Managing director and accountant Benedetto Accounts & Tax
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How to ignore the naysayers

You wouldn’t expect it, but naysayers are common to every start-up practice. They can take away your dreams and stop a great idea in its tracks, writes Georgia Duffee. 

9th Dec 2019
Managing director and accountant Benedetto Accounts & Tax
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Much to my dismay, the feeble attempt I had made at starting my own home-based office did not get approval from some people.

Benedetto Accounts & Tax was founded with very little financial investment, which is now a possibility if you want to open a cloud-based practice. Though small and inexpensive, it is an accomplishment to be proud of.

But a few weeks into my new role as accountant and managing director, I met up with an old colleague. We went for lunch, caught up on how life changes, and I mentioned my new business. She nearly spat out her food “Georgia, are you sure that’s right?” she exclaimed.

Unexpectedly, instead of a celebration and cheers to the future, I found myself defending my business, defending my goals – my visions! But I could tell she wasn't listening to a word I was saying.

I drove home that day, in shock at how little belief she had in me. It knocked my esteem for a day or two, while I began to doubt myself. Then, the whole team I worked with viewed my LinkedIn profile - clearly after hearing the new gossip.

Starting a business is hard enough, without the added negativity from ‘naysayers’.

On average it takes a start-up business three-to-four years to officially launch (and I can vouch for that). This then gives three to four years of scope for naysayers to have their say, and make you rethink your dreams before you finally start to reap the fruits of your double entry.

It took blinkers to block out this detrimental distraction and a tunnel vision focus on my dream to pioneer digital tax and have a balanced, meaningful and rewarding work life and home life.

Setting up your own firm isn’t easy. Will you find clients? Will you manage? Are you thinking clearly? Will you regret it? Will your spouse approve? What will your friends think?

The truth is every start-up business will encounter naysayers. It is part and parcel of putting yourself out there. The chances are you’re optimistic and positive and that is why you have considered taking the leap of faith in the first place.

You will encounter many hurdles in your entrepreneurial journey, but as we all know, the things worth having don't come easy. So you have to overcome the hurdles, setbacks and negative false opinions in order to reach your goals.

Sometimes a naysayer may have a valid suggestion for your business. So don't disregard what they say if their feedback will make your business better, just do not listen to anyone who says you can't do something - without any proof.

If you listen to someone who says you can’t reach a goal then you definitely won't. If you try and reach your goal regardless, you may succeed or you may fail. But you must try and work hard to find out.

Even to this day, I am asked: ”Why don’t you just go back into a full time employed position elsewhere? Security, a simple life, paid holidays and weekends off.” I simply reply “No thank you, I love my job”, and then I get back to what makes me happy.

Once you ignore naysayers and instead listen to your positivity and willpower you will have set the foundations for your success in business.

Replies (11)

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bike
By FirstTab
09th Dec 2019 10:25

Thanks for your post interesting. Though I prefer to read about your experience and what your learnt. I do not like to read advice given. It is your blog at the end of the day, your space.

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By memyself-eye
09th Dec 2019 11:54

if you prefer not to read about it, why did you?

what an odd response.

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Replying to memyself-eye:
bike
By FirstTab
09th Dec 2019 18:57

It is the first time I have read the writer's post. I had no idea of the content. If another post is giving advice, I will not read her posts again. Like so many that dish out advice, I no longer read here.

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Replying to memyself-eye:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
10th Dec 2019 09:06

First Tab never takes advice unless it agrees with what he has already decided to do.

I agree, it is an odd approach to life, but each to their own.

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By NLB
10th Dec 2019 10:14

An excellent post with some good real truths for those thinking about doing the same. Starting anything from scratch is the hardest thing and anyone reading the post would do well to remember that.

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By Husbandofstinky
10th Dec 2019 13:30

All I can say is, ignore the naysayers at your peril, as long as they are objective (massive caveat there). We all have are own dreams, be it doing our own things or going it alone, although sometimes the focus of that blinkers our view towards that goal.

This is maybe a poor analogy, but time and time again you see examples on Dragon's Den whereby some individuals have spent their 'children's inheritance', their own financial stability (jacked in their job and remortgaged their house etc), turned up at the Den only to then find out they have spent £500k+ on a project only for them to be told, 'stop it before anymore damage is done', no offers and then they walk out and say 'the Dragon's are all wrong and don't understand the concept'.

Maybe negative I know but objective naysayers are worth their weight in gold as they have an emotionally detached opinion.

No doubt many will have come across business plans time and time again that have far from stacked up from the outset (you advised them against it from the beginning) only to be a money pit for the next year or two until it folds. Over half of all start ups fail within three years. Fact of life. That said, the entrepreneurial spirit needs to be nurtured in order that it can flourish, but not at all costs. That of course is very subjective.

Finally, congratulations on the success of your endeavour Georgia. I hope it achieves everything you wish for, and some.

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Replying to Husbandofstinky:
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By Joe Alderson
11th Dec 2019 10:09

There's concerned people with constructive feedback and then naysayers who are just negative whatever you are trying to achieve.

Those people who are being negative that aren't providing helpful feedback, suggestions etc. need to be ignored. I am all for someone saying "you sure you want to do it that way, have you thought about this..." But someone saying"You're doing what? Why? Are you crazy?" just isn't helpful.

People doubting your ability just because they don't want to see you succeed or that don't know you that well, aren't helpful. You know your own drive and ability, so trust that. But always take other peoples knowledge and advice on board for consideration.

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Replying to Husbandofstinky:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
17th Dec 2019 09:59

To be frank it would be pretty difficult to not make a profit with an accountancy practice run from home, it may not be enough profit to live on, drawings may kill the business (though an accountant ought to be aware of that risk) but really such a business only has an opportunity cost risk; laptop, printer, desk some software, insurance, phone,stationery and access to some textbooks/CPD and you are away.

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By FirstTab
17th Dec 2019 10:10

A lifestyle business.

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Danny Kent
By Viciuno
18th Dec 2019 00:38

I agree with FirstTab, I'd much rather read about Georia's experiences overcoming other people's prejudices (other professionals and potential clients) rather than just the "ignore everyone and say you can do it" speil.

Interesting though that "benedetto Accounts & Tax Ltd." has filled dormant accounts since incorporation. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence to the advice being offered to her clients or lead credence to the blog. I might be wrong though, but playing the "I set up the company when I was 21 in 2016"card but not trading though it makes the whole article seem a bit disingenuous.

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Replying to Viciuno:
bike
By FirstTab
18th Dec 2019 20:33

I always read practice advice articles ("column") with a cynical eye. Most of them state the obvious as advice. Hence, my point best they state what they (writers) learnt from their experience and NOT give advice. We all know what to do and how. According to AW slant, we are business advisors (Practice Excellence), yet we need to be advised on the obvious?

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