How Startups Turn Slammed Doors Into Open Windows

I Finally Figured Out How To Learn From My Mistakes

Joe Procopio

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Every entrepreneur has a failure story like this. About 12 years ago, I founded a startup called ExitEvent. I was in the early stages, but the idea was solid: Create a multi-sided marketplace for the startup ecosystem.

I had already started two successful companies, one of which I was still running. The ExitEvent idea wasn’t a new one. It was something that I had been building and reshaping for years, waiting for the right moment when all the pieces came together to turn it into a scalable business.

When that moment happened, I knew exactly where to go. I brought the idea to a potential partner, an organization that would be a perfect initial backer. The head of that organization got it immediately. Or at least I thought they did.

What happened next is a story about business failure, but also about how to turn failure into success. Yes, failure can be a good thing. And while a lot of people talk about learning from failure, they never tell you how to do it. Here’s my story about a failed business deal and how I acted on the lessons I learned.

When failure seems to come out of nowhere

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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