Use This Proven CEO Productivity Trick for Startup Fundraising

How to put one priority above all the rest without sinking your momentum

Joe Procopio


image by marymarkevich on freepik

After two decades leading several startups through fundraises and other screaming top priorities, I’ve learned a prioritization hack that every startup leader should use to take on a single mission-critical task without letting the rest of the business fall apart.

The hack comes in especially handy around fundraising, because when you’re a startup CEO, you’re always balancing two seemingly incongruent priorities:

You can raise money, or you can grow, but you can’t do both at the same time.

Raising money is a long, difficult process— and any serious fundraise will take at least six months of effort from first investor contact to the final close. At least.

It’s one of those startup Catch-22s: How do startup CEOs raise money without company growth falling off a cliff?

To make matters worse, startup CEOs in particular bear the additional burden of having to wear multiple functional hats on top of their traditional executive role. So when a startup CEO faces the prospect of a single critical priority absorbing all of their available time –whether it’s raising money, boosting sales, or hiring talent — many functional areas of the company suffer as a result.

Or do they?

Committing To a Single Top Priority

Every startup leader — in fact, usually every startup employee — has at least a dozen “top” priorities at any given time. It’s a phenomenon that those fake advice peddlers will say you need to eliminate at all costs.

“Focus on one thing at a time, all the time,” they’ll preach.

Sounds great, right? Makes for a nice motivational poster.

But any startup leader who has actually led something to success will tell you that advice is totally unrealistic. In fact, if you do have a single top priority all the time, you’re more likely stuck in a functional middle-seniority position at a large company. And you’re likely bored out of your mind.



Joe Procopio

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