Out of Power

Three Days in the Dark Ends Up Solving Some of the Smaller Problems

Joe Procopio
4 min readOct 4, 2022


Photo by Claudia Ramírez on Unsplash

I’m not complaining — well, wait, I’m totally complaining.

Every time a stiff breeze blows through my neighborhood, or if one of our kids sneezes too hard, the entire neighborhood loses power — sometimes for a couple hours, sometimes for a couple days.

So as the warnings about hurricane Ian grew louder, even though we’re in North Carolina and quite out of the way of the path, and even though we’re square in suburban confines with underground power lines leading to our house, I knew, at some point, we’d go dark.

In the end, I know we got off light. As a survivor of Fran and Floyd and the ice storms of ’04 and ’14, I’m more than a little thankful that we didn’t suffer that kind of impact.

actual shot of glenwood ave in raleigh on 2/2/14. I don’t think the sta-puf man is real, but I assure you the rest of it is.

But I also sat in the dark for 3 days with only my phone, my laptop, and a decent-sized Jackery battery (not my first rodeo), and I thought long and hard about my business life down to a low level of granularity — the kind of self-analysis that you never really get a chance to do, and in retrospect, probably shouldn’t.

You’ll see the more serious results of that exercise in posts in and around this one. Stuff that might actually help.

In this post, I want to share the periphery of my madness. Let’s walk the razor’s edge.

We Don’t Need As Much As We Think We Do

I can do a lot with a laptop, a phone, and a battery. In fact, if I’m being honest, I really didn’t need the phone, I just wanted to be able to check fantasy football scores.

I’m not going to go all “simplify” on you, I’m just saying that a lot of the hurdles standing between us and what we want to accomplish aren’t as big as they seem once you get over them.

Very few business ideas need a ton of seed money to get started. Very few startups need more than a couple hours a week to determine if those business ideas are viable.



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