August 5, 2021
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Read this before starting your entrepreneurship journey

I didn’t have the privilege of being born in the US. I had to work hard and sacrifice a lot to come here and finish my graduate studies. I lost several years of my life doing that. The US is an amazing country for entrepreneurs and people who want to build businesses. If you already are here, going through college, you are extremely lucky. Let me tell you what I would do if I was going through college here in the US.

The best time to start your entrepreneurship journey is in college

Being in college is the best time to enjoy long-lasting friendships with people who are going to be successful and influential in their careers. I learned that one of the most difficult things to do when you are building a startup is finding a cofounder. There is absolutely no place better than college to find a business partner for your startup. Having a co-founder is not a must, but your chances of success vastly diminish without one.

There are days running your business that you’ll feel lost, exhausted, and disappointed. Having someone to share the work and these feelings with is critical. Investors tend not to fund startups with solo founders. They have learned over time that companies with two or three co-founders have better chances of success. So, I’d definitely look for buddies who I enjoy spending time with and we can be productive together.

If you missed college or you are older and want to start a compay, nothing against you! Most successful startups are founded by middle-aged people who have lots of past experience. But when you start late, you have too much to lose. Most likely, you have a family and kids and the stakes are higher.

Who is a good candidte to be a co-founder?

Best co-founders have complementary skills and compatible personalities. If you are a technical person who can build, try to look for someone who has sales and marketing skills. Even if you build the coolest product out there, people will not just come to use it. They are too busy to notice your awesome innovation. Co-founders with business and marketing backgrounds can help a great deal with bringing your product to market. Likewise, business-oriented individuals can greatly benefit from engineers as well. Bringing a product to life is incredibly expensive and time-consuming. It’s very risky to fund the product development out of your savings.

The best way to find a co-founder is to start a project with them. Don’t start your legal structure yet. Starting a legal entity is complicated and if you are not sure about your co-founder, wait for a few months after working on a project together. I’d start with an idea together and try to validate it first. We’ll talk about validating ideas below and how to do it step by step. You can validate your ideas by interviewing customers and see which ones have real grounds to become a product.

If I were back to school, I would have made some friends in the Business department. Not just to build a business, but to see other people’s perspectives in life. I later realized that our field of study makes us focus on a few subjects and unaware of others. This focus is absolutely needed for succeeding in a career as long as we strictly stay in those subjects. Entrepreneurship requires a variety of skills that we’ll get into in a minute. You can still meet business people on LinkedIn. Surprisingly, I can get good responses from LinkedIn.

Here’s a short and sweet way to approach people and it seems to work for me:

Dear *someone*,

I was really impressed by *give them a compliment about something you admire about them*. I鈥檓 also a small business owner, and I鈥檓 interested in talking to you about a business opportunity. If you鈥檙e interested, let me know and we can arrange a phone call to discuss the *project or something that you want to do*.

Looking forward to possibly working with you,

*your name*

Not only college is awesome for finding your co-founder(s) it’s also a great place to find customers and users for your product. The cost of acquiring customers is remarkably high in this day and age. People pay millions of dollars to acquire users for their products and that’s something that you can do for much cheaper in college. There are thousands of people in your vicinity who are open to new ideas. As people progress in life, they become less accepting of new ideas. In college, you have thousands of early adopters around you which is awesome! If you have passed college like me, don’t worry we have a lot of useful materials for you in the following.

The founder of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe, got her first users in a college. As you may know, Bumble is a dating app that allows women to reach out to men first as opposed to some other apps. Whitney found groups of boys in a college and told them that the next day there are going to be hundreds of girls on the website ready to date and the next day she told groups of girls about the boys who were ready to meet them. That’s how she kickstarted her app. Not by paying thousands of dollars worth of advertising and competing for keywords with large players like Match and eHarmoney. Usually, kickstarting apps takes a lot of time and money, but by leveraging a college environment she could give a boost to her business and I don’t think she was in college at this point.

Another luxury that you have in college is trust. People trust students and want to help them without anything in return. I have been reached out by mentors telling me that they’d like to coach me if I’m a student. Who wants to help an engineer, scientist, or contributor who already has an established financial situation? So, use your student card! It’s free and powerful.

Another amazing option that you have is access to developers who can help with your app for cheap. A good developer in the US charges about $100-$200/hour. Outsourcing development to overseas agencies is never a good idea. I have made that mistake before. Key components of your technology must be developed by you or your co-founders otherwise you’ll be stuck with a product that’s static and will become obsolete soon. Keeping the product up to date and functional is very expensive and requires lots of capital.

