Getting Through Founder Overwhelm by Doing Your Best on Your Next Thing

It can be overwhelming for SaaS founders to deal with so many different and complicated things every day. Some entrepreneurs run out of energy and get stuck on their startup journeys.

And the mental list of questions, tasks, and goals expands as your company grows. It doesn’t let up.

How do successful founders make progress despite this? I hear the same messages over and over.

Practical founder 🔦Justin Hewett described how he does it on the Practical Founders Podcast this week.

His company, Flashlight Learning, is growing fast and it’s messy, but it hasn’t stopped making progress every month. He and his team are getting a lot done.

Flashlight Learning helps K-12 teachers in the US to quickly assess the speaking and writing progress of multilingual students learning English. Their software captures data for teachers to provide students with improved feedback to accelerate language development.

Flashlight Learning’s revenue grew 300% to $4 million in 2023, with a growing team and an outsourced development partner.

I know Justin well and have seen him manage challenge after challenge and keep moving forward quickly.

Here’s how Justin describes his approach to growing fast and achieving big goals:

“As a startup founder with so many ideas, questions, and things to do, you simply need to ‘Do The Next Thing’ to make the most progress.

“Break it down and take that next step. We can get overwhelmed by how difficult it is to go build a company.

“Start with something. Can you figure out a product? Can you go find somebody who has a problem that you can solve? And if you find that problem, can you find 10 more people who have the same problem? And then you can start engineering a solution?

“Our company started with us drawing on 8.5” by 11” pieces of paper: drawing out what we wanted the experience to be. And then I took photos of that and put them into Google Slides to show to a developer. That’s how it started.

“You have to have big goals to work towards, but you really need to break them down and then Do Your Best on the Next Thing.”

Do your best on the next thing.

That’s harder than it looks, but it’s the only way out of the overwhelming explosion of tasks and possibilities that founders face when they start.

Justin raised some practical angel funding to get started and move quickly, but they expect to be profitable this year with continued growth.

Listen to this podcast interview here on the Practical Founders Podcast.


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