What I learned about procrastination while scaling my startup to 4.2 million users
That’s how I felt.
Tucked beneath what may have been the world’s softest blanket.
I took a deep breath and rolled onto my side. It was a familiar moment — the moment when my 6 a.m. alarm clock sounded, after a night of tossing and turning.
The moment when my daily responsibilities had yet to beckon me. The moment when the clouds of my imagination felt more real than writing lines of code.
In a few minutes, I would answer the same question I had faced every weekday for the past year:
Should I stay in bed or should I work on my side business?
At the time, I was working as a programmer for an NYC media company.
Balancing a full-time job with the responsibilities of scaling my startup, JotForm, taught me a lot about myself.
Among other things, I learned that I was somewhat risk-averse.
The typical path of raising venture capital wasn’t appealing to me. Additionally, as someone who highly values personal freedom, I didn’t want to make myself beholden to anyone.
This meant two things:
- I had to prioritize profitability from day one.
- In order to experience consistent gains, I had to consistently beat my arch-nemesis: procrastination.
My biggest realization? The reasons we avoid completing a task, in any given moment, are extremely personal. And commonly touted “productivity hacks” don’t always cut it.
I want to share my experience of overcoming procrastination while scaling a side project into a company that now employs more than 130 people.
But before diving in, it might be interesting to take a look at how two types of founders handle procrastination: VC-backed founders vs bootstrappers who build their startups without any outside funding.