TSC 8th Anniversary Competition – What is the best business advice you have ever received?

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Retired Moderator
Mar 21, 2011
London, UK.

We just turned 8 and to celebrate – we’ve prepared a friendly competition for community members to win exciting prizes!

Here’s how it works:

1. Just answer: What is the best business advice you have ever received?

2. Use this thread to post and share your answers

3. Deadline of entries is on July 31st, 5pm GMT

You can post as many entries as you want. Winners will be chosen based on best answers and will be judged by our official sponsors:

Good luck and happy 8th Anniversary everyone!
8 years eh? - Congratulations, that is quite a milestone!

The best advice was given to me by one of the first people I ever worked for, he was full of what seemed to be useless advice but much of it has stuck with me over the years and I still live by much of it today (so I guess my advice would have to be the same as number 1:)) .

Here are three of the better ones off the top of my head:

1) Find out what everyone else knows then begin where they left off – I later found out this was a quote by Thomas Edison but is something that stuck with me and is a philosophy that I like to live by.

2) Although research is important there is no substitute for experience – When I was starting out, I used to spend hours researching – he would say I was putting off making a start and would often tell me that I will learn more in the first week of running a business than I will in the year it takes me to research all the ins and outs and cover all the angles….he was so very right…

3) And finally he would tell me that you are either passionate about business or greedy – greedy people, will never be happy, but if you are passionate about business and especially about the business you are in then you will never have to work a single day in your life.

To be fair, he was very blunt and to the point and I have taken out a lot of the swearing and tidied it up a little for any young un’s that may be reading this :)
Sorry, I mean the best piece of business advice I was given was to join TSC (can I have a Kindle now :))
Apr 24, 2007
Life is a complicated thing - the older you get, the more complicated it gets! :)

After nearly 19 000 posts and 5 years of active posting, I treat TSC as a place where I can GIVE back to people, share my experience and of course - learn new things along the way. I can't pick just one thing or two I have learned from TSC over the years - it's more like - part of my knowledge has been built from things I learned on TSC. And I hope it will continue that way.

On TLC channel, there's an interesting show going on now - Lottery Winners, showing how people live after winning that big jackpot! There was one guy who is making a full time living from playing (working?) slot machines. And he really believes in karma, in giving, in principle that everything comes back to you in your life - so he shares his winnings with random people, charities and relatives. Giving really works.

So I'm not into competition to win a Kindle (I already have one, lol) but I really wish TSC a Happy Birthday and TSC members - to give away as much as posibble, even if it's just advice, as everything WILL come back to you! The more you give, the more you get in return!

Happy B-Day TSC! ;)
Feb 19, 2011
Happy birthday TSC!
Not perhaps the best advice in the world, but i received this nugget at a very young and impressionable age, from someone of very good standing....

'Work is for mugs'

(orf to download some e-books) :)
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Mar 1, 2012

wow , best advice, it's hard. i think there are many advices i got which i can call them the best. some of them, listen to yourself , dont be afraid and keep on direct contact with your costumers.
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Feb 7, 2010
"you're never too old or too young to do anything."

That is probably the best piece of advice I ever received.

I started trading online what seems like a life time ago now! Really, its only been a few years. It must have been 3 years ago now, when I was 13/14, I completed my first ebay sale. Since then, i've come a long way! Balancing business with studies can be very hard, but i've managed it well until now.

At first, I questioned whether or not I could do it. "Theres too many barriers," "where will I get the money?!" "i'm only 13, I can't do this!" are all thoughts that crossed my mind. Every time, I referred back to the advice I received and eventually thought "Lets do this!" and since then, i've never looked back.

Admittedly, I've not become a millionnairre in the few years i've been trading, but i've learned a hell of a lot of things, and that experience, at this age, is invaluable. And hopefully, i'll move on to bigger and better things.

Of course, I have received a lot of other advice over the years, mainly from TSC. Without this forum, I wouldn't have learnt most of the stuff I know today. I wouldn't have known how to make a decent ebay listing (think back to the size 28 bold bright yellow lettering we've all seen on an ebay listing before, that was probably me!) and I most certainly wouldnt have known where to start in terms of a website.

8 years of TSC! I've only been around to experience a few of those years, but heres to the many more to come! Happy 8th Anniversary!:D
Jun 11, 2011
Congratulations TSC!

The best business advice I was ever given was without doubt from the company director of my first full time job - Learn from your mistakes. We all make mistakes, it's human. Acknowledge your mistake and you will be far more successful than you would be if you just brush it to one side.
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Aug 22, 2009
Kings Lynn, Norfolk
My best advice / sayings that I brought into my business ventures were more from life than specifically or business:

Treat as you would like to be treated (I heard this a lot when I was a kid and do try to live by it)
You will never know unless you try (again, from when I was younger)
Something worth doing is worth doing right (again, from a young age)
and the 7 p's which to those who don't know are a British Army adage 'Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance' (again, I heard this when I was pretty young)

The above 4 have put me in pretty good stead in the fact that the majority of my ventures have had some succes, albeit to varying degrees, often the only reason my businesses have changed or closed were either because of personal circumstances or I wanted to change direction / adapt.


Please treat this as an entry now ;)
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Firstly, Happy Birthday to TSC. What an amazing community this is - We at Woodland Global are proud to be part of it.

I have been in business for over twenty years now and the one thing that keeps me fresh and wanting to better myself is that you will more than often learn something new every day. You will receive advice by the bucketload over the years - the most important thing is for you to decide whether you follow that advice or not, as not all advice will be good advice.

There is a great line in the Baz Lurmann song 'Sunscreen' - "Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth".

