I began my journey as an entrepreneur in 2015 as a ‘one-man-army’. The first 3 months were so busy and exciting that it didn’t seem like a problem to be on my own. I even got two offers from people who wanted to be co-founders of the company. However, due to a combination of them not being completely dedicated, and me not wanting to give away equity for free, Let Leg remained a ‘one-man-army’.
What is Let Leg?
Let Leg helps schools prepare and initiate fun and educational activities through our solution which consists of games and all the equipment you need to initiate the activity. Imagine you are a substitute teacher, teacher or pedagogue and you want to spice up your teaching with a fun and educational activity, which the children love. Then just grab a game from our ‘game book’, the activities from the box related to the specific game, and you are ready to go. All activities can be prepared in only one minute.
Why is the ‘one-man-army’ a problem?
So does this mean that you can’t start a company by yourself? No – it’s definitely possible, but you are probably going to face some of these challenges if not all:
#1 Workload is huge and you can’t be an expert in all business aspects, meaning you need help. Can you afford to pay an employee? Well, I couldn’t. Will people work for free? Maybe your friends in the beginning, but not for long. Therefore, many start-ups hire an intern, which can be a good idea, but remember that each time you get an intern you are facing an onboarding period for at least a month – and maybe they are only there for 9 weeks, which makes half of their employment onboarding. My solution until the company could afford to pay a salary, was an intern. It worked okay but I was still depending on my amazing friends and family, who liked the project and helped me a lot. Most people want to help entrepreneurs – but still – it is by far as productive as a co-founder.
#2 Hard times are even harder alone. Being an entrepreneur is a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs. The victories are even more fun when you celebrate them with others and the defeats are even harder when you deal with them alone. My solution was getting an office with friends that founded other start-ups. It helped a lot, but I would still prefer a co-founder.
#3 The survival of the company is 100% depending on you. After some time, you might be able to pay a salary and get more regular employees, but commitment is still an issue. No employee will ever be as committed as you are – maybe they will do stuff in the interest of the company for free, but that has limits. In addition, if you want to go traveling or for some other reason can’t work for some time, the company is likely to stand almost still. Being a single founder you have ALL the knowledge and as you leave the company – so will the knowledge. My solution was that I spend almost a year onboarding long-term team members. These team members have the possibility to earn shares in the company, which is both motivating for them, but also making the company stronger.
So what’s the point here?
Become an entrepreneur! It’s the best job I have ever had and I don’t even get paid yet. But you have to like solving problems – start-ups face problems all the time and as the founder you have to take action on all of them. That action – and everything else in entrepreneurship – is way more fun, if you are more than one in the founding team. The opposing side to this attitude will say that decisions are easier when you are alone, and they are right – I know from experience. However, I still prefer being a part of a great team like Let Leg has today instead of being a ‘one-man-army’.
Read more about Let Leg at letleg.dk