Bootstrapping has been my game since I’ve started working on startups – and as you know in July, I was no longer part of the luxurious-salaried-with-benefits world. In an effort to live more frugally and off of my savings, I cut down on quite a bit of my extravagances in dining out and shopping. I consolidated bills, got rid of my Comcast cable TV, decreased my phone plan minutes, rode the bus/walked around town, met up with friends for coffee in lieu of lunch and dinners, and cereal (particularly Honey Bunches of Oats – with almonds)became my blood sugar saver. I still have a bunch of expenses going out the door: rent, food, utilities, gas, biz insurance, health insurance, home insurance, car insurance, …
The past two weeks have been crazier for me since I decided that I needed to hustle (as my very close and talented friend, Kate recommended to me) – and picked up a short term gig to build up more savings via some freelance projects. Time was tight back in August/September as it was, see previous post, but now … time is just flying by in the blink of an eye (another post on managing all the different balls in the air coming soon).
Bootstrapping Tips from a Startup Chick:
Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way on being a bootstrapped startup chick:
1. Don’t be lazy = take the time to look presentable. Being a startup chick = I can dress with more bang and flair – it means I can now shamelessly throw my colorful persona into my wardrobe. [I’ve actually had colleagues/mentors in the corporate world tell me to wear more grey/black/navy/brown – and less pink/purple/red…. = yes… BARF on that!!!]
2. Going along with point #1, before walking out your front door – give yourself a pep talk if you need to, but always go out into the world with a smile, good posture, and determined confidence. I have this note on my door [see picture above].
3. Get some cheap simple business cards – and lots of them. I’ve already run out – unplanned, so now I have to find time somehow somewhere to go order some more. Woot!
4. Coffee and happy hour are the best times to meet up – and that covers the entire day. Just because I’m on a budget does not mean I cannot meet up and be social. Come on – tea costs under $2 even at Starbucks! Happy hours are going on all over town from 4pm to 2AM.
5. Get rid of the cable TV (saving me $65/month) – I didn’t have time before, I certainly don’t have time now. If I’m going to sit and watch anything pop-culture, it’s going to have been curated and recommended by a brilliant connoisseur of media. This means, all the stuff I should watch will already be on Netflix, Hulu, or something of the like (except Glee – which I can watch a day later online).
6. Walk. Take public transportation. Carpool. And for me… ride the scooter after hours because I can park that cute sucker anywhere. Walking will burn those old calories I picked up while glued to the desk in a cubicle when I was once salaried. Public transportation is convenient – and taking it supports our community’s ecosystem.
7. Don’t be cheap, be smart. Budget = yes, cheap = no. Do the right thing when it comes to your family, your friends, your clients, etc…
8. Join the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. http://bit.ly/Gi1SM. Serious.
Anyone else have ideas or tips you’d like to share with me?