5 Ways to Survive Being a Solo Founder
Building a company from the ground-up is no easy feat - especially if you're going at it alone. While it's definitely preferred to have a team, sometimes it's necessary to start solo until you can recruit others. Here are some lifesavers to keep in mind as you carry on.
1.) You have to pull triple the weight.
Startups are at a disadvantage as it is, with 3 person teams looking to match the output of 8 people. To stand even a slight chance, you're going to have to work so hard it hurts - literally. If your regular workday has been 10 - 12 hours, up it to 14 - 17 hours for at least 6 days a week. I recommend taking Sundays to read, learn, write, chill.(Disclaimer: To be fair, I consider meetings & networking 'work', but mostly, work = hustle.)
2. Pick Something Instantly Monetizable.
This almost goes without saying (we are in business after all) but is especially important for solopreneurs. Teams can afford (barely) to build an audience-based product with hopes to cash in later, but it really helps to have cash flow ASAP so you can make hires... which leads into the next point.
3. Hire Contractors
Being a sole founder shouldn't mean operating alone. A team is all about surrounding yourself with smart people that can compliment your strengths, and if you have to 'buy' them to make that happen - Amen. Hiring a freelance developer and graphic designer kept me moving swiftly toward an MVP.
4. Be Great With People
This is never a bad skill to have regardless of what you do - but as a one-man army, you yourself are the lifeline to your company's success. A high EQ & a deep sense of self awareness is THE key for solo founders to win. click to tweet! but only because it leads to great people... ironic, no? Customers, vendors, employees, & mentors all buy into YOU first and your product second.
5.) Form a Team From Friends
I think the best teams stem from friendships. If you stay the course, eventually you'll have come in contact with quite a few people. As your network grows, think often and hard about who would make a great cofounder. In my case, both the freelance designer & developers I hired grew into Full-time CTO & Creative Director roles at the company because we had a chance to become friends first.
Solopreneurs! I know it's super hard and it can be discouraging sometimes, but know it's not impossible! I'm happy to chat further with anyone interested in diving into this a bit deeper. Drop me a tweet @JohnHenryStyle... I'm rootin' for ya!
Peace, Love, & Hustle,