Business Advice in Three Words

business advice

Don’t you hate it when people give you advice that’s confusing and complicated? I have found that the best advice is typically the simplest. So, I decided to take a page out of Dharmesh Shah’s book and give you business advice in 3 words.

  1. Time is money [tweet]
  2. Learn from mistakes [tweet]
  3. Don’t act cocky [tweet]
  4. Learn from others [tweet]
  5. Nothing is perfect [tweet]
  6. Stop thinking big [tweet]
  7. Hire hungry employees [tweet]
  8. Hire employees slowly [tweet]
  9. Fire bad employees [tweet]
  10. Talent isn’t everything [tweet]
  11. Emotions are bad [tweet]
  12. Focus your efforts [tweet]
  13. You’re not smart [tweet]
  14. Don’t waste money [tweet]
  15. Listen to customers [tweet]
  16. Business plans suck [tweet]
  17. Scrappiness is good [tweet]
  18. Never stop networking [tweet]
  19. Don’t be shy [tweet]
  20. Ask for help [tweet]
  21. Failure is acceptable [tweet]
  22. Money isn’t everything [tweet]
  23. Solve a problem [tweet]
  24. Be open-minded [tweet]
  25. Motivate your employees [tweet]
  26. Set realistic goals [tweet]
  27. Take big risks [tweet]
  28. Leverage your competitors [tweet]
  29. Use social media [tweet]
  30. Business isn’t easy [tweet]
  31. Work hard every day [tweet]
  32. Revenue isn’t profit [tweet]
  33. Give a lot [tweet]
  34. Coolness is overrated [tweet]
  35. Leverage the blogosphere [tweet]
  36. Press doesn’t matter [tweet]
  37. Your idea sucks [tweet]
  38. Attend good conferences [tweet]
  39. Entrepreneurs aren’t born [tweet]
  40. Market your company [tweet]
  41. Agility is important [tweet]
  42. Don’t be afraid [tweet]
  43. Diversify your income [tweet]
  44. Sex always sells [tweet]
  45. Always use metrics [tweet]
  46. Don’t give up [tweet]
  47. Aggressiveness can backfire [tweet]
  48. Friend rich people [tweet]
  49. Create a blog [tweet]
  50. Have smart friends [tweet]
  51. Hogs get slaughtered [tweet]
  52. Take a break [tweet]
  53. Copying is bad [tweet]
  54. Innovation is good [tweet]

If you have any other 3-word piece of business advice, please share it in the comments.

P.S. If you want more advice on how to grow your company click here.


  1. Bryan C Webb, P. Eng. :

    Be your self

  2. hirer smarter people
    keep it simple

  3. Benjamin Alijagić :

    20% is 80%, and 80% is 20%
    (80/20 principle or Pareto principle. It can be applied on many other things but I think it works in business too.)

    Btw how much “escape from web2.0 poverty” packages left?

  4. Dustin Woodard :

    Fun post Neil. Here’s a few more you might add:

    -Never underestimate connections
    -Don’t talk. Act!
    -Determination is powerful.
    -Lead by example.
    -Invest in yourself.

  5. scott edward walker :

    read Neil’s blog

  6. Dammit Neil, that’s already too many things to digest!

    Let’s just take #1, 14 and 22. We are often told time is money and it’s not to be wasted, but then we are told it’s (money) not everything. In my experience, when you don’t have it (money) it is everything. As you get older you hopefully acquire more of it, but you also lose time. This leaves me stuck in a self created seesaw of accomplishing both #31 and #52.

  7. Adrijus Guscia :

    Yes, it’s true that simple advice is best. But when a newbie comes and starts learning, he doesn’t get it. It’s even TOO simple (meaning too vague, no concrete action plan, possibilities, too abstract). They look for complex plans, step-by-step examples and read tons of stuff.. then process it for long time or just procrastinate and then after a year or a few years even, they come fur circle and start seeing how the simple advice was right! Then they start valuing it! T
    This is the paradox for me which I had went through also, whether learning about business, gaining muscle, self-improvement.. I say this not to say this post sucks, it doesn’t! I wonder if you had the same experience?


    • Just don’t over analyze it…. for a newbie, it’s important to take action and make it happen, else they’ll just be twiddling their thumbs all day.

  8. Think it through
    Ever been done?
    Plan, Plan, Plan!
    Plan for change
    Find a market
    Product, Plan, Promote!
    Sell a dream
    Exploit a weakness
    Expand with patience
    Work for love
    Dettach from success!

