As a female founder, it might be assumed that this title refers to work-life balance. It’s a common topic for women to write and read about. However, that isn’t the point of this blog post at all. The topic I have in mind is the multiple hats that a founder (male or female) needs to wear.
If you’re a founder who’s building a bootstrapped company, odds are likely that you need to work in more than one role at your company. Certainly you’ll have a specific focus, such as I was head of content when I began PeKu Publications. You’ll also have areas in which you need outside help. For me, that was the technical piece. Outside of your primary role and “can’t be done by me” role, there are many other roles to be filled.
While trying to keep the burn low, but build a successful startup, you’ll have many roles to fill and decisions to make. Who will run the social media campaigns? Who will fill your site with content? Who is overseeing finances? Who is reviewing the spec? Depending on your product or service, there most likely are many other work items to consider. Never mind if this is a single person startup, the answer to all of these questions is, “You.”
So, since you don’t have a pile of money to pay others to do these jobs, how do you manage to do it all? I have three pieces of advice. First, and most important, prioritize. Obviously building your product is key. If you don’t have a product, the rest doesn’t matter. Give the bulk of your time to that. Second, create a schedule. Block off set amounts of time every day, week, or month (depending on the task) to work on assorted projects. Keep a checklist or set a reminder, and then do what it tells you, when it tells you to do so. Third, although I shouldn’t have to write this, understand that your days will be long. You want to build a business; it will take much of your time.
As a founder, it is key to understand that although you have one title, you actually will be managing many more roles in your startup. Now how to juggle the rest of your life? Just do a search, and you’ll find infinite articles to assist with that.