It is the dream of each person to start a business that goes on to become successful. There is of course a lot of work to put in especially during the initial stages. As a founder, it can be hard to find enough time to recharge and start again.
This is why so many folks are dealing with burnout as they try to take their new companies to the next level. Well, it seems though that many founders have been finding ways to cope with this. One idea we have heard several times is the concept of “replacing yourself.”
The idea argues that when founders try too hard to micromanage everything and hold onto their business, they run the risk of burning out quite fast. But when you let go, delegate roles, and simply take a back step in the day-to-day running of the business, then chances are you are likely to enjoy your time as a start-up founder.
This is exactly the kind of approach that creator Dave Nemetz seems to be taking. Nemetz is the co-founder of the Bleacher Report and another company called Inverse. He was kind enough to share some of his insights on how to avoid burnout as a founder and even though it has been hard at first, it seems he has managed to do it. Nemetz remembers the first days after launching the Bleacher Report.
Shortly after they had managed to raise money in their second round of funding, Nemetz found himself doing everything at Bleacher. Even though he was not the only founder, there seemed to be a lot of responsibility falling under him and everyone else at the company.
He even recalls an argument he had with his colleagues about taking a long-planned holiday to Europe. But it was not possible to do it because of the work. There was always this fear that taking a break would slow down the momentum the company had built.
But Nemetz pushed on arguing that he needed that break, in fact, he even stayed home for 10 days in protest. But it soon dawned on him that Bleacher Report was not just any other organization and eventually, the start-up had grown so fast it was no longer dependent on the input of the founders. This is when the team started to bring in key people to help run the business.
Slowly, the founders started to edge out, freeing up some time to focus on their creativity. In the end, the founders of the Bleacher Report had managed to replace themselves and they found that this had a profound positive effect on their mental health and the success of their company.
This has been the rallying call for Nemetz. He urges all founders who are feeling burned out to start letting go a bit. Although it can feel scary letting another person run your start-up, as long as you bring in the right people, it is something quite doable. Eventually, this will be perfect for your mental health and creativity.