Best Business Advice Your Have Ever Received: Part 3

We asked business leaders "What is the best business advice you ever received?" and the response was overwhelming. Here is part three of our series.

 

Cathy Mills, Director of Strategy, Influence Weekly and Net Influencer

 

Separate your professional life from your personal life from day one. This is the best business advice I have ever received. I was given this advice by a college professor, and the advice has been very valuable in my life. There will always be a need to distinguish which topics you can take from work to home and at what point you should avoid them. If you combine your work environment with your personal environment, you will always feel under pressure. If you are with your family, enjoy the time with your loved ones, if you are with friends, pay attention to your friends, and if you are doing sports, only concentrate on your training. You will never be able to find a good balance between your personal and professional lives if you start by combining them. Hence, it is critical from the beginning to set limits, to focus 100% on your work at work and 100% on your personal activities at home.

 


 

Nicholas Vasiliou, CEO, BioHealth

 

Mistakes are a crucial part of growing a business. You learn from them and best of all, learn how to move forward. I heard a business coach say this once at a seminar, and it really stuck with me. It forces me to forgo being a perfectionist and instead recognize I always have more to learn and more ways to grow.

 


 

Riley Burke, Growth Marketing Manager, Ohza Mimosa

 

Being able to leave your emotions at the door when going into work was one of the better pieces of advice. I am not saying to not be empathetic or understanding towards your teams and employees. But to leave your personal emotions or feelings out of a situation. Keep logic and the betterment of the company at the forefront of your choices.

 


 

Radiance Harris, Founder and Managing Attorney, Radiance IP Law

 

The best business advice I received was to do something you're actually good at. Most people start businesses doing what they love instead of what they're actually good at. Just because you love something doesn't mean you're good at it or that it's something you should offer the world. Obviously, we find our sweet spot when we can do something we love AND we're good at it too. That advice came from Steve Harvey.

 


 

Roberta Perry, , Scrubz Body Scrub

 

My late dad, Al, used to say, always treat each customer like they are your best customer, and then they will be. It is advice I have followed the 15 years in this business and the many years before in my freelance design career. When people feel seen and heard, they feel proud and happy. If you are the one that makes them feel that way, then they will come back time and time again. And they will bring friends and loved ones with them, too.

 


 

Charlie McKenna, Founder, Lillie's Q

 

As a business owner, when you need help, look to your neighbor. Another restaurant owner told me this, and it has never been truer in the restaurant and food industry than during the pandemic. There is always someone willing to help, and in dire times, it's the only way we'll all get through.

 


 

Siddhesh Jain, Owner, Solution Tales

 

Communication is key. This is the best piece of advice I have ever received. In the beginning of my professional career, I struggled with telling coworkers or leaders my opinions and therefore did not share my ideas even though I had many. One day one of the leaders asked me to share my thoughts on a project in front of a whole team. I shared my ideas and they really liked them. After the meeting this leader pulled me aside and said that the only way for thoughts to be heard in order to make a change, you have to communicate. From then on I kept getting more comfortable with sharing what was on my mind and have been a part of some really great projects that I am so proud of. If I hadn't been asked to speak out that day, I may not be where I am today. So always say what you think and don’t hide behind your insecurities no matter how comforting they are!

 


 

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls

 

I started a global branding and digital marketing firm 20 years ago in Cambridge, MA. A mentor once told me and I have come to appreciate and realize is that to stay sane and be successful “me time” is not a luxury or pampering, it is maintenance! The mentor shared that respecting my time on the calendar and taking myself as seriously as I take my most important clients is the least I can do for self care because if I am not at my peak performance I am not going to be useful to anyone else either, specifically the advice taught me to: Give my permission to say no. Whether it means sleeping in (no to an alarm clock), meditating, taking a walk, or just turning off my phone and computer (no I will respond later on my own schedule), simple acts of letting myself relax and enjoy the moment are the very best gifts I can give myself. You can fill a calendar to stay busy but what matters most is having impact on people’s lives and that has nothing to do with volume of activity, it is about touching people in meaningful ways which may mean being less busy not more. Disconnect from technology periodically and focus on cultivating human, face to face relationships (when not social distancing). Even meeting for virtual coffee or drinks can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams. I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified. Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time. I used get out of the office 3-5 days a week which was a great way to stay connected, shake up my routine and get going before the virus hit. Take breaks with exercise -- I do something active every day to stay healthy and break up my day. Practice gratitude -- I am so grateful we can all work productively in home offices now with no commute. This advice has also helped me find the silver lining in this crisis which reminds us that we have always needed each other and we have learned that everyone is struggling right now to find a new normal so the key is to show our humanity and compassion while we look out for one another. If we can hold on to the very best parts of this lockdown personally and professionally the world will be a better place for it.

