Never in my wildest fantasies did I think I’d be playing lawyer at 3.30AM on a Saturday night. Yet that’s exactly what I was doing. There I sat, on the living room floor. Leaning against the couch. Laptop perched on my lap. Half the screen occupied by Google, the other half occupied by my duct-tape legal document.
I had no idea what I was doing. The goal was to get the contract done, dusted, and sent by the following morning. But four hours in, I still wasn’t close to being done. Things were looking grim. After a few more hours of grueling battle, I called it quits. Not like I had a choice — I could barely sit up straight. Early the next morning, I got cracking again.
That contract sucked the life out of me. The negotiation and closing? That was fine. But the paperwork? Soul crushing. It took longer than the actual pitch, for goodness sake. Yet I gave it everything I had since I thought it’d change everything.
In a small company, things can move quickly. Ours isn’t even a fancy startup. We’re just a bootstrapped software and web development agency. We make apps and websites. Nothing groundbreaking. And yet one day, you’re scraping together $200 to book an AirBnB with decent WiFi to host a webinar for ten people, and the next day, you’re closing a five-figure software development contract. You always have to be on the lookout for opportunities that disproportionately move the needle. And this contract was one of them.
But big contracts come with big responsibilities. And responsibilities take time. I already work 11–14 hours per day, 7 days a week. There’s not much more I can do. So we needed to delegate. We needed more manpower. And that led me to the most surprising lesson I got on entrepreneurship: Collaboration is a necessity.
You can’t get very far on your own. Fast? Sure. Far? Tricky. Even if you pull a heavy load, which is often the case for me, you still need the other lighters loads to be pulled. It’s very rare for a solo entrepreneur to make seven figures a year on their own. But a team of 5–10? Far more realistic. And for me, seven figures is just the beginning. So I need to look beyond myself. I need to focus on the team.
Realizing this, I started collaborating. First, a sales lead. Then, our first engineer got on board in a week. Shortly after, a designer followed. And once different minds joined the discussion, I realized something fascinating: Business is way more fun when you have other people on board. Sharing a vision. Counting on each other. Honing talents. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. Sure, it has its ups and downs — usually, way more downs. But there’s no place I’d rather be.