Turn your invaluable human capital
(skills, passion, hustle – you) into
financial capital (startup/side hustle-
value) from scratch
Wealth Creates Wealth
Give two people with different priorities and education levels a million dollars and come back to them 5 years later. A wise person would invest a big portion of it and a couple of years later, should have more than the original amount. Others will spend it all in the blink of an eye.
This leads us to conclude that,
Wealth (human capital + financial
capital) Creates Wealth
Now you can start leveraging your human capital to build value without referring to outside capital or your savings using the step by step blueprint I applied to
- Build a 6-figure side hustle, turned full-time within 12 months.
- Build multiple startups that 1) generated revenue before even launching a product, 2) were created for as little as $30 (like EntrePerks.com).
- Help over 30 entrepreneurs start, build, launch and grow their startups in as little as 2 months.
And yes…especially if you have been trying to build or grow a new stream of income for a while or create a scalable startup but haven’t made it happen yet.
-John Demko, founder of OndemandCargo.com
-Frank Vos, founder of Locker.Life & TheSpace.io
-Ryan Rudloff, founder of FindFirewood.com
Get your degrees and then go for entrepreneurship if you want.
It’s best if you work for a couple of years first.
Who’s going to fund you? It’s too risky.
Who’s going to trust you with no experience?
Who’s going to help you?
Me: Alright, alright.. I can’t take it anymore. I’m not going to do it now.
I didn’t listen. Instead, I made what I would consider a fair decision.
I said, I’m going to pursue entrepreneurship in my spare time and I’m not going to ask anyone (family and friends) for money but if I build a promising startup with traction and sales within the next 2 years, I’m going to run my ventures full-time as soon as I finish college.
One of the worst feelings in the world is when you want to do something badly but can’t make progress towards your goals because you don’t have the needed resources.
It felt strange seeing my startup in the news and a growing side hustle that was generating close to $10,000/month just 12 months after I started.
With no resources, experience or a background in technology, I failed often, adjusted quickly and before I knew it, my little successes surpassed the failures and led to the best result of my life so far: proved that I can control my own destiny with my bare hands no matter how limited my resources or experience is.
And I did not stop there. I launched many products and helped many entrepreneurs bootstrap successful startups all while pursuing a masters and then PhD.
So, let me ask you this:
Tired of leaving money on the table or postponing your entrepreneurial endeavors?
You’re not sure what to do next?
You can’t afford to lose or risk your savings?
Things are moving too slow?
You’re not the only one. In fact, answering Yes to one or all of these questions means that you’re in the right path…YOU CARE AND YOU’RE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. Everything will be history one day.
I have been there many times. And believe me, it didn’t feel good working on my startup whole night and then getting out of the apartment at 5 in the morning to go for a 3-hour tennis practice, 6 class hours and 3 more in the study hall just so I can keep my scholarship that pays my academic tuition.
It doesn’t feel good to spend a month or longer executing on a plan or strategy that you spent a lot of time studying to later realize that you have to start from scratch.
It doesn’t feel good to invest in building a product to eventually realize you wasted your time and money.
It feels horrible to realize that at your current pace, you’ll never be able to achieve your financial goals.
Whether you’re at school, working full-time or both, the beginning stages of any bootstrapped (self-funded) business are the same.
Now help me picture yourself 12 months from now saying one, many or all of these things:
“I proved that I can build value out of virtually nothing with my bare hands despite my limited resources.”
“I proved that I can turn my passion into a profitable side hustle despite my limited experience.”
“I proved that I can build a scalable tech startup even though my background is not in technology.”
“I proved that not only can I build a promising side hustle but also turn it into a full-time job.”
“I proved that I can make my family proud.”
I spent 4 months cold calling successful university alumni asking for a chance to pitch my idea. No one invested. Even the one person who gave me his OK asked me to first build traction and generate at least $2,000 in monthly revenue. Fair to him but isn’t that the reason why I need the money? Luckily, I was forced to prove myself wrong. I DIDN’T NEED THE MONEY.
I spent a year looking for a co-founder. After coming to an agreement with a guy, he asked me to buy him out just three months after we started working together! Luckily, I was forced to build value by myself. I DIDN’T NEED TO HAVE A CO-FOUNDER. Would have been great, though.
I spent a year building a product. Ironically, my startup was more successful the first months when I got my hands dirty and simulated the product manually than when the web app was launched. Luckily, I had generated enough funds from consulting that helped me pivot quickly.
I was neither prepared nor equipped to sell consulting and product development services. Luckily, someone recruited me to help them with their startup and the experience was an eye opener. A couple of months later, I was working on 14 projects.
I never thought I’d ever be able to invite my brother from Europe for just a weekend. It happened when we hit 6 figures in revenue just 12 months after I started.
And you don’t need a million dollars, 70 hours/week, a dorm room or a garage, programming or design skills or years of experience of to build a valuable, scalable and profitable startup venture or side hustle in the online world.
