My Entrepreneurial Journey - Episode 2

Spinning Plates


For a few weeks I'm unemployed now and starting to build my own SaaS project. A very obvious change to my job last year is that I'm alone now and not solely responsible for coding anymore. Here some thoughts on what I think you should focus on and how to organize and juggle it all.

As a Solopreneur you are all departments in one person. You have to care about planning and building the product, administrative things, marketing/sales and many more. All these things in the end are very important for the overall success of your mission. As I really just get started with everything it's not yet a huge issue but of course I can already feel the change, that you really have to care about everything yourself.

Btw. the thing that I am building is a web crawling and scraping service. There is already a page where you can sign up to get a beta invite as soon as it's ready. It will allow you to rapidly configure crawlers to fetch you the data you want to automatically aggregate from web sources.

Back to the topic. An important question is and will be, what things to focus on and how to handle getting done multiple different jobs. Here's my current opinion on this:

Always focus on customer contact

No matter what, always seek contact to (potential) customers and react fast when someone contacts you. Even if you don't have a product yet, you can and should talk to potential customers and find out what they really need you to solve. Try to build up good relationships. Even if it's about a SaaS service that customers use completely on their own. In the early stage it's important that you find out what you need to solve, and therefore I think you should really foster contacts to early (potential) customers. And as relationships need to grow I think you can't start too early with this.

I must admit that I am kind of the shy/introvert developer guy, so this is one thing that I don't enjoy too much. But I keep reminding myself that it is important, and I hope by doing it often I will get used to it.

Do it all

As mentioned I believe that many things are important for the overall success in the end. I'd say besides the customer relations, building the (best possible) product should of course also be a top priority. But there are also administrative things that you just have to take care of and most probably other things that might be very important. So that means you just have to work very hard. And maybe also outsource things that can be outsourced, to some virtual assistant like Tim Ferriss recommends in "The 4-Hour Work Week", if you have some money left for that. But still, you need to get done a lot, and I think you could pursue different strategies there:

  • Hyperfocus for longer time periods, let's say for example a whole week, on one thing.
  • Switch more often between different kinds of tasks. Tackle multiple different things in a day.

As I mentioned before that I believe you should always seek customer contact it's pretty obvious that I believe the second option should be preferred. You can set a focus how much time you dedicate to which thing, but I think you should not suspend one thing for too long.

Spinning plates

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Recently this analogy turned up in my head: I think starting a business alone is like spinning plates on sticks. You need to get one plate after another spinning and then keep them spinning. Maybe the plates have different sizes and one is way bigger, then you need more focus on this one to keep it spinning. And when you keep doing this for a while people might be impressed and give you some money and at some point you can hopefully hire other people to keep the plates spinning 😅.

I just watched this Video and seeing that, I thought even more it's a great analogy. He slowly gets more and more plates spinning while always keeping contact to, and entertaining his audience (customers). He also struggles sometimes and plates fall down, and he has to get it spinning again. But he's experienced and knows that throwbacks are normal but there's no need to give up because of that. And he keeps on grinding until finally all the plates are spinning at the same time. And then he just takes all the plates down again 😅 but maybe that's just his exit. I bet he had that exit strategy from the very beginning 😜.

Taking that analogy further, companies can grow on to have hundreds or thousands of employees. Would be a cool picture to see hundreds of people spinning plates together! 😅


Finally, I need to mention that I don't want to say you should just spontaneously switch from task to task, but of course organize and schedule. Plan your days based on which plates are beginning to spin slower, but plan them. Plates can fall down unexpectedly, then get it spinning again immediately after the plate you're currently spinning.