If you're in business, you hear clichés all the time. While these tidbits of advice are intended to help you succeed, relying on them could have negative effects on your business. By changing your attitudes or your way of thinking, they may be putting you on the wrong path. Here are eight clichés to watch out for.

1. Think outside the box

One of the most overused phrases in the business world is "Think outside the box." Like many business clichés, it is a well-meaning idea. Yes, you want to broaden your horizons and consider things that aren't necessarily obvious. In many cases, doing that can be very helpful and lead to some great concepts and success stories. However, "thinking outside the box" can lead you to forgetting that the box is there for a reason: it contains what has been proven to work. While it's never bad to consider different ideas, don't dismiss the obvious simply because it is obvious.

2. Manage your expectations

People in business are often told to "manage their expectations," as if they shouldn't expect the best possible outcome. It is true that doing so can help you avoid disappointment to some degree, but in business, if you don't expect to succeed, why did you start in the first place? Instead of "managing your expectations," make moves to increase the likelihood of success. Find ways to improve the situation. Work to make things better. Instead of managing your expectations, manage your business.

3. Success is a journey…

How many times have you heard, "Success is a journey, not a destination"? Defining success as the journey is tantamount to giving yourself a participation trophy for simply owning a business. Success is something you work toward, and it comes as the result of hard work and dedication. It's great if you enjoy your work and consider being your own boss a form of success, but you won't be in business very long if you rest on those laurels.

4. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" may fit your life experience from a philosophical point of view, but when we're talking about business, major setbacks can have the opposite effect. If your business takes blow after blow, the reality is that you may not be able to recover. Instead of looking for ways that adversity has helped you, make the proper adjustments to ensure the next blow isn't fatal.

5. Do what you love…

"Do what you love, and the money will follow" is a phrase often spoken. That may be true for some, but it is by no means a guarantee. It greatly depends on what you love to do and what kind of market (if any) exists for it. It's better to be realistic and analytical. If you can find an intersection between what you love and a viable opportunity, then you’re lucky, but the term “starving artist” is often based on reality.

6. Fake it 'til you make it

"Fake it 'til you make it" is just bad advice, plain and simple. Trying to be something that you're not, or trying to convince others of a false identity or a false set of qualifications will only lead to problems. You can only "fake it" so far before it becomes obvious that you're being deceitful, which will hurt you in the long run.

7. You can have everything in life you want…

Another famous cliché is "You can have everything in life you want if you help other people get what they want." As Geoffrey James at Inc. says, "In the real world, you'll run across people who will take advantage of your good nature and competence. They'll get you to 'help' them and give you nothing in return. Knowing where to draw the boundaries is as important (and maybe more important) than a willingness to help."1

8. If you want something done right, do it yourself

Most entrepreneurs are Type A people who like to maintain tight control over their business, and they may find it difficult to delegate tasks, even the ones that someone else could easily do. However, a business owner’s most valuable asset is time, which is always in short supply – time to plan and strategize, make high-level decisions, and develop a network of business contacts. If you want your business to grow, find qualified people to assist you, either as partners, employees, or independent contractors. You can’t do everything yourself, and you shouldn’t try.

1. https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/10-famous-inspirational-quotes-that-are-dead-stupid.html


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC