When you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll hear lots of suggestions. These suggestions may come from co-founders, employees, investors, customers, friends, relatives, cab drivers, and so on.
One rookie mistake is to rush to follow others’ suggestions, especially when those others are rich, powerful, experienced, or all three.
It’s very tempting to follow the suggestions of the wise. But the whole point of suggestions is that *you* get to choose whether to follow them.
I make suggestions all the time; that doesn’t mean I expect them all to be followed, especially when they’re suggestions that just popped into my head in the course of a conversation. (I do expect some of them to be followed, but that’s a good topic for another post)
It’s true that it’s often a good idea to follow suggestions from experts…but don’t let those suggestions become an excuse for avoiding a decision or abdicating your responsibility.
When you’re in a big company, you might be able to get away with the, “I was just following orders” excuse.
When you’re an entrepreneur, being able to blame someone else is cold comfort. You’re the only person who is responsible for the survival of your company; I’m not going to have much sympathy if you’re pitching me on your next company, and when I ask you why your last company failed, you tell me, “I got some bad advice from my investors.”
Listen, that’s what investors do. They give bad advice. If their advice were foolproof, they’d just start their own companies!
Make sure you treat suggestions as suggestions. It’s *your* job to make the decisions and take the blame if they go wrong.