May 7 2010

(Re-Post) 17 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Listen to “Experts”

flickhimThis post is a 100% re-post from YoungEntrepreneur.COM. A great article on trusting your ideas and making them happen. I say instead of letting people talk you out of your idea, take action on it and prove it won’t work by actually attempting it! Awesome Article! Enjoy.

17 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Listen to “Experts”

It was a painful thing to hear. The words coming from his mouth felt like daggers in my chest.

“That will never work!”

In a handful of stages of my life, there has been a snarky, know-it-all who has attempted to shoot me down.

One time he was my basketball coach’s son, who didn’t think I could be a starting player on the team. Another time it was a professor in college who sat behind her desk casually doubting my project idea – little did I know that the reverse psychology would work.

The biggest motivator of all time, however, has been anyone who has attempted to crush a business idea. You know the type. They are the negative bonehead who has never taken a risk in their life. They’re everywhere in life, at school or work. They may even be a close friend or family member.

Protect yourself

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain.. and most fools do.” – Dale Carnegie

There will always be naysayers. And some of them may have even been right in the past about an idea, thought or event. In most cases, the saying applies: ‘a broken clock is right twice a day.’ Even if they have been right about something in the past, it doesn’t mean that they’re opinion is always correct. Are you willing to risk your business on someone else’s opinion of it?

Most friends or family are just not informed enough on your idea, industry or entrepreneurship as a whole. Their attempts to ‘protect you’ might be heartfelt, but they are in no position to give advice. Should you really listen to your ‘friend’ who’s never run a business? Do you want advice about your startup from someone who has never set foot outside of their cubicle?

Share your ideas with a select few people who you trust deeply. Make sure you understand their motivations and that they have something of value to contribute to the conversation. Ask yourself if they have any experience or are successful in their own pursuits.

Whose side are they on?

It takes a tremendous amount of resolve to stick to your guns when others don’t see what you see. The risks of pursuing entrepreneurship are big and one has to have a lot of belief not only in the idea, but in their own ability to make it work. Some people simply don’t like to watch others pursue their own dreams. I don’t know why it occurs. Maybe it’s because it’ll make their life seem less interesting.

Like my college professor, many people in our lives can motivate us by doubting our ideas or abilities. Often, these people appear to be full of themselves and even sound like they know what they’re talking about. Don’t listen to them. Instead, use their gum-flapping to fuel your fire.

With that said, here’s a list of “expert” quotes from famous naysayers. What if their advice had been followed?

1. “Children just aren’t interested in Witches and Wizards anymore.”

–Anonymous publishing executive to J.K. Rowling, 1996.

2. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

–Ken Olson, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

NOTE: Olson’s business made big business mainframe computers.

3. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

–Decca Records executives rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

4. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”

–Western Union internal memo, 1876

5. “Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure.”

–Henry Morton, President of the Stevens Institute of Technology, on Edison’s light bulb, 1880.

6. “You better get secretarial work or get married.”

–Emmeline Snively, Director – Blue Book Modelling Modelling Agency, to Marilyn Monroe in 1944.

7. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.”

–The President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.

8. “Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”

–Simon Newcomb; The Wright Brothers flew at Kittyhawk 18 months later

9. “I would say that this does not belong to the art which I am in the habit of considering music.”

–Alexandre Oulibicheff, reviewing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Note: He sounds just like Simon from American Idol!

10. “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.”

–Associates of Edwin L. Drake mocking his idea to drill for oil, 1859.

11. “How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.”

–Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton’s steamboat plans, 1800s.

12. “I’m sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”

–The San Francisco Examiner, rejecting a submission by Rudyard Kipling in 1889.

13. “Very interesting Whittle, my boy, but it will never work.”

–Cambridge Aeronautics Professor, when shown Frank Whittle’s plan for the jet engine.

14. “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”

–Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

15. “A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.”

–Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

16. “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.”

–Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.

…and my personal favorite, for it’s elaborate description.

17. “To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth – all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.”

–Lee DeForest, Inventor of the vacuum tube, 1926.

Tim Andren is the founder of Guideas, Inc. an innovation and marketing company in Irvine, California. He is also the author of a popular blog. View his full profile here.

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