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On Tuesday night, Bold Xchange made its first sale to a complete stranger. We’d been waiting what felt like ages for that moment. In reality it’s only been 10 days since we launched our website. The first stranger supporting us was validation that what we’re pouring ourselves into could be truly promising. Celebrating this and other small wins is the only way to keep morale high.

We’ve tried to be disciplined. Since we understand how digital marketing works, we could’ve dumped money into advertising campaigns starting on day one and attracted a stranger much faster. But we’re bootstrappers on a lean budget. More important than how much money we can raise, or how much top-line revenue we can generate, is how much profit we can keep at the end of the day. A sustainable business is a profitable one; it spends less than it makes.

​More important than how much money we can raise, or how much top-line revenue we can generate, is how much profit we can keep at the end of the day.

Stranger-induced joy in no way discounts the support of friends, family, and Kickstarter backers—it just hits a little differently. Even if our concept is strong, if a potential customer is familiar with us as people, there’s some level of trust already baked into their buying decision. But when a stranger says I’ll pay for that, that’s sensational. We’re adding real value.

Today, I can’t quantify exactly how much value Bold Xchange adds, nor can I tell you how many lives we can potentially add value to. Despite the anxiety they cause, these business unknowns are beautiful. They’re signs that we’re stretching ourselves. And when you extend further than you thought possible, sometimes you mess around and far surpass your own expectations.

So what’s better than one stranger’s order? Two. And if there’s two strangers that vibe with us, there’s a third out there somewhere. You get the idea. We’re on a mission to convince one person at a time to see what we already see.

When Danielle and I go to dinner, we often talk obsessively about our vision for Bold Xchange. We also frequently have a no cell phone rule while eating. On Tuesday night I couldn’t help it; I snuck a peek at my phone while at the dinner table. As I hit the unlock button, a Bold Xchange order confirmation flashed across the top of my phone. I clicked it. I asked Danielle if she recognized the name on the order form. She said no and her eyes got big. Our no cell phone rule was completely waived.

Immediately we were both glued to our phones, scrolling our site, social media and email inboxes. What did the stranger order? Where was she from? How did she hear about us? We were ecstatic and in a frenzy.

A stranger believes in us—she’s not really a stranger anymore.

Just so it’s 100 percent clear, Bold Xchange’s first stranger order was processed at 9:17pm EST on Tuesday, March 10, 2019. Eventually we calmed down and finished dinner. Eating out already felt like a celebratory end to a great day; the order made it even better.

A stranger believes in us—she’s not really a stranger anymore. That stranger’s order was shipped out the next day, on schedule to make it to her within three days as we’d promised. And that promise still stands for friends, family and strangers alike with any inkling to give Bold Xchange a shot.