Trust is the most important team asset

A few years ago, I was working on a project with a co-founder and he was one of the smartest software developers I have ever met. He could hack things and make them work like no one I have ever seen and I have seen many software developers in my career. We had one big problem. We didn’t trust each other enough! I was trying to work on the business side and he was supposed to work on developing the website. We constantly clashed because we didn’t stay in our lanes. He wanted to work on video to promote the company and do a bunch of things that would distract him from building the product.

Even though we had complementary skills, we didn’t have a good distribution of tasks. When I think about it now, I think it was because we didn’t trust each other enough. We have only met for a few months. On top of that, our personalities did not match either. This was a recipe for disaster. Even if our company succeeded, it would have been torture to work together for years. Look for signs of disagreement and problems and if you have to argue about more than 50% of things, that’s a bad sign. Look for another co-founder.

Get things stright with your co-founder from day one

The co-founder that I was working with a few years ago, was very smart but very impatient. He was expecting results the next day, but acquiring customers does not work that way. It takes time to build relationships and have your first sales. He also believed that a startup should become profitable in two years and we should sell the business at that time. I was trying to tell him that it takes a lot more time to build a business than just two years, but he believed that everybody else was wrong.

The day we had that discussion, should have been the last day of our company together, but I made the mistake of continuing because I was afraid that I could not find anyone as good as him. Co-founder relationships are like marriage without sex! If you see a dealbreaker, don’t continue. It will just get more difficult from there.

Where to start?

Find a problem

Once you found a cofounder who wants to work on a project with you, if you haven’t found one yet, try to find a need or a problem in your and see if you can essentially build a solution for it. You should pick a problem that you can relate to or can easily find people who deal with the problem on the daily basis. Do not pick a problem that you think exists and you don’t know anyone who has that problem. You can pick a problem that you yourself have. But there’s a danger there. Entrepreneurs are unique. Most people don’t think like entrepreneurs.

So, when you see a problem that you have, there’s a considerable chance that not many people have the same problem. That’s where you need to make sure you are solving a real problem that many people have. To accomplish that, we need to interview people who we think are going to be our customers and make sure that they have the problem that we are solving. There’s a guide here to help you interview people the right way. Otherwise, people are going to unintentionally send you in the wrong direction.

Reach out to people and learn what their problems are and how they solve them today. Sometimes, we find a problem, but solving that problem might be extremely complicated. For example, there can be a ton of regulation to navigate, etc. When I started my IoT company, I thought once I figured out the hardware and the software, I can basically ship the product and have sales. I did not know about UL and FCC regulations until it was too late. I didn’t have much capital. I only raised some money from an Angel to start with and prove the concept and then raise larger amounts of money.

Any UL or FCC testing was expensive and would have significantly eaten into my other budgets. If I knew more about regulations that are involved in the hardware space, I would have raised more money from the beginning. Universities provide mentors that can help you with navigating regulatory bodies such as FDA. When you are out of college, hiring an FDA consultant will cost you thousands of dollars.

How to reach out to people and sell

Selling does not have to be about going door to door or selling products or services online. A lot of times, we need to sell our ideas or even ourselves when we interview for a job. Learning how to impress people online or offline is more important than we realize. I have seen companies raise money just by building an amazing video introducing their concept and use cases. As much as I hate to say it, learning how to grab people’s attention is crucial. The reason is that we live in an incredibly noisy world and grabbing people’s attention is becoming harder and harder. Breaking through the noise is key to your success.

I don’t mean to be flashy or not to be yourself. Fortunately, this world is filled with people with various skills and areas of interest. You just need to attract the attention of your audience.

Sales are not about pushing and pushing until the other person breaks down and finally buys your product. Surprisingly, this is still one of the most prominent sales tactics, especially in the car industry. Sales is about asking questions and understanding the needs of your customer first. Once you know what your customer wants and you have the solution, closing the sale is not that hard. Getting to a “no” faster is key because you can get to the next yes faster and this can be done by knowing your customers and reaching out to the right ones in the first place.

Getting over the social barrier

A lot of times we don’t feel good about doing sales and this internal feeling works against us. We have seen salespeople who have been trying to sell us something that we don’t need. Sell something that you know people want! That way you genuinely are solving problems. Asking questions is key. Don’t start selling. Ask your customers what problems they have and see whether your solution can help them at all. If you have gone through the customer discovery phase, this should not be hard.

We’ll talk about the customer discovery phase in the next few paragraphs, but before we do, let’s make sure we have all we need. As founders, you need to be able to sell your product. You don’t have a sales team unless you are already rich in which case you can hire a professional to tell you all this. But if you are not rich, you need to learn how to sell. The selling process in startups starts with a customer discovery phase.

Customer discovery Process

What is customer discovery? It’s the process of knowing your customers. Say that you have an idea and want to start a business around it. The first thing that you do should be looking for customers that you think will buy your product. The first thing should not be building the product as many engineers do.

We all have heard the term “Build it and they’ll come”. It cannot be furthest from the truth. Don’t try it! Instead, when you have an idea, start writing down who you think your customers are. Buil a list of types of people who you think will need your product. You should talk to these people before building anything. The easiest thing to do is reaching out to your network to ask whether they need your product or not. Try not to talk to your network. Their answers may be biased. You can still learn from your network if you know how to conduct the customer discovery interview. We have a post about that, but for now, stay here and finish the article. We’ll get to that later.

So, what is a customer discovery process? It’s the process of talking to the people who you identify as your customers to see whether they need your product or not. You don’t just ask them whether they need your product or not. Instead, we ask them what their problems were when they were doing a specific task. The questions should be about customers’ experiences and not hypothetical questions. For example, we should be asking “Tell me about the last time you did _____”, and “what was the most difficult thing about that?”, and “how did you solve the problem?”, “why is that not a great solution?”.

These questions will send you in the right direction. The questions must be very concrete and directly related to the life of your customers. Hypothetical questions and talking about your product are the last things you want to do in a customer discovery interview. Customer discovery interviews are an awesome way to improve your sales experience as well. It’s a great practice to start with questions and see if you are solving their real needs. If you happen to be building something that they need, that’s great! Keep going, but if you are building something that is not at the center of their attention and need, don’t do it. It’s that simple.

How can we get to the right customer in the first place?

If you’ve done customer discovery interviews with your potential customers, you’ll get a feeling for who your customers are. This will help you find them after launch! It is so important for founders to directly talk to their customers. Airbnb would not have become the company that we know of today if the founders didn’t go to New York and talked to their customers face-to-face. They learned so much more about customers and their experience with the product and realized where the issues were.

After you talk to a bunch of people who you originally thought are going to be your customers, you’ll learn that most of them actually were not. You’ll narrow down your search and will eventually find the cohort that fits your criteria. After you exhaust your search, you may find out that none of those people need your product. If you spend a few months exhaustively searching for your potential customers and find none, it’s a good time to pivot. Even if your customers exist somewhere, it’s difficult to find them and you may not have enough resources to chase them. At least, at this point, you have not built a full-scale product.

Our strong recommendation is don’t even build anything before you talk to your customers. If you have not built your product before talking to customers, congratulations! You have saved yourself a lot of time and effort. Talk to the customers first before doing anything. If you want to build a bridge, go to the area first and see how many people are going to cross the river and whether they are willing to pay you a fee for using your bridge. There might be another bridge that they use a few miles down the road that’s free. There might be a ferry service that crosses the river for cheap.

Believe me! So much will change after your first few interviews with your customers. They may point you in a different and better direction. You may have thought that the biggest problem in doing something is one thing, but it may turn out differently. If that happens, embrace it and be flexible. We tend to get attached to our original ideas and that’s the main reason why startups fail. I did an in-depth study on why startups fail and I could break it down into three main reasons:

  • Lack of market research
  • Founders lack of sales skills
  • Miscalculating the runway

Those three, are the main killers of startups especially the first one! When we get attached to our idea so much that we ignore reality, we may still be able to raise money and convince investors to fund our venture, but eventually, the company will die and it can’t sell enough products.

Okay, in summary, we emphasized the importance of customer discovery interviews and their role in finding the right type of customers for our business. Note that these customer discovery interviews will help us with our advertisement campaigns as well. If you know your customers in person and have a good feeling for what they like and what they do, it’ll be much easier to target them on online advertising. This will save you a lot of money down the line. So, the short answer to “How can we get the right customers in the first place?” is by doing Customer Discovery Interviews even before your build the product.

