When you start your entrepreneurial journey, all sorts of people will want to give you advice.
Some of it (hopefully) will be good. Some of it less so.
But, in reality, it’s up to you how you deal with this advice.
Here are seven pieces of unwanted advice that people say to entrepreneurs and, how to use them to your advantage.
That will never work
If you’re starting a tech company and Bill Gates has just whispered this in your ear, perhaps you’d better listen.
After all, Bill isn’t threatened by you and, he has no reason to be dishonest.
In reality however, this is most often the knee-jerk reaction of a fearful corporate lackey (they might even be your friend) who will never trust themselves to go it alone.
So, if this is ever said to you, and use it as a positive motivation to prove people wrong.
You’re wasting your time
Wrong. You’re never wasting your time.
Whatever you’re doing is learning, even if you think you’re failing.
Eventually, all those lessons, all those ‘failures’, are going to add up.
Edison said it best: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
You’re better off living in reality than dreaming about starting a business
Have you looked at the people who choose to live their whole lives ‘in reality’?
It’s not the creative, energetic, entrepreneurial type that climbs a tower with a high-powered rifle.
It’s an uncomfortable truth, but most people are unhappy with their lot but, they lack the motivation to do anything about it.
It’s far easier for someone to knock down another person’s dreams than to bravely follow their own.
Take this negativity as confirmation that you’re different, and never be afraid of being a tall poppy.
Hmmm. That’s interesting. Have you seen Robocop?
People are never going to be as interested in your ideas as you are, even if you can add value to their lives.
Get used to it.
Humans are creatures of habit, and you’re just another smiling drain on their time and energy.
But, the indifference of the masses, at least at first, cuts both ways.
While you might initially struggle to establish a presence, you’ve got some time to get your house in order.
Stay busy through the lag time, and most importantly, don’t take the lack of interest personally.
You’re not a good people person
In the world of business, you’ve got to get on with people, sure.
But, the people skills you need to be successful as an entrepreneur aren’t really that different from the people skills you need to be successful as a person.
If you have integrity, courage and a never-say-die attitude, and you treat people with respect, you’re never going to lose.
A business relationship is like any relationship: don’t take shortcuts and you’ll never need to worry.
Why would you leave a good job to do that?
This is the mantra of the terminally risk-averse.
You’ll most often hear this from people who can’t live without the so-called security of company benefits and a monthly pay-cheque.
These are people who are unable to trust that they are enough, that they can rely on themselves rather than the machinations of a multinational conglomerate.
This, and every other comment like it, boils down to a capitulation to fear.
Use these comments to remind yourself that you are not afraid. Or, even if you are, that at least you recognised it and, are doing it anyway!
You’ll be a success in no time!
Just as a lot of the doubt you routinely face as an entrepreneur stems from people’s own inadequacies, unconditional endorsements stem from an inadequate understanding of the hardships involved in starting your own business.
It’s nice that people have faith in you, but don’t ever get lulled into thinking that it’s going to be easy.
Much of the time, you’re not going to know what you’re doing.
But, find that place between over-confidence and defeatism, keep your head down, and you’ll be okay.