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.

54 Comments on this post

Trackbacks

  1. pub table said:

    I thought the Almighty Entrepreneur created the jobs? Shouldn't those multi-trillion dollar tax cuts be kicking in right about now.

    May 8th, 2010 at 10:04 am
  2. pub table said:

    I thought the Almighty Entrepreneur created the jobs? Shouldn't those multi-trillion dollar tax cuts be kicking in right about now.

    May 8th, 2010 at 10:04 am
  3. used tires said:

    I agree completely. We just can't let others discouraging comments or remarks get to us. There's way too many negative people in this world that bring everyone down. Of course, it's good to take useful advice from others but be sure to ignore the naysayers.

    Till then,

    Jean

    May 11th, 2010 at 10:04 am
  4. Baby Hampers said:

    People who tell you it will never work are mostly those who don’t have a clue about entrepreneurship or what it means to be a business owner. On top of that, they know very little about your business idea, only what you have told them, they are not thinking about it every day as you are. Trust your intuition, there will always be project that will succeed and those that will fail.

    May 11th, 2010 at 10:05 am
  5. honeymoon Sydney said:

    I totally agree with you. People who tell you it will never work are mostly those who don’t have a clue about entreprenuership or what it means to be a business owner. On top of that, they know very little about your business idea, only what you have told them, they are not thinking about it every day as you are. Trust your intuition, there will always be project that will succeed and those that will fail.

    May 18th, 2010 at 2:03 pm
  6. irish pub said:

    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??

    May 22nd, 2010 at 4:24 am
  7. indiana Real Estate said:

    We're constantly being told that black people only commit more crime because they're poor, so shouldn't all poor people be given help, not just the black ones….

    June 1st, 2010 at 12:48 pm
  8. taj said:

    I think that saying that entrepreneurs should listen to "experts" without defining what an expert is, is just irresponsible. The header sends the wrong message.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 11:09 am
  9. honeymoon Sydney said:

    In this post I examine the cancerous naysayers that entrepreneurs and business owners can attract. They're out there, and listening to their input (unwitting or not) can be damaging to your business.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 am
  10. Laptop Briefcase said:

    Most people are either optimists or pessimists. If you have many pessimists in your close inner circle, it can be very discouraging talking to them about your business plans. Try not to give into their doubts too easy unless they do have a very valid point about an obstacle that may be bets to avoid instead of trying to go right through.

    I loved all these quotes related to very successful people. I bet these people had a ton of satisfaction when they were able to prove their doubters wrong.

    June 4th, 2010 at 9:31 pm
  11. Laptop Briefcase said:

    I would feel pretty embarrassed if I was one of the people who gave these successful people the negative advice. Some of the quotes above make the people sound downright foolish. Of course at the time there were likely many people who shared these opinions. Some people just won't believe something until they see it happen themselves.

    June 4th, 2010 at 9:34 pm
  12. Komodo Dragons said:

    I actually didn't know of YoungEntrepreneur dot com, so it's great that you linked to it and giving them credit. It's really funny looking back on some of the things were said, you definitely can't let others influence you on something you truly believe in.

    June 15th, 2010 at 8:22 am
  13. honeymoon Sydney said:

    I totally agree with you. People who tell you it will never work are mostly those who don’t have a clue about entreprenuership or what it means to be a business owner. On top of that, they know very little about your business idea, only what you have told them, they are not thinking about it every day as you are.

    June 17th, 2010 at 6:00 am
  14. pub table said:

    Hi i think It can be disconcerting to hear feedback from people that don’t understand your project or your vision.

    June 18th, 2010 at 4:50 am
  15. irish pub said:

    How much of the services you could do would you actually need licensed for? Example, walking a dog for someone, or getting groceries for the elderly..

    July 1st, 2010 at 6:21 am
  16. honeymoon Sydney said:

    I think it depends, to be honest. You can certainly hire someone to run your entire social media strategy FOR you, but that’s going to be pricey and if your company isn’t set up to deal with these issues.

    July 1st, 2010 at 10:01 am
  17. indiana Real Estate said:

    Today I look back at ideas that I should have pursued, but I listened to advice from potential investors; today it is clear that they didn't know what they were saying.

    July 1st, 2010 at 4:00 pm
  18. pub table said:

    we’re recognizing the top 10 blogs in the Success category. While many of the blogs below cover a wide range of subjects, they’re all devoted to helping readers be more successful.

    July 5th, 2010 at 3:30 pm
  19. Real Estate In India said:

    Think of the marketing pieces, brochures and catalogs that you just have to hold in your hand to appreciate. Proforma is a national leader in the print industry.

