First of all, keep going.
There will always be dark days, no matter how well funded you are. In fact, once you accept growth capital for equity, you bring on a whole new set of expectations and challenges.
Running a startup, as you know, is never easy and it's never as smooth as people make it seem.
Trust me. Some days are really brutal. The number of times I wanted to just throw in the towel is more than I care to share.
But I don't. And that's why persistence in the face of adversity is crucial for entrepreneurs.
Those are also the days when it's so valuable to have a co-founder, so you have someone to pick you up and help you remember your vision of how you're going to make the world a better place.
This brings me to the most important question.
Do you really believe in what you're doing? And above all, are you and your co-founder a great team?
Ideas come and go, but if you and your co-founder work well together, you're hungry, tenacious and bold, you'll make something happen.
I know it's harder in communities where there isn't as much local support. This is why resources like Clarity are changing the face of entrepreneurship across the globe - giving teams like yourself access to the the support you need and otherwise might not be able to find.
The best thing you can do is surround yourself with great people. In this case, it sounds like you'd benefit from a great mentor.
I can't help in the email marketing space, but I know someone who's pioneering a successful startup in the space and I'd be happy to put you in touch.
Here's my VIP url: https://clarity.fm/alexandraskey/onbeingremarkable
Please call me for a free 15 minute chat, anytime.
I'd also encourage you to analyze the runway of your company. How much time do you have before you need to generate an income for at least you and your business partner?
There is nothing wrong with taking contract work on the side to keep the lights on. In fact, if you're worried about paying the bills, it will be hard to fully invest your energy in your startup, making it even harder for you to realize your goal and fulfill your potential.
One more thing to think about.
How you get your first 5, 10 or 100 customers doesn't need to be scalable. So if you're not keen on doing a sideproject to increase short-term cashflow, look at ways to bring on new customers faster, even if they're not something you will do in 3 months time.
Day by day my friend, day by day.
Have courage, and be bold.
p.s. I'd also actively check your local community, as there might be more happening than you realize. You can start by researching online, reaching out on Twitter or visiting a community center.
For example, I found some organizations by doing a simple Google search, so I'd encourage you do to your homework.