Advice and Consent

There's no shortage of startup advice out there, but can you tell good from bad? Hear what others live by.

By Nichole L. Torres • Aug 1, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Some people are full of business wisdom, while others, well,aren't. These entrepreneurs reveal the startup advice of thewise and not-so-wise:

Ike Iregbulem, 30, founder and CEO of Opulent Lifestyle, amembers-only, VIP luxury concierge service in New York City

2005 projected sales: $2 million

Best Advice: "Being raised in New York, we alwaysfind a way to make something happen, and my mother always told me,'There are several ways to skin a cat.' During thefinancing phase, I was told that there were a variety of avenues totravel down in regards to acquiring financing and to not limitmyself to only one avenue."

Worst Advice: "An acquaintance advised me not tostart my own company because there are too many risks involved. Theway I see it, if there isn't any risk, then there isn't anyreward."

Terry Espy, 46, founder of The Momentum Group, a full-servicedevelopment and design firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, thatprovides turnkey real estate project management

2005 projected sales: $3 million

Best Advice: "[I was told] to figure out what [I]love and am passionate about and turn that into a business--withoutburning out that passion through my business."

Worst Advice: "I was advised to expand and grow mybusiness very fast in the beginning. However, my company was in avolatile niche market, and funding for new growth was often takenaway when customers had difficulties and were forced to close theirbusinesses."

Gini Dietrich, 32, founder of ArmentDietrich, a PR firm in Chicago that specializes in the food andretail markets, with a special emphasis on fashion andbeauty

2004 sales: $1.5 million

Best Advice: "Join networking groups--the business-and professional service-oriented [types]. The referrals you getfrom them are phenomenal."

Worst Advice: "When I was researching starting mybusiness three years ago, I didn't really understand how the'getting paid' notion worked. So I asked a few businessowners. Looking back, the most outlandish advice I got was,'Don't open a business account. Take all of the checks youget from clients, and put them right into your personal account.You'll be filthy rich!' Well, if I'd done that, Iwouldn't have $1.5 million in revenue two years afterincorporating, nor would I have 18 clients and fouremployees."

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