Building the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

If you can build the product yourself, you have to build it yourself. Don’t outsource it if you can build the product yourself. Ideally, you and your co-founder(s) are both builders and the sales team. That way, you can iterate fast and respond to the customers’ needs.

There’s pitfall here that you should avoid. Don’t just build anything that your cusotmer asks you to build expecially if they are not paying you. The danger is that the things that one customer needs (or think they need) is not necessarily what other cusotmers need. You may end up building what is very customized to one customer. Wait until you see enough demand for one feature to roll out.

Use off-the-shelf product as much as possible

I have seen too many engineers wanting to start fresh with the first line of perfect code to build the app or website. It feels great when you build everything yourself, but it comes at an incredibly high cost, time. Time is key. When you pitch to investors, they’ll pay attention to how much time and money it took the team to build the MVP. If you can use APIs and ready-to-use products to accelerate your production, don’t hesitate to do it! Your goal must be acquiring that first customer and when you don’t have a customer, most likely, you are building something that no one will use.

Start with only one feature

It is hard to follow, but just start with one single feature and do it really well. Make sure customers can do that one thing with the minimum number of clicks. You can start with WordPress themes and change the PHP code to do what you are looking for. There are other tools such as bubble that help you build a customized website without writing any code. There are many no-code or custom code platforms out there that you can start with. Let’s not let our perfectionism get in the way of building our MVP fast.

That one feature that you start with should solve the most important problem of your customers really well. We don’t want to solve multiple problems at the same time. Think of popular websites or apps out there. Except if they are Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, they solve one problem really well. For example, GoDaddy, helps you find a good domain name for your website. Reddit is a forum and it threads the conversations. Quora helps people find answers to their questions and so on. If you are trying to do two things at once, you are doing it wrong.

Don’t fall in love with your MVP

It’s a famous saying in the startup community. We tend to fall in love with what we build so much that we don’t want to change it. MVPs are meant to be imperfect and you should not try to make them such. They are just to test our hypotheses about customers and their needs. Once you find your market and see customers lining up to use your service, you can improve your MVP and make it more robust.

It happens often that you’ll need to throw out your MVP and start fresh. If you can’t sign people up and no one is using that feature even though you are reaching out to people, you may have identified the wrong problem to solve. There is always the possibility that you are not marketing your product well, but if you have talked to your customers in your customer discovery phase, it means that you don’t have a problem reaching out to people and talking to them about their problems. If you have done that step properly, you should have customers unless you are using the wrong channels to find them.

If you have a problem with your channels, go ahead and write in comments and we’ll help.

Hardware startups

Your job as a hardware startup founder is ten times more difficult than a software startup. If you are not sure if this is what you want to do, stop right now and build a software startup! Hardware is expensive to build and it’s a competitive space especially if you are building consumer electronics. You’ll have to be aware of writing patents, patent fees, building your supply chain, molding, electronics, software, and more.

I’d suggest if you are not building a product that is not far ahead of what is already out there, don’t do it. Hardware startups are capital intensive and more difficult to raise money for. You need to raise a lot of money to have a chance to succeed.

Regardless of all these warnings, if you still want to build a consumer hardware startup, look at Amazon and see what products similar to yours exists. See what keywords are used to search that product and use a sales analytics tool like datahawk to estimate the sales volume of those related products. If people are not searching for the product now, you’ll have a hard time selling it. Take peloton for example. It is very a successful product. It’s not hard to see that if you build an amazing product people will buy it. Personal workout items are among the most visited items on Amazon.

When I was working on my IoT startup, I had no doubt that my product had a lot of demand. It saved lives! My product was a safety device that reminded people if they forgot to turn off their kitchen stoves. After all, kitchen fires are the most common fires in the US and it takes thousands of lives annually and costs billions of dollars worth of damage to properties. It turns out, even though people recognize the need for such an item they don’t actively look for it. People look for products that make them feel good about themselves. It’s a sad reality. We humans are not rational beings. You need to take that into account when you build your product.

Look at Apple. Not only they are good-looking, but also they make users feel good about themselves when they use the products. They are building something that people want and they are also delighting their customers.

Acquiring customers

If you are using Facebook or Google ads to reach your customers, make sure you use the right keywords that came up during your interviews. Make sure that you name the problem in the ad. Getting conversions in online advertising can be tricky. If you have the budget, use some help. Don’t go to advertising agencies. They are expensive and unfortunately, there is a lot of fraud. Use Upwork or Fiverr instead. Look for a freelancer with good reviews and hire them. You can find freelancers overseas for very reasonable prices. Don’t forget to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your website. I spent $100 to improve my SEO and the results were immediate. Of course building domain authority and popularity take time.

