1. Don't let anyone define your potential.
This is perhaps the most important life lesson that a young entrepreneur starting out should learn. It is so easy for others to discredit your ideas, talent, capabilities and vision before you've even had the opportunity to make your mark.
These are your dreams and the effort put out to the world will be yours. Just because someone has more experience doesn't mean they have all the answers nor do they have the right to tell you what you're capable of.
And that goes for you too. Do not sell yourself short because as mentioned, there are plenty of others out there willing to do it for you. Lose that negativity.
Why you? Why not you?
2. Be brave enough to be yourself.
When I first started, I was the queen of attending seminars and had the privilege to hear Erika Napoletano speak. I'll never forget when she looked at the audience and said, "If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong."
You can't be everything to everyone and haters come with the territory. Don't be discouraged by people who don't understand you, like you, like your product. It's going to happen but it doesn't mean you're wrong, not talented, a failure in the making.
If you can start out understanding that your opinion and point of view is the most important one (second to your true and loyal customers, of course) you'll be way ahead of the game. Unconventional doesn't mean wrong, it means doing things the way you want to and feel is right for you. Give yourself the confidence to trust your gut and try it your way. Take stock of the results, adapt, and try again.
3. Sometimes you just have to let the earth move.
Like an earthquake, there are just some things you cannot control. Employees leave, you lose an account, the production line botches an order and when it happens, you're most likely horrified and on the brink.
The earth is going to roll from time to time and the best thing you can do for yourself is to let it, cut yourself some slack and reframe your point of view to be solution oriented. You will experience far more success in business and in life if you can go straight from problem to problem solving while removing that emotional volcano that's waiting to erupt.
4. Build your village.
Especially in the beginning, seek out contacts, friendships, employees and partnerships with positive supportive people who believe in you and what you're doing; who genuinely want to see you grow and succeed. Everything is niche today. Find your niche, find your people.
Focus your time and effort to develop those relationships and see the difference it makes in your morale and positive outlook for the future.
5. There is always time for you.
You've heard it before and you'll hear it again. You'll swear that it's not so and that for you, it's different. I know. I feel the same way but it's just not true.
It's not a luxury in business to take care of yourself. It's mandatory. Your future burnout will teach you this if you don't believe me. #beenthere
The most effective way to actually implement this lesson is to schedule it in. Yes, schedule "you" time be it a lunch date with a friend, a gym class, reading time. Put it in your calendar and treat it with just as much respect as you would an important meeting. Above all things, your health and wellbeing is most important.
There can't be a healthy business without a healthy you.