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  • Advice for New EntrepreneursThere’s a lot of stuff to read isn’t there? So much stuff that it can make your head spin. My “to read” list keeps growing on a daily basis. And it’s very easy to get stuck in the trap of constantly absorbing new information.

    Then some of that information contradicts each other. And now you’re in real trouble. You start analyzing. You get paralyzed.

    As a part of this month’s “Word Carnival” I am to pick ONE piece of advice to give to new entrepreneurs. Something I wish I knew on my first day of business.

    I had to rattle my brain a bit…because boiling it down to just one thing is really freaking hard. But then it hit me like a brick. Because it’s something I still struggle with to this day (and probably always will).

    You see, I’m a thinker. “Thinking” might not sound like something that someone would “struggle” with, unless you lack the capacity to do so, but it can be problematic…especially in business.

    I think and analyze, then analyze some more. When I do something I want it to be great. Or at least very good.

    But in business, good enough is often good enough. 

    The thing is, business is fluid. It changes. It’s flexible. And it’s fixable.

    There’s No Such Thing as Perfectionism

    It’s easy to write off delays in attempting or launching something new as “perfectionism.” Sure, you want it to be perfect. But there’s no such thing. Perfect doesn’t exist.

    There is always something you can test and improve.

    That’s the beauty of business and marketing (by the way, every business is in the business of marketing). It’s a living thing. Even the slightest change, like a different punctuation mark, can have a strange significance.

    “Perfectionism” is really a fear of failure. It’s just easier on the ego when you tell yourself you are a perfectionist.

    Honestly just go for it, because….

    You Need a Baseline

    You can’t improve your business when you have nothing to improve upon.

    I recently ran a promotion for a friend in the real estate industry. We were targeted a specific type of worker in the industry. And they had to meet certain requirements.

    The campaign was a simple one. I ran ads pointing to a landing page. The goal was to collect these individuals’ contact information to call them about an opportunity.

    The initial page was extremely simple. And it got fair results. Until someone submitted their info with a comment about how they don’t want to be put on any mailing list and get bombarded with emails. They just wanted to know more about the opportunity.

    This signaled a concern in the marketplace. So I added a section to the landing page addressing this concern. It clearly stated that by submitting their contact information, applicants will not be added to any mailing lists.

    This increased conversions significantly.

    And I would have never known to add this section specifically without putting up something simple, getting feedback, and improving on a less-than-perfect baseline.

    Remember, less-than-perfect, or even less than that, is perfectly fine…

    You Usually Can’t Screw Up THAT Badly

    Assuming that you don’t do something completely insane (kind of insane is OK) or illegal, you can’t really screw up that bad. And since you’re reading my blog, I’m going to assume that you’re one smart cookie and that’s not something you have to worry about :) .

    And since this is supposed to be advice for new entrepreneurs, you really can’t screw up that bad.

    If you do something that makes you look a bit stupid and 10 people see it…who cares. Those ten people aren’t going to make a difference. There are almost 7 billion people in the world. And if 10 people make that big of a difference, you might want to consider a different niche.

    You should also keep in mind that everyone else is also self-absorbed and worried about looking stupid. So they don’t really care what you do. In fact, there’s a writer-downer marketing lesson for you:

    No one cares about what you do. They’re too busy worrying about themselves.

    I don’t want to say that’s something you can “exploit.” But…you know…

    And anyway, getting publicity for doing something stupid can be a good thing in the way of publicity. Just look up “Amy’s Bakery” :) .

    There’s Really No Such Thing As Failure

    Failures aren’t really failures. They are learning experiences. They are signals that you need to change something. And often it’s not even a big change.

    So the fastest way to succeed?

    Launch. Then change course if you need to.

    I will leave you with some quotes you can Tweet to look incredibly intelligent and inspire your Twitter followers :) (Winston Churchill gets two because I think he’s brilliant). Just click “Tweet this” by your favorite quote to send out the goodness:

    1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison   Tweet This

    2. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill   Tweet This

    3. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho   Tweet This

    4. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote   Tweet This

    5. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill   Tweet This

    6. “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Savador Dalí   Tweet This

    7. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” – F. Scott Fitzegerals   Tweet This

    8. “We are all failures- at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie   Tweet This

    9. “The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch   Tweet This

    10. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Ken Robinson   Tweet This

    11. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford   Tweet This

    12. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis   Tweet This

    13. “The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures. The person who knows only success can be more oblivious to all the pitfalls.” – Randy Pausch   Tweet This

    14. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde   Tweet This

    15. “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” – Sophocles   Tweet This

    16. “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert Kiyosaki   Tweet This

    17. “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard   Tweet This

    18. “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres   Tweet This

    19. “Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.” – Zig Ziglar   Tweet This

    20. “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky   Tweet This

    As Nike would say “Just Do It.” Then again, this might be more eloquent:

    This post is part of the monthly Word Carnival series of posts. This month, our carnies are exploring the theme of Time Travel, specifically: from where you are now, what one piece of advice would you go back in time to give yourself on your first day in business? Check out more of the Word Carnival series at WordCarnivals.com.

