Don't Quit Your Day Job
"Bootstrapping your business is difficult, but not impossible"
Some of the most brilliant ideas are born while driving on a long road trip, cutting grass or taking a shower. Although these are very different tasks they all share the commonality of silence. A moment when your brain is free of distraction and noise.
This of course doesn't happen in every case. You may have three screaming children in the backseat, headphones over your ears listening to a sporting event while doing yard work or music blaring in the shower. But in my experience when you have the opportunity to clear your mind and choose to not fill the silence, God will speak. It's as if He has been waiting (like the gentleman He is) for you to listen to some wonderful plans designed just for you.
In these moments of clarity we can get very excited and full of hope. This is by design! We can see the idea and all the good it will bring to our world. However if all we do is think fondly on the fresh download of inspiration and allow ourselves to drift back into the struggles of our daily lives, it was nothing more than a dream.
Dreams never make it to reality for many reasons but it is mostly F.U.D. (No, not the hunter from your Saturday cartoons who unsuccessfully tried to "get that wascally wabbit") F.U.D. is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
1. Fear - I can't do that! I might lose everything.
2. Uncertainty - Wow that is a great idea, but I have no idea where to start.
3. Doubt - That wasn't really God. I'm not smart enough.
Most God given dreams and divine inspirational moments never get started due to some level of F.U.D. As a father I can only imagine how frustrated that would be to always pour new direction into your child only to have them be too afraid or uncertain to start. The great news is that our Father doesn't get frustrated with us, He loves us, is patient and will wait until the next time you go on a road trip to speak again.
But what about those of us who were able to work past the F.U.D. and do something with that God given dream? In some cases that idea was to start a business. You worked past all fear, you were uncertain but pressed forward and although you had doubts, you continued to seek God for clarity.
The mistake I see many of these brave souls make at this critical junction is that they quit their day job! They get enough confirmation that God is ready to do something big with their dream and before any sound planning can take place, they quit the one source that keeps them afloat financially.
God may be calling you to start a business, but He may not be calling you to quit your job... yet.
There are many ways to fund a business, including investments, grants, loans, etc. however all of them come with strings attached. If you are not independently wealthy, bootstrapping may be your best option.
Bootstrapping is not for the faint of heart. Bootstrapping has its origin in the early 19th century with the expression "pulling up by one's own bootstraps." Initially, it implied an obviously impossible feat. Later, it became a metaphor for achieving success with no outside assistance.
By using your own money to build your business means you maintain 100% ownership and call all the shots. You can build it with no debt by reinvesting all revenue back into the business to allow for growth.
To make this work, you must keep your day job. That job you hate can now become the source for funding your dream! Instead of dreading going to that some old dead end job with "those people", you can shift your perspective to use each paycheck as a way to get you one step closer to your dream.
1. Find more quiet time with God. He is speaking, you just can't hear Him through the noise.
2. Get rid of F.U.D. If He gave you a promise, He will be faithful to complete it.
3. Use the resources (your job, savings, gifts) to build the dream over time. It is a process. Don't skip the process.