We asked some folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice they disagree with.

Christopher La Fleur | Founder and Artist

I strongly disagree with talented artists being encouraged to go to art school. Do not go to art school. You’ll cultivate your talent and refine your practice with time and experience. Go to business school. Learn how to market yourself, talk about your work, and negotiate. Learn how to figure out your budgets and inventory. If you already have the talent, do not go to art school. Go to business school. I also disagree with the artist stereotype, and the people who encourage a more laissez faire approach to artmaking. I tell my artist friends that our work is about exploration, not inspiration. There are a lot of talented artists out there, but they’re waiting for that one good idea to strike. Sorry hun, you might be waiting a while. Read more>>

Devon Gardner | Social Media Strategist & Freelance Mentor

I don’t believe in “just follow your passion.” I have found myself in scenarios where that has been to my detriment, like accepting less pay for my services than I deserve, or becoming burnt out by turning a passion into a business. And being a parent adds another layer on that, because as a mother, every hour I work I have to weigh the cost-benefit to decide if what I’m doing is worth being away from my child, and the cost of childcare. So I’ve realized I can’t just follow the conventional advice of “just follow your passion” (with no regard to money). At the end of the day, to follow my passion I have to be sustainable. To be sustainable I have to make money. So there’s a balance to find – and I think it’s doing something you enjoy, where can make an impact, while still making an income you deserve. Read more>>

Linda Appel Lipsius | Executive Director, Entrepreneur and Climate/Clean Food Evangelist

My Dad was actually the one who got me to think about this bit of conventional wisdom differently. While there are undoubtedly situations where confidentiality is critical, the time when you are noodling on a business idea, is not one of them. He told me not to be paranoid. So few people will have the interest or wherewithal to start something – or your thing – that fearing someone will still your idea is silly. And, if they do steal it, know that karma will get them in the end. 😉 The upside of talking to EVERYONE about your idea is that people help you and connect the dots you don’t even see and speaking your ideas out loud itself is a valuable exercise. I have countless examples of good things that came my way because I told everyone what I was up to. Read more>>