I recently learned the word akrasia. It means acting against your better judgment due to weakness of will… when you know what you should be doing, but you aren't doing it.
It struck me as the perfect word to describe what many of us do as founders, especially solo founders.
When we no longer have bosses, coworkers, or concrete deadlines that other people are depending on, the only thing to keep us honest and responsible is sheer willpower. And human willpower isn't really that strong in most situations.
So it's easy to put off things that seem boring, hard, uncomfortable, or scary, even if we know that some of those things are exactly what we most need to be doing. Because when the time comes to do those things, our willpower fails and we choose to do other things instead.
If you know you should be doing X, but you're not doing X, that's akrasia. If you know you should be spending 50% of your time on marketing, but you're only scheduling 10% of your time on marketing, you're acting akratically.
Yes, startups are hard, but often the hardest part is simply overcoming our own akrasia. It's overcoming the part of ourselves that knows what to do, but day after day chooses not to do it.
Some tips I've come across for beating akrasia:
What, if anything, are you being akratic about with your business?