Starting and growing a business is both challenging and exhilarating. As someone who’s done it a few times now, I can tell you it gets a little easier each time. Below I’ve outlined 5 things that I wish someone told me at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. My hope is that one or more of them will help make your journey a little easier regardless of what stage you’re currently at on your entrepreneurial journey.
1 . Insight requires action. When I was 25, I quit my good-paying 9–5 job and took a flexible lower-paying sales job. That meant: commission, more control over my time, and room to build my business on the side. That scrappiness has served me well.
I’m a learn-by-doing person, and that’s the North Star that’s always guided me: insight requires action. That means launching before you’re ready. You can’t figure it all out in your head, and you need to just try things and then be brave enough to course correct as you go. Think: minimum viable product. Test your idea with as little money as possible by getting a minimum viable version of your product or service to the market as fast as possible. What is the leanest simplest version you can launch right now? If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product or service, you launched too late. Birth a lean version as quickly as possible, test it, rework it and then keep improving and course-correcting.
And know that until you exit, you’ll never stop course-correcting. Successful businesses are continually reiterating.
2. Value persistence and progress over perfection. It’s so easy to get caught up in perfectionism, but in business, it will kill you. Of course you should launch great and useful products and deliver excellent service. But for so many things in your business you should live by the motto Good is good enough — and focus your time, energy and money on the RIGHT things, things that will actually move the needle for you. Here’s an example…
In the very first business I started, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on graphic design so that I could have the perfect business cards and website. It didn’t occur to me to focus my time on testing my idea by simply hitting the streets and finding customers. I wanted to “look the part” and thought that was the most important thing, so I spent all of the money I had on a designer. That business never got off the ground.
Instead, I could’ve printed “good is good enough” $30 business cards, skipped the website, and gone out and found customers to test my idea on. Either I would have gotten the business off the ground or I would’ve figured out that my idea wasn’t going to work and saved my money and found a new idea.
3. Hire an excellent coach and get into a mastermind. I wish I had invested in support MUCH earlier in my entrepreneurial journey. It would’ve propelled me to success a lot faster. You need smart, passionate people around you who are working on similar goals to mastermind with, learn alongside, prop you up on the tough days, cheer for you on the good days, and most importantly to share ideas, strategies, resources, and contacts with.
After I started investing in high-quality coaches, consultants, and masterminds, that’s when I started to experience real success. Before that, it was a grind. In the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, it may seem like a huge unnecessary investment, but having the right coaches and business besties is a game-changer.
4. Take care of your health. It’s so easy to work around the clock and let your health go. I did that for years and it’s the biggest regret I have. I would regularly skip workouts and meals in order to get a little more work done. It doesn’t pay off. Make exercise a priority and create a healthy food system that supports you — get meals delivered, batch cook, or get your mom, dad, or bestie to cook for you. Do whatever it takes to eat well.
5. Nurture resilience. If you were to interview 1,000 people that viewed themselves as happy and successful, you’d find that resilience is one thing almost all of them have in common. I think resilience is possibly the #1 factor in your overall success and happiness. Our world is ever-changing and there’s an infinite number of things that can be thrown at you at any given time. How you react and how you rise up plays a bigger role than anything else. More than your level of intelligence, your skills, your connections — I would say more than anything.
Those are five of the MANY things I wish someone told me when I was just starting out. Let me know if any of them were helpful for you or inspired you right here on Instagram.