Aspiring entrepreneur? Don’t read my blog

I think the worst thing an aspiring entrepreneur can do is read the
blog of another entrepreneur. Most business owners aren’t honest in
their public communications. They have customers, employees and
partners that read it. So all you end of getting is fluff and none of
the really painful stories that make entrepreneurs who they are.

You shouldn’t be reading blogs unless it’s directly related to the
work you are doing as part of building your business.

If I hear another “Seth Godin said…” or “techcrunch reported…” I’m
going to smack someone. Seth Godin is a smart guy but he doesn’t post
on his blog the recipe for building a successful business.

So where do you find the recipe? The fastest shortcut I’ve found is to
talk to other experienced entrepreneurs. Ideally someone with more
experience than you, if you are already running a business someone at
the same level is also OK. But nothing less.

That means, if you want to start a business, DO NOT go hang out with
someone else that wants to start a business too. It feels good to have
a aspiring brother at arms, but its a horrible idea, clueless +
clueless is still clueless.

Talking to real business owners face to face in a casual setting,
ideally in private, has taught me more than anything I’ve ever learned
about business from books and the “internets.”

Another thing that works well is to act really humble when you speak
with entrepreneurs. Arrogance is a common sign of a inexperienced
business owner, but arrogance also prevents people from opening up to

We would all like to believe we are humble, but I try to purposely act
humble and this forces me to listen more instead of trying to argue

One short cut I’ve found really works for me and I hope it works well
for you too, in a discussion try replacing the following:

“Yeah but…” with “…why do you think so?”
“I don’t agree…” with “…that’s interesting.”

Then I spend a few days thinking over all the points, sometimes I
still don’t agree, but sometimes I come around to seeing the other
persons perspective. Especially if I’ve spoken to other business
owners and the feedback has been similar.

The thing is, all this talking requires you to get off the internets
and stop reading blogs.