One Eyelet at a Time

In 1997, little did I know I would begin a venture as an entrepreneur. I just thought a group of friends that sang together in church were going to make something special and offer music outside the four walls of the sanctuary. It sounded simple enough because we had singers and musicians. My partner who was the visionary behind this plan, had been in the music industry before and he was a musician and producer. I was a banker by day and a songwriter by night. We had a place to practice, voices and full instrumentation, but where was the money coming from to start lacing the shoe? It came from our own boot.I did not know it then, but our financial source came from bootstrapping. Investopedia describes bootstrapping as building a company without external investments. The startup company uses personal finances and the operating revenue generated by the company for capital. We held true the characteristics of a bootstrapping. There was little money as discretionary income and assets were definitely invisible to the naked eye. We didn’t have savings, but we were wealthy in sweat equity. We knew if we could complete a recording, we could sell the product at concerts. I had two vehicles at the time and I sold my work car to purchase the first round of product. That $1500, though little, gave our recording company straps.

The recording company branched off into another line of the business allowing us to form a lighting and sound company. The extra income from providing this service at other venues gave an additional infusion of capital for the recordings. We had basically all equipment needed for these other shows and if it was something that we didn’t have, we rented it and increased our base cost of service.These two ventures were maintained for nine years by owner financing and operating revenues without other investors. We did not ask the members of the group to make any investment, allowing us to maintain control over the direction of the companies. Also we did not want them to take a personal loss on our dreams. Though it was beneficial for us to have decision-making power, we only achieved regional success. Our finances limited our ability to expand, but we were able to tie the laces into a bow by establishing ourselves as music artist one eyelet at a time.

Bootstrapping. (2003, November 25). Retrieved September 30, 2017, from