The cereal entrepreneur

One of the biggest shifts of giving up a paycheck to start a new venture is the fact that you gave up a paycheck.

Happiness is positive cash flow, and the easiest way to get there is to decrease your spending.

An entrepreneur who is sleeping on a friend’s couch and eating corn flakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner is in far better emotional shape than the one who’s the primary support for a family of four in a fancy house in Scarsdale.

It’s tempting but difficult to raise money to pay yourself first… investors want to pay for for your organization’s assets and market presence, not your overhead.

And it’s difficult to make smart long-term decisions when your narrative of insufficiency is overwhelming.

The two tactics, then, go hand in hand:

  1. Cut your expenses to the bone before you need to. Every dollar not spent is a dollar you don’t need to raise. Eat cereal, not sushi. (This is the best reason to start a business when you’re in college).
  2. Find customers who will happily pay you in advance because your service or product is so useful that they can’t live without it. And if your service or product isn’t that useful, make it better.