SaaS Founders: Take A Freaking Break!

One of the best things about SaaS businesses is that they don’t require us to be glued to our work 24/7. Unless a customer has a support request, or there’s a bug in your software, virtually every problem can wait to be solved. Honestly, even support requests can wait, if your product isn’t mission-critical.

It’s a bit hypocritical for me of all people to sit here and write an article telling you to take a break. After all, a major personality trait of mine for years was that I was “always on the grind” and took “no days off.” But something happened recently that made re-evaluate it all.

Long story short: I got tired. Really tired. This was beyond burnout – it was more like getting burnt out from burning out. In my solo entrepreneurship journey so far this year, I’ve gone through many periods where after not getting the results I expect, I get anxious, lose motivation, and ultimately crash. This time, my body had enough, and it made sure I knew.

A big part of why I felt a constant urge to work 24/7 in my business, and probably the same reason you feel this way, is because I felt like if I took my foot off the gas for even a second, no progress would be made. While this is true, it’s actually just a symptom of a larger problem – a business where everything relies on you.

I’m now a firm believer that the main goal of a business should be for its founder to do as little work as humanly possible. Of course, it takes work to get to the point where you can afford to have others do the work, but this principle will guide you towards which decisions to make, and when.

For example, I need as much time as possible to invest in marketing my business, so I’ve decided to limit my time spent coding as much as possible, until I can afford to have someone else write the code on a regular basis. This means no feature requests, no refactoring, and certainly no rewrites. At this point, I only code when:

  • When a bug is preventing users from getting value out of the app
  • When writing new code would help with marketing. For example, I have to rework my app’s onboarding to get a Built for Shopify Badge and get a Shopify App Store ranking boost.
  • When writing new code is necessary to increase profits. For example, I want to run a pricing test soon, and to do this, I need to hard code in some new pricing plans.

But most importantly, the main reason you should try to reduce your workload is that if you don’t give yourself adequate time for rest and self-care, you’ll be hindering your own ability to succeed. Trust me, no matter what fire you feel you have to put out this instant is, it can probably wait. Go take a nap.