By the Bootstraps



My grandfather was an entrepreneur, just like me. Unfortunately he died of a heart attack at an early age. Big doses of stress and cigarettes were standard fare for entrepreneurs and shop owners in those days. Although I never met him I have envisioned that he would look at me with his ancient blue eyes, stare for a long, dramatic moment and then say “You´ll have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps son”. I expect that this would be his advice for my life. Little did he know that I would also have that entrepreneur gene (or is it an illness?).

Learning how to ´bootstrap´ a startup company is an important lesson. In every startup I have done I have been successful in raising capital, but only after I had proven to the investors that I had the ability to make sales and generate revenues on my own. Pulling myself up by my bootstraps has always been a healthy and necessary process.

But there is another kind of bootstrapping that is even more important to us entrepreneurs. It is the ability to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps when we are discouraged, tired, disappointed or disillusioned with our startup businesses.  We all hit that stage. As entrepreneurs we all have those days when it just seems impossible to be able to hold out – to endure tight cash flow, limited resources, the nagging pressure of bills and the fear that we might not be able to keep our fragile little boats afloat in the storm. Those dark days are always a part of an entrepreneurs´life.

One of the key differences between the great entrepreneurs and the merely mediocre ones is the ability to rise to the occasion – to find a way to raise  energy levels – to see the opportunity, even in the darkest hours.

Yesterday I had a dark and stormy entrepreneurial day – but I also found the way back to the blue skies and to high energy.  How about you?

Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who believes that this beautiful world that we have created needs our help. Learn more at

2 Replies to “By the Bootstraps”

  1. Rick is on target, as usual. Bootstraps require extra emotional energy. They are special and demand special people to drive them to success. Drive here means push very hard, not cruise.

    Stay tuned to Rick’s advice. It will propel your thinking.

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