    • detach from success or … don’t be attached to the outcome is what I find extremely important for everyone to know.

  9. Adrijus Guscia :

    Have a Vision!

  10. get comfortable chair
    ok, this seems a little selfish but considering most entrepreneurs sit in front of a desk/computer for many many hours a day, i think it’s good advice.
    it may seem silly to think of such a luxury when you’re being super-scrappy trying to launch a business – ok maybe you shouldn’t drop a lot of quan on a chair if you have absolutely no money – but getting a nice chair is a good investment. i would consider it one of the first luxury purchases you should make for yourself and your employees. what is more important than your health? you don’t want back problems when you’re 60.
    i’ve also found it to be very conducive to lucubration. i guess this came to mind b/c i recently ordered a herman miller embody chair… it’s arriving next week and i’m so excited! i’m going to be doing an unboxing and full review of it when it comes, so if anyone’s interested in the review, search my blog for “embody.” i’ve already put up a preview/review.

    • I don’t disagree with you with having one, but just don’t get one sooo comfortable you become unproductive or fall asleep. The herman miller chair is awesome and congrats!

  11. Live Your Passion!

  12. Jarie Bolander :

    Always Be Closing
    Sell the Sizzle
    Beat Head Here
    Lead Out Front
    Features, Schedule, Budget

  13. – Ready, Fire Aim
    – Always Look Left
    – Or Look Right
    – Shit Rolls Downhill
    – Watch Your Back
    – No Free Lunch
    – Scotch, Neat, Please
    – Learn From Mistakes
    – Success Was Yesterday
    – What Goes Up
    – Results May Vary
    – duck… Duck… DUCK!

    • Ready fire aim……. sometimes we get carried away by doing that.

      NFL – no free lunch! Very good thought to remember.…duck? shouldn’t it be duck, duck, GOOSE!

  14. Sandy Cormack :

    Keep moving forward
    Do what matters
    Stand on values
    Eat at Joe’s
    Word of mouth
    Build your list
    Clapton is God

  15. Nimit Kashyap :

    learning from others is important

  16. Never Hire Friends
    Clients Aren’t Friends

    • Those statements are only applicable in minor situations, and only if they do not conform to other standards. Hire friends if they are the right person for the job. Many of the most successful business around today have a corporate circle of college friends/family.

      So how are clients not friends. In most lines of business they need to be your best friends. You need to know their wants, desires, and needs. The only way you can provide your portion of your relationship with a client/customer is by being what is classically termed as friend.

      Sounds like you got burned at some point. The key to remember is that they would have done it whether or not they were your friend. Good workers make good workers, just because they are a friend does not make them a good worker.

    • clients aren’t friends is a VERY valuable thought.

  17. Just do it.

  18. Never Being Satisfied

  19. That’s What SheSaid

  20. Take Action Now!
    Kick Everyones Butt!
    Always Go Big!

    Just some I thought of now.

  21. How about “mummy knows best”?

  22. Gk => habtmprojects :

    Make yourself uncomfortable.

    Don’t be conventional.

  23. Stan Hansen - Brown Egg Marketing :

    Do your taxes

  24. Don’t follow advice
    (Make your own)

  25. Don’t tell, show

  26. Satinder Panesar :

    Always Think Ahead

  27. Lets do it!

  28. ha ha.

    I like number 16. Business plans suck!

  29. Never underestimate the web

  30. Yes you are right. The best advice is the simplest. It’s the one that doesn’t stress you up. All these advice you’ve given up there are just class. Thanks a lot.

    • People tend to over complicate things… that’s why 3 word advice is so powerful

      • Thanks for the reply. When things become over complicated you then tend to have less interest, unless that very thing used to amaze you in the past. Indeed the 3 words advice are very powerful.

        • It is indeed because over complicating something is what unfortunately happens to most who just quit and fail. KISS…. a rule that one most always follow to earn the finer things in life.

  31. CreateFirstSite :

    Be The Best

  32. Though these are just three words advice, there is lot of depth in each of these. All the entreprenuers would be successful if they could just follow all these statements. But they are not and it is not easy to follow all of them.
    As many people say, it is easy to give advices on the basis of the past experiences, but for the other person since he did not himself experiences it, it is difficult for him to follow though he knows that it might be beneficial for him however simple it is.

    Three words Business Advice:

    Dont follow blindly
    Keep yourself updated
    Never quit networking
    Express yourself brilliantly
    Solve problem step-wise
    Rectify your weaknesses


  33. Those selling skills that I learned in those sales careers have helped me dramatically in my own business, and I preach to new business owners all the time that if they truly want to be successful, then they must learn sales.

