Startups are messy.

Monique Mills, MBA, PMP
2 min readJul 26, 2021

Before working with a new client, I have them complete a "Current State" survey


This was a response from a prospect:

"I wish I had a COO, CFO, CMO, CIO one or all of these positions. I am not good at doing all of this at the same time and for that reason the business is suffering."

Needless to say, this prospect was waaaaaay in over their head with expectations higher than their revenue to pay for help.

My response:

➡️Don’t try to boil the ocean.

➡️Prioritize finding a business parter/co-founder.

➡️Take it one step at a time. Create a plan, SMART goals, tactics, and daily action steps.

I know everyone has heard this before, but not many people actually do it. Instead they give up and say the business failed.

I disagree.
No, the business didn't fail.
They didn't 'work' the business.

➡️ It's important to accept that everything won't be packaged nice and tidy with top-notch C-levels and VP's in place when you first get started (or even for several years!). It's an unrealistic expectation for a new product launch.

Instead, focus on getting the business to a point where people want to join you on this journey.
➡️ If that's impossible for you to do without having a COO, CFO, CMO, CIO on board, perhaps building a startup isn't an ideal fit for your expectations.

👉🏼It’s messy.
👉🏼It’s lonely.
👉🏼It’s confusing.
👉🏼It’s like putting together a 20,000 piece puzzle (which is easier done with partners).

If you're okay with that, let's go.
If not, that’s also okay.

Just understand what's the common reality for this journey.

Note: There might be typos in this post. Autocorrect on phones can be such a gem 😉

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Monique Mills, MBA, PMP

Serial Entrepreneur — Strategy — Engineer (EE) — Tech Startup Founder —President of SMB Acqusiitions at Focused Innovation Group — CEO of TPMFocus —#womaninSTEM