Aaron Stannard has written an interesting and very candid post about his recent experience of doing what many developers dream of: taking an unpaid, month-long leave of absence from his regular job to try and create his own web-based startup company. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well — Stannard had a grueling month, filled with 16-hour days and sleepless nights, lots of code writing and re-writing, and ultimately failed to launch his company. But it wasn’t due a lack of planning or focus; rather, Stannard believes that it’s because he took the idea of “going it alone” too literally. He tried doing everything himself, keeping himself locked up in his house, not getting any input from friends and colleagues.
Stannard’s tip that “being independent is not the same as being alone,” to not isolate yourself from valuable connections and contacts while trying to establish your company — whether a web app startup or any other business — is a very valuable one, gained through hard-earned experience. While it’s probably true that the only way to really learn how to become a successful entrepreneur is to actually do it yourself, sharing experiences like this can help others to avoid making expensive mistakes. So, as many of our readers have also gone down this road, I thought it would be useful to have an open thread on the topic. Please share your hard-earned lessons from starting your own businesses below.