 


 

Michael Jankie, , Natural Patch

 

Learning should be a never-ending venture. If you as a professional feel like you are at a standstill in your job, you are not pursuing your career. Industries are always changing and always growing, there are new tools and new structures weekly or monthly. Learn about them and always be following up on new trends. There is always something new to learn.

 


 

Andrew Drow, COO, Cloom

 

Quit getting ready to get ready and go out there! That is, the world is full of good business ideas. However few people actually execute them! ~ by* Father

 


 

Barry Levine, Founder & CEO, Sperry West

 

To study & understand gross & net profit. It was not given to me specifically as advice, but rather as a story about my father and a business he invested in. Three of his friends who were involved in making ladies dresses for a large company, thought they saw a great opportunity in making children’s dolls. They wanted my father with them, but my father had to be cautious as he had a family of four to take care of. After about a half year, they convinced my father to invest with them as they were apparently doing very well. They had been getting and continued to get lots of orders from major department stores. What none of them knew, was that they were losing money on every doll sold. It wasn’t long before they had to close the business. I am 81 and obviously have never forgotten that lesson that my father learned the hard way. I have never lost money selling products.

 


 

Shane Hurley, CEO, Redfynn Technologies

 

The best piece of business advice I ever received was from Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft. He said setting the vision is the number one responsibility of every great leader.

 


 

Paula Glynn, Director, Pixelstorm

 

The best piece of business I ever received was actually managing cash flow. As a very small business owner, everything was quite fun and easy. Managing of expenses was easy as they were quite low. Then, we decided to grow. More expenses, debtors, larger clients with more formal payment terms. The anxiety kicked in on knowing what we could afford and when. I was given the advice to start a cash flow forecast. From that, changing debtor terms and the way we paid staff. Suddenly the business made sense and felt safe and secure. Being able to manage cash flow was definitely the single piece of advice that has kept us in business.

 


 

Brian Folmer, Founder / CEO, FirstLook

 

I know this sounds ridiculous, but sadly, so many founders forget this. Venture capital and stories of 'unicorns' are stealing too many headlines these days, which is leading to people starting pump-and-dump companies fueled by external investors. Instead, founders should strive for sustainably built companies that can stand the test of time.

 


 

Brandon Adcock, CEO, Nugenix

 

Do not be afraid of something new. We can sometimes have a hard time adjusting to new protocols, new tools, or new ideas. You need to be adaptable in order to keep up with your industry. Change is good, it provides completely new strategies to better your business.. Embrace it.

 


 

Sheila Chaiban, CEO, One Ocean Beauty

 

The best business advice I've ever received is to be prepared and be flexible. You can never go wrong being prepared. That applies to if you're going into a pitch or a sales call or any other type of meeting. You always want to put yourself in the position to put your best foot forward. It also helps to be flexible in business because no one can predict what the future will hold. The pandemic has certainly taught us all that

 


 

Carrie Verrocchio, Professional Motivational Speaker, Podcast Host, Published Author , Bella Vita

 

The best piece of business advice I have ever gotten came from my business coach, Kayla Ybanez (Ybanez Media). She taught me that the key to lasting success is to loosen up and have more fun doing what I do. She advised me to take time to laugh every day, not take myself too seriously, and truly enjoy what I am doing. From that advice, I began to incorporate more fun and laughter into my business. I began to actually look for and create fun. In turn, I attracted more clients and built a stronger business.

