Don’t Let Fear Stunt Your Startup’s Growth

Ask yourself these questions about risk

Joe Procopio
7 min readJul 17, 2023

Startups live and die by managing risk.

Risk tolerance is necessary in order to turn an idea into reality. But too much of it can lead to overconfidence, then mistakes.

Risk aversion seems like the antidote — the common sense adult-in-the-room keeping the startup grounded. But too much of that can actually wind up grounding the startup.

This often leads to a pretty common and sticky scenario, and one such example came my way via Teaching Startup, from a newly-hired leader, not a cofounder, but indeed the most experienced member of a young founding team.

This new leader had been an advisor to the startup for a couple years, helping them land a round of funding which enabled them to bring her aboard. She joined the team because she was impressed with their great idea and great business model.

But right away, she noticed that the founders gradually started leaning towards a more conservative, slower approach to growth than the one that got them the funding.

This was not why she joined. This was a path to failure. This is what I told her.

What Risk Is and How Much Should You Take



Joe Procopio

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