Emails to a Young Entrepreneur: The 12 Steps of Entrepreneurs Anonymous

Day 139 of Self Quarantine             Covid 19 Deaths in U.S.:  153,000

The 12 Steps of Entrepreneurs Anonymous

I have great respect for all the forms of the AA 12 Step Program to aid in recovery from addictive behaviors.  Several colleagues and family members are alive today because of the value of 12 Step Programs.

A decade ago, I realized I was “addicted” to entrepreneuring.  I love innovation and starting with a clean sheet of paper to design a product, a business model, recruit a team, and produce an innovative product.  I am a serial entrepreneur.  My humorous definition of a serial entrepreneur is someone who has failed multiple times with a startup and finally had one succeed.

When I am asked to speak at gatherings of entrepreneurs or wannabe entrepreneurs, I start with a quick run through of the 12 Steps of Entrepreneurs Anonymous to provide a thinly veiled attempt at revealing our foibles.

My name is Skip and
I’m a recovering


Hello Skip, welcome to the irregular
meeting of 12 Steps to
Entrepreneurs Anonymous.


The Entrepreneur’s Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept my team, my investors and my suppliers as bringers of opportunity;

the courage to change my understanding of what the customer truly needs; and

the wisdom to know the difference between what is right and what the VCs, the board and the bankers want.


The 12 Step Program for Serial Entrepreneurs

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction to entrepreneuring – that our lives had become unmanageable.

  1. Came to believe that a Power (VCs) greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

  1. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our VC as we understood a VC

  1. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

  1. Admitted to VC, to ourselves and to another human being (HR Manager) the exact nature of our wrongs

  1. Were entirely ready to have VC remove all these defects of character.

  1. Humbly asked VC to remove our shortcomings

  1. Made a list of all persons we had harmed (employees, customers, suppliers, angel investors) and became willing to make amends to them all

  1. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

  1. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it (in every board meeting)

  1. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with VC as we understood VC, praying only for knowledge of VC’s will for us and the power to carry that out

  1. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other entrepreneurs, and to practice these principles in all our affairs



You can find a PDF of the full book here.

You can find the introduction to the Cosmos of the New Venture here.

You can find the full Cosmos of the New Venture here.

This entry was posted in Content with Context, Emails to a Young Entrepreneur, Entrepreneuring, Flipped Perspective, Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

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