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8/06/2014

Is Old Business Advice Still Good Business Advice?

The ExpressExtension.com team was discussing business advice the other day, and it seemed that everything coming up in their conversation was simply classic advice that most business and entrepreneurs have heard. I wanted to take a more in depth look at what business advice was available for the up and coming entrepreneur.

Searching for great business advice is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. If you search "business advice" in Google about 261,000,000 results pop up in hopes to be words you treasure forever. The top results aren't even from this year, or even last year. So even though the idea of a great business is always changing, is business advice the one constant variable in the equation? Let's test this hypothesis and see if the business advice from yesteryear is still useful for today's savvy entrepreneur...

The top entry is from entrepreneur.com (how appropriate, right?) where author Scott Gerber, a young entrepreneur in the trenches, exposes ten tips for new business owners. Number one on his list is all about focus, which is easily relative to entrepreneurs of any generation. He goes down the list providing advice such as, don't expect everything to be perfect, and surround yourself with successful-knowledgeable individuals that share common interest with you - all your standard tried and true business advice. At the very end of his list, he does do something different; he tells you to "Know when to call it quits." Now, most business advice is going to be super positive and pushing you to keep trying and never give up. This one piece of advice that was ranked number 10 is one of the most valuable statements anyone could ever say. In conclusion, the top entry that was published in 2009 can still be valuable to the 2014 class of entrepreneurs. I wonder if the second entry will provide the same results, or even the same advice?

The entry that takes the Top 2 spot on Google's search list is also from entrepreneur.com (who would have thought that?). The photo filled article provides advice from the top small-business owners in America. The first three quotes are very reminiscent of the advice provided by Scott Gerber, but President of GameXChange offers up something different. His advice is, and I quote, "The advice I'd give is to make as many mistakes as you can, as fast as you can, Get them out of the way. No one hits home runs right away." These are some valuable words, that provide a different perspective on in the advice market. The preceding advice focuses on employee and customer relationship, which is good advice, but it doesn't stray from the classics. So all things considered, this article published in July of 2013 does provide advice that is still somewhat valuable today. Let's take at look at the next entry to see if it has something different to offer...

Entry number 3. The title that shows up in the search results is very eye catching - The Best Business Advice Ever Received. The best? Well that is very intriguing. This article from businessinsider.com seems simple with only bold headlines to differentiate between sections, but the words printed on this plain webpage offer that "something special" in the world of business advice. Some of the quotes are repeats from the 2 previous entries, but then there are quotes like "Eisenhower's observation about preparing for battle applies remarkably well for us as entrepreneurs: I have always found plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." I have a feeling those words have changed someone's entrepreneur journey for the better. The shortest quote listed has a big impact; "Hire slowly. Fire quickly." These are words to live by for business owners. Could you guess how old this article is? The advice given seems fresh and innovative, but this article was published in December of 2012 and is still relevant today. 

These three articles are just a minute sampling of the millions (261,000,000 to be exact) of business advice articles out there, but these three sum up the majority of the advice given. Great business advice doesn't have to be new for it to be useful to today's up and coming entrepreneur. What does matter is that you seek advice from those who have already succeeded. 


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