Everyone Is Wrong About Your Startup

The list of people you should listen to is probably a list of one

Joe Procopio


If you’ve ever started a business, you know that almost immediately after you decided to make a serious run at your business idea, someone was standing over your shoulder and telling you what you really should do to make it successful.

It doesn’t matter if you started your very first business yesterday or you’ve founded a dozen companies over decades.

Yes, there is an entire industry of folks dedicated to telling you what you really should do to make your startup successful. There are advisors and mentors and incubators and accelerators and investors and on and on and on.

And just so I don’t get accused of clickbait, I’m not here to trash advisors and incubators and investors.

I’m here to trash your friends.

Your acquaintances. Your colleagues. Your uncle who ran that restaurant for ages. Your mom’s friend who did Rodan + Fields for a bit in the aughts.

Oh, and also most of those advisors, incubators, and investors.

Because they’re all wrong about what it’s going to take to make your startup successful.

Make Me a Bicycle, Clown!

I recently started posting videos — short, fun reads of these very posts — because I realized my writing is rooted as much in the delivery of the words as it is the quality of the content. Anyway, the project itself is immaterial. It’s what comes next that relates to you and your startup, because the same kind of thing happens to me and my startups. Every time.

Gotta friend. Known him forever. I love him. To death. He is smart and creative and also business-minded, but most importantly, he has always wanted the best for me.

And as I write that last sentence, I realize how rare it is in life to be able to write the end of that sentence.

His reaction to my first video was kudos, of course. And then, in a way that I’m sure was fueled by his excitement for me and his innate knowledge of what it takes to be successful as a creator, he advised me to flip my camera to portrait, add captions, edit the video into…



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