Working independently means your business runs in a cycle. It could be an obvious run, like biannual fashion seasons and weather-dependent trends. However, we often have other, circumstance dependent moments when our resources fluctuate, like when we are expanding our business, investing in research, pivoting our platform or renewing ourselves after losing a client.
No matter what you do and no matter what your level, there will be times when resources are tight.
Your freedom as an entrepreneur also gives you many different ways to make sure your money stays flowing during the lean times. Here are a few.
Put residuals over one-offs: One of the biggest benefits of entrepreneurial freedom is the ability to create unique products independently on your own timeline. It is easy to focus on today's payoff, but consider making something that will pay over time. If done strategically, products like a book or an online class can create royalties or residuals well into the future.
Personally, after doing 19 books, I've found there are few things as rewarding as getting monthly, quarterly or annual checks based on my past efforts - especially if things are lean.
Barter with others: Like any good bootstrapper, one of the smartest ways to keep money is to prevent it from going out. Consider borrowing or trading instead of buying. The fact is that every entrepreneur is in the same boat, which means that you constantly need certain things to get done that are out of your skillset, yet have your own talents that are extremely valuable to others.
In fact, my last startup, Cuddlr, started with me bartering services with people who would eventually become my co-founders. Our app got acquired less than a year later.
Share your insight: Entrepreneurs have a healthy ego when it comes to our focus, but we often undervalue any insights, experiences or lessons learned along the way (which is why we often don't celebrate our victories). Know this: If you've spent any time in entrepreneurship, then what you've experienced so far is probably more than most people will ever understand. Teaching, lecturing, writing, advising or other sharing methods can be revenue generators for you - and give you the opportunity to respect your own value, too.