April 12th, 2020
I came across this Hacker News post the other day - a guy is asking for books he should read before starting his own business.

He prefaces this post with this:

My goal in life (as of right now at least) is to start my own SaaS business so that I can eventually quit my 40 hour work week and have more time for things I enjoy doing.

At least from personal experience, starting a SaaS business will not give you any time back for things you enjoy doing. A 40-hour workweek at BigCo is nothing compared to the hours you will work building your own company.

You might spend 40 hours/week "writing code" but you will spend almost every other waking minute thinking about your startup, which will probably just lead to working more anyways.

So what's it actually like to be a founder?

Here's what they don't tell you:

  • Constantly thinking about your startup
  • Wake up every day thinking about your startup in some way
  • Go to bed thinking about your startup in some way
  • Constantly thinking about your startup on the weekends
  • Chatting with a friend/family? Your mind wanders into something about your startup
  • Sometimes 10-12 hour days in front of your computer screen - and always "maximizing" your time
  • Tracking down and fixing the craziest bugs at 1AM
  • Worried about cash, paying rent, or stressed about your next "big deal"
  • Living with your mom at 29 years old
  • Checking your email hundreds of times per day
  • Nobody to vent to / understands what you're going through (and it's not healthy or smart to vent to employees, customers, social media, etc)
  • Nobody to fall back on (you always have to take ownership)
  • Rejection
  • Self-doubt
  • "it's never good enough" / always wanting the next thing
  • Nasty customers & people saying hateful things on the internet

I don't mean to sound negative, it's just the truth. And obviously, it's not always like this. If you want the freedom and fulfillment that comes with being a founder, you will probably have to deal with some of this.

But just like anything these "bad things" actually are good things, because you have to experience them to grow.

"There is no such thing as change without pain, no growth without discomfort." - Mark Manson