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:00 pm
  20. used tires said:

    It's like the famous saying goes, always go with your gut instinct, so that's the same case here, in my opinion.

    Till then,

    Jean

    July 7th, 2010 at 9:10 am
  21. Real Estate In India said:

    Hi nice post telling about cartoon motivators all is very impressive.

    July 13th, 2010 at 7:30 am
  22. marine products said:

    Fantastic blog… i have tweeted it, shared it, liked it, commented on it and applied it!

    July 14th, 2010 at 4:29 am
  23. tires said:

    @Laptop, proving people wrong is the best motivator when you reach that destination for sure!

    Till then,

    Jean

    July 16th, 2010 at 9:55 am
  24. irish pub said:

    it's too early for a non-disclosure contract, but is there something else entrepreneurs use/do to reduce the risk of someone they pitch their idea to running off and developing it themselves??

    July 21st, 2010 at 8:56 am
  25. Bidet said:

    You should always go with your instinct and trust your gut feeling. Thanks for sharing this post with us. It was very interesting to read.

    July 21st, 2010 at 6:44 pm
  26. stag do said:

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess I‘ll just have to keep checking yours out.

    July 22nd, 2010 at 5:46 am
  27. pub table said:

    These people did what they did because they ignored….ignorance. Most crumble at the first sign of criticism. The ones who trudge on in the face of discouragement and the world turning against them become the world changers.

    July 23rd, 2010 at 6:47 am
  28. marine products said:

    I completely agree. It never hurts to get outside opinions, but you are the mastermind here, so take everyone else’s advice with a grain of salt. Use your own personal judgement as to what you will implement and what you won’t.

    July 23rd, 2010 at 9:25 am
  29. Community said:

    i need a list of entrepreneurs who have inherited their business enterprise from their family…. please do help as its for a project i need to submit as soon as possible..

    July 24th, 2010 at 7:20 am
  30. car battery said:

    There will always be people that don't want to put in the effort, and they will always try to convince others around them of the same philosophy. It's your job to make sure you carry out your responsibilities diligently.

    July 27th, 2010 at 11:25 am
  31. stag do said:

    Techniques like bucket-testing and analytics can help you to discover which features your customers use most often, which ones they don’t, and which customers fall into which group.

    July 29th, 2010 at 9:01 am
  32. honeymoon Sydney said:

    Thanks for sharing this, it made me want to continue my own dreams…..

    July 31st, 2010 at 11:17 am
  33. Community said:

    i need a list of entrepreneurs who have inherited thier business enterprise from thier family…. please do help as its for a project i need to submit as soon as possible..

    July 31st, 2010 at 11:34 am
  34. irish pub said:

    Let me assure you that a moral entrepreneur starts out with the best of intentions. This mode of operation creates a desire for customers to be near the family and even befriend them.

    August 2nd, 2010 at 2:56 am
  35. irish pub said:

    The mission of the moral entrepreneur is not to create a new tax-exempt organization. It is to inspire others to engage deeply in community causes and to do so in a way that leverages their unique strengths.

    August 2nd, 2010 at 2:56 am
  36. Community said:

    Today I look back at ideas that I should have pursued, but I listened to advice from potential investors; today it is clear that they didn't know what they were saying.

    August 2nd, 2010 at 7:01 am
  37. Laptop Briefcase said:

    Yes that would be satisfying, but I don't think it is a big enough motivator on its own, that is unless you are very bitter towards these people.

    August 4th, 2010 at 10:49 pm
  38. irish pub said:

    What should the measures be taken to increase the entrepreneurs in India?

    August 5th, 2010 at 8:31 am
  39. Community said:

    i need a list of entrepreneurs who have inherited thier business enterprise from thier family…. please do help as its for a project i need to submit as soon as possible..

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
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    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
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  42. Community said:

    If you have many pessimists in your close inner circle, it can be very discouraging talking to them about your business plans. Try not to give into their doubts too easy unless they do have a very valid point about an obstacle that may be bets to avoid instead of trying to go right through.

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
  43. web designer kanpur said:

    it is a really nice idea on this article……with have deep thought.

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
  44. tires said:

    @Laptop, Yeah I guess you have a point there in regards to the bitterness aspect of it!

    Till then,

    Jean

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
  45. pub table said:

    Personally I feel it's not the "listening" part that is important, but rather what happens next when you take that advice and test it out yourself, and really see if that's advice you should "listen" or not.

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
  46. Aluminum Cases said:

    Yes, personally I need more motivation than that. I don't care enough whether people think I will succeed or fail.

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
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    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
  48. indiana Real Estate said:

    I don't think it is a big enough motivator on its own, that is unless you are very bitter towards these people.

    November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am
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