Why You Should Give Your Best Stuff Away (Plus 3 Other Startup Tips)

Contrary to the glamorous façade often portrayed on social media, entrepreneurship is far from a leisurely stroll through the park. It’s not all champagne toasts and photo shoots. Guiding your startup to success demands much more than dreaming up a brilliant concept, launching a captivating social media campaign, and crossing your fingers that magic will happen.

As someone who’s been in the entrepreneurial game for 43 years, I can share firsthand that running your own company takes dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures.

Let’s explore a few key lessons I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me navigate the tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship.

1. Give your best stuff away

Yes, you read that right! Back in 1990, during a radio interview with Dr. Wayne Dyer, I received a piece of advice that changed the course of my career. He told me to give my best stuff away for free.

At first, I was skeptical — wouldn’t that devalue my expertise? Then Dr. Dyer explained that by freely sharing my knowledge and insights, I would attract a loyal following and grow my business. And he was right.

Today, we give away five of our books for free on our website, a practice that has been instrumental in building our brand and attracting clients.

In your pursuit of entrepreneurial success, don’t be afraid to create products that you give away at no cost to attract and engage potential customers.

2. Get a mentor. Or two. Or three. Or four!

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to figure everything out on your own. But why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from those who’ve already been there, done that?

It’s a best practice to surround yourself with mentors who work in your industry. Tap into their excellence, their motivation, their inspiration — and most importantly? Their experience. Mentorship is one of the best investments you can make in your own success.

3. Don’t take anything personally

As an entrepreneur, you’re going to face criticism, rejection, and naysayers. It’s inevitable. And as difficult as it may be — since your product, idea or company feels like an extension of yourself — it’s important not to take criticism personally or let it get under your skin.

Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about them. Stay focused on your goals, stay true to yourself, and don’t let the opinions of others derail your journey.

4. Prioritize self-care

Running a business is demanding, both mentally and physically. One of the greatest factors that sabotages entrepreneurs is the anxiety that comes naturally with entrepreneurship.

That’s why it’s crucial to carve out time for self-care. Establish a daily self-care routine that you stick with regardless of where you are in the world or what’s going on in your life.

Whether it’s meditation, exercise, or simply taking a few intentionally slow, deep breaths, find what works for you and make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Trust me: A healthy mind and body are your greatest assets as an entrepreneur.

So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged on your entrepreneurial journey, remember these lessons. And remember, success rarely happens overnight — it takes time, effort, and a whole lot of resilience. Colonel Sanders’ delicious chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times, but he never quit: He finally achieved success when was 68 years of age!

If you stay true to yourself, stay open to learning, and stay committed to your goals, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Contributed to EO by David Essel, M.S., a best-selling author, counselor, executive coach, speaker, podcast, radio and television host, and sports psychology coach. David was a recent guest on the EO 360° podcast discussing mindset and addiction. David’s personal recovery from drug and alcohol addiction helped him create one of the most successful holistic addiction recovery programs in the US.

For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog.

Categories: Best Practices Entrepreneurial Journey STARTUP


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