10 Silliest Bits of Advice when running a Business



 As soon as you talk to friends and associates about going into business there will be no shortage of tips, advice and guidance offered to you. It’s important to talk to those who are experienced in business, especially those who have been successful.

Think twice about taking advice from anyone in business who does not have a successful track record. This includes accountants and other advisers whose advice often contradicts that given by highly successful business owners.

The following are 10 bits of advice which are nothing less than plain silly and stupid.

If you are contemplating buying or running a business make sure you ignore these so called “pearls of wisdom” when they're “thrown” at you.

  1. “You will make a fortune – go for it.” "If you have a strong enough dream - you will make it."
    People who tell you that you will make a fortune and pressure you to get into business without taking the time to talk and assess what your business is all about are simply fools. If they are not successful business owners themselves, then they are not only fools, but also dangerous.

    Steer well clear of this type of advice. Make sure your decisions are based on sound research and confirmed facts. If necessary get a second and third opinion. "Soak like a sponge" every bit of advice from people who know what they are doing.


  2. “All you need to do is think success.”
    Think success all you like, but you’ll get absolutely nowhere unless you “get off your bike”, sit down with your advisers and convert your business ideas into action. Success has nothing to do with luck, or with visualization or any other “airy fairy” notion.

    Success comes from hard work, sound planning, adequate finance, strong motivation, family support, detailed research, market knowledge, knowing your competitors, setting achievable goals, balancing work with time out and using good old common sense.


  3. “You’ll be able to enjoy your life now, working whatever hours you want.”
    Don’t fall into this trap. You may find that when you start working for yourself you will have to put in more hours than when you were working for a boss. There is no such thing as closing time at 5 o’clock if you are self-employed.

    There is obviously greater opportunity to restructure your work hours to suit your lifestyle and your family needs, but never forget that if you don’t put the hours in, you will not generate enough income to survive. Discipline your time so your business hours are used only for business. Then balance your day so you have time out for relaxation and a cup of coffee when you feel like it.


  4. “If you have a strong enough dream – you’ll make it.”
    Once again dream all you like, but nothing’s going to happen unless you get out there and do it. Your dreams need to be your motivation. There may be truth to the saying – “visualise success in order to be successful” - but this only applies to the fact that unless you can visualise success, then there is nothing to strive for.

    Anyone can dream. Dreams are easy. Dreams are free. Converting your dreams to profit and success requires something else. That something is planning, effort and commitment. Don’t just be a dreamer. Be a doer.


  5. “There’s no reason why you can’t be as successful as so-and-so.”
    This is not entirely a myth. There is no reason why you can’t achieve success. They say that you (and I) have the same amount of brain matter as anyone else. Just be smarter, more focused and more creative.

    Other people may have qualities such as entrepreneurial drive or plenty of family money to help them in their business. Use the success of others as motivation, but never buy into the idea that being successful is going to be easy simply because so-and-so has done it. Your success or failure will depend entirely on you.


  6. “Don’t do it – too many people fail in business.”
    Statistics show that over 70% of businesses close up or fail within the first 3 to 5 years. If correct then they are disastrous statistics. They’re enough to put anyone off any type of self-employment. Someone once told this story: “Maestro, said the surgeon to the famous musician, I played for you at a master class. You advised me to stop playing professionally. You said I would never be great. I want to thank you because I listened to your advice and became a doctor. The maestro peered at the surgeon and said, ‘I don’t remember you – because I tell all my students that. - The great ones ignore my advice and continue anyway’.”

    Don’t allow the “you’ll probably fail” advice to put you off. Follow what has been in your heart . Sit down and talk it through with those you trust. Then assess whether to continue after weighing up all the facts.


  7. “You should be okay, but you need to build up your confidence.”
    Confidence is only a part of what you'll need to be successful in business. Your confidence will grow as you achieve some of the goals you set yourself. Confidence comes from experience. Experience comes from mistakes. Mistakes come from just doing it. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes along the way as long as you learn from them. If you hold back because someone said you don’t have the confidence, then you'll be doing yourself a great disservice.

    If you lack confidence, do a business course. Carry out thorough research on your type of business. Talk with business owners in your industry. Discuss with experienced and positive business advisers. Confidence comes when you put that first foot forward. Just go for it.


  8. “You can always return to what you were doing before.”
    Never allow yourself an easy way out – because at the first sign of trouble, you’ll take it. In any event, if you leave your well-paid job to go into business and then find you don't succeed, it may not be that easy to return to your former trade or occupation.

    There is no doubt that you could return to your old firm, but you would lose a lot of ground by leaving that secure job and then returning to start from the ground floor again when things don't work out. Also, the fact that your business failed would not look too good on your resume. Think winning not retreating. Take no prisoners.


  9. “Don’t worry, be happy.”
    If you are thinking of going into business, then this little saying is probably the silliest bit advice of all. Business is not a game. You will have hard times and you will have good times. You will have problems and you can always count on a disaster or two. Deliveries go astray, premises get burgled, customers sue. Prepare for it. Try also to keep in mind this one thing - stay out of court at all costs. Try and settle your differences together rather than going to law because litigation is costly in terms of stress, money, time, headaches and heartaches.

    Depending on the seriousness of the action, it may cost you in extra years added to your life from the strain of it all. Business generally brings with it many worries. But being in business can also bring happiness and tremendous satisfaction. If you study how to run a business, listen to advisers and work hard to follow the basic principles for success, your chances of being happy, wealthy and fulfilled are pretty high.


  10. You can quit anytime anyway.
    If you buy a business with that thought in your heart, you will most likely not stay the distance. As soon as things get difficult you’ll give it away. Don’t quit. Nothing beats perseverance. The tiny drip of water hitting the iron bar - day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, second after second - eventually corrodes and smashes it.

    Nothing can stand in your way if you are determined to win. No one can stop your success except you. If you don’t quit you’ll make it! That’s the catch cry used by the multi billion dollar AMWAY organisation's sales millionaires.

    Never ever quit. Never surrender.


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