate your company’s progress.
In the mindset of a true bootstrapper, there is no distinction between problem and opportunity.
What’s your bootstrapping motto? When facing barriers, what is your philosophy to overcome these obstacles?