Words of wisdom from 8 Entrepreneurs to push you further
Often, you’ll only realise the significance of certain pieces of career advice in retrospect, so there is certainly merit in asking those who have walked the entrepreneurial path before you for theirs. You might be taking on a big project at work, thinking of launching a side hustle, or a seasoned business owner yourself – but no matter what stage you’re at in your career, words of wisdom can always push you further.
Below, we asked 15 inspiring and innovative entrepreneurs to share the best advice they’ve ever been given. They touched on rejection, confidence, strategy and instincts – all different, but all so useful.
Aaron O’Hearn, Co-founder and CEO of Startup Institute
"Get Comfortable With the Unknown. You will never know enough. You will always be forced to make a decision without fully understanding what is coming. As a founder, that is just something you have to get comfortable with."
Lizzie Bland: owner, Lean Bean fitness
“The best advice would probably be just to focus on your business without being intimidated or jealous of the others around you. It only delays you and sucks you of confidence.”
Shaun Johnson, Co-founder and COO of Startup Institute
"Show, don't tell' is a dynamic axiom, but it's such a good one. For startups, being evidentiary about your value proposition is huge. So many upstarts talk about being the Facebook Killer, or the X for Y, loftily and prematurely positioning them among megasuccesses. Talking instead about what your company does and has achieved sets the stage for your vision in a way that is authentic, believable, and much less highfalutin. Always be a producer of value, so you can highlight current and translatable proof of what you factually can do versus what you aspire to become."
Melinda Andaloro: founder and designer, Saroka
“The best career advice I’ve been given is that you cannot expect an employee to work as hard as you because it’s not their business. It’s absolutely true, having this mindset has allowed me to form great relationships with all my contractors. Kindness and generosity does go a long way.”
Rick Desai, Co-founder of Dashfire
"The best entrepreneurs don’t seek risk. They seek to mitigate risk."
Carisa Janes: founder and CEO, Hourglasss
“The best advice I’ve been given is that you can’t do something big if you’re investing a little. Years ago, I was developing Hourglass while also working as a consultant. A friend asked me how much time I was actually dedicating to creating Hourglass, and the answer was not very much. He really made me question my priorities, and what I was putting into my future. You wouldn’t expect to go to the Olympics by training only a few hours each week. How could a few hours here and there be enough to get my business off the ground? That question pushed me to make Hourglass my focus, and it set me on the path I’m on today.”
Pavia Rosati, Founder of Fathom
Know When to Let Go. As a founder—or anyone who feels proud of and close to the product he or she creates—you struggle to have the right perspective about your business. It's easy to get too close, and that can be distracting. Here's the good and bad news: No one is looking at your work as closely as you are. So, remember that when you're on hour four debating which shade of navy blue works best for your logo. Yes, details matter. But at a certain point, you have to let go and move on to the next thing.
Stephanie Gilmore: seven-time world champion surfer
“Trust yourself and your intuition. And there’s beauty in balance.”