Everything You Think About Being An Entrepreneur is Wrong

being an entrepreneur

How do you become an entrepreneur?

A lot of the books and blogs out there say, “Dream big, follow your passion, and surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.”

Some good that will do you when the bills pile up, profits flat line, and you can’t pay any of the smart people you hired.

Then what?

Before you subscribe to the popularized advice, “set a goal, commit to it, and go all in,” check out these unconventional tips from successful entrepreneurs. It might have you rethinking everything you thought you knew about making it as an entrepreneur.

On Sticking to the Plan

They say: “Stick to the plan.”

Expert advice: “Change your mind, a lot.”

When Jeff Bezos met up with Jason Fried at the 37 Signals offices, Bezos shared some interesting advice; “He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds.”

From Bezos perspective the smartest peoples are, “constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.”

What Really Matters Personally

They say: “Work on your resume”

Expert advice: “Work on your character”

In this keynote speech to students at the University of Georgia Warren Buffet says that grades and work experience are not as important to business success as we might think. Success is often a byproduct of integrity, honesty, generosity and hard work, says Buffet. He even uses these factors when determining who to hire. Buffet looks for someone with “intelligence, initiative and integrity,” where the latter is the most important.

Go Big or Go Home

They say: “Go big”

Expert advice: “Start small”

Take it from someone who knows; Paul Graham is an expert programmer, venture capitalist, and co-founder of Y Combinator. Graham suggests using big ideas too drive progress without identifying a precise point in the future. In this sense, Graham says instead of being a visionary, you’ll be better off operating like Columbus, “just head in a general westerly direction…Start with something you know works, and when you expand, expand westward.”

On Lifestyle Business

They say: “Build a business”

Expert advice: “Build a life”

Now there’s nothing wrong with having a vision, starting a company, hiring a bunch of people, and working around the clock for 10 years in hopes of selling it so you can retire to an island someplace. But, there’s not rule that says this is the only way to run a business.

Prime example, mediapreneur David Siteman Garland thinks there’s another class of unconventional entrepreneurs out there. Garland writes that, this group does work that matters, challenges the ways things have always been done, and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It’s not that one type of entrepreneur is better than another. It’s just important to know that there is more than one type of entrepreneur, beyond those seeking funding and vying for the “big exit.”

The Need for Goals

They say: “Have a specific goal”

Expert advice: “Goals are overrated”

Author and blogger extraordinaire Leo Babauta found that living without goals is “absolutely liberating.” He writes that living without goals, “doesn’t mean you stop achieving things…It means you stop letting yourself be limited by goals.”

Instead of living within the confines of your goals, Babauta says you’ll be more likely to “explore new territory.” As a result, “You’ll learn some unexpected things. You’ll end up in surprising places.”


Don’t be afraid to question authority, go your own way, or try something new. Avoid getting caught up in what you think you should do. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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