Starting with advertising without proving the market is dangerous. You must make sure that people want your product first. If you want to do online advertising, start with small budgets and test until you minimize your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). CPC (Cost Per Click) is important as well, but as important as CAC. If you get clicks, and less than 1% is converting, either your ad or your website messaging is wrong.

If you are launching a product on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, be aware of the fact that the standards of campaigns have dramatically gone up. It does not mean that the quality of products has gone up. It’s mostly the quality of marketing material in those campaigns that have gone way up. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are ways of testing customer demand without having fully finished products. These crowdfunding platforms are mostly suited for testing hardware products, but there have been some software solutions as well. They are just less likely to raise the same amount of money.

The truth about Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns

It takes about 15 minutes to prepare a campaign and 24 hours for it to get approved, but it takes months of preparation for a successful campaign. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to go through those platforms. Most successful projects there are fully scaled companies with millions of dollars worth of funding. If you don’t have that kind of money sitting around you will be listed alongside those and it only reduces your chances of success.

Keep in mind that these platforms promote the campaigns that make the most amount of money because they collect commission. So, they are incentivized to promote the products that are already successful and have a large team working behind the scenes.

Since you’ll have to spend months building demand for your Kickstarter campaign, a few weeks working on your images, and a few thousand dollars on your video, I would say you’ll be better off spending all that time and money selling your prototype yourself. Also, keep in mind that those flashy Kickstarted campaigns spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on online advertising.

Basic unit economics of your business

There are two fundamental numbers that you should know very well in your business: CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and LTV (LifeTime Value). As we discussed earlier, CAC is the amount of money that you’ll have to spend to acquire a customer while LTV is the total value that you get from a customer. LTV is affected by Churn. Churn is the rate at which your customers stop paying you. If your business is about one-time purchases, you don’t have to worry about churn and your LTV is the margin that you get from your sales.

But if you have a subscription-based business, you’ll have to be aware of churn. But, as we said, Churn will automatically affect your LTV and if you know that your LTV is more than your CAC, you’re golden! You may have a self-sustaining business. If your LTV is so much higher than your CAC that it can cover all the costs of running the business, CONGRATULATIONS 馃帀馃帄 馃巿 馃嵕. Your business is profitable and you either have broken even or will soon. If you have a huge market, you will become a big company and investors will be banging on your door to give you money.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t end up like that, but it doesn’t mean they’re not successful. Your company will be more successful if you reduce your CAC and increase your LTV. Fortunately, CAC usually goes down in time as people become more familiar with your brand and search engines recognize your site.

Delighting your customers

We briefly talked about delighting customers when we were talking about hardware startups. Every time we use a product, we remember the experience. If we enjoy using something, we’ll remember and are more willing to come back. Social media apps have figured this out and they show you a notification alert even if you don’t have a real notification. Notifications are exciting and addictive and that’s how Facebook and Twitter leverage that to get your attention.

I’m not sure if we can call this delighting the customer, but it kind of is in a negative way. Better ways of delighting customers are friendly letters in the product packaging, discounts, or any other means that make the user happy. Inducing happiness in customers makes them come back. That’s how Disney gets so many visitors every year. I almost want to go as far as delighting your customer is as important as solving their problem. It certainly is a way of distinguishing you from your competitors.

If you can make your customer smile, do it in a heartbeat. I was listening to an interview on “How I built this” from NPR and they were interviewing Mailchimp co-founder Ben Chestnut. At some point in his interview, he mentioned how they used monkey faces and drawings to their advantage for their marketing. Every time they were in doubt, they used a little monkey in the image and it helped. People told them that they liked these funny money faces and it simply made them come back.

So, build something that people love is as important as building something that people need. That’s one of the ways you can break through the noise.

Raising money

When is a good time to raise money?

Ideally, it’s never a good time to raise money. When you raise money, you give some of your company and control away. Even if you sell 10% of your company to investors, you will kind of become an employee because they are paying you. Things will not be the same anymore. They will be sitting on your board and tell you how to run your company.

So, avoid raising capital as much as possible. Only raise when your business model is proven aka when you are paying customers and your CAC and LTV are moving in the right directions. When you are winning, investors will be on your side and when things go wrong, they want to give you advice and run the company for you. It is their money and they don’t want to lose it.