    • Sales is the name of the game…. whether you’re selling yourself or selling products/services, you need to understand what to do and what to say.

  34. “Outinnovate” your competitors

  35. Very nice post, following are my favorites:
    Time is money
    Learn from mistakes
    Learn from others
    Nothing is perfect
    Focus your efforts
    Listen to customers
    Set realistic goals

  36. Haha! This is great. I’m gonna print this and put it up in my workspace for motivation. My three word advice is “Never stop learning”. I should also add “Follow Neil Patel”.

  37. I love all the 3 -word phrase to motivate my goal and mission. All i like the bes r is

    Time is Money and Don’t give up. Think it Through.

    What do you like, neil ? How about your 3 words phrase to motivate us ?

  38. Never give up
    Everyone sells something
    Don’t be intimidated
    Don’t listen to others
    Don’t follow, lead
    Greatness requires persistence
    Goals are important
    Keep taking action
    Take advice carefully
    Learn from mistakes
    Keep money moving

    Funny quote (I thought I will add here) – Borrow money from pessimists – they don’t expect it back.

  39. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    It’s always personal.

  40. Power Colon Cleanse :

    Stop Reading Blogs!

  41. Time exceeds money. Time is life. Time is everything.

  42. It’s just business.

  43. My other one didn’t post. Oops.

    Communicate – concisely, effectively.
    Act don’t react.

  44. Treat people right. Perserverance pays off.

  45. Keep on learning
    Open your mind

  46. 3 is simple. But 54 3 is not simple. 😉

  47. Melanie Kissell :

    Create some buzz!
    Never look back
    Have some fun!

    • Create some buzz is always a smart thing to do… and having fun is definitely important since most people forget to.

    • Harry van der Veen :

      Never look back, I disagree with.

      You should look back and learn from your past, but you shouldn’t stare back (at the past), learn from your past, but focus on the future.

      • You are where you are today because of what you’ve done, where you will be in the future depends on what you do now.

  48. Friend Rich People 🙂

  49. Read James Allen.

  50. My favorites ones are:

    You’re not smart.
    Friend Rich People.
    Friend Smart People.

    This is one thing a lot of politicians could stand to learn. Drop the ego, find the ability for funding and have really really smart people surrounding you to help you make the best decisions possible. Never underestimate the power of intelligent friends!

    • Dropping the ego is super hard to do for most people because in order to do it, you have to drop your ego. It’s kind of like a catch 22.

  51. All business is founded on the simple principle of giving someone what they are looking for at a price that they can afford otherwise known as :-

    –Helping Someone Out.–

    This applies to all inventions, great ideas and ultimately how much you sell.

    Good list!

  52. Benjamin Zalasky :

    Play the changes. Attend to detail. Check your path. Check it again.

  53. Act. Learn. React.

  54. Destroy them all.

  55. My three words—–

    “I loved this”

  56. Be Your Best!

  57. Nice sharing Neil

    Everything is possible !
    nothing is impossible

  58. god is great
    do your self
    believe in best

  59. passive income blogger :

    Lead The Field.
    Get to Work.

  60. Never Stop Hustling.

    • Life is all about hustling until you plan on just getting in a coffin and waiting. You need to keep on at it out there as long as you’re hungry for more.

  61. @MichaelNozbe :

    I like the:

    ABC = Always Be Closing

    Mine would be:

    GTD = Get Things Done 🙂

    I wrote a bigger comment on my blog post:

  62. Interesting :)I want yo put few points
    -Never loose hope
    -Never miss opportunities
    -Time is precious
    -Plan Dedication Patience

  63. -Walk by Faith
    -Do no Evil
    -Trust God always
    -Pay your Taxes
    -Give to Charity
    -Provide good benefits

  64. Innovate don’t imitate

  65. Dude, seriously this is a good list! Im amazed how Im not qualified for most of these three letter words. Anyways some of them are contrasting though..

    Great list and I bookmarked it cause I know Im gonna need to refer back to it.. 😀

  66. :

    Do It Now!

  67. “Gym. Tan. Laundry.”

    -Mike, The Situation, from Jersey Shores

    Those kids make $10K+ per nightclub appearance and now $10K per episode. They’re on to something.

