Entrepreneurs Give Advice To The Younger Version of Themselves
03.14.2017 | by William Gadea

Entrepreneurs Give Advice To The Younger Version of Themselves

Last week I answered the question, “what advice would you give the younger version of your self as an entrepreneur?” We thought it would be interesting to solicit the responses from other business owners. Here is the advice they would give the younger version of themselves:

Travel First

“Once you get into career mode, it’s really hard to pull yourself out of it. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of trying to make it as an entrepreneur right away. Remember to travel first and expand your horizons. You grow so much more as a person. You only traveled for a couple months in your 20s, but you’ll miss out on a major opportunity if you don’t string that time out more. See the world for a couple years. No matter what you learn in the business world, there’s nothing more valuable in life than broadening your perspective and learning what the world is actually like.”

Landon Ray
CEO / Founder

Cautious To Begin

“You should make sure that you keep your current day job until your small business is generating enough or close to enough revenues for you to survive on. You should limit hiring in the beginning, as there’s a lot less work than you may have imagined when first starting out. Choose your business partner wisely – he or she should be someone with a skill set that works well with yours – you’re strong in some areas and they are strong in others. You should use social media for the majority of your marketing strategy especially in the beginning, since it’s basically free to use. And you should be sure to take an appropriate amount of time off. Burning yourself out and working 80 hours a week does not do you nor your business any good.”

Andrew Schrage
CEO and Co-Founder

Headshots of Entrepreneurs

From left to right, Landon Ray, Deborah Sweeney, and Nischal Dua

Don’t Decide Too Quickly

“(1) Always think for an hour before responding to anything significant. If it’s really significant, sleep on it! Nothing needs to be done right away. Things can wait, and with a clearer mind, you’ll have a better outcome.

(2) Take hiring very seriously. Nothing is better than a fabulous employee and nothing is worse than a difficult one! Hire slowly. Be thorough, and think strategically on each hire.

(3) Keep working and it will pay off.”

Deborah Sweeney

Get Some Help Early

“As you are thinking of starting a company, I have a couple of pieces of advice for you, but the number one piece of advice is to hire an intern or part time employee as soon as you launch. With you handling everything on your own, you will have so little time to develop the company and push it forward, especially since you are doing the day-to-day and not the overall umbrella ideas. Yes, it’s great to be familiar with the operations of the company, but you don’t have to handle and oversee every single thing and to answer every single phone call! Hire someone to do that, and don’t be afraid to spend a little money on it, because long term it will mean more revenues coming in.”

Georgette Blau
On Location Tours

Invest in Customer Acquisition Over Product

“If you have $10, spend $1 on your product and $9 on promoting it.

This might sound counter-intuitive to entrepreneurs especially since the entire tech community places a lot of focus on building the product right and then hoping that users will come. It doesn’t happen. I have built and sold two companies and I know the amount of noise that’s out there. And the only way for your company to survive is to create a buzz louder than others. Your product will improve when there’s money in the bank. So build your Customer Acquisition plan first, and then your product.”

Nishchal Dua
The Remote Life

Small Repeatable Actions

“First and foremost, enjoy the grind as much as possible. So much of building a business revolves around small action that’s repeatable every day, as opposed to the singular outstanding, amazing marketing piece that drives hundreds or thousands of new customers. Oh and learn how to program now, because it’s a pain in the neck and costly to have to outsource, and learning later will always be more difficult than learning today.”

Mark Aselstine
Uncorked Ventures

Fail Faster and More Often

“(1) Fail faster and fail more often. The only way you are going to grow is to take risks and move past your mistakes. You will get where you want to go even faster if you fail faster and more often and then fail again. Failure means you are growing.

(2) Think bigger by surrounding yourself with people who are on a completely other planet and then close the gap in your knowledge and experience to get where they are. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Again, success will show up faster if you are making your 5 people count.

(3) Surround yourself with people who call you on your bullshit. We all have it. But you are not going to get where you need to go if everyone around you are “yes-men.” Make sure your inner circle is calling you out and being honest with you about where you need to grow and improve.”

Adam Hergenrother
Founder & CEO
Hergenrother Enterprises