Q: As a co-founder of a startup, how do you know it’s time to quit?
Why? Because 50% or more of the time, you’re not seeing things 100% clearly — because you are tired. And when you’re tired, you don’t always make the right decisions.
Before you quit:
- Talk to 2–3 mentors you trust. Folks that have walked a mile in your shoes — but also gone further as well. See if they challenge you to push on. They may be wrong, but the challenge will help you think more clearly here.
- Talk to your co-founders. If they still believe, you probably still should, too. Lean into their optimism.
- See if you can get some help. If you can afford it, hire 1 more person to help you. One great hire really can turn it around. I’ve seen this again and again and again. Find someone great to help. A related post here.
- Don’t let the competition get to you too much. Competition matters. But no one has 100% market share. There is room for you — if you want it badly enough. More here.
- Take a vacation (or at least, as much of one as you can). Try to clear your head before any big decision. More here.
- Be honest about how long it would take you to start over. If you are at even $10k a month in revenue, it might take you years to come up with a better idea and get to paying customers. Starting over usually isn’t worth it.
When in doubt, push on. At least a little longer.