How Me And My Co-Founder Ended Up Doing Hajj

I planned to perform Hajj with my wife in 2014. Two weeks before we had to fly, we found out that we were expecting our daughter. After consulting doctors, we were advised that my wife shouldn’t be commencing this journey. I had paid $15,000 for the two of us and our travel agency had already made all bookings. They couldn’t issue a refund for her at this point in time.

I called Saad and told him about the situation. I told him that there’s no refund for my wife so may be if he ever considered Hajj, he might want to join instead. The best part about his reply was that he didn’t say that he will call me back or he will let me know or that he needs time to think. He said “sure, just let me know what to do”.

There are three takeaways for me from this.

  1. Like they say Hajj is destined for each individual, I started believing that. He was meant to do it and he was meant to do it at that time.
  2. That for him a sacrifice of $7500 both for his Allah and his co-founder didn’t mean a thing.
  3. If my co-founder hung together with me during a time like that, there’s nothing he can do more to prove that he’s worthy of being a good co-founder.

Often in life, someone may present you with opportunities that seem great. They may appear instantly rewarding and they might even make you very wealthy but “If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day. – Naval Ravikant“.

Should You Always Have a Co-Founder?

If you’ve read a few posts on this blog before, you’ve probably already heard of my co-founder multiple times. I have worked with him for about a decade now and while sometimes it has been a challenging and bumpy ride, it has been rewarding in the end.

I’ve mentioned him quite a few times here because my stories would be incomplete without mentioning him. Because he had a role to play in every one of those stories and in building each one of those businesses with me.

Startups are hard and exhausting. Sometimes you’re gonna hate yourself for even wanting to try to run one and you’re always going to need someone who can take control while you’re going through the burn-out phase.

Each individual founder also brings unique skills and vision to the company which can be great.

YC funds less than 10% companies with solo-founders. They encourage you to have co-founders and even often offer matchmaking. I believe in the power of co-founders.

That said, there are many successful companies built by solo founders. One of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, was founded by solo founder Jeff Bezos. It’s also how he became the richest man in the world by having higher equity in the business. So going solo can make you really wealthy if you’re smart like Jeff.

But to be Jeff, or any other solo founder like him, you need to have super powers, which if you believe you don’t have, I encourage you to find a co-founder.

Just make sure your co-founder has these three attributes

Intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.

Warren Buffett