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Five Stages of Startup: Level 1 -- The Jump
Ideation, Creation, Formation, Community, Help
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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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Teaching Startup: The Show -- Trailer
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So, you're one of the first people on the planet to see the humble beginnings of what will eventually become Teaching Startup: The Show.

Teaching Startup: The Show is a bunch of entrepreneurs talking about startup, among other things, and discussing real, relevant issues in an honest and open way. This is not Shark Tank. This is real startup talk. DIY startup. Punk startup.





The Show opens up startup to everyone. We talk in frank, easily understandable, no-bull terms, with content delivered by actual entrepreneurs with real-world startup experience. The target audience is from middle-school to middle-age, whether you're just thinking about jumping into startup or you've sold a couple companies and maybe want to give back.

This is a new way of doing things, and I know it seems a little crazy.

But if you get it, if you dig the vibe, if you think you connect with what we're trying to do, there are couple ways you can get involved.

Sign up for the beta program waiting list. Invites will start going out in late December.

Give us a thumbs up on YouTube and subscribe to the Teaching Startup channel.

Follow the @TeachingStartup Twitter or like the Teaching Startup Facebook page.

Tell your friends -- just the cool ones -- not the jerks.

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The Summer of Startup 2017
You Don't Need a Break, You Have a Mission
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The Summer of Startup 2017 is underway. Here's how you can follow along and get a shot of motivation and education every day in June and July. Be a better entrepreneur at the end.

Join the Teaching Startup beta for access to all the content and interaction with other entrepreneurs.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.

No strings. No BS.


For the last several years, I've been writing about the Summer of Startup. The idea developed around finding an entrepreneurial summer activity for my pre-teen kids, but it has since evolved into a theme for everyone I talk to.

Summer is just a different time. When you're in school, it's a huge downshift, of course. But even when you've moved on into the working world, everything still slows down from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Vacations are taken across your organization, kids have to be entertained and accounted for, and life just generally eases up a bit.

It's downtime, regardless of who you are or what you do.

Take advantage of it.

I'll tell you how in a second.

For us here at Teaching Startup, the Summer of Startup is going to be about turning this nice little niche we've carved out into a real, live thing. I've got four objectives:

1. Opening up the beta to those entrepreneurs who have been on the waiting list seemingly forever, which will conclude with opening up the beta to the public.

2. Building a more robust and useful website experience, making membership mean something more than access to all of the content.

3. Holding off on new episodes of The Show while we tighten up the definition of it, the chemistry, and the production.

4. Spreading the word of the mission to people who can help turn this into a business, including creating a deck for partners and investors.

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How To Start a Business Without a Good Idea
You may not have a good idea, but you've got problems
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In episode 5.3 of The Startup Show, we dive into how to do startup without having a good idea, a question posed by one of our members at teachingstartup.com. Current entrepreneurs Joe Procopio (Automated Insights, ExitEvent), Andy Roth (RocketBolt), and Jon Colgan (Veeto, Cellbreaker) talk about how get started without an idea, how to generate good startup ideas, brilliant ideas that don't make money, why your first idea won't be your best, and alternatives to starting your own company right away.

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The Crumbling of Corporate Culture
Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 1.4
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I founded Teaching Startup because I believe we're on the verge of a new era of entrepreneurship.

Those jobs we lost in the Great Recession? They're not coming back. They're being automated and streamlined out of existence. Then you've got all these kids coming out of higher education, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt in some cases, who can't find a job worth their degree.

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When Do You Call Yourself An Entrepreneur?
THE SHOW - Episode 4.1
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Why do people hesitate calling themselves entrepreneurs? I meet entrepreneurs from all over the country -- these are smart, ambitious, even successful people who having trouble getting the term entrepreneur to roll off the tongue. And more often than not, it's because they feel like they don't know enough about startup to label themselves as an entrepreneur. This is ludicrous. And it makes me furious.

But I can understand the awkwardness of it. It's not like being a doctor or a lawyer -- there's no credentialed association to back up the fact that you studied and worked hard to become what you are. There's also a bit of sketchiness to it, those multi-level marketing and huckster salesmen who go with entrepreneur because it gives them a showy legitimacy.

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All Startups Are Scams
THE SHOW - Episode 4.2
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There's a fine line between being a dreamer and being an entrepreneur. Don't get me wrong, I mean this in the best light possible. Without dreams, without suspension of disbelief, without the ignorance of what can't be done, the entrepreneur is no different than the cubicle drone. One thing separates the entrepreneur from the dreamer: Execution.

There's also a fine line between being an entrepreneur and being a scam artist. Let's face it, if you're doing startup right, you're doing something no one has ever done before with no proof it will work, much less succeed. And you're trying to sell that vaporware, that dream, those magic beans, to customers or investors or both.

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