Building a company on your own is hard
I like working alone. I'm used to working through a full stack of technologies and taking customers from their first idea, through suddenly changing requirements to releasing a product eight months later. I'm used to bad API endpoints beyond my control and changing technologies as requirements change. I don't expect projects to work perfectly.
During my day job I also get a lot of support from designers and people taking care of customers with me. People taking care of quotes and billing and such. I probably couldn't do it all on my own. Not given the amount of customers.
Working in a team of one works quite differently — as I'm learning.
Building alone means moving faster
When working on my own, I feel like I can just focus on what's right in front of me. No need to verify that requirements were understood correctly. No time wasted communicating timelines. No need to keep people in the loop about progress. No need to rely on people to do work that I might need to proceed. It just feels like I get things done.
Building alone means keeping your ego at the door
When building alone you have to rely on what you're good at. It also means, you have to know your limits. Working a regular job, you're rarely in a situation you've never encountered before. Your boss will also avoid putting you in that position, as utilizing your strenghts is what's most beneficial for the company. Not having a boss do that for you, means you have to keep your ego in check and decide when things are better delegated to others. Living in Germany, for me that means not taking care of taxes all by myself.
Building alone means you are the company
In a regular job, when somebody calls in sick, their colleagues are there to fill the gap. Emergency call from home? No big deal. Stressful situation with your landlord? No big deal.
Being alone though means you have to fill the gap. You have to compensate for time lost, dealing with your landlord. What's worse though, you might feel guilty about not putting the time into your business. Only you are responsible for virtually anything that happens during your "work time" as well as outside of it.
Building alone means fun
If you enjoy learning and trying new things, building a company alone is a great thing to do. There are tons of situations that you've probably never encountered before and decisions to be made. Not everything works the first time and you will mess up some situations. That's part of the journey I guess. It is certainly not always easy but if you enjoy a challenge, building a company all by yourself will be a lot of fun.
Building alone means different priorities
Compared to a regular job, you have to take a step back and not only focus on your area of expertise. You cannot solely focus on the problems in one area of your business but instead have to keep track of the different parts and focus on each as needed. At the same time I think caring about the details in each area is key, which makes it even harder to decide what to focus on and how much time to spend.
All of the above are things I'm currently experiencing. I didn't see all of that coming and not everything is fun. It's hard to stay motivated at times. However I still think the good parts outweigh the bad parts and with enough patience, most of those bad things will look easy two years from now.← back home