On the subject of entrepreneurship, advice is plentiful. It seems as though there are three new books out every week offering insights and advice about starting a business. Magazines, blogs, conferences, college courses are all robust sources for entrepreneurship tips, tricks and trends.
It can be too much. With all the time you can spend researching and reading advice about running your business, you can't possibly actually run your business.
In an effort to make business advice just a bit simpler, I found or asked 10 serial entrepreneurs for just one sentence of advice about starting a business. I asked serial entrepreneurs because they've done it over and over again. Between these 10 people, they've started, by my count, more than 40 businesses--some very successfully.
Here, then is one sentence of entrepreneurship advice from 10 serial entrepreneurs:
“Take as much feedback from as many people as you can about whatever idea you have. … Seek critical feedback."
Elon Musk,founder of SpaceX, the private space transportation company, and co-founder of Pay Pal and Tesla Motors.
“If you’ve got a great idea, if you can improve people’s lives, just go on and do it.
Richard Branson, founder, The Virgin Group, which comprises of more than 400 companies including transportation, entertainment and communications.
"Know your customer and embrace risk--don't fear it."
Devin Schain, founder of National Education Initiative, the host company for National Education Week as well as founder of Education Direct and On Campus Marketing.
"... think of negativity as noise--believe in yourself and what you're doing."
Tory Burch, founder of several fashion and beauty companies including Tory Burch as well as the Tory Burch Foundation.
“You should be building a business that is uniquely positioned around who you are, who you know, and what you care about."
Todd Connor, Founder of Flank 5 Academy, a career development business, and The Bunker, the nation’s first national network of incubators for military veterans.
“Stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment.”
“Important change is never greeted with open arms and always requires dogged persistence."
Steve Gottlieb, founder of Shindig, a new video communications and meeting platform as well as TVT Records and the entertainment organization A2IM.
“Use a sniper rifle, not a shotgun- stay focused, obsess over the details, and listen to your customers.”
Mike Kelly, Founder & CEO of Ora Interactive, an interdisciplinary technology studio as well as Ora Ventures, a Chicago startup accelerator and SafeStart, a surgical safety application.
"Focus on the big picture rather than the problem at hand."
Penelope Trunk, founded four startups. Her latest is Quistic, which gives advice to others about starting new companies.
“There's no one way to do it, but you have to do it--no hemming and hawing and drawing up plans that will change anyway--seek all the advice you can, collect all of the information you need, but do that while you are making and creating and building your company and not beforehand.”
Jill Salzman is growing The Founding Moms, an offline meetup and online resources for mom entrepreneurs and recently launched The Founding Kit, and was named a "mommy mogul" by CNNMoney.