In a recent tweet, I mentioned that each month when I prepare and send out our investor update for elevio it's then that I step back and notice the wins that we’ve had for the month.
Actually enjoy creating and sending out our monthly investor update, forces me to step back and look at all the wins for the month— Chris Duell - elevio (@duellsy) September 1, 2017
As a founder of an early stage startup, I tend to spread myself thin working on whatever is needed or most important at any one time. For the same reason, I feel I never have the opportunity to be great at one thing since I can never run deep into anything. Net result, imposter syndrome and mind games that can slowly but surely eat away.
If put on the spot and asked “what have you done / learned in the past 12 months” I would have struggled to immediately list some set of insightful aha moments and turning points that have had a huge influence on either myself, or the company we’re building.
As a startup founder, working on whatever’s needed means the perceived progress in any one area can be slow. But step back, and the cloud of the daily push starts to lift.
It’s like when your body changes over time, you don’t notice the incremental changes as they’re happening. But compare yourself to a photo 12 months ago, and the change is obvious.
Given time to step away and reflect on what’s happened recently, it’s easier to see the progress we've had at elevio:
- We’ve grown the team from 2 to 11
- We successfully raised a seed round of investment
- We’ve tripled our monthly revenue
- We’re releasing updates and features on par or better than billion dollar companies
- We’ve found a greater calling, or reason for existing
- We’re landing Fortune 500 companies as customers
- We’re better at saying no
- We’re learning that there’s a lot more we don’t know
For this reason (as much as for my own confidence and affirmation that things are progressing, as well as sharing my journey for those who might be at an earlier stage than us and looking for guidance or confirmation) I’ll be aiming to periodically post my thoughts on life as a founder, and my learnings along our journey to date.
It’s a hard slog, celebrate the wins.
(Side note: Every post on this site older than this one is from 3+ years ago, from a past life as a developer. I'll keep most of it for posterity, but the game has changed, there'll be no more dev related content, just content relating to running a startup)