Here are your only two prerequisites to successfully bootstrap any business:
The Only Two Things You Need to
Bootstrap a Startup and Side Hustle
1) Hard Work
Back to the basics. Before the strategies, tactics, models, or anything of that sort, you need to put in the work. There’s no secret. You need to put in the work.
Countless entrepreneurs spent hundreds of millions of dollars and didn’t do anything with it. Money dries up but hard work builds up.
Your value, your own personal capital (skills, d knowledge and time) depends entirely on whether you put this capital to good use.
When I started my first venture, I knew that the only thing I had was passion and hustle. It wasn’t even skill or knowledge. The only thing I was sure I had in me was a burning desire to accomplish my goals.
It turns out, this was more than enough to not only achieve my objectives but also exceed my own expectations way earlier than I thought.
2) The Bootstrapping Mindset
“Luckily, I was forced to prove myself wrong. I DIDN’T NEED THE MONEY.” Here’s what I meant by that.
For me, building a business meant four things:
- Funds to build the product
- Funds to market the product
- Reinvest gains and more funds for growth
My answer to, why hasn’t everyone who wants to start a business started? No funds. I believed that money is the key and only ingredient to business success.
Countless investment rejections forced me to adopt the bootstrapping mindset:
- Maximize use of your human capital (skills, knowledge, hard work) to build value with the resources you own.
- Build greater value by reinvesting some of the resources created from step 1.
- Combine steps 1 and 2 to secure enough resources to delegate for growth and if needed get funded to grow faster.
My first startup aimed to create awareness for the environment and boost recycling rates. It rewarded users for recycling.
By following step 1, I completely let go of the need to build an app, instead, I started connecting people with recycling facilities over email and phone. With this, I built a list of 500 users and over $2,000 in pre-sales months before I launched the app. The pre-sales helped me build the app.
My first and only side hustle (turned full-time) is a startup development studio that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable and profitable startups by providing them with all the needed resources.
By following step 1, I completely let go of the need for a website, office, team and experience, instead, I turned my first startups into a case study (portfolio), I wrote a sales pitch and answered all the potential questions I could get asked and then pitched hundreds of potential clients every week.
In either case, I didn’t need a single dollar to start. I needed 1) hard work and 2) the bootstrapping mindset.
For the first time, I’m not just going to show you, I’m going to personally work with you for 6 straight months to help you achieve your startup and/or side hustle goals no matter how small or big your resources are.
Not in a – take course, post your questions in the community – way.
Hi, I’m Abdo Riani, the founder of StartupCircle.co (Amateurpreneur.co, EntrePerks.com, Upify.co (latest)) and AspireIT.
Like most entrepreneurs, I was blown away by the unbelievable success stories of young people building multi-million and billion dollar companies in just a few years. I was even more amazed by how a few lines of code can make such a big impact on people’s lives. I couldn’t wait another day to start.
Like you and every other passionate and promising entrepreneur on the planet, I didn’t know anything about building startups or a stream of income. In fact, the more I read, the more confused I got. I didn’t know where to start, what to do next and who to ask. And definitely not how to overcome my biggest challenge, lack of funding, except finding investors to back me up.
I just knew I had so much potential. Energy I wanted to share with the world by building and offering solutions that solve problems and address needs. Coming from an athletic background, I never accepted seeing other entrepreneurs accomplish things I only dream of. I knew it will take time. My strategy: fill this time with small wins until you build up for the big prize.
For my brother, it’s coaching and touring with professional tennis athletes from one Grand Slam to the other, for one of my best friends, it’s using his medical education to save lives, for another friend, it’s becoming a top fashion designer, for me, it’s helping entrepreneurs execute on their ideas to build scalable startups and profitable side hustles under limited to no experience or funds.
Whatever it is, the beauty of life is that there’s always someone who needs your passion and skills to solve their problems. No matter what you like to do, someone needs your involvement to help them overcome a challenge.
No one has ever started good at their passion. I have always admired entrepreneurs. I thought it was amazing how virtually nothing (idea) can turn into an entity that creates so much value for its stakeholders (customers, owners, employees, partners, etc.) But admiration and observation do not equal knowledge or experience.
So I started reading and asking questions. Like I said, it felt like I was learning but the more I read, the more confused I got. I got overwhelmed by all the advice out there. My answer to confusion? Just do it and learn as you go.
I started by reaching out to a little over 100 potential investors. No one cared. I designed the whole app and refined my pitch thinking that maybe when they see it, they’ll better understand my vision. No one cared.
Something wasn’t working. It turns out, my approach was completely wrong. In fact, most of the things I did were wrong. The only thing that I succeeded at was learning and adjusting quickly. From not knowing a single thing about building startups or consulting to about $2,000 in monthly recurring revenue for my newly launched startup product and over $100,000 in sales through my side hustle within 12 months. This only reminds me how quickly I failed and learned.
I started this content website (AbdoRiani.com) about a year and a half ago. My goal from publishing content was to strengthen my online identity to help me acquire clients for my startup development studio, AspireIT. I quickly learned that AbdoRiani.com can also become a product of its own. A year and a half later, it’s quickly becoming my main stream of income.
If you had told me I would turn my passion into thriving businesses from the comfort of my home and starting with virtually nothing, I never would have believed you.
Looking back, I lost hundreds of sleepless nights, months and tens of thousands of dollars doing the wrong things. But that was all part of the journey.
I learned to focus on the things that matter.
I learned how to take an idea to market and farther even if I have a single dollar in the bank.
I learned how to turn human capital into financial capital.
Entrepreneurship is like the stock market. Ups and downs over the short term but almost always trending upwards if you stick with it long term. Over time, not 2, 3, 5 or 10 years later, just a year later, I started seeing results and my problems changed. How am I going to manage 14 projects and a startup just by my own? That was a good problem to have.
Today, I’m ready to provide you with all the resources and the lessons I learned over the years to help you go from passion to product and monetization no matter how big or small your budget.
Here was my question to one of my mentors/teacher a few years ago.
Why enroll if there’s so much free information
online? Shouldn’t I use that first?
Me: no body.
For the last 4 consecutive years, my revenue positively correlated with the amount I invested in courses/programs/mentorship. I found that the more programs I enrolled in or experts I called, the better my yearly performance got.
When I asked 316 aspiring entrepreneurs, why haven’t you started yet?
Here’s what a sub sample said:
Those who chose Knowledge in the survey, said things along the lines of:
-I don’t know what to do yet.
-I don’t have a roadmap.
-Although I spend my free time reading everything I can get my hands on about entrepreneurship from case studies to books, videos and articles, at the moment, I still believe that business uncertainty is way higher than sticking with my existing career.
Those who chose Funding, said things along the lines of:
-I’m willing to put in a hundred hours a week as long as I have the funds to support myself and my family without having to worry about the money. That’s why I need funding.
-I can’t maintain the business with my current budget.
-I do have some savings but if I quit my job, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it back.
You may have heard this advice somewhere: if you want it badly, just do it. I think you’d agree with me that it isn’t as simple as “doing it” or “going for it.”
If information – knowing how to start and bootstrap a successful startup or side hustle – was the answer, we would see a billion more successful businesses in the world. If information was the answer, everyone would have been fit, wise, wealthy, healthy or anything they wanted to do in life. Why? Because everything is available for anyone to learn and apply.
As we both know, that’s not it. Reading and learning everything Elon Musk and Steve Jobs know, doesn’t make us Elon or Steve.
Then what’s holding us back?
Have you ever felt extremely tired and overwhelmed just from thinking too much about your first or next step?
That’s exactly what’s holding us back. It’s the uncertainty and confusion that for me and despite my passion for entrepreneurship, held me back for months. I had too many questions about entrepreneurship and my professional career in general that I didn’t even know what to begin with.
Add to that,
I was scared to death to go and interview people.
I’ve done everything I possibly could to avoid selling anything face to face or over the phone.
I didn’t know anything about the technical side of the business and ended up making mistakes in hiring and project management that cost me over $30,000.
I could write a book about the psychological and business challenges that set the real entrepreneurs from the wantrepreneurs.
Whatever is holding you back,
You don’t have a “good” idea yet.
You don’t have time.
You don’t have funds.
You’re afraid to fail.
You’re not tech savvy.
You don’t like to sell.
You feel like you’re not ready.
I have been there and still living many of those challenges. The solution is to take it one little step at a time, make one small win at a time, fail small and quickly, and surround yourself with people that can help you overcome your challenges and achieve your goals sooner.
Don’t you think it’s irrational that most aspiring and starting entrepreneurs think about their thriving business when they still don’t have a single client?
That’s exactly when everything starts to go down the drain. We quickly realize it isn’t as easy as we thought, we start asking too many questions, we don’t find the answers we need so we delay or let go completely.
Once again, the solution is to take it one little step at a time, one small win at a time. Before you know it, those small wins add up very quickly. The secret to overnight success is longevity.
The two things that helped me conquer my fears and start thinking like a real entrepreneur were when
1) I stopped chasing short term success and started thinking long-term. So I started living by the rule that building a successful startup or side hustle is not easy, many will quit and others will fail once or twice and stop. JUST BY PERSISTING, YOU’RE SURPASSING MOST PEOPLE LIKE YOU. PERSISTENCE IS THUS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
How many people you know said they wanted to start an online business but never took a step? How many people you heard or read about started but quickly shut things down because “it didn’t work out”?
Hundreds of thousands of people forfeit their spot every day leaving opportunities to patient and persistent entrepreneurs.
2) I learned that wealth and success start within. Not just psychologically but also from a business building strategy stand point. I was in college when I read a book written by a Yale professor, researcher and founder of Zebra Capital Management (acquired by Morningstar, Inc.), Roger Ibbotson and his colleagues. One of the first sentences in the book is:
their human capital.”
So my focus shifted from seeking financial capital to fund my startup to investing my own human capital to create financial capital for reinvestment and later to help me attract more external funds for growth.
