Cure for the startup blues?


I'm a solo founder bootstrapping my startup for the last 1-2 months and feel completely burnt out. I work 10+ hours each day since my capital is limited to get the business off the ground.

What do you guys do when you're burnt out and have the startup blues?

Ps. I now see the value of having a co-founder. I can see how it would be easier to do this with someone else in the picture as well.

Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship Startups

asked Mar 29 '14 at 21:40
Janet Peterson
17 points

3 Answers


Take a break from work to read blogs, check your twitter feed, and make yourself a good meal. Don't continue working when you eat, take a break to enjoy food. Go outside for 20-30 min walks to organize your thoughts and relax.

Come up with a "reward" routine for working, be it a glass of wine or beer towards the end of the day, dinner out or indulge in whatever hobby you have.

Look for sources of motivation and inspiration that made you consider starting your own venture. People are motivated by different things, so it's hard to give a general advice that would just work.

I wouldn't recommend weekends of unplugging completely, because you might have a hard time going back to your work and could loose momentum, but you need to shorten your work days and balance out work with some relaxing time.

Find someone to give progress updates on - a friend, SO, family member, anyone who is interested and would get excited for you and your small accomplishments. Describing your work to others could help you think through some things as an outsider, which could be very helpful. For example, you think you tagline/slogan/1-liner is great, but people might not get it or find a second meaning in it you haven't thought of (before you have it on your business card).

Lastly, good co-founders are great, bad co-founders are a disaster, so it's all in the quality of the partner and your relationship with them. They might share your workload, but not help with enthusiasm and motivation or even rely on you to inspire them.

answered Mar 31 '14 at 00:43
2,835 points
  • +1 for finding someone to give progress updates on. Being able to see progress is one of the most motivating things, and when you're digging in the trenches you can't always see how far you've made it. – Jay Neely 6 years ago

When was the last time you listened to music?

A few days ago I felt incredibly burnt out. I guess you can call it the startup blues.
I realized it's been about a month since I last put on a record I like, which was something I used to do daily not so long ago.
It's kind of easy to forget these things when you're working 10+ hours a day. Find the time to do the things that you like. Even from a business perspective, working too hard is not a good idea.

Have a beer and put on a record, or whatever floats your boat.
answered Mar 30 '14 at 00:17
100 points


Make these two things a regular routine (not just when you're burnt out):

  • Exercise daily
  • Take a weekend off where you don't open your computer, don't check email, don't text.
answered Mar 30 '14 at 00:18
Richard Poole
189 points

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