I'm sure this has been asked before, but my searchfu failed me, so I'll ask...
How do people bootstrap (which I assume is the most common early-funding model) and manage to pay the rent and feed themselves in the first months/years of a startup? I know a few of the common strategies entail
A lot of the above seem reasonable for young unmarried types, but what about the middle-aged parent with a family? I know that's not the stereotypical entrepreneur, but there must be common strategies here as well, no?
I have a wife, kids, mortgage etc and am bootstrapping. I am resigned to burning through my savings and and investments to provide the runway. If I haven't got enough traction, I'll start looking at contracting as the end of the runway approaches.
I think the best strategy is to keep the day job and work on your startup evenings and weekends while developing the idea and checking the market and, if you need to, build up your savings.
When the time is right to go full time on the startup you should have a decent amount of the work done and enough savings to cover your expenses for at least 6 months, ideally a year.
I have done the borrowing thing with a previous company and it did work out well but it could have easily gone horribly wrong.
I can tell you from my experience. I have 5 kids and I am doing bootstrapping for the last few years...
Some key concepts I adapted:
So what to do?
For example, if you have ideas about a search engine algorithm, try to sell findability solutions to the same boring Enterprise you worked for — this time as a contractor. Leverage your connections and knowledge about their needs to provide them a working business solution.
You will find out that the same enterprise as a client becomes more interesting.
I went independent some 12 years ago. I can say that it is important, in the initial phase to live on minimum and you must have a plan to earn that minimum on your own. It may be a full time or part time job or some freelancing etc. It could be even your money out of your own money such as saving interest etc.
Not earning your own minimum is calling for crisis situation. If you live on others, it will add only to your debt which will become unmanageable.
If you are not sure of earning even your minimum through any means, I will personally feel that it is good to keep your full time job.