Stop and smell the roses! Enjoy the journey along the way...time passes so quickly. Make an effort to nurture relationships and stay engaged with others outside of your business, even when your business life is crazy and all-consuming. Be kind—always!
"What advice would you give your 'younger self' about business?"
Trust your intuition, but verify and question. You are almost always right. It is your vision, your dream. Make it happen. Imagen Anything!
Revisit your five- year business plan regularly and update it. It should be a "living" road map: a vision that informs your business decisions.
If I could give advice to my younger self, I would tell her “It’s OK to NOT follow the rules!” Creating your own path is more rewarding, fulfilling, and enlightening—whether you succeed or fail, you will learn valuable lessons. Following your own path allows for swifter personal development.
Build a great team. No one succeeds in business alone. Building your own great team will bolster your success. We hire for culture and fit first. If an employee has all the right skills but doesn’t play well with others, that negativity will spread throughout the entire company and slow down growth.
Kimberly Lawton Koon
The most important piece of advice I would give my younger self about business is: “Don’t be afraid to say NO! "
When you are starting out as an entrepreneur, you are young and eager and you want to start building relationships. With EVERYBODY. You want to take on every new piece of business that comes your way. If it is not profitable, you justify it by saying that “it gets your foot in the door with that company” or “I want the visibility.”
You can spend so much time on business that is not profitable and/or not a good fit with you, that you miss the opportunities that may have real ongoing value.
Don’t be afraid to say NO.
President and CEO
- Get a business mentor
- Believe in yourself. You can do it
- Have a relationship with your banker.
- Keep an open mind for learning: listen to motivational and inspirational CDs and read business books.
- Don’t give up.
Assured Healthcare Staffing
Unless you have millions in the bank, borrow money EVEN when you are making money! And, borrow more than you think you need. It's easier to have access [to] capital when your financials are stable.
President and CEO
We are all going to stumble at different points in life and in business. Learn from the mistake and turn it into an opportunity for next time. Don't let it hold you back—learn and move forward.
Creative Resources Agency, LLC
Focus on progress, not perfection. The 80/20 rule is golden. If you keep focusing on getting 80 percent, in the end you will be way ahead of paralyzing yourself shooting for 100 percent. Take risks; it’s OK to be scared. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, and learn from your failures.
Take a deep breath and jump. Don't be afraid to take risks. Don't be afraid to fail. And if you do, get back up—and try again.
The Vesume Group, LLC
Be gentle with yourself. Some days will be better than others. Don't let a bad experience color your attitude about your abilities, and learn every time you stumble. Be very careful about who you choose to be a partner.
N8 Marketing Solutions
If you have a hesitation or something seems too good to be true—it is. Ask why, how, where, how much, for whom, and why again? If a prospective partner/client doesn’t seem to be sincere or is only worried about costs and not value, ask harder questions and don’t settle—negotiate. If you see a glimmer of an opportunity, be first in line to build it yourself and [for] your organization—be a market maker and change agent.
Lianne Lami, PE,CEM,CEA
Bocci Engineering, LLC
My advice to younger me (and I've offered this to some of my interns) is to listen more, read more, and know that every day you will learn something that can help you (or your business) in the future if you are open to it. Being open to opportunity requires you to not be afraid because "it's never been done that way" or "I don't have that experience." The learning you do can help you recognize that opportunity, which can lead to a breakthrough or innovation. Don't let fear of failure or the "imposter syndrome" hold you back.
CM Productions, Inc.
Hire a summer intern. Keep emails short and specific. Use social media. Partner. Clearly articulate your value. Follow up! Keep good notes. Be authentic. Be yourself. Meet face-to-face.
Global Capital Ltd.