The Bootstrapper’s Manifesto

bootI had a great time yesterday participating remotely at the Slamdance Filmmaker Summit with an extraordinary bunch of people at the event and online (the sessions will be online soon and Filmmaker Magazine has published a quick review).  At the end of my session, Lance Weiler (thanks so much for the invite Lance!) asked me to make any last remarks about what I’m doing. I briefly mentioned how I’m working on developing services now (both technological/cultural and consulting) that will hopefully (the plan is) provide a backbone for my company to create projects. Jumping off that brief mention (more details coming soon), I want to share a manifesto that communicates where I’m at now.

I have previously posted a collection of manifestos that relate to the creative format of trans/cross-media projects.  Today I want to share a manifesto of a different kind. It still relates to creative projects, but indirectly. Instead, the following manifesto echoes where I’m at and how I’m attempting the long-term vision to do many of my own creative projects. The manifesto is Seth Godin‘s Bootstrapper’s Manifesto, from his ebook The Bootstrapper’s Bible published at ChangeThis. I’ll let the manifesto do the talking.

The Bootstrapper’s Manifesto

I am a bootstrapper. I have initiative and insight and guts, but not much money [well some, but not the millions I would like!]. I will succeed because my efforts and my focus will defeat bigger and better-funded competitors. I am fearless. I keep my focus on growing the business–not on politics, career advancement, or other wasteful distractions [unless it helps the business!].

I will leverage my skills to become the key to every department of my company, yet realize that hiring experts can be my secret to success. I will be a fervent and intelligent user of technology, to conserve my two most precious assets: time and money.

My secret weapon is knowing how to cut through bureaucracy [don’t know about that!]. My size makes me faster and more nimble than any company could ever be [true!].

I am a laser beam. Opportunities will try to cloud my focus, but I will not waver from my stated goal and plan–until I change it. And I know that plans were made to be changed.

I’m in it for the long haul [ooo yeah!]. Building a business that will last separates me from the opportunist, and is an investment in my brand and my future. Surviving is succeeding, and each day that goes by makes it easier still for me to reach my goals.

I pledge to know more about my field than anyone else. I will read and learn and teach. My greatest asset is the value I can add to my clients through my efforts.

I realize that treating people well on the way up will make it nicer for me on the way back down. I will be scrupulously honest and overt in my dealings, and won’t use my position as a fearless bootstrapper to gain unfair advantage. My reputation will follow me wherever I go, and I will invest in it daily and protect it fiercely.

I am the underdog. I realize that others are rooting for me to succeed, and I will gratefully accept their help when offered. I also understand the power of favors, and will offer them and grant them whenever I can.

I have less to lose than most — a fact I can turn into a significant competitive advantage.

I am a salesperson [not sure about that!]. Sooner or later, my income will depend on sales, and those sales can be made only by me, not by an emissary, not by a rep. I will sell by helping others get what they want, by identifying needs and filling them.

I am a guerrilla. I will be persistent, consistent, and willing to invest in the marketing of myself and my business.

I will measure what I do, and won’t lie about it to myself or my spouse. I will set strict financial goals and honestly evaluate my performance. I’ll set limits on time and money and won’t exceed either.

Most of all, I’ll remember that the journey is the reward. I will learn and grow and enjoy every single day.


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