best business advice

The best business advice I ever received regarding starting a business was, “Don’t do it”. Statistically speaking, that is the most sage advice. Followed, it will save most people untold amounts of money, time, and heartache, simply because the vast majority of businesses “fail”. Why do they fail? Well, I don’t think they actually “fail”. In a way, I don’t think there is such a thing as “fail”. But frankly, most businesses “fail” because most people (men and women) just give up and STOP when it gets hard (and it ALWAYS gets hard).

“Men do not fail, they just give up easily”Elihu Root

The sad thing is, most people give up due to the very element that will shape and inform their success“failure”. Yes, failure is an essential tool in your toolbox! “Failure” is data, information, guidance, teaching, instruction and direction for an entrepreneur. It is to be welcomed and acted upon.

Success is failure turned inside out – simply by using the “mentorship” that failure offers. Yes, I know it sounds odd, and it is very counterintuitive.

It takes a certain kind of person to ignore the seemingly endless waves of “failure” that crash upon anyone who attempts to do something bigger – like starting a business. You either ARE that kind of person, are willing to MAKE YOURSELF INTO that kind of person; or perhaps you shouldn’t become an entrepreneur.

There are generally two kinds of people in the business world, “Chandelier Swingers” and “Stones”. You have to figure out which you are, and which you want to be. And the good news is… the world of business needs both!

“Chandelier Swingers” are those fearless, swing-for-the-fence types that are more comfortable “going-for-broke”… and they will likely get there (broke that is) more than once, at various points in their journey. But then they’ll keep swinging, and swinging and swinging. Because that is how they’re wired. And because of that, they are far better candidates to start up enterprises and businesses.

Businesses require founders who can be fearless, undeterred by doubt, able to tolerate risk and able to keep swinging throughout. That is how success is ultimately won. And typically, this is where the big rewards are found, financial and otherwise.

“Stones” on the other hand are typically risk-averse. They are rock-steady and tend to play it safe and stay in their lane and comfort zone. This is the majority of people in the business world, and you need a lot of solid “stones” to build your business. They are the ones that show up day-in and day-out that you can count on. Solid, steady stones are invaluable!

Every now and then, a stone will step out and want to try being a chandelier swinger, and it usually doesn’t work out well. That doesn’t mean it can’t; they just need to know how to behave like a chandelier swinger (and not let it crush their psyche). More often than not, they’ll need to transform themselves over a period of time, but that kind of makeover can take years of internal work, self awareness and understanding. But if you are a stone that wants to become a chandelier swinger, then just do it, do not give up, understand the process and embrace failure!

As far as outside advice goes, take it in, hear it all, consider it all, but what is “good” advice for YOU is so personal to your experience, journey and current situation. Good advice might be really good, but it also may not be what YOU need right now. Frankly, the only good advice is the advice you give yourself after taking it all in, dwelling on it and considering it against the “knowledge of self” that you have honed over the years through brutal self examination and self awareness.

That said, “Buy low, sell high” is always great advice under any circumstance!


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