Remember the times when you told your mom that her life advice is horrible? Because you see either no relevance or disagree with her arguments, only to discover that her advice is useful under certain circumstances.
Like mom, there are times when she could be wrong (she’s human, after all) and other times; she is right.
But unlike mom’s advice, the world of entrepreneurship holds more risk and test of nerve and persistence. One mistake could cost you a hefty price tag and missed boats. So you may want to critically analyse and decide if the same advice is applicable across your business domain.
Many times, new startup founders glamorise and idolize other successful founders so much to the extent it paralyzes their core ability to reason and think critically.
Everybody wants to be a founder, even though they’re clueless about running a business, a company. Everybody wants to start up a company, a project, and hopefully, scale the business until it becomes millions of valuation.
Serial entrepreneur Mark Suster from Upfront Ventures, who also sold both his startup Koral and BuildOnline to SalesForce and The Sword Group respectively, admits…
Disclaimer: I ran two SaaS software companies. My experiences come from this. I can’t say they’re applicable to all businesses but I think many of the lessons will be applicable to most tech firms.
Rather than consuming these nuggets of wisdom blindly, stop what you’re doing this moment and start taking a moment to reflect if any of these business tips and tricks are practical, feasible and helpful to your businesses. Because these tips can potentially paralyse your decision-making consciousness, if followed mindlessly.
Why it’s bad: Mark Cuban once said,”Don’t follow your passion, follow your effort.” Things that we love doing may not be worth a nickel, but if you invest your time in what you’re doing, you’ll become good over time and with that, comes along passion and motivation. The real passions come with effort and progress, and he’s right about that.
Why it’s bad: This piece of advice is a surefire way to failure, when taken too literal. Every idea needs execution to become a reality. But sometimes these ideas may not turn out well, and if there’s anything about true entrepreneurship, it’s about knowing when to let go.
Market conditions change, data can often be misinterpreted and ever changing as well. The ability to pivot and embrace alternatives is vital because, at the end of the day, the customers will decide if it’s worthwhile putting in their bucks for your ideas.
Why it’s bad: This advice is not entirely flawed because failing is not a bad thing. In fact, if the sooner you learn from your mistakes, you’ll pick yourself up faster. Hopefully. But the entire ‘fail fast and hard’ culture has gone out of proportion.
One of the best ways of learning from mistakes is to adopt these lessons from others who have been there, done that. Evaluate, learn and find a way to succeed. Be analytical and tenacious but don’t be stubborn. As Mark McDonald has it in his words,
Stubborn founders persist, despite plentiful evidence that they should not. Persistence is a vital attribute that includes the ability to acknowledge when one has made a mistake and that a new plan of action must take place.
Why it’s bad: While this popular belief may work for big players like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, it won’t work well with every startup as much as you’d like to believe. Even the startup scene in Silicon Valley and Malaysia is different. So unless you can whip up an excellent user acquisition strategy like these behemoths brands, it’s a great first step to understanding and building the kind of product that your customers (really, really) want.
Why it’s bad: Before you decide to apply for a $50,000 worth of patent, it won’t be necessary- unless you’ve developed a groundbreaking invention. Your ideas are likely to change as you go along this journey; so bear in mind that your patent will be a waste of resources because your product or app is going through an incremental phase of changes anyway. Your best bet? Make every execution count- fail fast and learn even faster.
Some of these startup advices might not be relevant to your business, and some could also be 100% right. Most of the times, these cliched advice are biased, depending on who you’re getting it from.
Remember always to listen, before jumping to conclusion and making decisions but most importantly, keep an open mind and keep moving forward. The lessons you get from your mom during your early years could well be applied in this situation.
PS: Although if you need someone to talk to, aside from your mom, you can always reach out to us at Tribehired 🙂