365 days a year, 24 hours a day, business legacies and giants of commerce are throwing out golden nuggets of small business advice.
At times though these pieces of advice are cryptic, vague, or just plain confusing. There is often some great knowledge in there — you just need to work out what it is.
For newcomers to the business world, getting your head around what these pros actually mean can be a bit of a challenge. Let’s look into some famous and commonly cited quotes and decrypt the secrets they hold.
“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough” — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder.
It’s tempting to air on the side of caution when developing your company. You want to be sure the move is going to be a success. So, you halt progress for rigorous testing, beta stages, etc.
But waiting around is being stagnant. Take too long to move forward and you could be overtaken by a competitor, or just spend too much time working the wrong idea.
Move fast and make mistakes. Get a product ready for the market, but don’t be a perfectionist. Learn as you go.
“Behold the turtle, he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” — James Bryant Conant, Legendary Innovator.
If you want to move forward, you have to take risks. Playing things safe might offer stability and safety, but it won’t offer evolution of your brand and increased prosperity. Set tougher targets, push your business harder, and bet on innovative, unusual products and ideas.
“Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you.” — Mark Cuban, Business Titan
Unless your business is utterly unique, you will have competitors. Competitors are always trying to one-up you, as you are trying to one-up them. Understanding this piece of small business advice means understanding that you can’t stand still. If you want to reach the top, you have to work like your competitors are about to overtake you, even if they aren’t.
“Chase the vision, not the money.” — Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
If you create a business out of the desire to become rich, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Most big names in business didn’t start out with that billionaire dream. They started with passion and an idea.
Going into a venture with the blind ambition of monetary gain is a surefire way to fail. It often takes years before a business becomes worth mega money, and by then you’ll probably have jumped ship, looking for a quicker way to financial success.
Business success requires dedication and passion — not greed.
“Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.” — Paul Rand, Graphic Designer
Many entrepreneurs push themselves to come up with the most innovative, life changing idea, but this really isn’t necessary. To be successful, you don’t have to be unique — you have to be better. When I started my chartered accountancy firm, I didn’t spend years trying to be more innovative than my competitors. I just focused on offering customers a better service.
“All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA .” — Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
Business culture has built this idea that you either have that entrepreneurial flair or you don’t.
This is simply not the case. If you have an idea, a business dream you want to chase, don’t let anyone stop you from following that dream. If you have the dedication and the patience, anyone can learn from these pieces of small business advice and start their own company.
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