Fresh Living

bootstrapping101.jpgMy dad, Bob Reiss, just published a timely new book, “Bootstrapping 101: Tips to Build Your Business with Limited Cash and Free Outside Help.”

A lifetime entrepreneur, he’s been involved with creating about 16 businesses–everything from marketing the TV Guide trivia game back in the trivia-obsessed 80s to selling personalized brass thingies to running a watch company that was an INC 500 winner three years in a row. My whole life I’ve seen him (and my mom, who’s also always been her own boss) create his own life. He makes his own hours, takes vacation when and where he wants, and has always, religiously, made time every day for a workout and a nap. As he likes to quote–“When you have your own business you can choose which 14 hours a day you want to work.”

Now mostly retired, he stays busy teaching classes; coaching young people with business ideas; and the “case studies” for two of his business ventures are standard reading for Columbia and Harvard MBA students. He’s fancy like that. But he grew up in decidedly unfancy Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and most definitely “bootstrapped” his way up with basketball and scholarships. The book is filled with hard-earned common sense–but not necessarily obvious–wisdom: How to create a website, how to sell, how to get free advertising, how to find a mentor, how to connect with the booming barter market, plus info on licensing, franchising, free government support, and some help with bookkeeping and crunching numbers. 

Obviously I’m genetically biased, but the book is simple, direct, and full of solid, applicable advice for even the take-the-leap-phobic among us. All good things in an economy in which the less dependent we are on the corporate teat the healthier it is our wallets, sanity, and nap-work balance.

To buy the the book or just say hi to my dad:

Or you can also check it out on

Do you run a small business? Does it make your life richer?


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