- What advice do you have for someone wanting to be an entrepreneur?
- How do you know if a business idea is worth pursuing?
- How do you prepare yourself mentally to be an entrepreneur?
- How to handle naysayers when starting a business?
- What to think about when taking over an existing business?
- Advice from young entrepreneurs
Sal answers the question "How to deal with naysayers when starting a business?" as part of its partnership with Bank of America on career and personal finance education (Better Money Habits).
- So one of the hardest things when you are starting as an entrepreneur, when you're trying to start some type of anything, whether it's a business or a nonprofit or an organization, is you're going to wanna share your idea and what you're working on with a lot of folks, and you're going to get different reactions. And it's not unlikely that you're going to get a lot of folks who will tell you things like, "Well, this is already done before. "Why do you think you're going to be able to do it?" or "This has never been done before. "Why do you think you're going to be able to do it?" And it's very hard to judge whether, okay, are they just being naysayers and just being negative and I should just power through it, or should I listen seriously to what they have to say? And like all things, take this all with a grain of salt, it's hard to know for sure, but I like to think about whether people are coming from a point of view of that they really want you to succeed. And if there are people in your life that you know at the end of the day have got your back and really want you to succeed, I would listen to what they're saying. Now, it doesn't mean what they're saying is absolutely true. It's completely possible that they might have a different tolerance for risk than you do, but it's worth processing. It's worth at least listening. And sometimes when people say, "Oh, well, this has been tried before. "Why do you think you doing it is going to work?" Well, the answer to that is sometimes how you do it matters a lot more than the idea itself. Khan Academy is an example of that. I wasn't the first person to think that online could be a way to disseminate information. I wasn't the first person to think that software could personalize education for folks. I wasn't the first person to make content on YouTube or to help teach people through video. But there was something about how it all came together and also the time and space and how accessible it was that things caught on. And that would've been very hard to predict had I not at least tried. And the way that I protected myself from both the positive and negative, positive and negative feedback (laughs) was I told myself, "You know what? "This is all good information. "I'm going to listen to what people have to say, "but I'm also going to try it. "And I'm gonna try it in a way that I can start to learn "what is actually working and what's not working." And if you can work on your day job, so to speak, while you start to fiddle and you can start to build those data points and points of confirmation that you might be on to something, well, then it makes you a little bit more resilient to what folks might tell you. And you should keep listening, but you shouldn't rest everything on necessarily what everyone tells you.