This little change in attitude made sense of everything. But then the million-dollar question was, HOW?
How do I use my skills, knowledge, hustle and passion to execute on my idea and build startup value? At the end of the day, no matter how I think about it, I need to come up with $20,000 to run the business until I break-even.
There was a ton of content online about how to build human capital – acquire skills – but nothing really shows you how to use it to overcome lack of funding to build startup value and a profitable side hustle.
Stand-alone advice like talk to your target customer to validate your idea, build traction before selling anything, build an MVP, focus on product/market fit, etc. make it even harder to learn what to do. You get one piece of advice here and there, but never the whole story. Our job as entrepreneurs has always been to put the pieces together and connect the dots.
Some people claim to have “proven systems.” The full proof system for SEO, content marketing, e-commerce and pretty much everything nowadays. If by a “proven system” you’re understanding is that you will be able to drag and drop the material you learn and then magically replicate the same results like the person you’re learning from, that is obviously not going to happen.
After enrolling in a dozen programs and courses over the years, I learned that their biggest advantage or value proposition is that they save you time and money by helping you connect the dots faster, not that they include industry secrets that no one else in the industry knows about.
Connecting the dots is not enough. What matters is using the acquired knowledge to build value. And that’s when the involvement of the mentor comes into play. How does this usually work?
“Post your questions in the community and I’ll answer it so everyone can benefit from the answer.”
“Email my team and one of the coaches will help you out.”
“Email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
The “proven system” isn’t going to make itself work! For entrepreneurs who are truly invested in their venture, information is not enough. You need to learn how to customize the acquired knowledge to your own idea/business and follow the steps that apply to you and only you.
Why wouldn’t mentors/coaches/teachers perhaps charge more and in exchange, invest a lot more time to actively help the entrepreneur? The answer is because it’s not scalable. There’s a limit to people’s time but the potential of a course is limitless.
NOT TODAY. Over the next 6 months, I am committed to providing 50 entrepreneurs with all the needed resources and one on one guidance to help them
Turn human capital (skills, passion,
hustle -you) into financial capital
(startup/side hustle – value)
“I was absolutely blown away. I have known Abdo for one year, he has helped countless find the resources they need to bootstrap their startups and make their dreams a reality. It’s been a game changer. I’ve seen a lot of my customers get so much value of what’ he’s doing…”
–Dmitry Dragilev, JustReachOut.io
-Ryan Robinson, Ryrob.com
Bootstrap a Startup Program
*Up to you.
Give me 6 months and I will show you how to master the bootstrapping mindset to find or take an idea to market and turn it into a profitable venture (no matter where you are in the world) or grow an existing one.
Here’s how it works:
Every two weeks, I will be releasing one of the three modules accompanied by the supplemental material for each module. In the modules, you will find the exact same steps I followed to 1) turn a passion into an idea, side hustle and full-time business within 12 months, 2) turn a passion and a problem into a startup venture with paying users before launch and after.
The modules will serve as a bootstrapping foundation that you can apply to start and grow any startup/side hustle.
Starting week 1, we will get on a call or via email to discuss your goals over the 6 months period and beyond. From day 1, we will set and plan for the big milestones.
“I told Abdo, I have so much on my plate and I can’t afford to waste my tight resources, will this program help me? It was the best decision I ever made. In just 3 months, we had over two hundred people lined up to use our product. Best of all, it’s 100% bootstrapped.” – John Demko
Whether you’re just getting started or have been making “just OK” progress, I assure you that I will go above and beyond to accelerate our transition from idea to product, profitability and beyond.
This isn’t a program I created overnight by organizing some of my old content in modules and then labeled it “Bootstrap a Startup Program.” I spent months documenting the steps I took (and failed to take) to turn nothing more than hustle into many startup ventures and a growing side hustle (turned full-time) with hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales in just a couple of years.
Here’s how to know if the Bootstrap a Startup Program is right for you:
- I’ve been wanting to start a startup and/or side hustle but I’m still not confident about my ideas.
All you need is interest. An idea is a solution to a problem. This solution can be unique and revolutionary (especially for startups) or common and standard (especially for side hustles). You don’t need to have an idea, this program is the right place to start because, besides the step by step roadmap you’ll find in the modules, you will be personally helped and guided towards finding a compelling value proposition (idea).
- I can’t risk it. I’m afraid it won’t work out.
This was one of my main concerns. I was scared I would flush my resources down the drain in the blink of an eye after I’ve worked hard to save a few hundred, thousand, and then tens of thousands of dollars. Then I saw an interview with Jeff Bezos where he talked about how all of his big decisions are analyzed through a regret minimization framework.
Bezos makes decisions that will cause the least regret in the future. He said that he left Wall Street because he knew that keeping his career in investment banking will be something he will regret a lot in the future. He had always been passionate about technology and accepted that his career in entrepreneurship may not be as stable as his investment banking position and yet he went for it. Clearly it paid off big time.
