7 Bootstrap basics

November 27th, 2007

This whole blog is about taking a bootstrap approach towards success. That means relying on nobody but you. This isn’t about passing a job interview or getting a part from a casting call. This is all about creating your own success. In order to that you have to remember seven import rules:


1. Do it yourself: Because no one else will

Never rely on anyone for something you can do better or more quickly yourself. Never put yourself in a position where your success or failure is entirely in someone else’

s hands.


2. Mind the numbers

Creativity is cheap, mistakes are expensive. Whenever possible, use creativity to cut costs but not corners. Your goal is not to do things as cheaply as possible, but to create as much value as you can from limited resources. Keep accurate financial records of everything. Getting a $10,000 order rocks. Having to spend $9,700 and four weeks to fill it sucks. It also means you just worked your tail off for $.53 an hour. Realizing this on April 15th means you’

ll be working for the man for the rest of your life.


3. Know your tools

You don’t have to be an expert on everything, but you should at least know enough to know how to learn more. If you want to try internet sales and don’t know how to code a basic web page, you’re at a disadvantage. It doesn’

t matter if you can hire other people to do that. How will you know what their time is really worth and what can really be done?


4. You’

re in business 24-7

You can have a normal life and work normal hours, but you should always have your mind open to new opportunities. You should also be fully committed to working longer and harder than you would for anyone else.


5. Be realistic

If your business plan is more vague than specific, the only definite is your demise. Wishful thinking is for the clueless. Positive thinking is pointless without positive action. Never think you are the smartest, most talented person in your field. Assume everything will have to be worked for.


6. Be cool

Your goal is not to bury your competition and drink wine from their skull as you sit on a throne made from their bones. You want to be the coolest, most likable person in your business and make a lot of money by being that way. Notice I said “likable” and not “liked”. Some people will hate you no matter what. Don’t worry about that. You’ll find that many things are easier and more doors are opened the better human being you are. Your competition doesn’t define how big the market is. Focus on growing the market and you’ll get bigger and defeat the competition. Focus on the competition and you’

ll fight over diminishing returns.


7. Be scary

Know how to use every tool that’

s used in your business. Read every book you can get your hands on that relates in any way. Read books on human psychology and behavior. Know stuff. Be in a position where you can do everything yourself if you have to. Be like Hannibal Lector, but without the cannibalism.

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