Use Your Day Job As Venture Capital For Your Dream

As the entrepreneurial strive for success continues, I’ve had several thoughts about venture capital pop up recently.

Your passion and drive – the thing that gets you up in the morning – may not be what you’re doing all day.

Catherine and I have had several conversations about this necessity as we follow our dreams. We came to a conclusion that doesn’t necessarily apply to us, as there are LOTS of things I do love about my business. I’m giving you permission. It’s OK not to love your day job.

Let me explain.

We all have strengths that we can use to do great work. Just because you may not be able to work your passion 9-5 doesn’t mean you can’t go for it. The trick for most ventures, at least those on my list, is they require some start up cash.

Your paycheck is your venture capital.

Your venture capital, or “VC” for those who of us in full nerd mode, can feed;

  • Supplies: beads, wire, tools, caffeine, chocolate
  • Research: market, A/B testing
  • Advertising: trade magazines, pay-per-click, Facebook

Here’s a personal example. My obsession with beads, wire and jewelry tools started long before I sold my first piece of jewelry. This venture started as most do, as a hobby. Obviously I wasn’t considering my purchase of a $30 string of polished jasper beads as an investment. That’s what it was, and before I knew it, I was starting to bootstrap.

Bootstrapping is typically how most of us manage growing our businesses and start new ventures.

Definition: To finance your company’s startup and growth with the assistance of or input from others

Some of the items on my VC list don’t cost anything but time, which can be more precious than the cash. When you’re working for your seed money, time is short and you don’t have the luxury of discovering as you go. Here’s one benefit for you – the lack of time can make you focused enough to find out what you need to know… NOW.

That no-so-perfect job may just be your ticket to the next level of your dream. Use your 5-9 time, whatever you can squeeze in the off hours, into building your next venture.

Check out the video for a great story on a green cleaning product making it to market. I loved their message on our “paying for shipping water”! This is a great example of never knowing where your bootstrapping cash can come from until you ask.

What have you bootstrapped to keep your dream running? Share the stories in the comments. It’s good to share crazy stories so we know we aren’t alone!

~ Heather

Heather’s dream is to have multiple streams of income, starting with launching an e-commerce website that showcases her one-of-a-kind designer jewelry, which are crafted by her. Her newly launched sites are couture jewelry available through For Your Adornment, For Your Adornment on Etsy.com, and Twitter background designs on Twitter And Beyond Dot Com. She also teaches Social Media tactics for business, besides being CEO of her own web design company. Heather’s post day is Thursday.

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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  • Laurie

    I love how awesome it is to re-bootstrap over the years. I had a romance shop called Venus Envy. I loved making the products, there were two that I never forget about. Now I can bring those back and put them on the Club Bitch web site. If you are a creative sort, you must be aware of the organic unfolding of the process. What you did 10 years ago may very well be the thing that works in this economic climate. Never give up on the things you are psyched about, just turn down the heat for awhile, have a drink, soak in a hot tub and dream on. Nice post H!
    Love, L

  • Rayne

    I’ve been bootstrapping myself for years. I, too, make jewelry. I make necklaces from vintage liquor tags. I made them for years and gave them away or traded them with artist friends for amazing things THEY fabricated – – but, yes, the whole time I was doing that I was bootstrapping. Now my work is featured in an art collective. I’ve sold two whole pieces in two months but those two sales paid me back for a significant portion of my investment over the years. Great post!.

  • AWESOME video – can you feel their pain? lol We know the bootstrap story all too well.

    And where does that Angel funding come from – are you out there angel funders? Doesn’t 8 women Dream need an Angel with a checkbook?

    It goes to show that all of our thinking is on the right track.

    Great post –

    Cath

  • Remy G

    I’ve been in start up bootstrap mode, at least by your definition, since I bought my first camera at a neighborhood garage sale when I was 8. As an ‘adult’ the day i got fired from my 9-5 in February 2007 was the day the money I made switched from paycheck to1099 income. I’m constantly investing in my self/ my business.

    If I were my own client, I’d advise me to, at some point, realize that eventually, the only way to really grow my company properly will be with someone else’s money (angel investor, bank loan, family loan, grants) because I could get stuck thinking that bootstrapping is ok long term. I know its’ not. It’s like growing my business with only all my own time. At some point, the only way my business will grow is thru my ability to work more hours. We already work too much girl! What is the solution??

    Great post, damn it. xox Rem

    • Heather Montgomery, CEO & serial entrepreneur

      Ha! I’m actively looking for that “other peoples money” option… but you’re right, we are outta hours!