#Asia 5 common pieces of startup advice you should actually ignore


While they might be well-intentioned, these tips can often do more harm than good


Question: What is one piece of advice most first-time entrepreneurs will get, but should actually ignore?

You can over rehearse your pitch

“You need to know your stuff when you are pitching. There are no excuses. The hundredth time you give your pitch will be better than the fifth, and not as good as the thousandth. As long as you take the time to learn and watch your audience, just keep practicing. Sounding relaxed and trustworthy comes from confidence, not from spontaneity.”

– Ben Gamble (), Quincus

Hiring friends and family is a bad idea

“Any hire you make can potentially turn out to be a bad one, but having someone invested (morally) in the business as much as you are can help motivate you and help you work together to accomplish great things early on. More times than not, you’ll have limited funds. If your team believes in you, they’ll be lenient on compensation until things really pick up.”

– Michael Cleary (), Huemor

Also Read: Concrete advice for raising money, straight from an M&A specialist

Always diversify your client base

“Many new entrepreneurs are advised to diversify their customer base, but I always encourage them to focus on and identify the ideal client for their business. I also counsel that it’s OK to turn away business and choose to focus on a specific niche, which can be a hard thing to fathom when you’re just starting out.”

– Selena Soo, S2 Groupe

You can sleep when you’re dead

“Have you ever tried to sleep when you are dead? I’m not sure how to do it or if it’s even possible. If you haven’t slept for 40 hours, then your decision-making likely won’t be very sound. I used to take sleep depravation as a sign of accomplishment. Now I try to look at exhaustion as a warped perspective. If I’m sleep deprived, I indulge in a siesta and recalibrate my focus.”

– Max Coursey (), Tiger Prop

Also Read: Want to get your company in the news? 8 tech journos offer advice

Always come prepared with a deck

“For investor presentations, many entrepreneurs are told to always come prepared with a deck. During initial meetings, we’ve found it to be more helpful to tell our story on an interpersonal level. This way we’re not just looking at a screen; we’re looking at each other and connecting.”

– Arry Yu (), Emotiv Labs, Inc dba GiftStarter

FounderSociety is an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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