My ups and downs as a founder

Emir Selimovic
2 min readDec 22, 2022

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I’ve had the privilege of speaking to countless other founders over the last couple of years, and the majority of them appear to be incredibly passionate and highly committed.

On the other hand, some of them have shared stories of feeling frustrated and suffering from burnout.

So, what does it mean to be a startup founder?

I can only speak for myself, for me the startup journey is like a wild rollercoaster ride. It involves a lot of moments of free fall and only a few short, brief ups before you’re taken on another crazy free fall.

Let’s be honest — as a founder, you will experience more downs than ups. A lot more.

You will face completely unexpected obstacles on a daily basis, especially in the early days when you’re just starting out, and have little experience in the field. You’ll have to deal with tedious paperwork, difficult financial decisions, and plenty of other obstacles — all while trying to stay motivated and passionate. It’s definitely not easy, but the reward of a successful startup makes it worth the effort.

You will suddenly find yourself in a situation where you got to handle sales, marketing, product, engineering, HR and finance — all at once. It can be an incredibly overwhelming experience, with plenty of things that could break or simply not work out. However, amidst the chaos there will be moments of success — these successes, albeit small, are still moments of victory which should be celebrated.

Unfortunately, it is far too easy to overlook these tiny successes on the road. It is natural to focus on the challenges and obstacles more than the successes, leading to a lack of celebration and more frustration. This was a mistake I found myself making far too often — failing to recognize the importance of even the smallest of wins.

I highly suggest taking the time to appreciate the natural ebb and flow of life and its various dynamics. This is something I have been dedicating a great deal of effort and attention to lately.

It is clear that the highs of life can be few and far between, so make sure to take the time to recognize and bask in them when they do arise. At the same time, view the lows and struggles as an opportunity to create more successes and joy in the future.

I am writing articles about starting profitable and scalable businesses, bootstrapping, building high-performing SaaS products with smart business models, and leadership. Follow me for more or have a look at my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts or visit my website.

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Emir Selimovic

CEO of Dotbite. Writing about scalable business models, SaaS products and leadership in bootstrapped companies.