When you are bootstrapping you are basically starting from scratch, using your own savings, income and as soon as possible cashflow generated from the new business to grow. When you are bootstrapping though it isn’t only cash you need, but also sweat … and lots of it. Which is why balancing your time is really part of the funding process.
I think most bootstrappers start out like me with a day job. I have tried it the hard way before from meager savings and it aint fun. You start loosing focus from your business by worrying about where the next meal is going to come from. Which is why I left the comforts and low costs of Panama to live with a day job in high cost Denmark.
The day job thing is tricky though. Consulting is great for us IT types as it is generally project oriented work. You also don’t want the kind of job where you have to worry about it when you leave the office. Strictlyish 9-5 is key. Of course at times you need to be flexible, but you really want to have the kind of job where you have energy to work on your startup in the mornings and/or evenings. All of these I know from experience.
So how do I do it right now? I am working as a consulting technical architect at a major Danish financial institution. Once I leave work I really don’t have to think about it again until I come back the next day. It’s probably as perfect as a 9-5 comes.
I do about an hours worth of work on my startup in the mornings, about 4-6 in the evenings and most of the weekend. If you are married like I am this requires a patient wife. How we do it is that on weekends and mornings I work in my office. During the evenings I work with my powerbook on my lap in the sofa next to my wife, so we can still talk, laugh and what have you together while I’m working. It works out pretty good, but seriously Lety I love you, you are an angel.