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32: Real Talk… You Should Stop Bootstrapping Your Business

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Bootstrapping is an ever popular term in the entrepreneurial space, intended to convey the grit and perseverance you've demonstrated by doing everything yourself. But if you’re honest with yourself, is doing everything on your own growing your business, or is it actually keeping you stuck? In this episode, I’m sharing my perspective on how staying in a bootstrap mindset can hinder your growth and the mindset shifts you need so you can generate more profit without spending more of your own time, energy, and money.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • 0:00 What does “bootstrapping” your business mean?

  • 5:11 How bootstrapping can be holding you back

  • 8:34 Are you being too frugal in your business?

  • 13:44 How bootstrapping negatively impacts your mindset

  • 16:00 The difference between being self-employed and being a business owner

  • 19:15 What you need to build a business that doesn’t require constant time and effort from you

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Key takeaways from the episode:

First things first - "bootstrapping" your business is NOT always a bad thing, especially not when you're first starting out.

But I do think that staying in that mindset of "I can do it better by myself!" is going to hold you back from reaching your full potential at some point.

A lot of people talk proudly about how their business was bootstrapped - but what does this really mean?

"Bootstrapping" means you rely only on existing resources to run your business, including reinvesting the profits that your business generates (don't even get me started on "reinvesting" y'all... topic for another day).

I think that bootstrapping lends itself to a mindset of self-reliance, implying that you shouldn't rely on anyone else or any outside resources to grow your business. Or that you should prioritize sweat equity (code for putting all your time into your business) over investing money into your business.

But that mindset holds you back! One of the important lessons I've learned in the ~4 years of running my business is that community matters. Having the right team and mentors matter. If bootstrapping means that you prioritize relying on yourself over leveraging your community, then it's going to hold you back.

Bootstrapping also tends to imply that you're being frugal in your business, and frugality is often glorified as virtuous or as the path to wealth (become a millionaire by not buying your $5 coffee!).

I'm not about spending money just for the sake of spending, but I do think that it's going to be hard for you to grow or scale your business past a certain point if you're stuck in a frugal/scarcity mindset.

Ultimately, the question I have for you is this -

How do you define success?

Is success based on how hard you work? How many hours you log at your computer? How ragged you run yourself?

Or could you also be successful if you were really smart about leveraging ALL the resources you had available to you to make more money? Would you be successful if you're able to detach your ability to make money from your time?

If you want to grow or scale your business past the self-employed stage and create a real asset for yourself, then let's leave this mindset behind us, shall we?

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Resources mentioned in this episode:

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I’m Sarah Young - a CPA, Virtual CFO, and the Owner of Young + Co! I have over a decade of experience in helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses and build wealth at the 6- and 7-figure levels, and I started the Profit + Prosper podcast to help you do the same. Profit + Prosper is a business finance podcast created to help entrepreneurs build their wealth in a way that’s fun and empowering. This is NOT a boring numbers podcast - I will share tactical tips to increase your profit so you can truly prosper in your business and in life. I hope you’ll subscribe so we can Profit + Prosper together!

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