  68. Skills are cheap.
    Passion is priceless.

  69. Great post, Neil! I decided to add a post on my blog with the advice I came up with and directing readers here. This is what I’ve come up with so far…

    Love your job
    Respect the competition
    Write that down
    Volunteer your time
    Always give credit
    Make hard decisions
    Accept a challenge
    Don’t over commit
    Don’t under estimate
    Control the controllables
    Always be changing
    Don’t get comfortable
    Use Plan B

    • Don’t get comfortable is huge… in fact you should get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is what will help you grow.

  70. Angeline Gabriel :

    -Maximize your potential
    -Seize the moment

  71. Few more to add:

    Read blog:
    Make yourself known
    Increase your knowledge
    Always listen carefully
    Think before talking

    • Thanks, I appreciate the first one! Always listen carefully is HUGE! Most people focus on what they’re going to say next and forget about the fact that they have to simply listen.

  72. Guard your reputation.
    Conceal your intentions.
    Crush your enemies.
    Despise free lunches.
    Respect your customers.
    Appreciate your luck.

    • I think the most important out of the ones you posted is to appreciate your luck. The harder you work, the more luck you’ll come across. This is exactly why you must appreciate your luck.

  73. Shannon Renee :

    Mistakes are okay.
    Yesterday is over.
    Tomorrow is today.
    It’s all good.
    Breathe, breathe breathe.
    Take a walk.
    Eat your lunch.
    Don’t be late.
    Don’t leave early.

    • Don’t be late is the most powerful out of the ones you posted. Being 30 minutes early is 100x better than being 3 minutes late.

  74. Soins du corps pour les hommes :

    That is good stuff, I will write down each of those affirmations and rehearse them everyday to promote the success I want to achieve.

    What was your trick to push yourself when you were younger Neil?

  75. Focus on intentions.

    • I think that’s amazing… you intention is where it’s at because your physical body, facial expressions and tone of voice will naturally correspond with your intentions.

  76. Another Great post neil and I love the way you organized and made it easy to tweet. Keeping it simple is great, I’ve always love “what’s important now” and “fail forward fast” these have helped me to stay on track when I had no clue where the track had gone, know what I mean?

    Have a Great Day!

    Joe @ Home Business Ideas

  77. Simple isn’t Easy
    Life’s a Marathon
    Love thy neighbor

  78. WeightLifting Workout Routines :

    “Entrepreneurs aren’t born”

    I dont know if i belive this one. Why because becoming an entrepreneur usualy is the way you were raised. If you grew up poor your going to want to become rich. And you were born poor so if you born rich you will most likely be lazy, and spoiled.

    • You should believe this one because most entrepreneurs (most of them) develop over the course of several years to become who they are today… they aren’t just automatically born that way.

  79. Thanks for the Great Advice.

    My Three Words is Fame is Money.

    If we become popularity, we get money automatically rolling to us.

    • Not necessarily… fame isn’t always money. There are plenty of famous people in this world that are dead broke. Even though you may want money and fame know, if you get both, you’ll end up just wanting the money with no fame. Fame isn’t all it’s made up to be.

  80. create a blog , I think blog is great tool of networking . We can make friend with blog. It’s about quality and relevant friend

  81. bakteri filtresi :

    In my experience, when you don’t have it (money) it is everything.

  82. How about:

    Small things matter.

    Plan your work.
    Work your plan.

    Risks are calculated. (Gambles are not.)

    • risks are calculated….. gambles are not… Very good. It’s interesting advice if you really think about it. Thanks for your input.

  83. Telling isn’t selling!

  84. Not three words but one of the best quotes I have ever seen.

    If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

    Henry Ford

  85. catalin@paydayfinancial :

    44. Sex always sells

    What’s up with this? 🙂 What are you trying to imply? 😀

  86. What do you mean “Copying is bad”?

    Steal some idea?

    Innovation is not good, it’s great.

  87. Marianne Belardi :

    Awesome post, thank you! Here’s my two cents (words) x nine plus one. 🙂

    Exude enthusiasm.
    Ooze authenticity.
    Radiate sincerity.
    Speak truthfully.
    Emply humor.
    Smile more.
    Stress less.
    Have fun.
    Be real.

  88. Marianne Belardi :

    I can’t stop myself!

    Edit yourself.
    Reply promptly.
    Listen earnestly.
    Praise profusely.
    Practice humility.
    Criticize thoughtfully.

  89. wow, you mentioned some very interested points NeIL, one i like is dont be shy. thats true.

