Home Anty-Climax Five common putdowns to aspiring entrepreneurs (and how to deflect them)

Five common putdowns to aspiring entrepreneurs (and how to deflect them)


Seasoned entrepreneurs understand that they’re just a fact of life.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, they might come as a shock.

Some of them are well-meaning. Others are just plain mean.

Of course, I’m talking about unsolicited put-downs.

My professional history stems from two major goals in my life: I wanted to become a design and technology teacher (tick!) and I wanted to own my own successful business.

When I finally decided to take the necessary steps to make goal two a reality, I wish someone had given me a heads-up on how to handle the following five statements, with their knack for taking the wind out of your sails.

1. “That will never work”

When you share your idea with others, their immediate reaction may be something like:  ‘Ain’t going to happen, mate.’

Why? Because non-entrepreneurial people often give their opinion without researching or testing an idea first.

Rather than getting discouraged, think of it as an opportunity to fine-tune your business pitch.

Do your research, trial it out, scan the market, and make sure it’s viable.

When they next say, ‘Ain’t gonna happen’, ask, ‘Why?’

By then, you’ll have the facts to handle their objections (and perhaps win your first customer).

2. “You want to be a millionaire? In your dreams!”

Dreaming big is made easier by surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people. Alas, some folk make it their personal mission to keep your head firmly out of the clouds.

There’s nothing wrong with including financial gains among your goals. Like the big quote of 2010, from Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker in ‘The Social Network’: “You know what’s cooler than a million dollars? A billion dollars!” (Though, I hope you won’t take these words as an endorsement of the Parker character’s coke-sniffing, college girl nooking ways.)

With positive people, the right connections and belief in your venture, your dream can become a reality.

3. “Just stick with something you know, like your job.”

If everyone in the world stuck with the status quo, we’d miss out on the good stuff, like Virgin Records, the internet, Hilton Hotels, Amazon (ok, ok, you get my point).

This advice is the enemy of the entrepreneurial mind.

Whenever you receive it remember that, if no one ever followed their dreams, we’d probably still be living in caves.

4. “That idea sucks”

Only-in-LA-faced Joan Rivers has a show on E called ‘How’d You Get So Rich’.

In it, Rivers travels around America talking to people about their wealth.

Their stories almost always involve variations of: dedication, a positive frame of mind, and hard work.

The bloke that created novelty teeth is now worth over $5 million.

The lesson? Your idea doesn’t suck. It just needs refining and market research.

5. “You’re going to fail.”

The only way to remove the risk of failure is to never try anything new ever – and what sort of life is that?

Fact: you are going to fail. Then, you’ll get up and try again.

No one becomes a success without first learning a few ‘life lessons’.

Don’t take it to heart, or give up on your venture prematurely.

Realise that you’re going to have unsuccessful times in your life.

The real challenge will be dusting yourself off and moving forward.

Just remember, you’re bigger than that!

There’s a marked difference between the entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial mind.

If I’d listened to the naysayers and fell back into ‘the norm’, I don’t think I’d be content with my present endeavors.

And I’d still have that nagging voice (people call it their conscience) saying, “But what if…”

Aileen Bautista started her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 25. At 28 she is now the founder and CEO of Dinoroar Interactive. She now works from home and loves it.