Her Startup Raised $3 Million, Then It All Started Falling Apart

How 15 Minutes and One Word Prevented a Founder’s Leadership Crash

Joe Procopio

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image by creativeart on freepik

Are you ready to face your own personal leadership crisis?

It’s a question that’s almost impossible to answer until you’re faced with it. Do you run from danger or towards it? A lot of people say “towards it” until the first time they hear the sirens, then “fight” evaporates and “flight” kicks in.

Last week, a first-time founder and CEO reached out to me and asked for 15 minutes of my time. I rarely do that these days, as my own projects continue to kick into high gear, including one that exists just to answer as many entrepreneur and leadership questions as possible.

But all the stars lined up for this request. The startup was legit, having raised $3 million and closing in on $1 million trailing annual revenue. The industry was similar to what I do and the problem was one I had faced frequently over my long career as an entrepreneur.

The problem, in a nutshell, was that even with all that success, the founder/CEO was losing control. Her company was overpromising and under-delivering. Deadlines weren’t being met. Runway was burning. Investors were frustrated. Customers were angry.

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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