Business

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Nicolas China

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Startup On A Shoestring - Part 2 of 6

For your startup business to survive, you need to give it everything you’ve got.  Let me reiterate… Everything. You've. Got.

My first and most important tip in 5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget is:  “Pour blood, sweat and tears into it.”

Starting a business can be daunting and isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you can muster up the courage to dive in to entrepreneurship, you’d better do so head first! And if you’re bootstrapping, you’re business will not survive without blood, sweat and tears.

Blood is thicker than water.

Your support system is integral throughout the life of your business, but it’s completely essential for survival in the early stages of launching your business. Whether it’s your family or a tight-knit group of friends, make sure everyone is on board.

Let them know your goals. Talk about your aspirations and ideas. The people who love you are the ones who will support you. They’ll have your back through thick and thin. These people want you to succeed as much as you do (or in my Mom’s case, even more!)

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Most importantly, your close friends and family will give you a sounding board. So if you have a strong support system in place already, heed their advice! It will help you “see the forest for the trees”.

No goal was ever met without a little sweat.

This one seems a little obvious, but I’ll say it nonetheless. Without action and effort, nothing will happen! Acting with a purpose and giving your business 100% effort all the time is not easy, but it is crucial. 

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban says, “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”

Not only will constant action and effort propel your startup, you’ll also find that you’ll gain irreplaceable experience along the way. Learn the game, practice the game, and then master the game. Never quit.

A tear is made up of 1% water and 99% feelings.

Passion is immeasurable. It’s a feeling.  A fire that burns deep. 

Although you can’t quantify it, it is absolutely necessary. If you don’t love what you’re doing or the direction that you’re headed, stop now! Refocus. Figure out what motivates you and ride the wave.

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For true success, you must love what you do. Not just what you do in business, but in totality.

Go ahead! Pour blood sweat and tears into it!

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Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks!

  

This article, Blood, Sweat and Tears is part two of my six part Startup On A Shoestring series. 

Part one, 5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget can be found HERE.

Part three, Lean, Mean Cash Flow Machine can be found HERE.

Part four, Master Social FREE-dia can be found HERE.

Part five, Lean Startup Founders: The MacGyvers of Business can be found HERE.

Part six, The Startup Scene Is The New Wild West. Be A Gunslinger can be found HERE.

For more tips, follow Nicolas China on Twitter @Nico_C7.

Nicolas China is Co-founder and owner of Pixilated (@PixilatedPhoto) & Startup Soiree (@StartupSoiree).

5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget

Nic China

Startup On A Shoestring - Part 1 of 6

The Art of Bootstrapping: Own Everything. Owe Nothing.

Are you trying to launch the next big thing? Think you can’t afford it? You’re probably wrong. You just haven’t learned how to bootstrap yet.  

Bootstrapping your business simply means financing your company’s implementation and growth without the assistance of others.

It’s not easy, but there are 2 major advantages. It allows you to keep full control of your startup, and keeps you out of debt from day one. Bootstrapping is one of the cornerstones of The American Dream.

Master the art of bootstrapping and you’ll rely on no one. Trust me, I’ve done it.

So here we go…let’s do this thing on the cheap!

Tip #1: Pour blood, sweat and tears into it.

If you want to thrive as an entrepreneur, you have to work your ass off. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times, but there’s a reason for that. It’s because it’s true! Ask any successful founder and they will tell you that drive and persistence are essential to your startup’s success.

Whether you’ve got $100 or $100,000, without good ol’ fashion hard work, you’ll never make it. So get to the grind!

Tip #2: Turn your company into a lean, mean cash flow machine.

When you’re bootstrapping, there’s no room for “fluff”. Every cent is precious, so make sure you spend wisely. Plan accordingly and figure out exactly what your necessary expenses are; then cut everything else.

Your team needs to be lean too. At the early stages, the most effective teams are made up of individuals capable of wearing multiple hats. Always adapt and never stop tweaking.  

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Tip #3: Become a master of social free-dia.

Social media is King…at least for now. So don’t miss out! It’s a great way to build a reputation, create a following, and test ideas before bringing them to fruition.

The possibilities are endless…but here are just a few ideas:

  • Crowd source feedback on Facebook to avoid costly mistakes and potential “flops”.
  • Convert client testimonials into tweets.
  • Build relevant pin boards that link to your robust blog content.
  • Instagram industry specific memes.

Tip #4: Stay clever with your resources.

What do you already have at your disposal? Probably more than you even realize.

Your cousin is a graphic designer? Free logo. Your old roommate is a CPA? Free tax prep. Your neighbor has a pickup truck? Free fleet. You get the point. We all have access to different people, assets and skills. No matter what yours are, be sure to utilize and maximize!

On another note, the amount of free technology, apps and other web-based tools makes things easier than ever before. Need to figure out how to do something? Google it. The internet will bombard you with websites, videos, tools, information and the like. Soak it in!

Tip #5: Barter like it’s the fuckin’ Wild West.

What value do you bring to the table? Do people want your services? Do they need your product?  

If you need something, then find an angle and trade for it. If you have a product, skill or service at your disposal, use it to trade other businesses for their products, skills or services that you need. Make sure it works for both parties, but don’t be afraid to ask and offer.

You’d be surprised how many people are in your shoes and would rather trade than spend!

Go ahead! Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get started!

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 Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks! 


This article is part one of my six part Startup On A Shoestring series. 

Part 2, Blood, Sweat and Tears can be found HERE.

Part 3, Lean, Mean Cash Flow Machine can be found HERE.

Part 4, Master Social FREE-dia can be found HERE.

Part 5, Lean Startup Founders: The MacGyvers of Business can be found HERE.

Part 6, The Startup Scene Is The New Wild West. Be A Gunslinger can be found HERE.


For more tips, follow Nicolas China on Twitter @Nico_C7.

Nicolas China is co-founder of Pixilated (@PixilatedPhoto) & Startup Soiree (@StartUpSoiree).


If you liked this article, try this one: Top 10 Tips For Startups