The Challenge of Rolling Solo

Being a solo founder is hard.

It’s almost trite to say, but I’m in it and it’s real.

I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that I’m a solo founder or the solo person employee.

Even though I’ve started 3 companies before and had my fair share of success and failure, I’m still struggling with anxiety and fear and this damn feature that I was supposed to ship 2 weeks ago and that is still sitting in my task list, 20% done.

Humans are social creatures, and I am human.

It’s hard being alone.

Do I need a co-founder? Or maybe just another person? These are the issues I’m wrestling with right now.

Once upon a time, I thought money would solve all this stuff. That the struggle was only for people who didn’t have money. I didn’t really believe it, but the tohught would buzz around my head, a bias––almost like racism––that I didn’t consciously acknowledge or believe to be true, but that was there in my heart.

Now I have money and I’m still in the struggle. Funny how life works.

I’m lucky though. And privileged. And stoked about what I’m doing.

But still, I was supposed to this damn feature 12 days ago and it’s still just 20% done. Something isn’t working.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Maybe this is all just normal and I need to power through.  Or maybe I just need another human being to work with.

I had an intern living with me over the summer, sleeping in my garage. He was awesome and I had a blast! He was young and had a lot to learn, but he had the work ethic and mindset of a founder. Effing brilliant too. It was so much fun working with him! He felt like a younger brother. Smarter than me in some ways, less experienced in others.

Funny enough, my best work relationships feel that way: like siblings of different ages, each with our own strengths and weaknesses.

I made Mourtallah an offer for after he graduates in December. He accepted. His start date is 6 weeks away. 

But in the meantime, I’m struggling. Feeling in a rut. I hate that feeling.

I want to be going at warp speed again. I need to be going at warp speed again.

But maybe that’s not always possible when you’re human.

Does this ever happen to you? How do you deal with these slow downs in productivity?

P.S. Talking through it like this really helps. Maybe that’s step one?


Also published on Medium.