Hey, I'm Chris Garrett, and I'm the Founder of Decimal in Manchester, UK.
Tell us all about your business...
We're a technology company that works with music brands to develop ideas into new products and platforms. Our work is used by Universal, Warner, Sony and Kobalt - to name a few. We've also just launched our first SaaS product: sparkline.io.
What's your background and motivation to get into the solopreneur life?
I spent a lot of my teenage years on and around the web, and was fortune enough to stumble into a particularly progressive IRC channel - which birthed something like 15+ Y Combinator startups - where I was able to hone my design and development skills.
This was during the onset of the web 2.0 era, and I was in the habit of experimenting with early web tech. I'd openly share the results, to what felt like a very close community at the time, and ended up landing a big redesign project for a property that CNET had just acquired. Unbeknownst to them, I was 16 at the time, and ended up on a roller coaster ride: setting up a business, growing a team, delivering big projects for big name clients, winning awards, etc...
With a baptism of fire like that, I've never been able to walk away from the startup life, and have walked my own path ever since. Every day I get to create something from nothing.
As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?
Freedom to work on the things that matter to me.
What are the top three tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a business today?
- Lean into your strengths.
- Do not be easily parted with your equity (learnt that one the hard way!).
- Surround yourself with people that elevate you.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly day in day out to help grow your business then what would it be?
I really love building things that I can then use... repeatedly, day in day out. The validation is incredibly rewarding.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
Every day I take the time to work out, to take my dog on 1 or 2 nice long walks, to spend proper time engaging with my kids. I don't work fixed hours - I work when I feel like it.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and why?
I enjoy listening to Reid Hoffman, he comes across as relentlessly optimistic - in a way that's very genuine. I always have time for Naval Ravikant too - my 11 year old's even listened to his "How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)" podcast.
I gave in and read "The Goal" recently, and it was far better than I anticipated. It could certainly do without the romantic element, but there's a load of management takeaways that have stood the test of time.
For anyone looking to start a business today, what would be the number one bit of advice you'd give them?
There's no such skill as business - lean into what you're really good at.
Where can people find you online?
You can find my website at www.decimal.fm
If you like what you've read here and have your own #GoSoloStories that you'd like to share then hit Jonny up on Twitter, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.