But that’s not the main reason why entrepreneurs should rethink their evaluation of risk in entrepreneurship. First, when evaluating business from a “career” standpoint, professionals should keep in mind that starting, running and growing a business is an initiative that adds so much value to their profiles. In other words, approaching a future employer with an experience in running a business is a great plus.
Second, most risk-averse entrepreneurs are afraid of negative outcomes, therefore if you can minimize or eliminate uncertainty, the chances that the unexpected/negative scenario will occur is slim.
During the 6 months program, you will learn and apply the strategies that will increase the chances of successfully launching and growing a business while minimizing risk. I will share all the things that worked and didn’t, the things that will speed up the process (the accelerators) and the strategies that will minimize uncertainty every step of the way.
- I don’t have enough experience to start, build and sell anything.
Experience is irrelevant to your ability to build and sell products. Take me as an example. I went from idea to market and all the way to a hundred thousand dollars in sales within just 12 months when all I knew about startups was what I learned from a few books and online courses and videos.
In the first module, I share with you 4 strategies for overcoming the newcomer challenge and a fifth strategy that you can follow step by step to accelerate growth at a much faster pace than the time you need to gain experience and expertise. Above all, I’ve got your back.
- I’ve been wanting to start a startup but I can’t code.
I’m not going to mention the accomplishments of Steve Jobs, Jack Ma and countless more non-technical founders. I’m going to get straight to the point, you don’t need to code to build a successful startup. I built and was involved in the creation of many startups that ended up selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products with a very basic technical understanding.
Half if not more of the services we provide at AspireIT, our startup development studio, is product (web/mobile app) development. Despite my limited technical (coding) ability, I managed to build and release great products.
I will show you exactly how I did it with almost no funding at all. I will show you the mistakes I made and will take you through those steps one at a time to build a scalable product after we’ve made sure people are eager to use and are willing to pay for it.
- I’ve managed to build a scaling startup and I’m working towards taking it to another level.
Stay tuned. I will be launching another program for taking a product with traction to product/market fit and beyond.
- I don’t like “selling” but I really want to get started.
I hated sales. I still don’t like it as much. In the beginning, fear of rejections and lack of confidence delayed my progress by months. I was too afraid to pick up the phone and tell people why they should use the product and buy it. You know what got me out of the building literally from one day to the other? The regret minimization framework. I was much more afraid to regret not fighting for my passion and dreams than getting rejected.
My goal has always been, what can I do to make my value proposition, through my content, email pitch and site, as clear and compelling as possible so I wouldn’t have to explain myself much or at all over the phone? This perspective helped in many ways because not only did I start investing more time in my pitches and scripts but also made the job much easier over the phone.
For instance, just 10 months after I started AspireIT, I found a startup coming soon page so I emailed the owners asking if they needed help taking their startup to the next level. That email became a $36,000 project, the biggest I had closed at that time and the one that took my sales to over $100,000 for the year. How? First, I showed up at the right time. You always need a little bit of luck. Second, they sent me about 25 questions about me, the team, strategies and other startup development approach. I must have spent 10 hours carefully answering all the questions.
A day later, we had our first and only interview call. They said something along the lines of, “we chose you. The details in your answers, the way you describe your team, your approach and passion for what you do set you apart from everyone else we talked to. When do we start?”
I wasn’t asked any questions at all. I gained a little bit of confidence every time I closed a project, small or big. For my first startup, my very helpful roommate used to lend me his car every Friday so I can drive from one business to the other to sell them a premium membership to my web app. I was terrified the first few times so before going I would email business owners and ask them if they have a few minutes. This broke the ice when I met them in person.
In the program, you will learn how to make your product sell itself so you don’t have to be as involved. More importantly, you will learn how to gain confidence so you can sell the heck out of it if needed.
- I’ve been looking for a co-founder for a while.
So have I. My first co-founder asked me to buy him out just three months after we started. My second co-founder quit just two months later, why? “too much work!” Here’s what I learned: you don’t need a co-founder. The best co-founders are people you’ve known for some time, have worked with them on a project or two in the past and their skills complement yours. If you can’t think of a friend that meets this condition, you’re better starting and moving on your own than “recruiting” co-founders.
Although better if you have one (right fit), you don’t need a co-founder. The more value you build, the easier it is to find great co-founders because the best ones look for the best and taking an idea to market with great potential is a good enough sign that you’re an entrepreneur someone would want to work with.
With or without a co-founder, the steps outlined in the program can be followed and applied no matter your background and resources. If finding a co-founder is a short-term goal, we will work together to attract the best likeminded entrepreneurs.
- It’s not a good time right now.
Trust me, it’s true. It’s never a good time to do anything, even the small things like cooking, cleaning the house, shopping, etc. We rarely feel like doing those chores but we do them because we have to. When it comes to following our passion, we do it sometimes not because we feel like it but because we want or we’ve been wanting to. If this applies to you, then this is the right time to start. There won’t be a better time.
