The Best Business Tips I Never Received (But Wish I Did)

What are the best business tips you have ever received? Sometimes it just takes a few words that deeply resonate with you to help you see clearly the path forward. Most of the time though, as entrepreneur, it’s more about a confused and doubtful state of mind than about ah ha moments. You have to sort through all the business tips you received, mostly unsolicited, and all the business ideas your busy mind generates around the clock.

These are the most valuable business tips I have never received (but wish I did).

Success takes unambiguous hustle

Hustle doesn’t get the respect it deserves in the business world. When you hear the word hustle, you may think of a less-than-legit street deal or of your favorite basketball player hustling up and down the court. In business, if you are afraid to promote your business outside of your comfort zone, if you do not build that prototype with whatever you have, even if it looks like a kindergarten project, etc., you are not hustling. Let me clarify this: true hustle is an act of focus, not a frenzy. Why is focus so important? Focus is the framework for all thinking: learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision-making.

Hustle is like math: some are born hustlers but others have to study hard to acquire this necessary technique.

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you”
~ Mark Cuban

Hubris is more dangerous than ignorance

Founders are usually convinced that only they can lead their startup/company to success. There is some truth to that. Your enterprise started only as an idea in your mind. However your emotional connection to your creation may make you feel you possess all the insights about the opportunity, about the innovation or the business model that will capitalize on it.

Many entrepreneurs are overconfident about their future and naïve about the challenges they will face. In today’s fast paced business ecosystem, there are hundreds of entrepreneurs out there, just like you, solving problems, seeing the world as it should be and not as it is.

When you think you’re sure of the way things are, that’s when you get passed up. Just about any thriving entrepreneur will tell you: they wouldn’t have achieved their goals had they not ask for help.

Here are a few ways to stay on track:

  • Participate in startups events like @PHXStartupWeek. Why? If you are in the early stages of your venture, it will power your problem solving mindset and energy. It also often brings along fortuitous collaborations. For a more established business, innovation is the only way forward so hangout at the source to keep your game up.
  • Plug into our local startup ecosystem. They are a mine of resources and connections that would advance your journey. Take #yesphx for example: the world’s most generous community for entrepreneurs and their startups. Sign up and find out why here!
  • Augment your skills: seek out mentoring and/or consulting — not to be confused with coaching! It will help you ask the right questions, get more clarity on your execution plan. You are an expert in your field but a novice in many other areas. Why not avoid the worst pitfalls and disappointments and take your startup higher, faster?
  • Constantly inform yourself. Read books, articles; follow your industry trends. In other words, cultivate your personal edge. Check out what these founders picked as must-read, here.

Carine Dieudé is a Partner & Director of Strategy at Altima Business Solutions, and an Entrepreneurship Aficionado — Growth and exit strategies, systems and operations, for startup, small and medium-sized businesses.

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