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  • Alan Ball

Smart Advice for Entrepreneurs: Don't Listen to Advice !




Now that title is a contradiction in terms if ever I saw one. But it comes from experience.

Entrepreneurs are different in many ways. They see the world differently. Most people leave school, college or university and get a job. They focus on developing a career working for someone else. They might get further up the ladder and some may eventually make a good income.


Entrepreneurs don’t do that. They may already be developing several business ideas before they even leave school. And you can be certain most if not all of them will be advised to get a ‘proper job’ at some stage, probably by more than one person. A proper job is, of course, a ‘safe’ job working for someone else.


I have always questioned that logic. It comes from the familiarity most people have with the life they know. This is a life in which you leave full-time education, get a job, get married, have kids and buy a house. Most people follow that path and that life, and don’t even consider why they might do anything else. That’s fine for many people, but entrepreneurs don’t fit into that mould.


Many entrepreneurs struggle in the early stages. They may not make money. They may have to get another job to support themselves. Make no mistake though: It will be a job, not a career. The focus will still be on what they really want to achieve.


The advice to get a proper job is usually given in good faith and with the fledgling entrepreneur’s best interests at heart. No one wants to see them fail (at least, not very often. Most people are generally good-hearted). However, we are not all made the same way. For an entrepreneur, the worst thing they could do would be to work for someone else. And let’s face it, this is hardly the safest route you could take to a secure income today anyway. Jobs for life are rare and few jobs are safe.


An entrepreneur can, and arguably should, ignore the advice to take the ‘safe’ route. They should continue to plug away at their dreams. When you persevere it is surprising just how much you can achieve. Many entrepreneurs look back to where they started and they are quite surprised at how things have panned out. Not everything will work, but their perseverance and determination will bring them to a point where they can achieve far more than they ever dreamed of.


You can see then that ignoring the advice of others is a great idea when that advice comes from those who have taken the ‘safe’ route through life. Only other entrepreneurs are qualified to give advice to people who are just starting out on that same route. So be careful who you listen to. Listen, of course, and be polite, but don’t let anyone deter you from the dream you have to create one or more of your own businesses. That’s not a great thing to look back on.

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