Top 20 Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs

As part of my research for Entrepreneurial Leap, I interviewed many entrepreneurs and asked them to give you their advice. I’ve broken this advice into two groups of 10 lessons. The first 10 lessons are answers to the question: “What advice would you give an entrepreneur-in-the-making considering taking a leap?”

The second 10 lessons are answers to the question: “Looking back, what advice would you give yourself, before you took your entrepreneurial leap (knowing what you know now)?”

Here were the most common answers.

What Advice Would You Give An Entrepreneur-in-the-Making Considering Taking a Leap?

  1. Do what you love.
  2. Your value to your customer has to be very clear.
  3. Don’t be afraid: do it early. I wish I had started earlier!
  4. Ask for help.
  5. Just do it! Being a crappy entrepreneur is better than having a real job! And don’t think that your first business is always going to be your last business.
  6. Do as many favors as you can. Build as many relationships as possible.
  7. Follow your instincts.
  8. Surround yourself with truth tellers.
  9. Persevere, be willing to go all in 100 percent, work your ass off, and meet whatever challenges arise and learn from them.
  10. Know what you’re good at and stay in your lane.

Looking Back, What Advice Would You Give Yourself, before you took your entrepreneurial leap (knowing what you know now)?

  1. Pick your partners carefully: it’s a marriage. Think 10 to 20 years out.
  2. Start sooner.
  3. Be vulnerable, be real, and put yourself out there sooner.
  4. Take financial security/money off the table sooner.
  5. Ignore societal norms; behave like you know it’s going to work out.
  6. Hire the best people sooner.
  7. Be more focused on relationships.
  8. Have amazing, smart, talented people around you.
  9. You have your own gift. You are not supposed to be good at everything.
  10. Stay focused. Don’t get distracted by shiny stuff.

Knowing that the message to start sooner resonates throughout this list, what actions can you take in the next seven days to help you start your business?

If you need some inspiration, here is a list to help get you started: