All I want for christmas is a sustainable startup

Dear Santa, all I want for christmas this year is a sustainable startup

So Christmas has come around again which brings along with it the thoughts of a new year. I’ve worked very hard on my ticket selling app but there’s still a ton of work to do on it to get it to where I want it to be. There’s this drive in me that says Christmas would be a good period to sit down for a few days and knock out some code to help it along the way. But what does that mean for the family?

I’ve tried so hard on my startup this year, sacrificing time with friends, family and my girlfriend. What have I really gained in the process? Only a business that still isn’t close to where I want or need it to be. After doing some reflection these last few weeks on how the year has gone and what I need to do better at next year I’ve realised a couple of key things.

1) A business is hard work. No shit sherlock! But the mistake I’ve made is I’ve committed to something that I have to put more resources into than I have. In the same way you wouldn’t go to a car dealer and buy a Porsche when your bank balance can only afford a Ford Focus, so to you shouldn’t buy into a business that your limited resources won’t stretch to.

The main resources for a business is money and time. I would argue that time is the most important of both of these resources since with just money alone you can achieve nothing, but given enough time you can achieve almost anything. To build a startup takes a lot of time. So if you are like me and you are running a startup that takes more time than you physically have to give, you are in trouble from the start.

2) The time that you give should not be at the expense of family and friends. Family and friends are important not just because they are the only ones that will be there for you when you need them but because for your own well being they are necessary to take much needed breaks and keep you feeling good about yourself.

What will this mean for my business going forward? If my business is going to grow, it will have to be at a sustainable pace. I will only commit resources I have to it. If that means only 10 hours a week then so be it. Slow progress is better than going at a fast pace than crashing and burning.