I don’t think I’ve had a chance to share this with you yet. I have decided to name Volume 2 of Entrepreneur Journeys, Bootstrapping: Weapon Of Mass reconstruction.
I am editing it as we speak. Here’s a short excerpt from the prologue:
There are approximately 5 million small businesses in the United States with fewer than 20 employees. Another 20 million mom and pops endeavor day in and day out without employees. Worldwide, I am not sure what these numbers are, but I know that they are very large.
My profound hope is that in the coming decade, the numbers will double, then triple and quadruple.
For that to happen, entrepreneurs will not only need to be able to start businesses at a much higher rate, but also survive and thrive at a higher rate. This realization led me to ask a number of questions: Why don’t more businesses get off the ground? And why do so many fail?
Through much discussion, writing, and brainstorming on each topic, I have arrived at a core thesis: Not just entrepreneurship, but bootstrapped entrepreneurship is the true weapon of mass reconstruction.
Businesses often fail to take flight because they cannot raise funding. Well, start with the assumption that funding will not be available until the business is substantially further along, if ever, and that bottleneck is removed.
Additionally, most businesses should not look to raise money. They are truly small businesses – in this day and age even a $5 or $25 million business can be considered a small business, and does not really fit the framework of professional venture capital.
That does not, however, mean that these businesses are not worth building. In fact, a $12 million a year company fully owned by the entrepreneur is a wonderful situation. Full control. Loads of cash. And true independence. Heck, even a $300,000 a year business has many of those same attributes, and is plenty worthwhile.
Now, why do so many small businesses fail? Undoubtedly there are many complex reasons, but a primary one is that they run out of cash. They use whatever resources they have imprudently, and end up destitute. Then comes the unappetizing picture: empty offices, lay-offs, shouting matches and finger pointing. Despair, Depression.
So, in this volume, we explore a dozen stories of entrepreneurs who have mastered the art of doing more with less, creating a great many options for themselves in the process. Making clear for the world at large that prosperity and independence are not mutually exclusive. That in fact they go best together.
Let’s start discussing the thesis here: Can Bootstrapping be the Weapon Of Mass Reconstruction?