Quite Contrary: 5 Surprising But Successful Entrepreneur Lessons

These five contrarian habits are perfect examples of how entrepreneurs sometimes need to go against the grain to succeed.

Perhaps it’s not surprising there’s a bit of a contraian in the majority of successful entrepreneurs — after all, there’s something contrary about the entire notion of striking out to start something new. While researching her new book,  Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea Into a Big Brand, Catherine Kaputa discovered there were several successful entrepreneur lessons to glean from their insistence on doing things differently.

“Contrary to everything we’ve heard about finding a ‘big idea,’ there’s a fundamental paradox in business,” Kaputa writes in this guest post for Fast Company. “Big ideas are small–simple, focused and different so they can occupy a specific niche and dominate their category.” Successful startup founders realize that “if you can’t write your business idea on the back of your business card or explain it to a ten-year old, you probably have a big, bad idea.” They also throw caution to the wind to experiment and take risks at their most vulnerable moments, forge ahead into uncharted territory, and would rather create a new trend or category than simply fit into the market.

Sometimes the best ideas and advice is counterintuitive.

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