 


 

Sally Stevens, Co-founder & Marketing Director, FastPeopleSearch.io

 

The best business advice I received which I still have with me until now is to be a lifelong learner. I asked my parents what they would advise me about having a business and this is what they told me. This may be a cliche, but people sometimes end their learning process once they reach a certain age or point in their lives. Sometimes, hindrances or even success leads us to be lifelong learners. We refuse to learn new things when we already have something that we hold onto. We should stick to the basics and principles, but being open-minded may lead us to better opportunities for a more successful life and business. Do not be content with the same experience because there is always something new to learn and to improve in the business. Life never stops giving us new things to learn. We have to be open-minded to adapt and survive as the business trends change almost yearly, especially when the pandemic hits. Being a life-long learner served me well. It helped me become a mature individual and entrepreneur.

 


 

Rob Swystun, SEO Content Strategy & Copywriting, Rob Swystun

 

The best business advice I ever received was from a serial entrepreneur mentor of mine named Serhat Pala. He told me that businesses don’t collapse because they run out of cash, they collapse because they don’t manage their cash flow properly. Your business can appear to be hugely successful, but if your cash flow is not being managed properly, you will not have cash on hand when you need it and suffer the consequences. Conversely, your business may not look like it’s doing super well, but if you’re bringing cash in and spending it responsibly -- even if that means you’re growing slowly -- your business will be in a healthy position.

 


 

Pavel StepanovCEO, Virtudesk

 

The best business advice I ever received came from the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris where he emphasized the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule breaks down to doing the 20% that produces 80% of the result. Doing less is what will lead you to become more productive and being able to have clearer thoughts. This rule is what led me to hire my first virtual assistant and start growing my real estate career. Before, I was working 12-16 hours without breaks a day, but because of my virtual assistant, I was able to focus on the core of my business. It also allowed me to found my own real estate brokerage, Nexus Realty, and my virtual assistant company, Virtudesk

 


 

Keith Eneix, President, Taut USA - Renew Alliance

 

When I first started in the beauty industry, someone who I saw as a mentor had really great advice that saved a lot of time and headache. He said Do pay attention to your competition, but don't be consumed by it. This had a tremendous impact on me as a business owner, because I'm more concerned with my business than my competition. However, I also like to be informed and pay attention to what they do, how they innovate, their products and services, because it helps me to keep up with the trends. In the age that we are all so focused on who does what online, and their perfect pictures, and curated feed, that advice helped with keeping me balanced, while still able to grow my brand and my business.

 


 

Ryan Brown, Integrated Marketing Director, Kenra Professional

 

If you have a wild idea, follow it. No one ever regretted trying. One of my mentors told me this in my first marketing job, and it always stuck with me. He is still my mentor today!

 


 

Marilyn Gaskell, Founder, TruePeopleSearch

 

The best piece of business advice I ever got was from my mentor and a fellow female business owner. She was the one who prepared me to deal with everything that a female CEO has to go through and the one I went to every time I heard the slightest sexist remark. Fortunately, however, she gave me some tough love: “Wipe those tears away and be a woman.” She’s exactly the kind of woman who doesn’t take anyone's disrespect, which is exactly why she made it as a female CEO. It was after the advice she gave me that I realized that I couldn’t start crying over every sexist remark that came my way because, unfortunately, that’s just a staple of the business. Instead, I had to keep my chin up high and weather the storm so that I could make it out on the other end and help the women doing the same.

 


 

Linda Nguyen, COO, SOUPPLY

 

My business partner Gary Nguyen told me I don't need to sit on non-profit and corporate boards in order to make an impact on someone's life. I can make a difference anytime in my own little ways.

 


 

Summer Romasco, brand strategist and marketing director, Ad Hoc Labs

 

The best piece of advice I ever received was from my mentor in college. She said, Own your potential. Too many women continue to sell themselves short when they're applying for a job, asking for a promotion, or meeting someone new. While some may claim they're just modest, such self-effacing behavior can impact their careers, their relationships, and their self-esteem, which is why women should own their potential. Once you stop hiding all that you are, you feel more confident about all you can do. You can then own your potential, unleash it, and watch it grow.Yes, it may sound a bit like Be all you can be  but Own your potential  inspires a woman to be all she is.

