The world needs new entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create jobs, lift the standard of living, usher new technology into society, and keep competition alive in the marketplace.
Starting a business is difficult, and it’s crucial that the next generation has as much ammunition as possible. We are all relying on you to carry on the proud tradition of innovation.
As the CEO of a successful startup myself, with almost a decade of experience launching prosperous companies, I know what it takes to make it. If I could go back and give my 20-year-old self a bit of advice about starting out as an entrepreneur, these are the top tips I’d start with:
1. Don’t make excuses.
Heroes take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.
2. Don’t avoid doing the scary thing.
Heroes don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.
3. Don’t live in a bubble of comfort.
Heroes avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.
4. Don’t put things off until next week.
Heroes know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.
5. Don’t obsess over the opinions of others.
Heroes don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.
6. Don’t judge people.
Heroes have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.
7. Don’t let lack of resources stop them.
Heroes can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.
8. Don’t make comparisons.
Heroes know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.
9. Don’t quit!
“Winners never quit… and quitters never win”