The story of the boring side of business.

Oleksandra Zubal
4 min readApr 16, 2021

Starting and running a business seems fun. It’s risky, it’s exiting and it’s rewarding. But even the most ambitious entrepreneurs fail.

Some time ago my friend and I started a tiny business — we were selling T-shirts with custom (and I still think beautiful) prints. He is a designer and I was the sponsor at that time. We were young and ambitious enough to start this new adventure. We saw interest from the first customers just like the ‘book’ says. One of the popular local souvenir retailers agreed to host our product in their stores. So we made a decision to invest into a small t-shirts batch production. Long story short, we failed to even return the initial investment even though this business story was promising. Why?

Because ‘failure to plan is the plan to fail’. [Click to tweet]

We focused only on that batch and how to sell it. And even that process was so chaotic that we rushed from one place to another without tracking our activities and sufficient communication, let alone a long-term vision.

Well, let’s call it ‘experience’.

What we, as entrepreneurs, truly want to focus on is the fun side — on growing, on competing, on talking to customers, on strategizing… But the problem is that if we don’t do our homework (read ‘ do the boring stuff’), we don’t succeed.

Apart from building a vision and strategy, we also failed at doing some necessary but mundane tasks.

This post is exploring the ways to remove menial tasks from your agenda without deadly costs and loss of control.


When we went on that ‘business adventure’, what we truly lacked is organisation. Yeah, who wants to sit for hours, write down a plan, decompose it into tasks, align them, identify dependencies and deadlines? I wanted to go straight into the exiting part — execution. Instead of running around in mayhem, defining our vision, goals and organising tasks around them should’ve been my major focus. Since then, I’ve developed self-discipline and consider myself organised. But in my daily work I still see tasks disconnected from plans, dependencies between processes and people result in bottlenecks, documents are scattered all over the place (local computers, multiple cloud doc storage apps) with no reference to the actual business function, communication happens in different channels (we use Slack, MS Teams, mail, Zoom, wiki pages). As a result, there is a temptation to blame someone else, missed deadlines, and overall disappointment. I still think it’s great that the power of modern SaaS enabled us to get more organised. The best way to start is by categorising everything: documents, tasks, business streams, employees and vendors contacts etc. It is so much more convenient to keep forks separate from spoons, why not applying the same approach in business? It was so boring when I started but it became so rewarding when I saw the benefits. As Nike says — just do it.

Handling others.

Many people have moved to virtual offices (a fancy word for WFH). Before Covid, a lot of communication happened organically because short and instant interactions happened between the employees all the time. Now we have to set up a zoom call or write a message in the search for a particular piece of information. But the problem is not new. Businesses work with external talents all the time: suppliers, freelancers, vendors, contractors, deliveries. So, orchestration of all communications is a tedious task. At some point of time, I only used email as a single channel. It was ok but then I was cut from informal message exchange that was still happening behind the scenes. Even though I use multiple apps for communication now, I suggest applying a zero-inbox concept. And again — getting organised is gold.

Finance and Legal.

While business owners are usually exited to see how much they are making, taxation, balance sheets and invoices could be tiresome. Unfortunately, many businesses cannot afford an in-house accountant. At the time of my first attempt as an entrepreneur, we somehow lost a receipt from that souvenir retailer, so it took ages to redeem some of the income from them. But today we are lucky to live in a digital era when there’re so many apps to help us with clear accounting and legal documents processing. The problem I see is that finances are usually are not linked to concrete plans and tasks. How would you know why your initial budget and actual are different? How did your social media activity return, dollar-wise? Is the invoice sent to you by a freelance designer correct? Usually, answering these questions require a lot of manual work: from searching necessary documents to comparing timesheets and task lists.

And here, let me be honest with you and throw in a bit of the self-advertisement in the end of this post. We, at MyDone, know these issues from our own experience. Being also technically competent, we now build a solution that will help us with all these dull things. If you’re also familiar with these pains, let us know by subscribing to early access here.

Now it’s time to stop reading this post and get back… well… to boring stuff :)