The Received Wisdom or Your Own?

Wise Old OwlI am working with a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs right now in the 30DC or wannabe-more-profitable entrepreneurs and start-ups and I am answering scores of questions a day. Last night it was our weekly webinar when they get to call in and listen to my voice as I answer their questions.

In both these scenarios I often find myself giving them two answers to their questions, the “received wisdom” answer and the “way I do it” answer. In my businesses I borrow from the former to create and then follow my own wisdom. Let me explain.

  • They ask me questions about blogging: how often, how much, where to get your inspiration from, should I write about myself, do I allow comments, where do I like my widgets, how to get traffic, how to blog quickly and not have it take all day. What’s the point of blogging? How does Google know I’ve blogged?
  • They ask me about bank accounts: do we need one for our business, can we use the personal one, should we open a second personal one, which bank do I like for my business account?
  • Should I be a limited company or a sole trader or an LLP? And when should I tell HMRC that I’ve become self-employed?

And I tell them all the stock answers and the text book answers, all the rules and regulations and advice from professionals, all the received wisdom.

Received wisdom

And then I also tell them What I Do. Which is invariably different, or at the very least a hybrid of all of the above plus what I’ve found to work rather better for me personally and for my business.

I think the breakthrough moment comes when you start to notice yourself feeling more competent to pay attention to your own wisdom and follow that increasingly. By all means get as much help and support and advice as you can from those who’ve gone before you but always temper it with what you know to be right in your gut for your business. There are very few situations where you will be just plain wrong. I see them but often they happen for all the right reasons and turn out to be the very best business learning you will get. Trial and error + course correction = success. Learn to trust yourself, my theme of the week. I trust you. Give it a go.

First break all the rules, that’s the very nature of what it means to be an entrepreneur.

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Here’s one of those nifty little quizzes on Facebook where you can check if you are Rule Breaker or a Rule Maker. I turned to be a Rule Shaker. Nonsense but fun. [Don’t tell anyone I said it was OK to waste five minutes on FB doing another dotty quiz.]

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