A Sustainable Startup Isn’t a Successful Startup

Why both growth and mission matter

Joe Procopio
6 min readJan 25, 2021

Have you asked yourself why you started your company?

And don’t repeat the same stock answer that you’d give your investors, your board, your significant other or your friends.

Really think about it. Why are you doing this?

Is it the money? Maybe, but probably not, because there are better and easier ways to make money than building a company from the ground up. I’m guessing it’s almost definitely for other reasons, reasons that have more to do with who you are as a person and what you want out of life.

So why does everything in startup revolve around money? Why are the three most important metrics in any business always revenue, profit, and margins?

The answer to all these questions is because a sustainable startup isn’t a successful startup. If your startup is surviving, it’s actually slowly dying.

Every entrepreneur has a mission

I hate corporate mission statements, and with good reason. It’s because well over 90 percent of the corporate mission statements I see are not only word salad tossed into a marketing tool, but also dishonest.



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com