For me personally I was given two bits of advice by my manager at a previous company where I worked in my early years in shipping that always stuck with me. The background story to this is that I had tried to do something off my own back even though I was very new to the industry and it went spectacularly wrong.

"It doesn't matter if you are an office junior or a Managing Director - Never be afraid to ask for help"

..and after I did not get the rollicking I expected........

"Learn from this mistake and never make the same mistake twice - then you won't go far wrong".

All these years later now I have staff working for me, I still use these to this very day. Oh and if someone does make the same mistake twice, they do indeed get the full rollicking !
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May 5, 2010
Happy Birthday to TSC.
Nobody has really given me much advice, I have always been told I am a maverick.
I do it my way, good or bad.
If I see something I think makes money, I give it a go.
I go 100% at it until I have either made some money or if it was really a crap idea - I bin it. :)
My advice is don`t expect to make a fortune overnight and if someone tells you their great idea will achieve this,
they are probably talking sh*te.
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Oct 30, 2009
Some 10 years ago I started out whilst still in education. I was speaking to my grandad, about a new phenomenon that was selling like hot cakes in the independent games store where I worked part time(Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Cards). I was telling him how the profit margin on just one pack was huge, and wished I could do the the same somehow.

"So why don't you then" he asked,
"It would be impossible" I replied, whilst reeling off a number of reasons why I couldn't.

"The difference between the possible and impossible is merely a measure of ones determination" he replied curtly.

I thought about it long and hard, realising that he was correct.

A couple of weeks later I had found a wholesaler and was selling the exact same things at a fair in Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

Couple of months later I was buying my very first car from the profits.

God bless him.

I don't know who originally said it, but all I do know is that I have always remembered it and used it throughout my life. Not exactly business advice per se, but it can be applied to anything in life.

The second best piece of direct business advice I have had, is the following,

"don't try and change the world...look at something that is already working, and do it better"

I can't remember where I heard it, but brilliant nevertheless.

Happy Birthday TSC.


Banned Member
Aug 9, 2010
Over the years i have had a few quotes and advice that have stuck with me.

My grandmother is one cautious lady! Her first bit of advice for me: Don't run before you can walk, something that has stuck with me throughout my career, i may take risks in business however those risks are careful planned, researched and implemented to ensure a much lower chance of that risk not paying off! Something I’m sure many new start up owners should remember is to always walk before you can run!, Research and don't fall pray like many others do, experience is crucial but so is planning!, a lack of planning - is planning to fail!.

My brother also gave me some great advice, if not a bit blunt, before i had started my business like Rick i had every excuse in the book not to start up the company, one day we was talking about what we would like to do in the future and he simply stated - Stop living a boring life!. Now many people would have considered my previous life far from boring, i had a good job and good prospects but i never wanted to work for somebody else and he knew this, the result? Everything i did became boring to me, i was not working towards my own goals but towards the goals of where i was working!. From that day on i decided to stop living a boring life but to live MY life, how i wanted to and stop putting excuses before my business.

There is always an excuse to not start up your own business but its the excuse to do something great that you should really be thinking about!.
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Jul 14, 2009
Whow, 8 years. Didn't realise TSC was already going this long.

My father is a retired farmer (although he still works as hard as he used to be). He doesn't know anything about computers, the internet, Ebay,... Hardly understands a thing of what I'm doing.

Nevertheless, the best part of advice came out of his mouth:

Everybody in this world has its gift. Try to find out what yours is and once you've found make your profession from it. Don't listen to anybody not even your parents. I've you like to pick up **** as a profession. Well, do it.

And that's exactly the advice I followed. And I must say it was quite a voyage.

I joined Ebay in 2007 just to sell my own collection of videogames. Years I'd had a lot of fun playing them, now I noticed I enjoyed even more selling them and hunt for bargains. At a point it began starting very serious, so decided ot follow my dad's advice and make my job from it. And here we are 3 years later and I'm still at it.

Looking for suppliers I ended up on TSC. I didn't really find the supplier I was looking for but seeing all the info I found I didn't give a damn. All the tips, advice and info I've found here have been priceless.

So TSC: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. And looking forward to a lot more anniversaries.
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Nov 30, 2009
Happy B-DAY TSC!
The best advice I have ever received, was simply -- "If you have found potential and you have researched its potential, then take ownership of the situation and follow it through. Everything has a risk, but if you live life worrying, you will never make it. Don't quit, push hard and never, ever look back."

That's probably the best advice I got. And it has proven to be good, useful information that has helped me alot
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Feb 16, 2011
Sorry I've had a few drinks so I don't really have the capacity to read through all the great advice here, I'll do it in the morning!

The best advice I ever read, as a massively pessimistic person, was "there are a thousand ways to convince yourself you can't do something, but only one way to show you can," or something like that. It was Pete or someone established like him that posted it, gave me the impetus to dive in head first, make some mistakes, learn the hard way and I've already made more money this year than the past 1 and a half combined :)
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Great question!

I have recived a lot of good advice in my years as a business owner. Here are a couple which stand out (and have really come to hold a lot of meaning for me).

1. It will take twice as much money and twice as much time to get everything done
2. If you can't delegate, you can't grow - you need to learn to trust staff/business partners and 'let go' (given to me by a family member who is the general manager of an international multi-million dollar company)
3. It's very difficult, but not impossible, to make a lot of money.

The advice I freely dish out is this:

That mantra has really proven true for me :)
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Feb 3, 2009
My dad was self-employed for years, he once told me the best thing I could ever do was just get a job.
Obviously I ignored him and started working for myself.
Fifteen years later I know exactly what he meant, the benefits of working for yourself can be great but the bad times and quiet times are VERY stressful.
So there you have it, in a nutshell.. 'Get a job' o_O
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