Biggest Mistake Anyone Starting A Business Can Do…

…is listen to the voices of those who never have.  Logically, we’d want to take advice from others who actually have done what we’re trying to do or know more about it than us.  But we don’t.  Not always.  In the beginning, so many of us listen to those closest around us.  But the problem with that is the people closest to us lose their ability to be objective because of the relationship they have with us.  In other words, they know who we were before we got here to today making it harder for them to guide us constructively to more successful tomorrow.

Or let’s, say, we’ve always been very ambitious and goal oriented and that has never changed.  It’s come to be expected from us, from those we know.  They expect us to be one of the people gracing the magazine covers of Inc., Fast Company or Entrepreneur one day. But even with their high expectations, what do their opinions really do for us?  How much insight does their second handed information offer us in our entrepreneurial quest? How much valuable advice can our friends and family offer us about the business we’re getting into?

Asking friends and family about our business ideas can be a good sounding board to start off with.  It allows us to measure their level of excitement about the idea or their skepticism (and quite honestly, most people will always be a little skeptical). But the fact of the matter is, if none of those family members or friends are in business for themselves, we may be hitting the wrong sounding board.  Which means, we’ll also have to be very careful of any advice we’re given, especially if there’s no practicality behind it.  Friends and family may have the best of intentions, but may be misinformed.

Some might say there are bigger mistakes that those going into business for themselves can make; having the wrong business partner, taking too large of a loan out or failing to market their business.  But I look at it like this — information is one the most powerful tools anyone doing anything can ever have.  And the internet hasn’t given us more information, it’s just given us more mazes to go through to try to find the right information.  It’s like asking your doctor why your car is making a rattling noise — you’re asking the wrong person.  Why gather and ask information from those who don’t have any?

So where do you go to when you need the right advice?  Find a SCORE office and ask to speak to one of the many business owners turned mentors.  Talk to an SBA representative.  Find angel investors in your city or area.  Join professional groups and associations.  Participate in LinkedIn groups and discussions.   Let your family and friends be your moral support, let the experienced be your be your advisor.



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