  90. Imrozz Web Design :

    Work hard and hard, then you will succeed, you cant dream that on a day you will wake up and you will become millionaire. Hard work is important in every aspect of business

    • Hard work is a process that takes time… years and years not overnight and unfortunately most people don’t realize it.

  91. Best Teacher: Failure.
    Be Always Learning.

  92. Dream Big, Realistically.
    Hope requires action.
    Humility isn’t humiliation.

  93. Geoff Lilienfeld :

    Seize the day

    I must add that I do not agree that “Copying is bad”

  94. Maurelle Mejos :

    Oh wait! there’s more on my mind, hehe.

    – Always think positive.
    – Love your employees.
    – What is next?

    by the way, “copying is bad” is wrong. It’s good to copy but make some changes out of it for the better.

    • What is next…. that’s powerful… it basically means to keep pushing forward and on to the next one. Good for you on seeing that.

  95. senior homes :

    For me,

    *Set your step by step goal
    *Make a move to achieve every goal
    *Be a role model to your employees
    *Be patient
    you will see all hard work and efforts when time goes by. . .

    Always remember, “Patience is a Virtue”. 🙂

  96. I liked when quadzilla said do it f’in now, and rationalized it.

    you could take all these triplets and plug them into a motivational art generator! Or some with graph jam lol.

  97. Chris @ Do the Right Thing :

    100 percent feedback

    If you only ask 10% of your customers ‘how are we doing’ and only 10% of them reply you end up with a 1% response rate. Offer 100% of your customers the opportunity to feedback and wahey you get a lot more customer knowledge and as we all know what does customer knowledge make…. 🙂

  98. Awesome, makes sense! Thanks for sharing that.

  99. Maybe you just want to make a little extra cash on the side. Becoming a ticket broker is fun and exciting, and the best part is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
    This guide will teach you how you can become a ticket broker so you can buy and sell concert tickets and make money doing it.
    Learning this business it´s easy, because exist a guide to show her how buy and sell tickets successfully… Source: The Ticket Broker Guide

    • It can but it’s definitely far from easy… especially now a days. There is just too much competition to make a good enough profit. It’s great for fun… but not necessarily a business.

  100. sell textbooks :

    Smile its contagious!

  101. The Kiss Method……..

    This is huge I feel when doing a task. I am currently working about a deal with mom and pops hair cutting place and I am going to take over their marketing.

    So I was going to try flyer marketing… Well I talk to one of my designers and she was like….. ok so we will have it black with white print… blah blah and I was like we have to do the KISS method…

    Now I see why you call your products KISS lol.

    • The KISS method is just like in the name, simple and sweet. It’s too the point and people usually appreciate that.

  102. sell textbooks :

    Hire hungry employees is a great thing to do as well. they will put more effort into doing their job directly and strive to do better at the same time.

  103. hermes handbags :

    The KISS method is just like in the name, simple and sweet. It’s too the point and people usually appreciate that.

  104. “You’re not smart”…. I used to be arrogant and think I knew everything, looking back at it. I was an idiot. If one can get over themselves, they can finally start the journey toward knowledge. LOL

    • The ego gets in the way for almost everyone… what’s great is when you’re able to put yourself in check.

  105. Premium Links Directory :

    This is absolutely true. I have had one raise, and my husband has had two significant raises in the last two years. I really think that it’s due to the face that successful companies will always be the positive and forward moving ones.

  106. Never Stop Hustling!

  107. weight loss :

    54 tips are very useful for focusing the right path for the business

  108. This was very helpful – I will surely recommend this to my friends.

  109. 1. Compete with yourself.
    2. Never neglect family.
    3. Forgive yourself often.
    4. Never make excuses.
    5. Kill procrastination NOW.
    6. Write it down.
    7. Never miss commitments.
    8. Blog about it.
    9. Share your knowledge.
    10. Always give credit.

  110. Mistakes are okay!

    This is one I have to tell myself what feels like daily.

  111. Online Mastering :

    “focus your efforts” is my favorite. really its the best thing u can do

  112. hey neil,
    nice pieces of advices. this post was good to read. found it helpful for me. definitely i will follow these.


  113. Never give up 🙂

    That was a pretty much good to be successful.

  114. Event business :

    Neil, “time is money” and “learn from mistakes” are two of the most important, all encompassing words of wisdom. I’m going to print these for future reference. Very helpful.

  115. Man, first 2 quotes are the best of all times.

    Time is money.
    Learn from mistakes.

    Yeh! I also follow your quote updated on faceboook. Keep it going 🙂

  116. Believe in yourself

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