This blog post is being brought to you by Visa Small Business.
If I could go back in time and do a few things differently when I was starting my own business for the first time, I would, but hindsight is 20/20 and I learned so much.
I started working on my first real business when I was still in university. I say real because I always had little ventures going on as a kid, from lemonade stands to selling stationery door to door.
The first business was the hardest one. It was an epic fail that stung for awhile, but it also taught me some of the most valuable business lessons I’ve learned.
If I could go back in time and give some advice to myself when I was starting my first business, these are the 10 lessons I would share:
- Your first attempt at this business is going to fail. But DO IT ANYWAY because you’re going to learn a lot that will make the next attempt very successful.
- Don’t listen to the haters. A lot of people are going to tell you your ideas are stupid, you’re too young to start a business, you should get a real job, most businesses fail, and a whole bunch of other negative comments to make you feel small.
- Listen to constructive criticism your mentors and supporters give you but don’t feel you have to accommodate all of their feedback. You still have to trust yourself.
- Being an entrepreneur is tough; perseverance is key. Pin your vision on your wall and look at it every day to remind you what you’re working towards. Don’t even think about giving up.
- Pour your heart and soul into creating something impactful and awesome without getting a dime, and the money will follow. This may not make sense to you right now but doing so is going to lead to a lot of exposure which will bring in revenue and opportunities that you wouldn’t have had if you had just focused on your paycheck.
- Help other people shine even if there’s nothing in it for you. Reach out and help others when you can. People notice the little things you do even when you don’t think they do.
- You crawl before you walk. You walk before you run. Things may not always move along as fast as you’d like but businesses are built one step at a time.
- You can’t please everyone. There will be people you just can’t please and those people aren’t worth your time.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks and make major changes if something isn’t working. Entrepreneurs must be dynamic.
- Follow your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Intuition is a powerful force that you shouldn’t ignore.
I would love to hear from you in a comment below: What would you go back and tell yourself when you were starting your first business?
Disclaimer: I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.