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Advice for Entrepreneurs

Written by Nickel - 8 Comments

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The topic of this month’s MBN Group Writing Project is “Your Best Advice for New Entrepreneurs.” When this topic first came up, I wasn’t sure what to think, as I’ve never really though of myself as an entrepreneur. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am an entrepreneur of sorts. No, I haven’t ditched my day job and struck out on my own, but I have built up a decent stream of side income from online publishing.

So… With that as a backdrop, I thought I’d share a few lessons that I’ve learned…

Love what you do

As trite as this sounds, I’m convinced that it’s critical to success. Working for yourself can become an all-consuming endeavor. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t have the staying power to succeed. Looking at it another way, if you’re going to hate what you do, you might as well keep you day job. 🙂

Be patient

Success takes time, so try not to get discouraged early on. Obviously, you want to see signs of growth but, even for successful ventures, there’s likely to be a lag phase before things really take off. This was absolutely the case for me, but things definitely ramped up over time.

Be prepared to work hard

Since success depends largely on one thing — YOU — then you need to be prepared to work hard to achieve it. While there’s a good bit of luck, planning, etc. involved with every success, I’m convinced that a major ingredient is hard, consistent work. If you’re not willing to you’re not willing to really pursue

Consider potential partners carefully

Before involving a partner, be absolutely sure that you need one. And if you do, then be very careful about who you choose. The reason I say this is that it’s rare for anyone else to be as passionate about your ideas as you are. And if they don’t share your passion, you’ll end up doing the lion’s share of the work while taking them along for the ride.

Know when to call it a day

Just as important as being patient is knowing when to pull the plug on unproductive endeavors. In the past, I’ve fallen in love with particular ideas and ended up spinning my wheels for far too long. Don’t get overly attached to your ideas or you might end up wasting a lot of time.

And now… Here are the contributions from other MBNers:

As well as some contributions from elsewhere on the web:

Published on July 28th, 2008 - 8 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Thanks for pointing out that entrepreneurs should be “prepared to work hard.” I think many people get into working for themselves because they think they’ll have extra time for themselves and more freedom…

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 28th 2008 @ 11:17 am
  2. I completely agree with everything that you have on here. On the “being patient” comment, many people believe that customers will flock to their door after opening. This just does not happen. Also, I have seen many partnerships break up friendships, marriages, and other relationships. Be prepared for the good times and the bad times when opening a business. Great post!

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 28th 2008 @ 11:30 am
  3. There are so many things that would-be entrepreneurs need to be aware of, I’m not sure any one person can even come close to compiling a complete list. One of the most important things one needs to do is to keep and open mind and realize that there are areas where others know much more. It is easy for someone to fall into the whole DIY trap, but there comes a point when they must recognize that it is more cost- and time-effective to call a pro.

    I wrote about this same topic back in June, and feel that it can act as an addendum to the original post:

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 28th 2008 @ 1:08 pm
  4. I laughed when you wrote know when to call it a day. I drive my wife nuts because my mind is always thinking about my businesses. I think that is true for most entrepreneurs.

    It is great advice though. You need to be able to shut down and enjoy life.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jul 29th 2008 @ 9:57 am
  5. Can’t argue with any of the advice here. I enjoy what I do, I am patient but it’s no time to take the business to the next level. I’m currently looking for potential partners and I am hoping that one person I have in mind will join me. The main thing I’ve learnt is that you can’t do it all on your own.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 2nd 2008 @ 1:48 pm
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