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John Stapleton, co-founder of the Covent Garden Soup Company and Little Dish, talks about keeping your nerve when launching new businesses and products, in our video of the week.

“The greatest business lesson I think I’ve ever learned is, don’t put too much faith in the conventional wisdom. Don’t listen to the experts so much.

If we had done that, we’d never have started New Covent Garden Soup Company or Little Dish, for that matter. Everybody told us we were crazy to do this. Everybody told us that soup needs to be found in the soup aisle. Soup has to be in a can because it needs to be safe and secure and that’s traditionally what you did with it.

And the same with Little Dish, people told us: “Mothers will never trust you because you’re a start-up organisation. You need to have credibility in the industry.” So, if we listened to all that, we’d never have done it.

You have to have belief in your product, in your concept, and push it through.

Opportunities are never given out, they’re seized, and you have to seize the moment and seize the opportunity and sometimes, it’s not obvious that the opportunity’s there until you do something about it.

Take the leap of faith and jump, take that initiative and then the opportunity may well materialise. It’s not guaranteed, but that’s about taking risks. And being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks.”

This is an abridged transcript of the video lesson – watch the video for the full story!