In the spirit of Small Business Week, we have curated a list of the best advice five entrepreneurs have for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Being an entrepreneur is often idealized, at times even romanticized. But the cold hard truth is, it isn’t easy. The path you start on is often not the one you end on and along the way there’s trials, tribulations, and feelings of self-doubt. Here, five entrepreneurs who have been there, done that, and come out the other side, share small but powerful pieces of advice on everything from passion and chasing money, to ego and mentorship — and why you should never use the word “hopefully.”
I’m old school in the sense that nothing replaces hard work. Respect the dollar, work hard, be a person of your word and have integrity. We notice people take short cuts, or now with social media people end up chasing money. My answer to that is the money will come. Money is the by-product of doing something that you’re passionate about. Whatever your craft is, if you’re passionate about it, and you work harder than you’re competition, you are guaranteed to be successful.
Earlier in my career, I was very motivated by climbing the corporate ‘ladder’ and making a bigger salary. It wasn’t until I was at the height of my career that I realized money did not equal happiness. It was only then I realized that aligning my values, and my work with my life’s purpose is what truly matters.
1) Get obsessed with problems, not solutions —— 2) The best way to learn is to teach. If you’re not actively helping others, you’re not learning. There’s never been a time when more experienced professionals can learn as much from the “next generation” — this truly makes mentoring a two-way street.
Always be learning and have a growth mindset. There’s a lot of ego involved in many startups that don’t make it because they believe what they have built is a perfect thing. If you’re in doubt, speak to your customers, look at the market, and look at the situation objectively without putting your biases into it. If you have to fail, you have to fail fast.
I listened to my mentors and I was never afraid to reach out to somebody. Many people are scared of rejection (including myself) but if I wanted to connect with someone I was really annoying with emails and phone calls. I also utilize any time someone can make for me, even if it’s just fifteen minutes. — Shelley Rozenwald told me many times to never use the word ‘hopefully,’ because if you don’t believe it’s a certainty nobody else will. Now I never use the word ‘hopefully’ when I’m talking about something I want for the company, or myself for that matter.