My Number One Piece of Business Advice

BUSINESS icon Giles Cadman October 21, 2019

As someone that’s been in business for more than two decades, I’m often asked to share my most useful piece of advice. While I’m sure those listening are hoping for a truly ground-breaking response, I find people are often disappointed when I respond with the age-old cliché of never give up. The reason why I say this? Because in my opinion, there is no piece of advice that should be more significant to an aspiring entrepreneur, and here’s why.

Over the years, like most business owners, I’ve had my fair share of knock backs and even now there are days when I question how I’m going to carry on. Owning and running a business is a full-time job and then some, there’s always a difficult decision to be made or an impossible question to be answered. Unfortunately, if you truly want to make it in the world of entrepreneurship, you have to resist the urge to give up each time you find yourself in a difficult situation. Giving up as soon as you hit a hard-to-overcome obstacle will likely result in you joining the 50% of start-ups that don’t make it through the first five years and that’s certainly not where you want to be!

Of course, making the choice to start out on your own means you’re already braver than most, but alongside this bravery must come perseverance and tenacity. Your business is your creation, it’s as precious as your phone, as personal as your name and as delicate as your ego, but feelings of fierce pride can make you vulnerable, particularly when your pet project dominates every waking hour. As a start-up you have to expect rejection from potential clients or investors, particularly in the early days and it’s tempting to become disheartened if you are repeatedly faced with refusal.

As a young entrepreneur, take a minute to remember that people don’t know who you are, which will take time to fix. Remember too that each rejection represents a new advance and the long-term future of your business is built upon these, like the rungs of a ladder. You will climb up there, I promise you, it just won’t be instant.

Finally, a nugget of comfort: do not ever EVER take business decisions personally. If you wring your hands and retire to the sofa every time you get a knock back, you need to question whether you’re made of the right stuff, because the rejections will keep on coming, but in turn, so will your victories.

Put simply, my biggest piece of advice to those in the early stages of building an empire, is to pick yourself up after each and every knock down, find your courage and take the plunge once again. Starting a business is no easy feat but put in the effort and you’ll reap the rewards and one day, when you stand and admire all of your hard work  the question of whether or not it was worth it, won’t be a question at all.