Why Entrepreneurs Try (and Fail) To Do Everything At Once

Joe Procopio
4 min readMar 23, 2022

Are you overwhelmed? Overloaded? Overcooked?

There’s a pretty logical reason for that and also a simple way out, one that’s actually good for your business growth.

The tendency to “bite off more than you can chew” is actually a skill that makes entrepreneurs successful. Think of it not as a personality bug, but a personal feature. Since I was kid, my parents were always telling me that I constantly “burn the candle at both ends.” I’ve never really liked this phrase and it’s only been recently that I’ve come to understand why I do it.

If you, like me, get into these modes where you have a dozen or more priorities pushing you from the moment you get out of bed in the morning until the moment your head hits the pillow at night — or if you never really leave that mode — you need to realize that you can’t change the player (you), so you need to change the game.

Look, you’re probably never going to be the kind of person that doesn’t want to have a goal to chase, a number to obsess over, or a sprint to run. The answer isn’t to slow down. The way you make it work is by taking large — but single — strides.

Here’s how to take one big step forward without taking two steps back.

Entrepreneurs Like to Take 8 Steps at a Time

In this week’s issue of Teaching Startup (#99), we answered a question from an entrepreneur who wrote in to ask about fast-tracking her way to product-market fit.

That’s the step where you take a viable, scalable, profitable product and expand from the niche market segment in which you’ve proven viability out to adjacent market segments to — essentially — see how far you can get.

This particular entrepreneur is someone I’ve gotten to know over the two years that Teaching Startup has been active, and so I know she’s smart, talented, has the right entrepreneurial drive, and is serious about her idea. This is her first run with her own startup, but her career has been sparkling to date, dotted with major and minor successes.

Those are all traits that will make her an excellent candidate for entrepreneurial success, but it also happens to be a combination that can lead…

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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