MJ Gottlieb from N2ITIV Solutions Gives Seven Powerful Reasons Why Learning What NOT to Do is the Best Way to Teach Entrepreneurs

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MJ Gottlieb from N2ITIV Solutions gives seven powerful reasons why learning what NOT to do and learning from the mistakes of others is the best way to teach entrepreneurs.


What I’ve found in my twenty-one-years as an entrepreneur is that no single business is the same. Every business has its own set of unique experiences. So how can we give someone a blueprint to how to run his or her business when no business is the same?

MJ Gottlieb from the popular entrepreneur and start-up blog, N2ITIV solutions is known for advising people what not to do. Gottlieb believes that there are significant flaws in telling entrepreneurs what to do, which has been the traditional teaching method society has grown accustomed to, whereas learning what not to do provides several distinct advantages that will enable the entrepreneur a far greater chance of success.

Here are seven powerful reasons why this unconventional approach is the best method of teaching:

1. Entrepreneurs don’t like to be told what to do: Entrepreneurs are idealistic by nature and quite simply do not like to be told what to do. That is why they forge their own paths and the sole reason why they have decided to go against the grain and start their businesses in the first place. This is one of the main reasons why learning what not to do in business is far more practical.

2. Takes the ego out of the equation: Entrepreneurs lead with their egos and because of this, telling them what to do simply does not work as they do not respond to authority. Learning through the experience and failure of others however, takes the ego completely out of the equation providing the entrepreneur with valuable lessons. By allowing an entrepreneur to see something that has happened to someone else, allows them to look at the lesson from an objective standpoint.

3. Creates emotional attachment: After the entrepreneur’s ego is out of the equation, it will enable the individual to get engaged from an emotional standpoint. This will allow the entrepreneur to get deeper into a story and learn more from an experience because they are judging it from the outside-in.

4. Freedom of their own experience: Tying back into the first point, the entrepreneur is all about his or her own journey. The more and more a person is told what to do, the more rebellious they become to do the exact opposite. That is where business mistakes happen. By showing entrepreneurs the mistakes made and lessons learned from someone other than themselves will allow them the ability to learn while at the same time still giving them the opportunity and freedom of their own experiences.

5. Non-threatening in nature: Telling people what to do is quite different from advising them what not to do. The key is for the entrepreneur to be open to suggestions and that is a paradox in itself. One can only offer suggestions to an entrepreneur and the best way to have a chance for the entrepreneur to take those suggestions is to talk about someone else’s experience.

6. There is no single blueprint for success: Telling entrepreneurs what to do is not applicable as there is no single blueprint for success as all businesses are different with their own unique set of experiences and circumstances. For this reason, telling entrepreneurs what to do is simply not practical.

7. Common-thread mistakes: While every business is unique with its own distinct set of circumstances, there are many common thread mistakes entrepreneurs make that they all seem to share in common. While there is no “expert” that can accurately tell the aspiring entrepreneurs of our next generation how to live their entrepreneurial journeys, they can utilize the experiences of others to warn them what not to do; what to avoid; and what problems they may encounter along the way. Once these mistakes can be identified, it gives a much greater chance for the aspiring entrepreneur to be successful.

Gottlieb’s book, How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying (being released Fall, 2013) focuses specifically on what not to do to help entrepreneurs in their journey towards success. The book is, to the best of Gottlieb’s knowledge, the first book to concentrate on what not to do as its method of teaching, and uses his personal stories to highlight some prevalent and destructive mistakes entrepreneurs make when going into business for the first time.

N2ITIV Solutions, founded by MJ Gottlieb and Gary O'Neil, is a strategic consulting firm specializing in the implementation of creative business strategies to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses increase their brand awareness and monetize their businesses. The N2ITIV website is a blog for entrepreneurs offering advice learned through Gottlieb and O’Neil’s experience owning and operating five companies over the last 21 years.

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