Are you a Solo Founder? How well are you handling it?

Mahesh Shrestha
21 replies
I am just curious about how many of us are here Solo founders and what are the main obstacles you are facing. Also, how well are you handling it?


Good question. I'm a solo founder and currently doing all on my own. Since one of the most important learnings of the end of last year I learned that it's just possible to focus on handling one thing at a time. Last year I burnt out with having too much stuff on my plate while constantly trying to be as fast as my competitors (which is impossible because most of them are huge teams). Since then I started: - meditating daily, sometimes twice - journaling (one work-related and the other one as a brain-dump) - focusing on one thing at a time without any interruption - dedicating one day in my calendar to something which would be a role if I had a team. A friend of mine told me that he has several post its in front of his desk and sticks the one of the role on his monitor so that he reminds himself that today he's the developer, marketer, ... Are you a solo founder?
Aziz Akgul
@keeev I'm a solo founder as well and a good friend of mine have also advised me of picking a role for the day. I think it's especially important for developers to pick a day to be the sales/marketing guy.
Jawad Jaber
The most difficult things you face as a solo founder are 1. Find the correct domain to test and verify the product 2. Marketing and distribution channels creation There are some effective strategies I used to handle my workflow 1. Doing one task at a time. 2. Learn and develop your skills at will. 3. Reading in various fields. 4. Correctly setting you milestones.
I have a side hustle I run solo with an amazing team of contractors/part time staff who work remote. Now I'm three years into the journey I understand what our revenue streams are and how to fill the top of the funnel / maximise opportunities to get paid for stuff, so I focus solely on those drivers. I hire individuals who can lead on essential parts of the business from managing social media channels to chasing invoices and accounting. So far this is working well because the scale of my business is that of an SME.
Abasiama Akpan
Solo founder, working on my product, ENVISION, and it is going great.
Mitch Gillogly
I was a solo non-technical founder. So I found a technical co-founder and things are moving much quicker now.
Zach Jabri
That which hinders your task, is your task is something I find myself saying often. The hardest part of my journey has been when I lost perspective, usually a result of being overwhelmed. A good example is with exercise. Personally, exercise is a non negotiable activity. When I lose perspective, exercise starts to feel like another task on a never ending list of to dos. If I buy into it & stop, everything becomes harder. Under that spell, I try to convince myself that not exercising will free up time & I'll be able to get more done. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience, the hardest part is keeping everything in perspective. Reminding myself that its all a practice can be helpful.
Co-Founder, one other! Curious, when you solo founders out there are stuck, who do you ping ideas/thoughts off of? Advisors? I feel like that would be tough, but so can having another brain in the equation haha
Jensen Chen
I am a solo founder. I was a software enginner before. But now i am a product manager and developer. No one can disscuss with me when i have some idea which can put into our product. There are some much knowledge in different fields I need to study. 1. Focus. 2.Plan. 3.Chatting with different people in different fields. 4.Join some startup activity. There is no way than keep learning When you are a solo founder.
It is fun to be a solo founder. But there are very much to learn. Sometimes I am thinking if I send someone a CV with all the things I do they will probably think I am trolling.
Amir Jabarivasal
I've been a solo founder for the last 6 months. I have hired people and reached out to my network for help on things that I couldn't do on my own. However, it can be quite tiring as I currently take responsibility for many roles e.g. Social media, marketing, developer, business development and I'm struggling with the sheer amount of stuff that needs to get done.
Michael Andreuzza
Yep, its a good question I agree with @keeev . I have to say that after learning how to code and launching my product. I did not saw what it was behind the whole circus. I am a solo founder and I have to do everything, from design to marketing going thru the coding. There is skills that I did not had at all, and I had to catch up on the way, like learning SEO for example. I am working every single day from 1 to 6 hours on the product, even on my work brakes while eating, sometimes it gets edgy, but hey, we will get there. Sometimes being on a team it can also make things go slower, it depends of the person and the the team.. Have a good one! Mike
Ousmane NDIAYE
Feel good to see that a lot of people are solo founders too, and facing the same difficulties ! :D Thx for sharing !
