Editor’s note: Veteran entrepreneur and blogger Joe Procopio recently launched a new venture, “Teaching Startup.” In his latest blog, Procopio discusses “five stages of a startup,” starting with “The Jump.”
DURHAM, N.C. – The map to startup success is really difficult to draw. Startup is about doing new things in new ways, and no two startups achieve success in the exact same way.
And because startup success is so hard to map, it’s also hard to teach – which makes it hard to learn.
So you have to teach and learn startup in new ways, but you also have to create a few universal ground rules, like landmarks on a map. That said, let me be very up-front about what I’m about to tell you:
The five stages of startup I’m about to discuss are not THE five stages of startup. They’re just landmarks, broken down and generalized into something that we can all hopefully use as a guide, not gospel.
I broke these five stages into levels, because every entrepreneur should constantly be asking where they’re at. It’s the first thing they should think about when they wake up in the morning – with the next thing being: How do I get to the next level?
It’s important to define and discuss each level because there are different skills and actions required at each level — because there are different rules and needs at each level.
Example: Level 1 entrepreneurs, those who are just starting out, need support, advice, guidance, and they need to be totally flexible about what they’re building and what it is they’re trying to accomplish. Level 4 entrepreneurs, those already living the dream, need some of those same things, probably less flexibility, but definitely more problem-solving, leadership, and crisis management.
Now, since the only way to know where you’re going is to know where you are, let’s figure that out, starting with the first steps.
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(C) Joe Procopio