Avoid th­ese non­sense busi­ness ‘tips’

Sunday Express - - CAREERS & OPPORTUNITIES - NO mat­ter how good your idea, you won’t be able to ex­e­cute suc­cess­fully if you leave it trapped in a lit­tle box.

CON­GRATS on strik­ing out on your own and be­com­ing an en­tre­pre­neur. But now brace your­self. You’re about to en­counter an end­less, al­beit wellinten­tioned, tor­rent of ad­vice from founders, in­vestors, friends and fam­ily, the con­struc­tion work­ers on your cor­ner and the dog-walker, all shar­ing their thoughts on how best to run your com­pany.

But how to de­cide which nuggets are gold and which are duds? Here, some of the big­gest pieces of BS ad­vice I re­ceived when when start­ing my own busi­nesses.

1. Don’t tell oth­ers

You can’t op­er­ate your busi­ness out of fear. No mat­ter how good your idea, you won’t be able to ex­e­cute suc­cess­fully if you leave it trapped in a lit­tle box. Ev­ery en­tre­pre­neur has an idea that is dif­fer­ent from the idea that they started with, and that idea is likely dif­fer­ent than the ideas that will even­tu­ally help grow their busi­ness in the fu­ture. One of the only ways we as en­trepreneurs have been suc­cess­ful is by shar­ing our ideas with other peo­ple. They’re the ones who helped us change and grow our idea into what it is to­day.

2. Take all re­jec­tion ad­vice

When go­ing through the process of build­ing a busi­ness, you’re go- ing to get shot down. A lot. It’s the na­ture of the busi­ness, and a hur­dle you’re go­ing to have to over­come more than once. When you get re­jected, don’t get de­fen­sive and ask whomever you’re pitch­ing why they won’t sup­port you.

In most cases, the rea­son you’ll be given will likely be disin­gen­u­ous and prob­a­bly not help­ful. Some in­vestors may give you a mile­stone to reach in or­der for them to in­vest. If this hap­pens, ig­nore it. They’re just try­ing to get you out the door or close the loop on what is now an un­wanted email chain.

3. Only hire ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple

When it comes to build­ing your team, you shouldn’t get hung up on an in­di­vid­ual’s ex­pe­ri­ence. Why? Be­cause ex­pe­ri­ence is ex­pen­sive. What’s key in build­ing a great team is hir­ing peo­ple who be­lieve in what you’re do­ing as much as you do. You need to build your brand with peo­ple who are will­ing to work the crazi­ness that is a startup sched­ule, putting in nights and week­ends for a frac­tion of the pay they could de­mand on the mar­ket in ex­change for eq­uity in the com­pany. Find­ing a team com­prised of in­di­vid­u­als that are wildly pas­sion­ate about their work will get you fur­ther than two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence any day.

4. You’re with us or against us

Whether or not some­one is go­ing to work for you or in­vest in you, it’s im­por­tant to foster those re­la­tion­ships along the way. Your grow­ing net­work can pro­vide un­prece­dented and unique ad­vice and in­sight, re­gard­less of whether or not they’re go­ing to be­come a part of your ven­ture in the long run. If noth­ing else, th­ese re­la­tion­ships could lead to in­vestors and ad­vi­sors down the line. The more peo­ple who know about your busi­ness, the bet­ter.

Eval­u­ate each piece of ad­vice based on what’s best for your brand, and ap­ply or dis­card as needed.

–– En­ter­preneur

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