My family asked me to finish school and work for some time before building a business. Guess what they would have told me if I followed their suggestions and worked for a few years? Here’s what they would have said: Why don’t you give it a couple more years, save some more money, buy a house and then get started? Assume I followed, next: You have a kid now, why don’t you wait until she/he grows up? etc.
Use the same idea for anything else like postponing until next week or even tomorrow. Something usually makes us procrastinate for longer and longer. You know why? Because we don’t know where to start and what to do next. We like clarity and certainty so we prioritize the things we’re familiar with and postpone or completely avoid uncertainty.
That’s not going to happen because as a Bootstrap a Startup entrepreneur, you will wake up the next day knowing exactly what you need to do and the consequence of your actions. 1) Following my steps and learning my successes and failures, and 2) working and following up directly with me on a daily basis, if needed, will provide you with a clear roadmap to bootstrap a startup and/or side hustle.
- I have too many responsibilities already.
Most of the time, this is another way of saying, “I don’t have time or don’t want to give time to something I’m not sure is going to work. I don’t want to waste my time.” Look, it’s easy for me to argue against this having started my ventures when I was a college student.
Things are different now and my responsibilities have changed so I know exactly what it feels like to spend resources even if it’s just time on something completely new that may or may not work. The way I’ve always thought about it is, do I want this new responsibility to substitute another one I actively do today but don’t enjoy as much or enable me to do something I want to do but can’t today?
If the answer is Yes, here’s the good news: you don’t need 40, 30 or even 20 hours a week. You just need a few hours to apply the strategies and follow the steps I will share with you in the program. Whether you scale progressively or quickly and spend more time on your venture is another question that you can answer later.
- I don’t have funds and can’t afford to invest or lose my savings.
Bootstrapping means self-funding but self-funding implies using your own resources instead of external funding. Your own resources don’t have to be savings. I didn’t have savings when I started, instead, I turned my own human capital into financial capital that I later reinvested for growth.
This is the approach that we will follow whether you’re building a startup or a side hustle. Your investment in the program is going to help you acquire the human capital you need to monetize your skills and hustle using the roadmaps and guidance you will find inside.
- I built products but it didn’t work out.
You’re on the right path. I built tens of thousands of dollars worth of products that all went down the drain. On the other hand, I built products and services that sold hundreds of thousands of dollars. Losses can’t be indefinitely followed by losses, you just need to keep going to get the big wins. This can mean a small change. I’ve seen both sides and over time learned what it takes to build a winning product or service. Through the program, we will reevaluate your approach and tackle it from a different winning angle.
- I built a 6-figure consulting/freelancing business and I’m working towards boosting revenue to 7 figures this year.
The Bootstrap a Startup program is not right for you but the Elite Bootstrappers is. Stay tuned!
If you’re starting or struggling to start and bootstrap a startup or side hustle, the Bootstrap a Startup Program is RIGHT FOR YOU.
If you’re interested in building the next “big thing”, progressively changing your career towards entrepreneurship, sharing your passion with the world, or just making a small side income of $500+/month, this program takes you there, step by step.
You know, I created the program to address my own needs a few years ago. I would have loved to work with a startup development studio and have a team help me every step of the way. At first, I thought the studios I contacted were crazy estimating their support at $50,000, $100,000 and some over $150K. But then I read a post by Alex Turnbull who spent $300,000 getting his startup Groove off the ground. That just blew my mind since just that week I read a report by CB Insights showing that the cost of launching a startup went from $5M in the year 2000 to less than $5,000 today.
It must have definitely been a tough decision for Alex to make but with an acquired startup under his belt, he had the cash to back it up. Today, having been involved in the launch of many startups through AspireIT, I certainly understand why product and startup development firms charge that much money.
The Bootstrap a Startup Program takes what I typically charge at AspireIT ($50,000+) to a fraction of the cost to provide you with a roadmap and the needed resources so you can bootstrap your ventures and any venture from scratch. It will teach you the bootstrapping mindset so you can turn your human capital into financial capital.
Let this year be memorable!
Let me walk you through everything you’ll learn and find inside the program.
-Elinor Stutz, SmoothSale.net
- If you’re looking for an overnight copy-paste success formula, this program or any other in the whole world including books, seminars, Nobel Prize winning frameworks or anything like that will not make it happen. First things first, set your success clock to the future.
- Who’s done it before you? That’s going to be your benchmark.
Step by Step for Creating and Scaling a Stream of Income
The roadmap will help you start, launch and grow any side hustle like content marketing, programming, social media management, photography, consulting, design and more with zero initial investment.
By the end of the module, you will be able to picture your journey through mine and with that, clearly define the first and next steps towards your path to a profitable stream of income.
More specifically, you’ll find:
- How to find problem/skill fit aka idea you’re passionate about. Whether you want to start a side hustle in an area that’s related to your background or completely different from what you’ve been trained to do, you’ll learn how to find the opportunity and overcome lack of confidence and experience to turn it into a promising venture.
