Popular Advice Can Destroy Your Business.

Are you a fan of motivational quotes? I certainly am.

After all, they often deliver a core message with only a few words or phrases that can challenge your way of thinking.

However, some quotes better remain motivational or inspirational instead of becoming your philosophy of life and I will tell you why.


I’m sure you heard of this quote/advice:

“Think Outside The Box”
writing notes on a paper with a pen, think outside the box

There is a reason why we love these type of quotes:

They touch on a subject that triggers us emotionally.

Let me explain:

In business, you know that it it’s important to have a unique selling proposition.
You know that you need to seperate yourself from the competition and be unique.

Oftentimes, reality isn’t as easy as we think and establishing a USP turns out to be much more difficult than it first appeared.

Otherwise, every company that is doing something different would succeed – which is not the case.

That’s when we try to find mistakes and flaws in our strategy.
Hearing the quote: “Think Outside The Box” gives us a certain feeling of immediate hope:

“All I need to do is try things differently and I will succeed.”

However, this state of mind alone will not pay off in the long run:

So what’s the problem?

Didn’t they “think outside the box”?

In order to really make use of this quote/advice, one has to understand the core elements of business first. You need to know the basics in order to understand the bigger picture.

Or as a fellow musician friend of mine likes to say:

“You need to understand the rules of theory first in order to break them.”

As you can tell, following the quote or quintessence of advice alone is not enough.
It is merely an indicator of what can work when it’s applied in the right way.

The following quotes are equally dangerous when misinterpreted:

“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”
image of a clock, time

Another quote which has a positive meaning but can be very dangerous for your work ethic if applied in the wrong sense.

“Waiting” alone will not do much of a difference. It is of course necessary to always give your best and work towards your goals if you want to move forward.

If that’s the case, the term “waiting” gets a completly different meaning, since it is now refering to “persistence”.

In my opinion, “persistence” describes your ability of being patient while you are working towards your goals.

“Waiting” is a passive act which doesn’t involve any action-taking.

In business you definitely need to take actions though!

Unless you want to wait for miracles to happen:

You might be lucky that great opportunities come your way whether you are working hard or not, but simply waiting alone is always risky. It’s always best to be prepared.

“You Have To Invest Money To Make Money”
image of dollar bills, currency, dollar sign

This quote can be very true for those that know how to actually INVEST their money.
However, oftentimes people use this quote as an excuse to either not invest at all by saying something along the lines of:

“I would definitely be successful but I dont have as much money as the big companies”

…which is most likely the reasoning of someone who doesn’t want to take action.
(It is even possible to start a business with no money! Check out this article.)

or investing simply for the sake of investing:

“All I have to do is invest into something and I’m surely on my way to success”

…which is oftentimes the result of bad planning regarding a business strategy.

In this case, many entrepreneurs tend to feel overwhelmed and think that investing into the next available option will somehow get things moving forward.

As you can tell, this quote highly depends on the point of view.

Most of the time, quotes can be quite generic, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation anyway and makes it difficult to follow them in the literal sense.

Another great example is:

“They Key To Success: Hard Work & Determination.”
image of hard construction work, hard working people, corporate

As a business owner or entrepreneur you definitely know that these qualities are needed in a lot of situations but “working hard” does not equal “success” alone.

There are a lot of influences that affect whether someone will be successful or not.

This mindset of “working hard” actually gets most of us into a 9 to 5 environment.
After all, we were always told by our parents and grandparents to:

“work hard and you will have a good life”.

which, for most people, will not be the case.

Working in a corporate environment usually leaves you with very little opportunities unless you are able to get in a higher position.

So if hard work alone doesn’t equal success, what is the problem?


If a person creates a business that offers a product or service of value, they will more likely be successful since they solve problems.

Hard work will still be manditory but the money will always go to the company that meets the demand of the people.

Final Thoughts.

There are a lot of motivational quotes on the internet and we can barely escape them since they appear almost everywhere: Facebook, Entertainment Blogs and just about any other media related site.

However: Many quotes can be quite misleading or a bit too optimistic.

That’s why you should never rely on a motivational quote alone and always see the bigger picture. Unfortunately though, there are a lot of people who tend to use these quotes as excuses or the philosophy of their life.

If you want to know more about how to take action and be more productive with your work, check out this previous article that I wrote: Why You Need A Productivity Planner.

P.S. I provide an exclusive free download for my productivity planner which you can use right away to manage your work and move forward with your projects.

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