I have just answered a question on an awards application - What piece of advice would you give to you when you started out. Gosh, what a question. I had just left my last "proper" job, *very* unexpectedly. It was a bit of a shock - I still don't know if I quit or got sacked. 4 years on, it doesn't really matter.
When this happened I thought f-it... I can realise my life-long dream of being my own boss. It's been a bit of a journey of extreme highs and extreme lows! I would love to be able to just pop this info through to me.
I also had a bit of a problem with this question - only one piece of advice?! Nope, I can't limit to one. I needed lots of advice!!
So here’s my top 10 - in no particular order.
Follow the fun. If you are doing something that you enjoy doing, you will do more of that stuff and the more you do it, the better you will get and after a bit, you will become successful.
Don’t worry about doing everything that the manuals say you should. There is no right way or wrong way to start a business.
Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn't go to for advice. Much like a gift, you don’t have to take it on board, you can lovingly return it to sender!
Find your people - if you can’t find a community and sense of belonging, create one. Attract your people, learn, share and laugh with them; support each other. This will make everything more fun and you happier as an entrepreneur - as the single biggest predictor of happiness is the quality of your relationships.
Ask for help - we can’t be good at everything, so delegate, automate or eliminate the things you aren’t good at. It's ok to stick to the stuff you totally rock at! And get a coach!! You can't do this alone - you need someone to hold you accountable and help you with the cunning plan.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind. When things/ideas/people/businesses no longer serve you, just kiss them goodbye and let them go! There's no shame in this.
Read all the books - keep learning, expand your mind, knowledge, learn new skills - you will never know everything. (But be careful that you do this to learn, not as a way of hiding - in that you can't do the things you need to do as you don't know ALL the information!!)
It’s all about relationships - make more friends!! See point 4.
Be yourself - use your voice. Not everyone is going to like you. And that is really ok. Potential clients will be more attracted to your authentic you than a watered-down and bland version of you.
Don’t be afraid to break the rules - you never know what good trouble and much-needed change you can create from breaking a couple of little rules. When you start doing this, it will make you a little braver and you can start breaking and re-writing bigger rules that make a real difference to the world.
What about you? What advice would you give to yourself when you were just starting out in your career? Role? Business?