Aditya Singh Chauhan
Just started! I know its a long road, with lots of mending and bends on the way!! Learning being the basic motivation and the clock pushes me forward one tick at a time. I'll ring the right bells when the rockets are ready to thrust launch.
Dhruv Bhatia
I actually think being a solo founder can be good at the start when execution and early traction matter the most. There are certainly benefits to having cofounders but quite a few drawbacks as well. One common drawback I've seen is endless discussion without execution. If you're a solo founder, you may have to spend more time initially since you have to handle all responsibilities yourself, but it can help you try multiple things out very quickly and get critical feedback, which will add a lot of clarity to your vision. That way, when you want to hire employees or get a cofounder later, it becomes a lot easier.
There a pros and cons for solo founders: Pros: 1- you realize your own idea at the pace of your choice 2- you follow your dream 100% cons: 1- don't advance that faster 2- stay in your own box, and miss opportunities 3- spend twice a time for something that you can do in much less time (marketing, UI, finance..) 4- get tired faster 5- get angry upon a minus stuff (sign of moral fatigue) 6- get frustrated sometime as you don't advance as you expected ... as you might see being a solo founder is not really recommended in the majority of case, it could work fine but in a very few situations
Prasanna Jeyasankar
I founded and manage a design agency and have been running it for the last 4 years on my own. I got to say that the experience has been exciting and illuminating, both personally and professionally. I won't lie and say the journey has been smooth though. There have been times when I have mulled over the difference having a partner would make. But I have managed to snap out of that thought voluntarily. I used to worry about delayed payments from clients, potential clients taking a long time to respond to a pitch we made etc. Now I am a lot laid back and less worried. Few things I have done to trigger my change in attitude towards running my agency - I have taken up exercising and running to channel my energy that I used to spend worrying towards something beneficial for myself. My thoughts have become more clearer and precise. - I am now far less forgiving to nonpaying clients than I used to be before. - I am now more hands-on with my team and converse with them way more than I used to before. - I now reprimand nonperforming team mates and tell them what they are doing wrong and what I expect of them. - I am more honest and transparent about the happenings of the agency with my team, in order to help them feel being a part of the operations. Saying all this doesn't mean I am against having a partner or a co-founder. To be honest, I have had plenty of second hand help from my mates, the team, my Family and even from my clients, who have taken keen interest in the way I run the agency and have provided guidance when I needed them. If you have someone you trust and have the same vision, you should go ahead and start your company with them without any delay. But if you don't have someone like that, you go ahead and start anyways. People will help you along the way. And make sure you help those who seek your advise too.
Jose Araneta
I was a solo technical founder for my startup. I believe the one thing I will always remember was that it was a very lonely journey. The amount of learning and work required can be overwhelming. I remember reaching out to friends and family to bounce ideas and found that no one could really relate to what I was going through. This eventually drove me to try my hardest to find another cofounder. As you all know this is also a difficult and delicate feat. It all depends on your startup but finding someone you trust and relate with could be the key to your success. I luckily found my cofounder in an old coworker who I worked well with. Things are really moving now and I couldn’t be more relieved.
David Miranda
I really like what some other people are saying about choosing a role for the day (marketing, sales, developer, designer) and going with that. Unfortunately, that can be hard when I'm working on big ideas and I also have a part time job. So, I try to combine some roles and outsource the others. Right now, I live stream most of my coding sessions. This allows me to connect with other people and get feedback, while also building up some fans of my projects. I've also hired a freelancer to work on building free tools for my audience. This really helps with bringing in new customers. At the same time, I'm working with a marketing and a sales consultant. The marketing consultant is helping me develop copy for landing pages, while the salesperson is helping bring in new people to try the product. I can't afford to hire these people full time and I'm already stretching my budget. However, if I can use this time to bootstrap my business and get it off the ground, it will all be worth it. I do want to spend at least an hour or two doing cold outreach, however, every week, so maybe I'll add that to my calendar. Someone else talked about exercise as the most important part of their day. I'd say that's true for me too, although it's usually a very long walk and not that strenuous. I find that this helps keep things in perspective: starting a business is a very long journey, not a sprint. Although I should say it gets very stressful sometimes and some strenuous exercise would totally help :)
Yami San
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