If I were to go back in time these are some of the things I wish I knew before becoming a founder.
- It's worth 2 full-time jobs
- Work together before you venture into startups
- Scale > Growth
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It's worth 2 full-time jobs
Yes, you're organized and disciplined enough to keep your schedule, but being a founder means doing whatever is necessary to progress your company forward.
It is a fact that not everything you will do is within the ballpark of your capacity.
Most of the things you will do are out of your comfort zone and will demand growth from you more than you can ever imagine.
The first full-time job is for running the company.
The second full-time job is for learning and growing into someone who can progress the company.
Yes, you can find Co-Founders to help alleviate your weaknesses, but there's still an insurmountable amount of things you should learn to progress the company forward.
Work together before you venture into startups
Before you incorporate your company make sure you work with them in finding an optimal business model.
This will allow you to learn more about your founders and help you make decisions if they are a perfect fit with your work ethic and core values.
Because an optimal team will reduce the amount of friction you have to untangle to get things done.
While I am lucky to have great people around me, it's not always the case for everyone so it's important to have a vetting process.
So in order to create an optimal team to build your vision, spend time working with them first.
Scale > Growth
First, what are Scale and Growth?
I like to think of Scale and Growth in terms of revenue and expense.
Growth is when your revenue improves just as much as your expenses get worse essentially having an almost 1:1 relationship.
It means in order to increase sales a great deal of increase in operations, manpower, resources, etc. is required.
Examples of Growth:
- Restaurants - in order to generate more revenue one must open more branches and increase resources. You'd have to hire an entire kitchen and staff again.
- Agency - in order to generate more revenue one must add more manpower to increase throughput. This is usually adding more engineers.
Scale on the other hand is when revenue is able to improve barely with expenses getting worse having an exponential relationship.
It means in order to increase sales a minimal increase in operations, manpower, resources, etc. is required.
Examples of Scale:
- Product - in order to scale operations you just have to open new servers in different places barely adding any extra manpower.
Why Scale > Growth?
Time is our true finite asset. It can never be taken back.
With Growth, increasing your revenue means increasing resources.
With increasing resources comes increasing complexity.
With increasing complexity comes an increased time commitment.
With Scale, increasing your revenue doesn't require as much increase in complexity and time commitment as Growth.
Hence if you were to reach for the stars while also being mindful of your most finite asset, time, you would go for Scale.