Bad advice is easily the most expensive thing that I see business owners online have to deal with. The carnage that gets caused by taking and following poor advice is monumental – it can destroy what you’ve built and it can even damage you on a personal level.
Most bad advice comes from well intentioned people. They apply logic to a situation that they don’t quite fully understand and they come out with something that sounds like it makes perfect sense.
The really bad advice though comes from what I call “The Memers”. These people sit around thinking of something that would look great on a meme quote poster on Facebook and Instagram. Sentences or statements that could go viral and make them appear like experts who say really profound things.
These folks are actually pretty dangerous for business owners who are just starting out online. Their quotes and ideologies are usually half baked and not well thought out. But hot damn they look good in a picture in people’s Facebook timeline.
Running a business can’t be encapsulated down into a sentence or a quote. It’s way more complicated than that and those quotes lack context that is incredibly relevant to your particular situation.
These people are the internet’s version of fortune cookies. The cookie itself is sickly sweet and the information inside sounds great, but is largely worthless.
Before I get hammered with people quoting Sun Tzu or Nike slogans at me, let me just say, inspiration and advice two different things. A quote like “Just Do It” is not meant to be taken literally, it’s meant to sell a shoe. It’s a sales pitch to inspire you. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” isn’t meant as advice for you to JV with sociopaths who compete with your competition.
Those quotes are useful for making you stop and rethink something. They inspire you to get out of your own head and they can serve as a pattern interrupt in your own thinking.
If however, you’re thinking that it’s a good idea to setup that mail order business renting out 8-track tapes to people in San Francisco then “Just Do It” isn’t business advice. Thinking that 8-tracks and mail order are the enemy of Spotify isn’t really a great business plan.
Let me share a quote from the often quoted, Seth Godin:
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.”
What?!? No, it’s not.
That’s dumb advice to give to people when it comes to business. It’s very easy advice to give when you make your living writing books and being a “thought leader”, but to tell that to people who are thinking of starting a business or expanding their existing business into a new market is just silly.
I know people who’ve put their house and life’s savings on the line starting businesses based on horrible ideas. The cost of being wrong for these people is almost certain bankruptcy and massive personal disruption. Doing nothing would have been safe and boring, but they wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of homelessness.
If you’re what I consider a “Casual Marketer”, someone who maybe has a job and is looking to grow a business online or has an existing business that you’re looking to expand online, you need to get steady advice that helps you take the right steps to success.
Every month, my Casual Marketer Newsletter gets delivered into the mailboxes of my subscribers. I share with them my experiences and war stories that I’ve accumulated over the years. The idea is that you’ll get practical advice from someone who’s been where you are and isn’t looking to get 10,000 followers on Twitter or a 100,000 Likes on Facebook.
Until February 12th, 2016, all new subscribers to the newsletter will be considered Foundation Members. You subscription price will be locked in for as long as you maintain your membership. You’ll also get the February and January newsletters in your welcome pack and in the next couple weeks, my paperback book, “No Hyperbole: The New Rules of Online Business” will land in your hot little hands.
Don’t miss out on being a Foundation Member and all the benefits that delivers.