In Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon states that all advice is “autobiographical.” He claims that the advice we give “is really just advice we’d be giving our younger selves.”
With that in mind, I posed the question, “What advice would you give to first time entrepreneurs, or your younger self?” to my Facebook group of almost 9,000 entrepreneurs
Here are what 17 members of the group had to say:
1. Thevesan Sooriyakumar says, “Don't listen to anyone but yourself. Follow your heart.”
2. Tyler Curran explains, “Solve one problem at a time.”
3. Saurabh Chawla advises, “Listen to all, come back home, look at your business, write down the points you have heard all day, decide the information you feel will benefit your business, put all the other information in the dust bin. Now tamper with the information you have to make it attuned to what your heart's saying.”
4. Sara O'Neil says, “Don't focus on the product. Focus on the problem you're trying to solve, and the rest will fall into place. Also, 99.9 percent of what you do shouldn't be about you. It should be your market and your value.”
5. Maniraho Pascal says, “Trust your brain. Use your brain. Do whatever it tells you to do.”
6. Rock says, “Identify all the things that can go wrong with your business. Identify a response to all of the issues you can think of. Now imagine someone coming up from behind at this very moment swinging a baseball bat to your head. The latter is what happens in business. Steel yourself for the unknown and forge forward.”
7. Peter Fishering advises, “The first step in achieving your goals is to be able to actually picture yourself there. This means you can see yourself doing whatever it is you wish to do. If you can't see yourself accomplishing whatever it is you wish to do then you can't. Play the video over and over again in your mind doing it.”
8. Phouphet Bounsana says to “learn from the mistake of others.”
9. Bryon Postlethwait says, “The day you stop listening to the market is the day the market stops listening to you!”
10. Charles Phillips III shares, “Learn to say 'no' and say it often.”
11. Brian Edward Fisher V shares a favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin: "Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”
12. Mitesh Acharya says, “Plan B is as important as your plan A. Take a deep dive into different possible failure scenarios as well and what could be your response to it. While a success can push you five to 10 years ahead in life, a failure can have a similar impact in an opposite direction. It may sound cliche, but in my view it's about knowing the worst-case scenario.”
13. Christopher White cautions, “Know your s**t. Research. When you think you know the answer, research some more.”
14. Richard Horton explains, “I have a big sign on the inside of my door that says 'Don't Panic!'”
15. Bryn van Nuissenburg provides a simple insight: “Don't give up.”
16. Dylan Jay Sehyr Weitzman shares, “Be passionate about what you are doing and don't just do it for the money. Remember that people buy value, not products. Change is the only constant, don't be afraid to fire someone."
17. Jagriti Choudhary explains, “Keep going, no matter what. Give it at least 1,000 days.”
Being an entrepreneur is not easy. In fact, I’d say being an entrepreneur is even harder than being a prison inmate. That’s another post altogether though.
What advice do you have? Share it in the comments section below.