When you are deciding on whether to start a new business, everyone around you seem to have an opinion – your spouse, your parents, your friends, even your neighbors. If you bring up your new entrepreneurial ideas at dinner, you will likely be flooded by ’advice’ on things you should or should not do.
Some of the advice will be helpful and some will not be. But no matter what, I guarantee you that you will be overwhelmed by the number of opinions you get, especially if you are a first time entrepreneur.
So, as you embark on your new path as an entrepreneur, your first lesson is learning how to decide which advice you should be listening to.
Who Should You Be Listening To?
When trying to figure out if the advice you are receiving is good or bad, the best way is to start by looking at WHO is giving you the advice.
Does this person have the experience doing what you want to do? Does this person have the success you are looking for? Do their actions match their words? Does this person have the lifestyle you want?
If you want to become a successful real estate investor, would you listen to advice from your broke brother-in-law? If you want to learn how to fly an airplane, would you listen to advice from a taxi driver who has never flown an airplane?
You wouldn’t, right?
And yet, when it comes to entrepreneurship and starting a business, for some strange reason we seem to listen to people who doesn’t have the credibility and track record and we ALLOW their opinions to influence our decisions, and in some cases, give up our entrepreneurial dreams altogether.
Remember, whoever you are listening to, you are ultimately buying their lifestyle.
Some Common Bad Advices
Below, I have listed some of the most common bad advices entrepreneurs get when they are starting out. Be very wary of anyone offering you these pearls of ’wisdom’.
1) ’Don’t Do It’
The most common advice is to simply not do it. Almost every one will get this advice at the beginning of a new venture, especially if this is your first business venture or if you are leaving your steady pay check to pursue it.
I remember when I first started my business, many of my friends and family members told me not to do it and that I should go back and focus on a ’steady and secured’ job. But I knew in my heart that I want freedom over security. I want to be able to work and live anywhere, build a business that I am passionate about and can make a difference in this World. I was tired of being dictated when to go to work, what time I could get off work and when I could take time off to travel and enjoy my life. You can read more about my story here.
Over time, I have learned to tune these ’noises’ out and just do what I feel is right.
So, unless your business involves jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, don’t listen to this advice. Don’t let other people’s insecurity, fear and doubts hold you back from pursuing what your heart truly desires.
2) ’You Don’t Have Any Experience’
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ’Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ This is true in life and especially true in entrepreneurship.
Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from his dormitory room and Steve Jobs started Apple from his garage. They didn’t have any experience neither, but they have the burning desire to keep trying.
Entrepreneurship is about taking the first baby step and then keep taking the next baby step.
A lot of people will tell you that you should go get an MBA before starting a business. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going back to school. A lot of people find value in getting another degree. Personally, I love learning. I love personal growth. But let me be absolutely clear – You don’t need an MBA or a college degree to start and run a successful business.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs of all times were college, even high school dropouts. I am not advocating that you follow their examples, but my point is don’t listen to the advice that you have to go back to school to get a degree before starting a business.
Some of the best lessons I have learned are from actually starting and building my business, talking to successful entrepreneurs, reading, listening to audio/video trainings and by attending entrepreneurship seminars and training events.
3) ’I know someone who has done this and failed’
May be your friends will tell you horror stories of someone who has tried starting a similar business and failed.
But guess what, you are NOT those friends. You don’t know who those people are – did they even learn how to do the business correctly? Did they learn from the right people? Do they have mentors who can guide them along the way? Did they put in time and effort to build the business the right way? Do they have a team and a system for their business?
Building a long-term sustainable business takes time and effort. It is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. You are going to make some mistakes. But the mistakes are what help you get better.
So, remember, you are not just anyone. You are YOU and you are unique.
Your goals, financial circumstances, lifestyle, desire, determination, experience and talents are different from everyone else’s.
When something is important enough, the odds don’t matter. When your WHY is big enough, you can succeed even if the odds are against you. If you haven’t already found your WHY, take a look at this article I wrote to guide you along.
4) ’A real business needs to have _____’
Fill in the sentence above with ’an office’, ’employees’, ’inventory’, ’business cards’, ’investors’… you get the idea.
People will tell you all the things you will need before you can get a business started. But for most entrepreneurs, all they truly require is an idea, a computer and an internet connection.
Remember, we are no longer in the Industrial Age where running a business means owning a factory and having lots of workers. That was the age and time during our great grandparents, our grandparents and our parents’ generation.
We now live in the Information Age, where resources and talents are available at the touch of a button, possibilities are endless and the sky is the limit.
It is time to get ’unstuck’ from the Industrial Age and move forward with the Information Age!
Nowadays, you don’t need to hire a full team of people to run a real business. Most successful startups today began by building a team who are passionate about the idea and wanting to create a movement together. Technology can also help you to automate many of your tasks and run your business in a system.
You don’t even need an office space anymore. With a laptop and an internet connection, you can work from your home, from a Starbucks, or from the beaches of the World and expand your business globally.
The Only Advice That Matters
There is so much advice out there when you are starting your business. That can be helpful, but in most cases, that can also be discouraging and overwhelming.
That’s why, at the end of the day, the only person you really need to listen to is just yourself. No one else. Listen to advice, collect opinions, thank people for their words, and then just do what you want to do. That’s how successful entrepreneurs are made.
’Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.’ – Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple
I hope this has added value to you. If you have enjoyed it, please ’like’ it or ’share’ it so that more people can benefit from this. Sharing is caring!
Other Articles You May Enjoy
– What To Do When People Around You Don’t Support Your Entrepreneurial Dreams?
– The Business of the 21st Century
– Why Should You Become An Entrepreneur?
– Being A Mompreneur – Juggling Entrepreneurship and Parenting
With lots of love,