- How finding a competing match will help you minimize uncertainty and the exact process that you should follow to get all of your questions answered before closing the first project or future ones. You’ll learn how I went back on track after the deadly mistakes I made at the beginning. You’ll also learn how I planned my consulting services when I knew nothing about selling services let alone consulting.
- Right after completing the previous phase, you’ll learn the importance of simulating transactions and how it will add another layer of clarification to the cycle from the time you come into an agreement with the client until the project ends.
- The four effective strategies for overcoming the newcomer challenge and how in just a month I built a strong portfolio before reaching out to potential clients. Up until this phase, you still haven’t invested a single dollar.
- The steps I followed to presell my services, the scripts I used, how to be prepared and how to set your mind so that you don’t feel discouraged (and quit) if you don’t meet your projections.
Supplemental material: Pitch templates with examples.
- Your goal setting framework for selling your target amount for the year and how. The approach that will always keep you on track and signals what you need to change in order to achieve your set goal.
Supplemental material: 3 examples to use as a reference.
- The mistakes I made from scaling too fast and how I changed my approach by focusing on 3-5 big wins instead of 10-15 small projects. I share the scaling strategies that helped me close bigger projects even though I didn’t have the needed portfolio or experience. All without a single investment dollar.
- How to strengthen your value proposition by repackaging and restructuring your services. You’ll learn how to rebrand yourself and company, how to collaborate with complementary skills, and how to change your pitch to match your new value proposition.
- How to seamlessly build a second stream of income by helping others build profitable and scaling ventures like you will. A truly fulfilling experience for anyone.
Supplemental material: Email Templates with examples.
The first module will take you through the journey of bootstrapping the creation of a stream of income with literally no initial investment. If any, it’ll be reinvesting some of your gains.
Step by Step For Building a Startup Product People Will Use and Pay For
By the end of the module, you will have a roadmap that you can apply to any idea whether you’re building a hardware or software startup from scratch.
More specifically, you’ll find:
- The difference between bootstrapping a side hustle and a startup. How to minimize predictions and assumptions by making decisions based on facts.
- Finding your potential buyers/users before you even have a clear idea. How they will clear your path and turn your hypotheses into facts.
Supplemental material: Use these survey questions.
- Getting an extra layer of validation before investment in product development. How to get insights from a bigger sample.
- Building pre-product traction and accepting pre-orders for another layer of validation and to fund the next stage – product development.
Supplemental material: Pre-sale email templates.
- How to build the product and what it should include, how to fund it and what to do when you don’t have sufficient funds.
- How to use internal product launches to get an extra layer of validation and opportunity to make the necessary adjustments.
- How to build a strong launch momentum and keep it for as long as possible. When and how to adjust, expand or completely pivot from your initial direction.
Supplemental material: Product launch plan.
In the second module, you’ll learn how to bootstrap a startup. More specifically, you will have a roadmap and the costly mistakes that you need to avoid at each step from idea to traction and beyond.
Step by Step For Building Authority, Leads and Value Through Content and PR
More specifically, you’ll find:
- How to start conversations and build relationships with influencers. Whether it’s for referrals, testimonials, media exposure or just the recognition from being part of a virtual group of highly respected entrepreneurs, striking conversations with influencers and progressively building relationships with them will make a very big impact on everything you do.
Supplemental material: Influencer outreach email templates.
- Gaining media exposure is key. It’s key to you as an entrepreneur and to your startup for awareness, exposure, growth, investment and even recruiting. But it’s not easy to write for big media outlets or get your startup featured. You’ll learn how the earlier step (building and nurturing relationships with influencers) will set you ahead of the curve and how to gain media access.
- How to write less and achieve more whether you are looking to build an audience, a brand or boost sales. You’ll find strategies for creating 10X content that converts.
- How to get guest post opportunities that expose you to a new audience instantly. A few key guest posts can be equivalent to tens of posts published on your own website, especially at the beginning.
Supplemental material: Guest post pitch templates.
The focus on PR started when one of my posts got featured in Entrepreneurship by LinkedIn Pulse. This publication boosted potential clients’ confidence in our services and as a result, we signed a startup development agreement with 2 entrepreneurs in just two weeks.
We wanted more of those but it wasn’t long until we realized how hard it was to get the media to talk about us or give us a chance to publish ourselves. a friend of mine put me in touch with some PR agencies who claimed they could get me featured anywhere I like. They had the connections and all the proof you’d want to hear as a client. Great I said, how much? $8,000!
It was then when I started getting my own hands dirty and putting my bootstrapper hat on. I invested to learn PR from my friend Dmitry and as a result:
- Got interviewed for an Inc. post.
- Got mentioned in a TNW post.
- Wrote an Entrepreneur post (coming soon).
- Many other mentions in several smaller outlets.
- Grew EntrePerks from $1,000 to over $23,000 in combined savings.
- Collaborated with a few select influencers to boost EntrePerks revenue by 20%
- Built relationships with high profile entrepreneurs who are serving as advisors to my ventures, StartupCircle.co and its family of startups.
