Beware entrepreneurs! 7 common pieces of advice that do more harm than good
Making mistakes as you enter the startup life is a part of every entrepreneur’s experience. Taking the kind of advice that is less likely to help you is one of them. Here we take a look at 7 pieces of advice that in my opinion do more harm than good.
No wonder entrepreneurs are always hungry for guidance from people who have grown in their businesses. When I started, I had this zeal and curiosity too. Thankfully, there is no shortage of wisdom regularly handed out for us to read. I took heed of the wisdom in endless books, blog posts, and articles available. They were of great help to an eager entrepreneur like me when I started building ProofHub.
However, I did not look up to some of those pearls of wisdom. Probably because I did not find them stand closer to scrutiny.
Let’s have a look at some pieces of advice entrepreneurs should watch out for:
1. ‘Take it easy’
Ignore people who tell you to take it easy. Most of them are probably quitters or do not understand your goals. If you want to achieve your goals, you have to give up on guidance from average thinkers. People who tell you to give up on your dreams and water down your potential are probably afraid to have their own dreams. ‘Take it easy’ is an approach to avoid problems and ignore what you want to create in life.
2. ‘An expensive office is all you need’
The beginning of your startup is not an expensive office. I doubt it’s going to communicate the message that you’re serious. In fact, it might show that you’re spending your funds foolishly. Investment in marketing or developing your product, on the other hand, are wise decisions. You can rent a modest office that will not burn a hole in your pocket and also has flexible terms.
3. ‘If it’s a great product, it will sell magically’
Speaking of investments, it’s good that you’re concentrating on how useful your product is to its potential users. But building a great product and then expecting people to know about it magically is one of the stupidest pieces of advice to follow. If only entrepreneurship was that simple that you could ignore any kind of outbound or inbound marketing!
4. ‘Always be raising’
Fundraising is sure a good idea. But what’s the right time one should actually go for it is the real catch. There is certainly a ring to the saying ‘Always be raising’. But it’s also a terrible advice when you haven’t figured out who the users of your product are, and how you’re supposed to reach them. Establish certain business metrics and then look forward to ‘always be raising.’
5. ‘Finish a checklist’
Who decides the right moment to launch your startup? While you don’t need to take it easy, you also don’t need to go overboard. One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get, however, is to finish a checklist before you launch your product or a business or even a service. The silent killer to your startup could be over analysis and procrastination. Have your numbers, but don’t wait for the stars to align. Without launching there’s no way you’ll get any feedback or any suggestions to improve.
6. ‘Be original’
I don’t understand what’s with originality. I read somewhere how you should have a product or service that is unique, one that has never been seen before or is going to change the world. What will happen to the existing markets? Will they ever have a competition? What’s wrong with picking a market that has an existing demand and then strive to become a successful player in it? You will, of course, need to have a strong unique selling proposition that will draw a distinction between you and your competitors.
I know how we all want to be exceptional in what we do. The first step towards it is to stop taking bad suggestions from people who only draw our potential down. All the advice above might not be inherently bad and may not also be universally applied. However, they may serve as an inspiration to some people or work for some specific businesses. The intent of this article is to make sure entrepreneurs are careful about which advice they actually need to follow.
What are some bad pieces of entrepreneurial advice that you’ve gotten till date? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.