For many young entrepreneurs which are at the earliest stages of their career, getting some good advice from other experienced entrepreneurs could be invaluable. If you’ve just built your startup, you might have lots of questions on your mind that fellow successful entrepreneurs could easily answer. In this article, we will share some of the best advices from some of the biggest names in the startup ecosystem.
Brit Morin: Begin whatever you’re truly excited about.
I guess the most crucial thing is to ensure the company you want to create is something you are genuinely excited about, not only a big business idea. You have to struggle and grind each single day, and you’ll also be likely to give up during the rough times if it’s something you genuinely care about. I remind people all of the time that if Brit + Co disappeared today, I’d still be pursuing many of the same things. This is a business I will see myself working in for the remainder of my life. — Brit Morin, Founder & CEO of Brit + Co.
Jack Dorsey: Find decent people to help you.
Write about what inspires you and what you’re actually enthusiastic about. And find decent people to help you. — Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter & Square
Doug Menuez: Match your passion with how you earn a living.
Match your passion with how you earn a living. In the end it’s just about what you are able to do to fulfill your goals, to utilize your ability. Life is way too short to not pause and find out just what you care for and go do that. That’s as well the key to satisfaction :). But it’s very complicated, of course, and it can take years, if ever, to get there. — Doug Menuez, Documentary photographer/Filmmaker
Ben Casnocha: Over time, what you want to do about your life can change.
As for the question, “What am I going to do with my life?”, “you almost always hear three separate pieces of common advice. In some words, find out what you’re best at, and go do that. Others say, “Play to those strengths.” Some suggest, “Seek your passion.” In other words, find out and create a life around what you want to do. And so some say, “Find out what the market wants and go do it.” This is the “tiger mom” method (— for example in California, there’s now a nursing shortage? Go be a nurse.).
What’s troubling is that, once taken on their own, each of these traditional bits of advice is incomplete. What if it’s your passion to play the piano or something that’s terribly difficult to monetize? And what if you don’t have a love for what you’re good at? And you will not be able to do that for too long if you only choose a career focused on what the market wants, and you do not like it.
That’s why we dream about building a competitive advantage in The Start-up of You by interconnecting all three factors: your capabilities (strengths), expectations (ideals, passions, etc), and business realities. To arrive at a wise “Plan A” for your future, match those three pieces of the puzzle correctly. When managing the circumstances surrounding you, how do you harness your talents to fulfill any of your ambitions? On some things along the way, you’ll obviously have to trade off. I love writing, for instance, and I’m good at it, but it’s so difficult to monetize writing talent on its own; so I adapted that skill / strength into an area where (business) market conditions are more beneficial.
Finally, there would be improvements in the answers to each of these queries. They change your assets. Changing your aspirations. The shifts in the market. To prepare for these shifts, you still have to append on your schedules. No one has the correct, lasting answer to the question. Ben Casnocha, Co-author of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
Molly Graham: Listen to what your gut tells you. Just trust it.
Wait for the time when your gut or heart makes tough choices really obvious to yourself. The other thing … you can really pursue the great people you want to learn from rather than anything else in your profession. I was so grateful to be able to benefit from many, many great individuals. Molly Graham, COO, Quip
James Altucher: Dream about what you, as a kid, were interested in.
There is never the “one thing” that you are expected to do. Don’t forget, the average multi-millionaire has at least 7 different income sources (and this is from tax data). Though one beginning is to think of all the stuff from the ages of 6-18 which you were involved in. How would that integrate into today’s modern days? If you love to write, maybe write a book for yourself. Dream about finance if you love stocks. Think of coding if you enjoy computing, and many more. I notice that our interests at the age of 10 seem to grow old with us and evolve with the times, but we always neglect them in college. James Altucher, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, and Bestselling Author
Daniel Pink: Advice for students in college (and all of us)
Give all sorts of new ideas a shot. Don’t get stuck into believing that there are some things you must do. Take classes on things that you have never heard before. Enter communities that drive you out of your comfort zone.
Relationships are the key to college. The curriculum and systematic stuff are only helpful as tools to build ties with others. So speak up in the food court. Go into the office hours of the instructors. Daniel Pink, Author of Drive, A Whole New Mind, and To Sell is Human
Kimmy Scotti: Don’t be so worried!
I guess ten years ago I might have advised myself to just stress less. I’ve been so concentrated on my company / work / etc. I didn’t stop looking around and remembering how fun it was in the process. At the end of a long day, even though it’s a really, really rough one, I’m extremely thankful for the job I get to do. I’m more conscious now. Kimmy Scotti, General Partner at Formation 8
Andrew Chen: Discover a superpower of yours
Practice to be T-shaped; be great at a lot of things, but still have a simple world class superpower where you are. You’ll have to focus on a particular item night and day for years in an attempt to be world class at anything. Spend far more time reflecting and writing, than reading tweets. Mixing your job and your hobbies is good; that means you love your job enough just to do it all the time. Do not sell your time for just a living. Andrew Chen, Supply Growth, Uber
Ken Norton: Write your CV ten years from now.
Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s former Product SVP, used to challenge all his team’s product managers to create their CVs in 10 years. Where would you like to be? Before I did it, I was doubtful. I found out very soon that my CV didn’t mention “CEO.” I didn’t want to be a CEO in 10 years. But I haven’t said it directly, and the PM career path leads to the CEO career path in several respects. Knowing that I needed something new encouraged me to be more intentional about my career choices and to express my priorities to others. Ken Norton, Partner, Google Ventures
Kathryn Minshew: “No” is sometimes just the starting point.
The greatest piece of advice I’ve ever got was that “no” is always just the starting point, and a decent amount of persistence, courage, and just basic “try again”-ing are required in any careers worth pursuing. It’s been true at The Muse ten times over, and I’m so happy I discovered it early! Kathryn Minshew, Founder & Managing Director, The Muse
Jeff Atwood: No matter what you intend to do, start yesterday.
Whatever you’re trying to do, just start yesterday. Start sooner. Start right now. The earlier you start, the sooner you will be able to enjoy the advantages or find out that it will not work. And you’re not going to have to think “what if” because you’ve already done it. Nothing is more frustrating than the “what ifs” inside your brain that you bring around. Start acting on them. Now! Right now! DO it! Just do it! Jeff Atwood, StackExchange Co-founder and Discourse