Starting a business is hard work. It requires persistence, an investment of time and money, patience, and certainly extreme effort. Many entrepreneurs face resistance from family and friends at first. They may even face challenges from people they thought were friends, but who turned out to be competitors or those hoping for their failure.
For many entrepreneurs, the road can be lonely.
It’s easy to feel cut off, isolated, and alone when beginning any type of business venture. Friends don’t understand. Family just doesn’t get it. ‘You had a decent job. You were making good money. Why wasn’t that good enough? Why are you putting yourself ‘out there’ where you will most likely fail?’ they may be thinking
Some people use comments like these as motivation. Others let them get under their skin, into their head, and cause them to focus on failure rather than success. Whether you’re in the earliest planning stages of your new business venture or are in the midst of it all, there are going to be plenty of things people say to you and advice offered.
Below are five things you may have already heard or may hear soon enough that, as an entrepreneur, you don’t need to hear. What we mean is these are things you should certainly ignore.
1. It’s not going to work.
This is common. People will tell you, “It’s just not possible. Why are you even trying?” These people simply don’t understand. They like things to be safe. They like to know exactly how much money they will be bringing in every single week. It helps them determine how to pay their bills, it keeps them from being stressed out wondering when the next payment will come in, and that level of comfort is essential in their life.
They don’t know your long-term strategy, your short-term goals, or what you truly envision. They just see failure where you see potential success. Because you cannot guarantee success -and they know it- they will focus on the negatives, the absolute certainty you will fail.
Don’t use these comments as motivation, but rather simply ignore them. No one knows what the future will hold. No one can tell you with any certainty whether what you’re working on is going to be successful or not. This statement is a strawman argument that holds absolutely no weight.
2. Don’t listen to ‘so-and-so.’
A friend might try to give you advice he or she thinks is sound, such as not listening to what another person has to say. Successful entrepreneurs will readily admit they listen to many different types of advice from a broad range of people. Some of it could be beneficial.
You simply have to develop a filter that will help you determine whose advice is worth listening to. What level of direct experience do they have that could qualify them as an ‘expert’ in the field? Just because it may be somebody your friend doesn’t like doesn’t mean the advice is wrong, poor, or inaccurate.
Be discerning and don’t shirk quality advice.
3. You don’t need help from her.
Or him. Similar to the second point here, people have prejudices and preconceived notions about the assistance others may offer you. Their motivations may be pure. They may see the potential success of your idea and want to get involved.
If you turn away help just because a friend or yours doesn’t trust this person, don’t think their motivations are pure, or believe you can do this on your own, that might only hamper your efforts in the short and long run. Of course, you need to be diligent and carefully vet every potential source of assistance and support to make sure their motivations align with yours, but thinking you can do this on your own when help is available is asking for trouble.
4. Well, you gave it a shot and it wasn’t meant to be.
Let’s put this out there right from the start: you will make mistakes. Most likely, you will fail at some point. Almost every successful entrepreneur out there has failed previously. When somebody sees your mistakes, your failures, or how your idea just didn’t take off like you had hoped, and they turn around and pat you on the back and say, “Hey, you tried. That’s more than most people can say,” what they’re really saying is, “It’s time to get back to reality.”
In other words, it’s time to get back to a ‘regular’ job, something that will pay the bills and be consistent. What you need to realize is this wasn’t a failure (unless you let it be); it was a learning process. That’s how the most successful entrepreneurs do it; they learn from their mistakes, they change their strategies or approach and go out and do it better the next time.
5. Just don’t make any mistakes.
As we just mentioned, mistakes are absolutely crucial to success. It goes against conventional thinking, but if you don’t make any mistakes you will not learn. You can read about the most successful entrepreneurs, you can have a template to follow, and you can have everything lined up perfectly (and you will certainly learn from those things) but most of us learn better from the mistakes we make.
Don’t misunderstand this, though. We are not advocating that you go out and deliberately make mistakes. If you already know the wrong thing to do, don’t do it. Some things will work well in one particular industry or for one specific entrepreneur that won’t work for others. These mistakes will happen.
Also realize the more invested you become in this venture, the narrower your tunnel vision becomes. When you get tunnel vision, that’s when mistakes are more likely to occur.
Don’t be afraid of them. If you become afraid of making mistakes, you won’t move forward. People who tell you to avoid making mistakes don’t understand what it means to be an entrepreneur.
When you ignore these five things people may say to you as an entrepreneur, you can turn around and focus on what’s most important for your venture. Read up on the most successful entrepreneurs, especially in your niche. Learn what they did and how they became successful. Don’t be afraid of those mistakes and remember, no one else truly understands your vision if they’re saying these things to you.