Sohaib is facing the crossroads that many startup founders encounter. At what point do you leave your job and go full-time on your business?
Working full time in his banking job and ‘dedicating every spare hour towards &facts’, means Sohaib is lucky to finish work by 1am. Although these working hours aren’t ideal, or particularly sustainable, Sohaib is motivated to create his own business and ‘no longer feel like just a number’. He has the ambition to build a community where ‘employees feel like they’re part of something big.’
&facts is based on the principle that market analysis is broken. Startups can spend excessive time and money working out key metrics and insights about market size, consumer demand and competition, when they could be investing their time elsewhere. With a launch date set for June, &facts aims to provide startups with the necessary analysis that they need by using experts and AI, to do the complex analytical work for you.
Managing burnout whilst working long hours
Although Sohaib admits to being a ‘major procrastinator’, he won’t push himself when he feels he’s had enough and still ensures he takes time out for himself. Planning and understanding what’s realistic with his restricted time, helps him to avoid becoming burnt out. What helps is regularly asking himself – ‘if this doesn’t happen today, what’s the issue?’.
Hiring an intern early on in the process, through the platform Acadium, has also enabled some of the workload to be pushed over to someone else. Marketing and building up hype and traction for &facts, alongside non-urgent work has now been shifted over to the intern, relieving some of that pressure.
Yena’s role in &fact’s journey
‘Yena has been incredible for me.’ By making use of the community and meetups, Sohaib was connected to the data scientist that he’s working with today to actually turn &facts into a reality. The community has helped with feedback on ideas and ‘there’s reassurance to know that everyone is roughly in the same boat.’ For Sohaib, many people within the community are also ‘potential target customers, so the feedback is super relevant.’
At the start of the year, Sohaib took part in the Yena Startup Challenge. The challenge, which involves 12 emails over 30 days that take you from concept to launch, ‘couldn’t have come at a better time’ for Sohaib as it helped to motivate him to reach lots of his milestones soon after the New Year.
Deciding when to take the leap
‘Everyday I get little bits of validation from potential customers or investors, but when I’m completely sure about the product-market fit, that’s when I’ll take the risk and leave.’ Sohaib now feels like he’s managed to get a lot of validation about &facts so over the next few months he’s focusing on building an MVP to gain further feedback. ‘Investors like to see something tangible and although the concept is popular, I know it’s all about the execution.’
Sohaib knows his startup will at some point become his full-time job and that ‘it’ll be an interesting journey for sure.’ Having friends who’ve recently gone through the transition of changing from a main job to their startup business means ‘the temptation to join them is major’. For now however, Sohaib is ‘sticking it out’ to ultimately ‘gain more income to reinvest into &facts’.
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Written by Olivia Brooks