The Founder's Guide: 10 vital lessons for founders

Congrats! You are a founder now. We welcome you to the world of entrepreneurship, where dreams collide with reality, and success often feels like catching lightning in a bottle... or a Molotov cocktail, depending on the day.

If you're a founder, you've likely danced on the fine line between genius and madness, and let's face it, you've probably questioned your life choices more times than you'd care to admit. As your welcome gift, we are serving you with 10 lessons we learned working with founders that can make your life easier while you explore the uncharted territories of success, failure, and everything in between.

#1 Mission - the thing that makes everything possible

Crafting a mission statement is like constructing a lighthouse in the stormy seas of business; If you do it right it, it gives you direction and purpose and can sometimes become the only thing that keeps you from spiraling into existential despair when the walls start closing in. Just make sure it's clearer, briefer, and more inspiring than a cat video, because, let’s face it, your sanity depends on it.

#2 Co-founders - arranged marriage for business people

Picking a co-founder is like entering a business-arranged marriage - skip the pleasantries, and instead of awkward small talk and wondering about shared hobbies, you're contemplating who you want to navigate potential financial ruin with. Choose someone who's kind of crazy compliments yours, because in this joint venture, compatibility in chaos might just be the key to success.

#3 Startup life - embrace the chaos of work-life integration

In the world of startups, the traditional 9-to-5 is rare. Instead of setting impossible standards for yourself, embrace work-life integration, acknowledging that from now on, your personal and professional worlds will overlap. Find the joy in the chaos, accept that the lines blur, and find creative ways to integrate your personal and work responsibilities, and success will be your ultimate reward. If your co-founder is like your partner, then your business is like a child, needy and demanding. It may occasionally make you question your life choices, but the journey is worth it in the end.



#4 The art of pivoting - adaptability is a key to success

Be ready to pivot. We often envision business strategy like playing a well-thought-out board game, but in the early days of a startup, it's more like fumbling through a survival game with limited resources and just a few respawn points. If something isn't working, change direction, and avoid the trap of persistently sticking to a failing plan - adaptability is your ultimate cheat code.

#5 Customer feedback - the ultimate hard-to-swallow pills

Embrace customer feedback. It's the bitter truth serum that will either make your product stronger or reveal that it tastes like regret. Listen, adapt, and don't be afraid to pivot (again) based on what your customers actually want – not what you think they should want.

#6 Networking - speed dating for business partnerships 

Network like your life depends on it – because it does. Attend events, meet people, and exchange contacts like you're collecting Pokémon. You never know when that random encounter might evolve into a valuable business partnership.

#7 Ambiguity - the delicate art of decision-making

 Remember, no matter what you do, your decisions will be scrutinized, criticized, and occasionally weaponized against you. Embrace the ambiguity and remember: making the wrong decision is better than making no decision at all. It's like choosing between getting hit by a train or a bus – both hurt, but at least you're moving forward.



The most challenging thing about being a founder of Flaster was raising awareness around moving advertising while simultaneously building the platform and technology. My co-founder and I started this journey during a period of market uncertainty, making substantial investments - essentially, we were placing our bets on our belief in ourselves, our abilities, and success, without the safety net of guaranteed income or financial stability.

— Luka Glavaš, Flaster Co-Founder

#8 Face it - you are never alone

Steering through startup responsibilities can feel like you’re trying to solve a puzzle, but you don’t have a clear picture, and pieces are missing, but also your house is on fire and you're the one-man firefighting crew. But don't let the chaos get to you, because you're not in this alone. You have the entire team helping you —your co-founders and management helping you find the whole picture, finance turning numbers into missing pieces, and POPs skillfully handling the heat. So, when the entrepreneurial puzzle is ablaze, you have your team of expert multitaskers turning the chaos into a triumph.

#9 Meetings - the necessary evil

You'll soon realize that meetings are a black hole for productivity. Try to make them short, sweet and to the point. If you find yourself scheduling a meeting to plan another meeting, you've officially become a corporate paradox. Congratulations, you're now part of the problem.

#10 You will fuck up - rise from the ashes

Mistakes will happen. Yours. Theirs. Everyone's. Learn from them, embrace them, and remember that every crash and burn is just a pit stop on the road to success. Get comfortable with your failures because you'll be rising from the ashes all the time, not with the grandeur and glamour of a phoenix, but with the stubborn determination of a weed pushing through cracked pavement – nothing flashy, just annoyingly persistent. If you haven't made a mistake yet, congratulations, you're either a genius or in denial.

These lessons represent insights drawn from our experiences working with founders. However, if the prospect of remembering all ten lessons feels overwhelming, here's our key takeaway: the founder's path is unpredictable, success is hard-earned, and mistakes are inevitable. Perseverance, above all, is the key to success. 

If you have an idea that can help people, or solve a problem, share it with us by completing the form. We are here, ready to connect and excited to hear your story!