After 10 years as a startup founder, Nick Shewring is looking for a new job.
The 39-year-old co-founder of co-working business BizDojo has had to make some admittedly tough decisions since he moved to Australia from New Zealand earlier this year.
His latest venture, a cafe micro-working platform called ClustrCo, was placed on pause yesterday after struggling to secure funding.
In response, he’s opened up about what it takes to get a business off the ground, and the difficult decisions founders sometimes need to make.
“I recognised a really good opportunity with ClustrCo to help people with loneliness and isolation, but I underestimated the sheer quantum of funding and time required to get it up,” he tells SmartCompany.
“With any business, you’ll run months with no income, you’re going to be living on noodles — where you can you might celebrate with some McDonald’s.
“But it puts a tremendous amount of stress on a family,” he says.
Shewring says he’s had positive conversations with investors and has managed to prove his concept with some initial customers, but starting a business is often catch-22.
“You’re willing an idea into existence, trying to do all the right things, meeting investors, clients, pitching … but you have to face reality, it’s likely I won’t close money for six months,” he explains.
“If I don’t close funding with 60 days then there are some really hard conversations, I’ll get to the fringe of being homeless.”
For founders, Shewring says, knowing when to stop or pause can be just as important as knowing when to jump into something head first.
“Founders struggle to know when it’s the right time to stop, but I can’t just carry on down a rabbit hole hoping for the best,” he says.
ClustrCo is on pause, and Shewring is looking for a job, but he’s confident he’ll be able to return to the business once it manages to find some backers.
Shewring left BizDojo after it was acquired by a UK-based firm and has missed working in a team ever since, making his current situation a blessing in disguise.
“One of the weirdest things exiting a business after it was acquired was I took for granted how much I mentally needed my team,” he says.