 


 

Gerald Lombardo, Co-Founder, The Word Counter

 

The best piece of business advice I ever received is to give any entrepreneurial endeavor a minimum of two years of your time and effort. Specifically, many have romanticized notions about what a startup is, and how it operates. With a two year commitment, however, this will allow you to extend beyond the honeymoon phase, understand your deeper motivations, and help you understand if being a serial entrepreneur truly is your chosen path.

 


 

Erin Stone, Small Business Owner, Hinterland co.

 

You're Either Progressing Or Regressing, You're Never Staying The Same* The best piece of business advice I ever received came from a fellow small business owner several years back. I think the advice was actually based on a quote by Joe Paterno, a football coach. At any rate, the piece of advice was this - every single day, in everything you do, you are either moving forward or moving backward, but you are never staying the same. That advice meant a lot to me because it showed me the importance of working hard every day, as well as staying focused and working with a purpose. I think about that advice at least a few times per week as I go through my daily routine. And it has certainly helped.

 


 

Karisa Karmali, Founder, Self-Love and Fitness

 

The best piece of business advice I got by a close friend was to execute with perfection, rather than spreading myself too thinly. Being all things to all people and catering to all client categories or avatars isn't worth it if it diminishes the depth of the client service and the quality of the service. Trying to help everyone only gives mediocre results and little nuggets of wisdom here and there doesn't solve problems long term.

 


 

Ashley Pan, Founder, The Novel Thief

 

One of the best pieces of advice for my business was to invest in myself. I was very hesitant to invest into my website, if I wasn't making income from it. Boy, was I wrong. I absolutely needed to jump onto certain subscriptions like Deposit Photos and Adobe Suite to take my business to the next level.

 


 

Rachel Coleman, Independent Education Consultant, College Essay Editor

 

I followed this advice. In my case, before I started my business, I first set about acquiring the education I thought was necessary and positioning myself to learn from other experts. I enrolled in UCLA’s College Counseling program and graduated with distinction. That certificate program was an important stepping stone to gaining access to the *member organizations and networks* that helped establish my credibility in this field. Next, I joined those membership organizations, including NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) and HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association), which allowed me to access professional educational webinars that I watched, including on topics like how to market your college counseling practice, how to build your IEC business, and how to manage your finances as an independent educational consultant (including becoming an LLC, separating business/personal income, learning about self-employment tax opportunities, etc…). HECA also provides an email listserv of member professionals in the industry, which allows aspiring education consultants to post and respond to any question about the industry, running their business, etc. This allowed me to learn from other professionals’ experiences while resolving any stumbling blocks that I may personally run into.

 


 

Jonathan Zacharias, Founder, GR0

 

The best piece of business advice I ever received is to think of your brand as nothing more than a service for providing the best value for your customer imaginable. In the world of business, you can easily get bogged down by supply chain logistics, profit margin, and product assortment. However, the North Star for each of these variables should not be revenue, but customer satisfaction. By putting customers above all else, companies will never lose.

 


 

Amy Davis, Founder, My Cat Needs This

 

The best piece of business advice I ever received from my father is to be patient. Sometimes it takes a long time for things to work out, and you have to give it time. Patience doesn't always come easy, but if you want to make things work, you have to be patient.

 


 

Robin Brown, CEO, VIVIPINS

 

The best piece of business advice I've ever received is that you can always turn what seems like a loss into something good. One time, my basement was flooded during a monsoon and I lost all the pre-orders for my pins. But after getting some help from family, friends, and fellow t-shirt entrepreneurs on Facebook's private group page, I now have connections in Hong Kong who are now working with me to fulfill those orders at the same price point.

 


 

David Attard, Digital Consultant and Web Designer, CollectiveRay

 

While starting a business, the two thing you should be very careful about is: Overspending: Not staying on your budget can have extreme consequences. Your budget should be concise, detailed and followed religiously. Starting with a negative on your ledger can set back your business by a few steps. Undermarketing: Marketing is essential for most businesses. With the help of analytics and cheap data, it would be foolish to not pay enough attention to the marketing aspect. You should have a solid marketing plan irrespective of the size of your business.

