Challenges of being a Solopreneur – Dancing in the Dark?

Startup Resources

Challenges of being a Solopreneur – Dancing in the Dark?

Did you know that it takes 2.09 founders to make it big? While you cannot figure out .09 part, the important part is that it takes two to tango and being solopreneur ain’t so easy.

Let me share some of the challenges that solopreneur faces:

Idea Feedback/Validation

Product X vs Y? Feature X vs Feature Y? In general, these questions are quite hazy in nature and what one needs is brainstorming with somebody who has an equal stake in the success/failure of the venture.

One can always ask friends, but they hardly care about the service as much as you do. They don’t live that day-in-day-out and will not have the same commitment to the final decision as much as yours.

Also, when going gets tough, you typically will have two options – expand (to different product lines) or narrow down (to one offering).

In such circumstances, solopreneur faces a tough time, as there are no other valid perspectives to see/discuss at the table.

Support (or the lack of it)

Some days are diamond and some days are stone. You actually need somebody to share the difficult moments as well as an exciting moment.

Many of the solopreneurs I know have resorted to ‘house arrest’, when things went wrong with their startup. There is a societal pressure of answering ‘how are things’ and add to that, if you are the only who is going to answer that, you surely are in a deep shit.

Managing Bandwidth

You have tons of things to do – right from selling to hiring to building the product and at the end of the day, buck stops at you.

I am not saying employees do not count – but it is still about responsibility of saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Things that have worked with Solopreneurs

You don’t want to get into a bad marriage just because you have to marry! The last thing you want to do is ‘hire’ a cofounder [I have seen many job requirements that says

‘Hiring cofounder. You must be a great tech guy and know PHP etc etc’

If the guy doesn’t matches your vision. you are bound to split.

In fact, contrary to what others might say that single founder probably means the founder couldn’t talk any of his friends into starting the company with him, solopreneurship is the best way to move forward rather than sitting on an idea and waiting for the partners.

One of the solopreneurs I know promoted an early joinee as cofounder. And that was purely because the person was living the company business day in day out, had similar vision and brought a completely different skill set to the table.

At the end of the day, what matters is founders’ maturity level [the reason YCombinator doesn’t take single founder company is because they mostly take college kids who aren’t matured enough to handle complexities of life] and motivation to conquer the stars – none of that is easy and attempting to ‘be there’ makes entrepreneurship fun!

Cofounder or no-cofounder is just a  matter of happenstance. It’s always good to get the stuff going than waiting for the right person to join you.

You sit around getting older there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders come baby this laughs on me
Stay on the streets of this town and they’ll be carving you up alright
They say you got to stay hungry hey baby I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write
this book – Dancing in the dark, Bruce Springsteen

If you are a solopreneur and wish to share your insights, do email us [ashish at]

Next – How Solepreneurs can maximize their single status

Leave your thought here