Dear SaaStr: As a Co-founder, How Do You Know When It’s Time to Quit?

Q:  As a co-founder of a startup, how do you know it’s time to quit?

You don’t.

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.

More here:

I’m Tired of Running My Successful Start-up After X Years. What Should I Do?

Published on July 17, 2021

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