 


 

Sanket Desai, Marketing professional and an established entrepreneur, Biking KnowHow

 

I am a marketing professional and an established entrepreneur. I operate a successful Niche website called Biking Know How. I am a voracious reader and to keep myself motivated, I love to read biographies of entrepreneurs. I have been deeply impacted by the business advice I read from Sir Richard Branson, the head of the Virgin group. I am very influenced by his success and I take him as my mentor. I follow two very famous business advice or quotes, one is “*Screw it, let’s do it- By Sir Richard Branson*” and “*Just do it- This slogan is from Nike*”. Early on when I started with my business venture, especially in blogging, many naysayers told me that I was not doing the right thing. But in response, I decided to focus on my passion and focus on my own journey and growth. Fear of failure stops us most often from taking the first step. I would say, I have started to just take a leap of faith, trusting that my business idea will definitely work. As I was building my business, I was aware that I would face roadblocks. I did not let those stop my progress. I was flexible to pivot if needed. Lastly, I sought out mentors and experts. If they were not available in person then I surely found them electronically via email, social media, blogs, or books. Running a business is an amazing way to generate alternate income. Being a business owner can make one financially independent, which is so relevant considering the current pandemic situation.

 


 

Richard Hsu, Founder, How To Artist

 

One of the best pieces of business advice that I got was to eliminate unnecessary tasks and focus on a few core things. For example, limit and batch the time that you check emails so that it does not distract you from what is really important. Write down three things you’d like to focus on that day and do that before you do anything else (even small tasks like replying to an email). Eliminate all the trivial things so more energy and focus goes into important tasks. Another idea that is very similar to the one above is to focus on improving one or two things at a time. It’s very hard to work on your marketing, sales, customer service, and logistics all at the same time. So try to see if you can improve one area. Once you see reasonable progress, then you can pick other areas that may need your focus. This advice also centers around the idea that the more focus you put on one thing, the more results you would get.

 


 

Isabella Gordan, Co-Founder / Editor, Sleepys Express

 

The best advice I've received from more seasoned business colleagues is to embrace change. As a successful business, we need to embrace, adapt to, and accommodate change. We must constantly adjust to the changing market and the changing needs of our customers. Hope that helps. If you need any more information, I’m happy to reply as soon as possible. I also provided my headshot if ever you'd want to use it. If you decide to use this — let me know and I’ll promote the article via my channels.

 


 

Hutch Ashoo, Founder & CEO, Pillar Wealth Management

 

My father gave me the best business advice that I still adhere to this day, and that is never to be complacent. As we get to the summit, there is always a danger of collapsing. Markets, consumer tastes, and competitors are always evolving. A company that isn't looking for better ways of doing things is a business that runs the risk of coming to an end. Not being complacent is what helps me to stay on top of my game during this pandemic.

 


 

Dan Barcelon, Editor-in-Chief, Non-Athlete Fitness Blog

 

It's a great feeling to be given advice, especially when it's business-related. When discussing this, it provides a solid lesson and realization. As a founder, my mentor's best business advice is that business life is not always up; it sometimes needs to go down. It simply means that business isn't always successful; every business owner, at some point, will fail. Mistakes should not be viewed as failures, but rather as challenges, right? After all, we all benefit from the lessons we've learned. We will gain more perseverance to push through each step as a result of the lessons learned from these challenges, which we will be able to apply in the future.

 


 

Jeneva Aaron, Founder, TheHouseWire

 

Instead of killing yourself in thinking about what to sell, think about what to solve. There are so many problems in the market that thinking about what should fix it is easier than thinking of what to add to the market. Your motive is to solve one thing that is problematic in the market. For example, I wanted to solve the issue of home organization and have a passion for it, so I built a business that helped.

 


 

Heloise Blause, Founder, Home Kitchen Land

 

If you want to start a small business, do not quit your day job- not just yet. Build your business from down up. If you are starting up, it will take time before you can earn a steady income. The first stages are the tough ones, and you would not want to put all your eggs in the basket yet. It is better if you have something to fall in if the business does not go well. I am not saying that it will fail, but it is best if you’re prepared.

