This is Why Women are Better Bootstrapped Entrepreneurs
The restricted funds can actually help in multiple ways and here are some of my experiences and learnings
A few years ago, I decided to launch a business in healthcare that is trying to solve a magnum problem in the space. This required excessive funds and rock-solid resilience. As a business, we are not only changing the system, but also changing mind-sets and this is not an easy task for anyone to face or overcome. Doing it bootstrapped is the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Ironically what I seemed to find was that being bootstrapped was a blessing in disguise. The restricted funds can actually help in multiple ways and here are some of my experiences and learnings:
#Innovation - When budgets are tight and you don’t have the money to spend on marketing, recruitment, sales, tech and so on, you are forced to innovate.
Suddenly you find yourself with your team coming up with “out of the box”, innovative ideas that sometimes sound absurd, but most times are extremely powerful and so effective.
#Intuition - I say this all the time, women have strong intuitions. We can sense a situation, person or outcome in the pit of our stomach. Yes, there is no evidential, quantifiable parameters to measure here, but somehow our intuition is rarely wrong. I have seen this time and again.
Hence, when your back is to the wall, take a chance and believe in what you think and feel is right.
#Multitask - We are multitaskers and have the ability to do many things together and successfully. Use this to your advantage. Learn to handle various elements of your business and don’t only focus on what you think you’re good at.
When bootstrapping, you don’t have the luxury of recruiting specialised employees who can do the job for you. So learn and multitask, because you’re inherently good at it.
#Resilience - The fact that women bare children are because we have the strong resilience to great amounts of pain, whether that’s physical or mental. Nature chose it to be this way.
Childbirth is the biggest example of that and our bodies and mind gear us towards being able to withstand this from the time we are born and then enter into adolescence and adulthood.
This is a blatant example of our power of resilience, hence use this power towards overcoming your lowest of lows in the journey of building a company. Because no obstacle that you face being an entrepreneur will be tougher or require more resilience than what nature built you for in the first place.
#Communication - I am frequently asked about what skill one should acquire when deciding to be an entrepreneur and my answer always remains the same. The art of effective communication. Although this is not gender biased, women do tend to have a way of communicating that can be empathetic and inclusive at the same time.
Our inherent trait is to talk as “Us” and not “I” and we have the ability to empathise and connect with others quite rapidly. Hence when communicating, we can easily portray compassion and empathy when required and include the audience in the conversations. Very effective and important when interacting with your team, potential clients, colleagues, partners, shareholders and public speaking.
Also, while marketing and spreading the message and vision of the company. You can use social media platforms for video and written content to reach a wider audience, as this is not only cost effective but extremely powerful.
#Calculative - Women are usually also more cautious and calculative when making decisions that involve spending large sums of money. Men are much more impulsive and sometimes rash in making important decisions, which can be detrimental when bootstrapping. Women, however, will consider their close associates and team members opinions, after which they tend to make a well thought out calculated decision.
Although these are generalised options, it doesn’t mean that every woman falls under each segment. I am sure some women resonate with a few points and others with the rest.
The objective here is to make you understand that bootstrapping is not as bad or negative as it's made out to be and that we as women are much more capable than we can imagine to use it to our potential.
Samara Mahindra, who belongs to the famed Mahindra family, is the founder of CARER Program, the world's only healthcare startup that is focused on post-cancer care for survivors.
The CARER Program is the first and only company in the world to bring holistic therapies to cancer patients, survivors and family members in the comfort of their homes.