Common Entrepreneurial Advice That You Need to Ignore

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entrepreneurial advice

Entrepreneurs get advice every day from their professional advisors and information they read. A lot of it needs to be ignored.

Pay close attention to disregarding these platitudes and what to do instead.

It Takes Money to Make Money

Many entrepreneurs spend too much money getting their company off the ground. In fact, having a lot of money can lead to being wasteful. Use small investments to test ideas and get paying customers. Based on this success or failure, spend a little more money to test the next action.

Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow

This principle has the entrepreneur focused on what they want to do – instead of what the customer wants. Building a company is about finding the pain a buyer has, not what the entrepreneur wants to provide.

Instead, do what you love and if you solve a customer’s pain – the money will always follow.

Failure is Required for Success

This is what many entrepreneurs tell themselves when they fail. While failure is not required for success, ultimately it is part of every entrepreneur’s experience.

Never fear failure. When it comes, acknowledge it, learn what you can, then take another action to give you another chance at success.

Failure is Not an Option

Not only is it an option, it is the most likely outcome. Get comfortable with the fact that you will fail some of the time and not know exactly what will happen next.

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

This is short term thinking. While it is important to be carefully frugal with your money, not every transaction needs to yield the maximum profit.

Successful business owners invest in long term relationships.

Good Things Come to Those That Wait

Waiting is typically not in an owners DNA. As another platitude says, “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it.”

Being proactive rather than reactive will typically win the day.

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Be careful not to give away your value to customers for free.

Entrepreneurs typically undervalue their products and services since they are uncomfortable asking customers to buy.

The Customer is Always Right

If the customer was always right, most entrepreneurs would be out of business! When the customer has a concern, the most important thing is to listen and show empathy.

They don’t need to be right, but always need to be heard.

Another Day, Another Dollar

Making money is not a linear process. Successful small business owners look for the leverage in profitability and this typically is not in the form of working harder or longer hours.

Look for the financial leverage points in hiring other people, intellectual property or a dedicated distribution channel.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

While this is literally true, there are ways to make money all around any entrepreneur.

Follow the customers that have the money and solve their pain – and the money will follow.

Advice Photo via Shutterstock

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Barry Moltz Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting with countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward. His newest book, BAM! shows how in a social media world, customer service is the new marketing.

13 Reactions
  1. “The customer’s always right” – That was the motto when I used to work in customer service. I never believed in. I always felt everyone deserved to be treated with respect, both customer and service provider, and that that motto wasn’t to be used as a get-out clause for bad behaviour.

  2. The last sentence is gold! Follow the customers that have the money and solve their pain…I never thought of it that way before. But it makes perfect sense. Why target the lower or middle class of folks struggling to get by? Target those that can afford to spend money and price your service or product accordingly.

    • Sylvia: I feel people struggling to get by still have to spend money, still have a need they’d pay money to have solved. I don’t think it’s necessarily a class thing.

      • @ebele Of course you are right that lower income folks have needs and they need to spend money. But speaking from experience, an entrepreneur looking to start a business can be spinning their wheels if they target a market that can’t afford their service/product.

        I owned a retail store (franchise) several years ago that failed. Ridiculously low prices was supposed to be the draw. And the customer base was more lower income because that’s what they could afford (barely). That was the wrong business model for someone who wanted to make a decent living.

        So, I believe if you want to make it worth your while you need to follow the customers with the money.

        You know the saying ‘I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.’? I grew up poor and I’m still not rich but I wouldn’t mind trying rich for a change.

      • That’s your truth and experience, Sylvia, and I respect it (though I differ in view). Thanks for explaining further.

    • Sometimes, the middle and lower classes are in pain, too, and need help finding solutions.

  3. Creative Destruction aka “If it ain’t broke break it”.

    No! Build on what is already working instead.

  4. Very cool , glad I had the chance to read it

  5. Anita Campbell

    Failure is the most likely outcome, huh? Ah, my! Sadly, truer words were never said.

    These are great, Barry.

    – Anita

  6. Naomi@business start ups

    Hi Barry,

    I hear this one the most and it completely leads people down the wrong path…

    “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow”…

    Unless what you ‘love’ is what the market demands…Forget it

    Always do the research!