Dear SaaStr: What Are Some Lies Founders Tell Themselves?
#1 Lie. That it will get easier.
It never gets easy, but it can get less difficult:
- You get better. You constantly learn, and in not that long of a time, become one of the experts in your space.
- At some point, you stop being at risk of going bankrupt. This does let you breathe.
- At some point, you have a brand, and that makes your growth more predictable. Not easier. But more predictable.
- At some point, you have a great team, or at least part of one. You don’t have to do it all yourself anymore. It doesn’t really get “easier” here because now you have to spend 50% of your time recruiting. But a great VP or 3 can finally own some of the core goals and functional areas.
- At some point, your product isn’t terrible anymore. You will never be satisfied here. But it’s nice when the basic core product finally is sort of great.
- At some point, you are in control of your destiny. It’s not any easier then, too. But then, at least you aren’t dependent on a partner, a VC, or anything external.
#2 Lie. That you get back that family time.
You never do. You get better at managing your time, and having a bigger team lets you set some more boundaries. But if your startup takes off, one way or another, it will consume most of your mental energy.
#3 Lie. That you can always walk away and do something else.
The great CEOs can’t. If this comforts you in the early days, though, OK. But once you’re really in, you’re in. Often, for at least 5-7 years.