A Sustainable Startup Isn’t a Successful Startup

Why both growth and mission matter

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.

When sustainable hits a ceiling

I learned that sustainable has its limits when I ran my own technical and product consulting firm for several years. We were better than everyone else — way better — and running the firm also happened to be a perfect way for me to live my mission : invent solutions, solve problems, change the status quo, all of it.

When you’re not investing in the mission, you’re settling into the business

It’s the same myth that leads a lot of charities and non-profits to slowly sink into a money pit of bureaucracy and red tape. It’s not because the organization started thinking big, it’s because they stopped thinking big — they stopped investing in the mission and instead settled into growing the business.

How the mission makes the money that fuels the mission

I learned this lesson when I wound down the consulting firm into a company that eventually became Teaching Startup. I did this by stripping away all of the traditional business elements — the consulting, the handholding, the invoicing, and all the hands-on stuff — and started distilling value that was directly related to the mission.

Why entrepreneurs abandon the mission for the money


I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building TeachingStartup.com & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at joeprocopio.com

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