 


 

Azza Shahid, CEO, Efani

 

The one piece of advice I received before starting my business was “Always listen and communicate effectively with your employees” . My mentor said to me that in business, encourage your employees to speak up and share their ideas and from your end, you make sure that you listen to them and consider good ones. Sometimes it is important that a CEO admits that someone else can be right too. Not listening and encouraging two-way communication is one of the mistakes CEOs make that impacts employee experience. Lack of respectful hearing and not considering listening to your employee’s ideas leads to less creativity. An employee does not feel valued or included.

 


 

Rafal Mlodzki, CEO & Co-founder, Passport-Photo Online

 

The best business advice I've ever received is 'work with people who are smarter than you are and listen to them'. I heard it for the first time at a business conference and a few months later I read it in the excellent book '7 Habits Of Highly Effective People' by Stephen Covey. Accepting your own fallibility is extremely important because you cannot be a specialist in every field. On our way, we meet people who are much better than us on some topics. As a business leader, you need to be able to identify such people and listen to them! Because listening to others not only builds relationships on a business and personal level but also allows us to develop - as a businessman, a leader, and a person.

 


 

Samantha Moss, Editor & Content Ambassador, romantific.com

 

There are 2 business pieces of advice I’ve received, and as a business owner, these are lessons you can apply at work and in life. One, learn to adjust and embrace change. This can be applied in life and at work. Just like what happened to everyone because of the pandemic, we have to adjust to and embrace change to continue to function. Two, Employees are not family. There is a difference between family and employees. It’s okay to help them with their problems but their problems are not your own. You should know how to separate these things.

 


 

Dan Barrett, Co-Founder, Pacific Precious Metals

 

The best advice I ever received was from my mentor. “He told me that when picking a job, only one aspect mattered: fast growth. He said, ‘If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on. Another one is that “As long as people are complaining, they still want to do business with you. When they stop complaining is when you need to worry.” These two are probably the best advice I have ever received..

 


 

Kristin Stump, Marketing Manager, Myenamelpins

 

The best piece of advice I ever received about business came from my mom who is an entrepreneur herself. She always tells me, If you're not proactive in your own career, it will be done for you

 


 

 James Harford-Tyrer, CEO, Cudoni

 

 I think it’s a real badge of honour to walk into a room and be the stupidest person because what is the point of hiring a CTO, a web developer or a CMO or any of these other people if you believe you can do the job better than them? I think it’s understanding that there are people out there who have got specialist skillsets and then giving them the autonomy to tell you what they need to do and allowing that culture to be embodied throughout the organisation.The best advice is around how to make people flourish in an environment either they are comfortable with or is new to them - maybe because they’re at the start of their career and they’ve been a student or they’ve come from a different industry, whatever it may be.

 


 

Lissele Pratt, Director & Co-Founder , Capitalixe

 

This is definitely one of the best pieces of advice I received. It came from one of my clients. We’d formed a really great working relationship at this time, and he is someone who has become extremely successful in his field. I think, as business owners, it’s very common to feel uneasy about the unknown and worry about things that have not yet happened. This can lead to overthinking and feeling uneasy at work. This piece of advice helped me to be mindful of the moment, and take each working day as it came.

 


 

Daniela Sawyer, Founder & Business Development Strategist, FindPeopleFast

 

Here is the best piece of business advice I have ever received. It was given by my mentor, whom I used to discuss my business contexts. Adaptation and alignment: As my startup grows, One of our main strengths is our adaptation speed from concept to market. It allows us to implement faster than competitors. However, in remote contexts like COVID, we failed to change techniques. We found ourselves working towards overlapping aims. I needed to refocus and align our department leaders after a coaching session. After several assessments and responsibilities talks, we understood each department's role in reaching the same targets and deliverables. If we hadn't started this alignment project at the right time, we'd have lost weeks.

 


 

Aleksandra Krstevska, SEO Marketing Associate, Evopure

 

We are helping connect people and the planet in a sustainable way, through our eco-friendly, organically grown CBD products. I would like to contribute to your HARO query by sharing a really helpful piece of business advice that I ever received. It was from a colleague of mine, when I was working as an Creative Director and HR Manager in a non-profit organization. *Your mind is only yours, your goals are only yours, so embrace them and be the best in your role! *

 


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