13 Worst Pieces Of Business Advice Ever Given

Here are mistakes to avoid starting or running an enterprise

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There’s an old saying: Learn form the mistakes of others because you won’t live long enough to make them yourself. As a startup entrepreneur, it’s a good idea to seek the business advice of others, however, you must also be aware that not all advice is good advice.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. YEC asked their members, “What is the worst piece of business advice you have ever received?” Here’s what made their list:

‘That Won’t Work’

“Be careful who you take advice from. Just because someone has been successful in one particular walk of life doesn’t mean they know about all business models. It’s easy for a person who doesn’t understand your ideas and thoughts to shoot them down for one reason or another. It’s your job to validate your ideas by talking directly with potential customers. ”

Dave Nevogt

[Related: 5 Empowering Tips for Women Entrepreneurs]

‘Stick With Your Degree’

“Everyone thinks that if you stick with your professional degree, you’ll be automatically successful. But skills are transferrable, and degrees should not define you. ”

Benish Shah
Before the Label

‘Fire Your Team’

“I once had an investor advise me to fire our entire team and close down an office. This would have been a disaster because they were on the eve of launching a product that later brought us significant success. Fortunately, we took the time to get to the root of our challenges and how our team would help us solve them. It turned out to be nothing more than a misunderstanding. ”

Tyler Arnold
SimplySocial Inc.

‘Business Isn’t Personal’

“Everyone has heard the phrase, “It’s not personal; it’s business.” Yet I found that to be as far from reality as it gets. It is personal. Business is, after all, about people. When you start and run a business, you deal with people constantly, whether it’s your partners, investors, employees or customers. Like it or not, their psyche, emotions, personal ambitions, etc., come into play.”

Panos Panay
Berklee College of Music

‘Write a Business Plan’

“Startups are like a seek-and-destroy mission. You can only plan so much in advance. What you need are really smart, hard-working and team-oriented people who can think on their feet and adjust to what signals users send your way.”

Jordan Fliegel
CoachUp, Inc.

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  • Myrtle Welch

    Go Public! PROS and CONS
    Believe it or not, Small Business and Start-Ups can go Public too!
    Raise Capital. Do Mergers and Acquisitions.
    Why go Public??
    Grow your company faster and make it more powerful by
    – attracting top personnel without necessarily huge cash outlays
    -attracting top notch team members to your board of directors.
    – increasing your ability to attract “mergers”, “acquisitions” and “strategic partners.
    – increasing its ability to compete for large corporate contracts.
    – increasing your status in the eyes of all those you do business with.
    – Raise money faster and cheaper by increasing the “liquidity” factor for your investors.
    – Public companies are worth more than private companies
    – Management loses some freedom to act without board or shareholder approval.
    – Shareholders may judge management in terms of profits, dividends and stock prices., not long term goals
    – The cost of an initial public offering is substantial,
    – The SEC requires the company to reveal sensitive information regularly.
    – Financial statements will be audited on a regular basis.
    – Control of the company can be lost to investors obtaining majority control.
    Work with experienced professionals if you consider going public.
    Get more info at

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  • Stephanie_Silvian

    Thanks for this insightful article. Here is one piece of GOOD advice that helped me a lot on my own journey with my startup. I applied for an honorary doctorate from LADC Institute, which is a non-profit organization that awards honorary doctorates in exchange for an $89 donation. This allows you to add the title of “Dr” to your name, which is very useful, especially when dealing with people that are higher up. It gives you status and a certain level of respect, and it’s all legitimate as this organization is set up specifically for awarding honorary degrees to deserving people. Please do yourself a favor and get one, that little title helped me so much.

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