Are you taking business advice and guidance from a “financial planner” who doesn’t have any money or any employee who tells you how to run or start a business? Are you making a decision about a business opportunity based on what an accountant, a banker, your child, or a lawyer tell you? And one who has failed miserably in the only business venture he ever started (or all of them) is not qualified to mentor you in any entrepreneurial venture.

Yet most of the people who consider getting into their own business in one form or another take advice from the wrong people. These advisors may mean well, and they may think they are qualified. Though the cook may think he can run the restaurant or hotel better than the owners and managers, their opinions are only based on ego and hearsay, and therefore invalid. I had that experience what I was a Food and Beverage Manager

I had that experience what I was a Food and Beverage Manager at a Holiday Inn. A cook who I reprimanded told me that he could do my job just as well as I could. So I took his apron and handed him my jacket, and asked him to go ahead and do the bar stock take, evaluate our budgetary situation, work with my controller and interview the new restaurant manager while I  prepared the breakfast. It took him about five minutes to sheepishly ask for his apron back.

For example, I see people taking business advice from their university student parrots – sorry, kids – and missing out on tremendous opportunities. Unless that kid has actually built or run at least one business, it’s like a bird that asks a squirrel how to fly.

And when it comes to elderly people who are interested in making money as entrepreneurs,  be aware that many younger people consider us dozy old sods who are “too old” to start a business – perhaps they’re really afraid of losing their inheritance. Disregard their baseless and ill-founded guidance. Remember, with age comes experience, poise, wisdom, and skills that younger people don’t have and cannot understand or appreciate.

Naturally, one will want to check things out – this “gifting” program that has once again raised its poisonous head in British Columbia, for example, has a long history as a known scam that always ends badly. At some point, the organizers will pull the carpet out from under the feet of the latest “investors” and those who have greedily put in more and more money, and a lot of people will lose their proverbial shirts. There are many scams being offered to the desperate, less intelligent, and vulnerable.

So, if you’re being approached by real entrepreneurs who have a long, provable history of business success and preferably those somewhat advanced in age and not riding on the arrogance bus of youth, be careful who shoots their offers down and discourages you from going ahead. In many cases, there is a combination of ulterior motive and inexperience, wrapped passive aggressive jealousy involved.

Robin Elliott