I’m a huge proponent of not doing things by way of conventional wisdom. Just sit there and think of someone you know who’s successful because they fit in and go with everyone else. I’ll wait.
If conventional wisdom erred on the side of being true, then everyone would be successful, no? This is the most commonly toxic advice that will never help you get ahead as an entrepreneur.
You Need An MBA
Newsflash: every single person I know who is a successful entrepreneur doesn’t have an MBA. Or even a Master’s Degree. Not a single one. MBAs are a colossal waste of your time and money, along with higher education (unless you’re looking to fit in at an I-Bank).
At the end of the day, all you have is a nice little piece of paper to hang up in your office, when the reality is you could have taken that six figures you invested and bought yourself a freaking company. Or started one from scratch!
If you want to stay stuck in corporate America, by all means, throw your money away on an MBA. If you actually want to be an entrepreneur, it’s trial by fire my friend. You can spend your life studying on how best to do things, but you need to actually get out there and try. That’s the best business teacher.
You Shouldn’t Do It
When you’re just starting out, you’re guaranteed to hear this piece of advice from someone. Or several someones.
Someone will always try to convince you that your idea isn’t good, that it’s not worth your time and money, that you shouldn’t quit your day job.
People have insecurities and people have doubts and they can’t help but let them seep in when they offer this piece of toxic advice. If you don’t get out there and try, you’re never going to know if you have something that will really take off.
You Need To Keep Your Prices Low
Everything has become a race to the bottom. By keeping your products or services as high quality as possible, you won’t have to worry about keeping your prices low.
People are always willing to pay for a superior product or service. Don’t underestimate that, and don’t price your products and services in a way that will put you out of business before you even get started.
You Need To Find Funding
If you have a computer and a dream, you can start a company. You don’t need to find funding in order to start your business, and quite frankly you shouldn’t.
You should build your business in the fastest and cheapest way you can. You can always find funding later, if and when you really need it.
You Need To Innovate Constantly
Constantly focusing on innovating and creating new products really can hurt you. It distracts from what you need to do to drive your business forward on a day-to-day basis.
Don’t get me wrong…innovating and creating new products is important, but it’s not the most important thing you have to do and you can easily waste a lot of time here.
I think a much better alternative is to focus on sales constantly. If you can’t bring money in, you can’t keep your business going.
You Need To Stick To Your Business Plan
I am a big believer in building a business plan, but I’m not a big believer in sticking to it. Things happen. Things change. The only thing you can be entirely certain of in business is that things are going to come up and you’re going to need to adapt quickly and go off the course you charted.
Stay flexible and adaptable and don’t be afraid to modify your business plan!
You Need X Type Of Background
This is definitely one of the most popular pieces of conventional wisdom I hear people throwing around: you need a certain, specific type of background to succeed at something or excel in a given industry.
I’m here to tell you this couldn’t be farther from the truth, and I’m a walking example. I went to school for fashion. I worked in fashion, then got a job in sales making double what I was making as a designer, before moving into ad tech and tripling my salary yet again. That shouldn’t have happened.
If I followed everyone’s advice that I needed to do my time in certain roles and that I couldn’t just switch industries entirely, I never would have ended up where I am.
Stay determined, stay focused, take risks, and go for opportunities you don’t even totally qualify for. You’ll be surprised at how far you can get by doing this alone.
You Need To Be Professional
While I do believe in being kind and conducting yourself in a manner that doesn’t hurt, harm, or insult others, I don’t buy into the idea of looking and being the professional part.
Being professional means being like everybody else and just fitting in. Nobody remembers you if you’re just like everybody else.
Don’t be afraid to be unique, to stand out, to not be what people think of when they think of a stereotypical business owner.
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery, along with Chip Chick Media which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about teaching women how to build a business and be an entrepreneur, in addition to keeping her readers informed of the latest technology trends and exciting products to improve their lifestyles.
You can send Bre a message here.