- Attracted 3 entrepreneurs to AspireIT and together, we’re building great products.
6 MONTHS ONE-ON-ONE/STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE
I think you’d agree with me that “theory”, even if it’s documented in detailed steps, is not easy to replicate in real life. The biggest chunk of the program is to simplify this transition/execution.
For six straight months, we will work together step by step to achieve the goals we set the first two weeks. Whether you are (or want to) building a startup, side hustle or both, I will take you through stages as if I am building my own ventures.
- Have weekly meetings to evaluate progress, define the steps for the next week and clear any doubts or uncertainties.
- (Together) perform the tasks (simulating a transaction, finding competing match, pre-selling, pitching, interviewing, etc.) at least twice so you can clearly understand the process in real life with real examples.
- (Together) sell the first clients, learn the business a little better, gain confidence and scale progressively.
Here’s my promise to you. If you do the work and follow all the steps over the 6 months period and don’t get results, I will return your investment.
Make this your no risk investment. That’s how much I am confident on the modules and the one-on-one guidance of the Bootstrap a Startup program. Something nobody in the industry does.
1. Tested Freelancers
I made many bad hires over the years especially at the beginning. I hired people that I later found out were more concerned about closing deals than the quality of their work. The people you’ll find inside the program are the best of the best. In fact, some of them have been awarded the best freelancers on Upwork for many consecutive years.
If you need to build an MVP, implement some of the scaling strategies you will learn in the modules or get your questions answered quickly, I tested and worked with these freelancers for many years and can assure you that you are in good hands. You don’t have to worry about recruiting, evaluating progress or assuring quality.
2. Database of Close to 300 Guest Post Opportunities
Everything (contact person, email, post guidelines, examples, etc.) is organized based on categories (entrepreneurship, marketing, SEO, etc.). This is a centralized database of guest posts that took months to compile. It’ll save you a ton of time researching opportunities and the contact information of blog owners or decision makers.
3. Lifetime Access to EntrePerks
4. List of 30 Bootstrapping Strategies You Can Instantly Apply + Interview with a Bootstrapped Founder Who Took His Startup To a $45 million Acquisition Within 2 years
To use an example, you may find many ways to get your idea off the ground but with traction and sales, the strategies that you used earlier may not apply anymore especially if the business model employed does not generate cash quickly.
I documented 30 bootstrapping strategies that you can implement at different stages of the business and when needed. I complemented the strategies with the approach Antonio Perini, founder of Viamente, took to bootstrap his idea to acquisition at $45 million within 2 years.
Why entrepreneurs joined the Bootstrap a Startup program?
What would you tell entrepreneurs who are thinking about joining the Bootstrap a Startup program?
The Bootstrap a Startup program is built to save you a few years and many thousands of dollars while making you money in the process. It’s meant to equip you with the resources you need to turn a promising idea into a successful startup or side hustle. It’s meant to remove a lot of uncertainty and risk out of the entrepreneurial journey especially at the beginning when confidence is at its lowest before getting any results. Finally, it’s meant to help you master the bootstrapping mindset so you can execute on any idea regardless of your budget.
There are some courses that you can join but you will not find a program that combines knowledge (modules) with execution for 6 straight months. Believe me, I checked. In fact, I’ve been checking for years, ever since I started.
The one on one sessions will take place over phone, Skype and/or email. I am open to any of those communication mediums. We will schedule our next call or chat ahead of time and I will always be available over email (on a daily basis).
The moment you join the program, we will schedule our first call/chat, whichever you prefer.
Whether you are looking for an extra hand, need to build an MVP or prototype, need project management support, video production, social media management or quality assurance, you will have access to some of the best freelancers in the world.
Remember, you’re enrolling in the Bootstrap a Startup program which assumes that you have nothing to invest so we will learn how to generate revenue that you can reinvest in product development, marketing and others.
Here’s what one of the entrepreneurs said:
From experience, all the spots get filled by the 4th day in the email sequence I will send you to remind you about the program. If you’re serious about joining, I highly recommend that you enroll as soon as possible.
CUMULATIVE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (1+ YR LATER)
- Andrea, cake on demand – $32,000
- Alex, consultant (project management) – $44,000
- Christine, instant fashion advice – $17,000
- Jahid, programmer – $51,000
- Karla, graphic designer – $22,000
- Wael, CPA (consulting) – $66,000
- Shams, UI/UX designer – $18,000
- Students, content marketers, teachers, videographers, an interior designer and more ~ $220,000
All Starting With $0 Initial Investment
- 6 months 1 on 1 dedicated guidance and support
- Lifetime access to the modules + all future additions and updates
- Lifetime access to $23,000+ in combined savings at EntrePerks
- Access to a database of close to 300 guest post opportunities
- Access to tested freelancers that worked with me to build hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products and services
- List of tested bootstrapping strategies, interview with a $45 million acquisition bootstrapped founder and all future interviews
- 6 months money back guarantee