My Top 5 Priorities as a Startup Founder

"There's just so much to do! I have no idea where to focus my time." I was on the phone with my brother on Sunday night, talking about priorities - where I should spend my time and where I should cut my losses. As a co-founder of a small software start-up, my time gets split one million different ways:

  • Product management
  • Pivotal Tracker re-organization
  • Customer development
  • Content marketing
  • Talking with customers
  • Converting visitors to customers
  • On-boarding
  • Help section
  • Fundraising
  • Accounting
  • Talking with my co-founder
  • Creating partnerships

And the list goes on. You know it's longer and so do I. But, at some point, I'll get overwhelmed  by the shear magnitude of my to-do list. Part of me is frightened that I already know what I'm doing tomorrow from 5am - 9pm. Everything is planned out by the half hour. Sure, I agree with you - it's a little crazy.

It helps with planning.

It helps to know what I'm working on. That way I don't feel like I'm being stretched in twenty different directions. If I am, I typically drop everything, go for a run, return to a hot shower, and simply pick something off my to-do list. My head is clear which means I'm able to execute.

So what am I choosing to focus on?

1. Talking to customers

2. Improving monthly new accounts metric

3. Content marketing

4. On-boarding experience

5. Product Roadmap

If something doesn't fall under one of these five categories, it gets pushed off the to-do list and into the icebox ( you like that nice little SCRUM term, don't you?). The icebox is where I keep all of my ideas - especially the wacky ones my co-founder loves to hear me talk about).

It doesn't matter if you're selling ice to eskimos, skirts to tennis players, or software to 83 year-old Grandmothers, you should be focused on these 5 priorities. Anything else and you'll get distracted. When you get distracted Facebook and Hootsuite tend to open.

Don't let it happen to you. Are you focusing on something different for your start-up? Get the conversation started below...