Self Development August 25, 2020

Realizing that you are the end of line

Mark Mossberg @offlinemark

This was perhaps the most important lesson I learned from being a solo founder.

As the founder and CEO of a small business, you are the end of the line. There is no one else to think for you, or hold your hand. There's no safety net.

If there's some critical action that is necessary for your business to survive, and you didn't think of it.. then that's too bad. No one else is going to think of that and let you know (for free).

Looking back, I feel great empathy for my previous bosses who founded the small companies I worked for. I had a shallow understanding of what it must be like, but I never truly grasped the burden of being the end of the line.

Have you ever felt like this?

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    I use to want to be free from the tyranny of employment.

    After a while of running a business I wanted to be free from the tyranny of employees.

    And now I'm quite happy just getting on day to day with the 'community building' tasks at hand. (With a bit of independent side gigs on the side, of course!) 😊

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      Rosie, could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by "tyranny of employees"? I suspect many Indiehackers think that growing a business to the point of being able to hire employees is a sign of success, but it would seem you discovered that wasn't what you wanted.

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        Sure, it's a sign of success, but hiring people is often a burden too, comes with stress, many let downs and often expensive if it doesn't work out.

        I was much better off financially without employees. 🤷🏽‍♀️

        Sure it can be for some people, but not for me.

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          Makes sense - thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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        Having employees is a whole different ball game. A lot of people (myself included) are mainly 'technicians' who like to build or do things, and when you have employees, then you have to step into a manager role, which is actually very different and alien to most.

        I admit I am not a very good manager. When things are running smoothly, it is all good, but when they don't, it can be stressful. Things like conflict resolution, having 'that talk' with tardy or non performing employees etc. are really tough. I am so glad I have a co-founder that can handle that sort of thing now, and leave me to be creative on my startup.

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          Thanks for the reply. I'm curious to know what other people feel about this. I don't have employees, and I'm perfectly comfortable in a manager role, but I have a lot of trepidation for a few reasons. First, I've managed some amazing people and some really poor performers. Great employees make everything so much better. But mediocre employees can make everything really awful. Problem is I've never been able to figure out how to tell whether a candidate will be good or bad until hiring them. Second, one of the reasons why I started my own business was independence. I want to be able to set my own hours, and maybe even take weeks off if I don't feel like working. But if I have employees, I wouldn't want them to do that, I'd want them working 40 hour weeks – and that feels kinda hypocritical. Anyways, I'm a long ways off from being able to hire, I was just curious for different points of view.

    2. 1

      Funny how it goes back and forth!

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