Image courtesy of Pawel-Czerwinski
Starting out alone can be daunting and at times, lonely. You don't have anyone to bounce ideas off, celebrate with or to make a consoling cup of tea (G&T) when you have had a bad day. But there are advantages to being a solo founder, especially when you first start out:
1) Self-direction - founding a new venture needs clarity of vision and focus. As a solo founder, you can bring a single-minded drive to get it up and running on your terms and at speed. There can be a danger with co-founders that your ambition for the business isn't aligned and with that comes frustration, procrastination and delays.
2) Self-belief - with no one else around to make the calls or confer with, you are forced to dig deep and trust your judgement. As uncomfortable and vulnerable as this feels in the beginning, you develop a stronger sense of self-belief and confidence in your capabilities when things go right and in your resilience when things go wrong. Both essential qualities for making a long term success of your business.
3) Self-awareness - when you have to cover all aspects of running a business, you soon begin to identify what areas you are good at and enjoy doing and the areas that you struggle with and need support. This is invaluable insight and can be hard to assess when in a co-founding team. A number of the featured next act solo founders talked about how they discovered strengths they didn't know they had and how self-knowledge of their best-working styles and patterns had improved.
So don't let the fact that you don't have a business partner prevent you from doing your thing. There are advantages in striking out on your own, and you'll soon discover hidden talents and qualities that may even surprise you.
If and when the time comes to consider a co-founder, you can make the decision confidently, with full knowledge of your abilities and what complementary skill sets and contribution you might need from a business partner.
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