Every time I hear the old blues song “God Bless the Child” I think of startups, bootstrapping, and owning your own thing.

During the last few weeks I’ve had to explain to several people hoping for angel investment that their startup wasn’t getting into the finals for our local angel investment group, the Willamette Angel Conference. It’s hard to deliver bad news. 

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The good news is that not getting angel investment isn’t always bad news. Here are 10 good reasons not to seek angel investment for your startup.

Yes, it’s hard to build a business yourself, without outside money. I know because I did.  At one point my wife and I had three mortgages and $65,000 in credit card debt. That was hell.

However, if you make it, you end up with a business you own. Outright. It’s yours. In our case, after we made it through the dark times, we ended up with a business we own outright, profitable, generating cash; and it’s ours. And that’s not hell.

We call that bootstrapping: Starting a business without bringing in outside investors who become co-owners. Here are 10 lessons learned in 22 years of bootstrapping.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.