How to raise money?

There are various types of legal documents (vehicles) that you can use to raise money. The most common one is SAFE (Single Agreement for Future Equity). Safes are like loans that turn into equity when your company has a cap (price). Usually, early-stage companies don’t have a price because nothing is proven yet. At this early stage, usually, Angel investors invest in your company. Angel investors are the type of investors who invest their own money and write personal checks. Venture capitalists come in later when you have a priced fund-raising round and they invest other people’s money. They are essentially money managers. Venture capitalists invest millions of dollars to billions of dollars in companies as opposed to Angel investors who typically invest thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in companies.

Another investment vehicle is called Convertable note and it’s similar to SAFEs, but it has a maturity date. Meaning that even if the company does not go through a priced round, the investors will get a known piece of the company according to the terms inside the convertible notes. And yet another investment vehicle is simply buying equity in a priced round. This is a more traditional way of raising money in startups.

Another investment vehicle is called ICO or Initial Coin Offering. With the advent of Cryptocurrencies, these types of fundraising became popular and some companies raised money this way. I have not seen many companies come out of this type of fundraising very successfully. A more traditional approach would be better since your future investors may not want to invest given your ICO situation.

Pro-rata rights

This is something that I heard for the first time when I was raising money from an angel a few years ago and heard the term “pro-rata” for the first time. It’s a common practice that many early-stage investors like to include in their term sheet with the founder. It simply means that the investor has the right to maintain their ownership of the company in future fundraising events by buying more shares.

Seat on the board

Most early-stage investors will ask you to seat on your board of directors and make decisions for the company. It’s a normal ask. Keep in mind that these seats are limited and be careful who you put on the board. When the company scales and becomes relevant, the decisions that are made on the board define the future of the company. Choose people who can add value. If your rich uncle invests in the company, it does not mean that he should be sitting on the board unless he knows a great deal about your industry. Anyways, make sure to let someone take one of those seats who has been in your shoes before and knows what the industry looks like.

Project confidence

When you are raising money, you are essentially selling a dream. Investors need to buy into your dream and give you a lot of money. We, engineers and scientists learn to be skeptical about everything. We’re trained to be skeptical and ask the right questions to make sure that the bridge that we build does not collapse. If you are an engineer and pitching your bridge to an investor, you are not supposed to talk about all the uncertainties of building a bridge because investors don’t like uncertainties. You just have to work harder to make sure those risks and uncertainties are retired and you have a strong bridge that’ll work for years to come. You can touch on the risks and tell them how you confidently mitigated them.

I’m not saying that you should be that way, but some founders are so confident that raise money without building anything. It’s a little unfair to technical founders because we’re humble by trade and yet some business people can sell a dream without anything to show for it. Recently, we have had some companies that became public without having a single product to show for it. This is something that I hope the investor community becomes more aware of and gains more trust in founders with technical backgrounds who are building groundbreaking things.

Don’t quit your day job yet

At this point, you have done your customer discovery, you’ve built your MVP, and you are acquiring users and they are coming to you and growing. These are all great signs. Don’t quit your day job until you see some traction. If you want to quit your job to work on your idea, the minimum that you should do is customer discovery. Make sure that you talk to enough people and every one of them is pointing you in the same direction. That way at least you know you are solving a real problem and you know your customers.

Persevere and monitor your health

In the end, be prepared for a long journey. It’s not going to be easy. Try to have fun along the way. Do a lot of work out and watch your sleep. It’s common for founders to lose sleep over important decisions. Our decision-making becomes worse when we don’t sleep enough.

Don’t forget to hang out with your friends. A lot of times entrepreneurs don’t see their friends because they focus on their startup too much and after a while, they realize that their social life is ruined. Don’t fall into this trap. You need friends to succeed and keep your mind healthy.

Get into a workout routine. I found running in the morning refreshing and relaxing. I also listen to some podcasts focused on entrepreneur life and health. There are some podcasts that are good for motivation and some that are good for health. Since the podcasts that I listen to change over time, I won’t list them here. Reach out to me and I’ll be happy to share that with you personally.


None of the above is legal or financial advice. Seek professional help when actually going through these steps in your company. This is general advice for your information.

Hope this all helps and let me know if I can be of any help to you! Best of luck and looking forward to reading your comments.