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    19 Responses to The Surest Way to Succeed as a New Entrepreneur (And 20 Tweetable Quotes)

    1. Laura Petrolino says:

      So well said. Too often people thinking themselves to death and then by the time they are finally ready to strike, either the idea is dead, the timing is bad or some other obstacle has popped up that makes them go back to ground zero. Now I’m all for business planning, but there is also a time that you just need to leap, take a risk, try it out, use common sense and the market is pretty forgiving. Afterall, if you don’t make an impact it means very few people were actually listening and as you said, those that were are so preoccupied with their own stuff they will quickly forget.

      And I LOVE these quotes! I’m a quote geek, so just get all giddy over quotes

    2. What I Wish I Knew Then: What I’d tell myself if I could travel back in time to My First Day | Word Carnivals says:

      [...] Farber of Content Strategy Hub The Surest Way to Succeed as a New Entrepreneur @EugeneFarber [...]

    3. Tea Silvestre says:

      Loved this one, Eugene. I don’t *cough* suffer from this *cough* affliction myself, but if I did *cough* this would certainly help me see the light. I’m off now to Getter done!

    4. Mark says:

      Great mind nutrition in this blog post, Eugene… I shared it all over the dang place : )

    5. Carol Lynn says:

      We are on the same karmic wavelength! I also touched on the complete fiction of “perfection” for this topic, which… once a perfectionist always a perfectionist… it’s like recovering from an addiction. You sort of go day by day and make sure you catch yourself before you slide.

      From one (over)thinker to another… I totally get it. Too much thinking and not enough doing will get you nowhere. Great example about the ad campaign – that’s exactly how we learn and exactly why we shouldn’t be overthinking. It’s impossible to anticipate every possible outcome!

    6. Sharon Hurley Hall says:

      My name is Sharon and I am a constantly recovering perfectionist. Love the message that “sometimes good enough is good enough” but I have to keep reminding myself of that. Great advice, Eugene.

    7. Nicole Fende says:

      Ahem I’m realizing that the rule for the carnival this month was one piece of advice? I went over, but hey “Good enough is good enough”!

      While I appreciate the tweetable quotes you put in, I believe YOUR quotes were the best. Here they are, and yes they deserve their own tweet buttons:

      * In business, good enough is often good enough.
      * You need a baseline (so get going).
      * No one cares about what you do. They’re too busy worrying about themselves.

    8. Ashley Welton says:

      Yeowza Eugene, good points. Get it out there then tweak. It’s much more powerful than perfecting (ha impossible) then publishing.

      “Remember, less-than-perfect, or even less than that, is perfectly fine…”

      Now THAT is perfectly tweetable. ;)

    9. Clare Price says:

      Loved the tweetable tweets in here. I’m a thinker too and often for too long. Thanks for the great illustration as to why that is not a great strategy for a successful business.

    10. Melanie Kissell says:

      I got to thinking today … LOL!! Uh, oh.

      You pulled me right down the page with this one, Eugene! Wonderful post and powerful message.

      I want to second Nicole’s motion to turn YOUR wise words into totally tweetable Tweets (bet ya can’t say that ten times real fast).

      And now that I’ve read Sharon’s comment …
      Hello my name is Melanie and I’m a recovering perfectionist. ;)

      Darn. I didn’t know no one cares about what I do. Well, I don’t care how busy they are, I’m going to get them to pay attention to me! LOL!

    11. Nick Armstrong says:

      When I’ve *really* screwed up, it seemed like the end of the world. It was the worst thing ever and I thought I’d never recover – until the next day came and nobody (except for me) was berating me for my mistakes.

      Screw up, discover what you did wrong, fix it for next time.

      “Good enough” usually means – started AND shipped… that is, not just started and ready to go, but also shipped – purchasable and implementable. Those two things are good enough. In my experience, most clients stop at “started”.

      Great advice and great points!

      • Eugene Farber says:

        You mean no one was waiting at your door the next day with baseball bats? :)

        I joke, but I’m pretty terrible at following my own advice here sometimes.

    12. SandyMc says:

      Fluid, Flexible and Fixable. Eugene, I think those are the best three F’s I’ve read in a long time to describe business. Actually I have never read three F’s before, but if I wanted slogan for the business, “I am in business’, those would be it. They sum up just about everything that business is and how we fight ourselves not to just go with the flow of those words. Thank you, I might borrow those from time to time with your permission.

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