How many times have you been asking by a young up and coming professional, "What is the best advice you've ever received?" If you're lucky perhaps a handful, maybe more.

I was reading an interesting interview recently on the Women's platform OnMogul, where David Harbour--who plays Jim Hopper on Stranger Things--was asked this question. His answer surprised me, because it was so honest. Harbour said:

 "Never take advice, including this. You gotta do things your own way. You have to find your own path, you have to take what appeals to you, and leave all the rest."

There's so much truth to this that it hurts. I've always been the type to try it on my own, despite the warnings of others. If my mother said not to touch the stove because it was hot, you bet I touched it to see if she was a liar. Learning lessons by trial and error allows one to never get stuck asking themselves, "I wonder what would have happened if.."

In 2014, when I wanted to start my own e-commerce business, friends of mine said it wasn't going to take off because the market was too saturated. They were wrong. In 2016, when the majority of Linkedin users were bashing me, saying that posting swimwear on a business networking platform was a terrible waste of time, they were also wrong.

As an entrepreneur, you have to go against the grain sometimes (or even most times). Test the waters, throw something out there and see if it sticks. If not, you've learned a few lessons along the way and are better prepared for the future. Nothing is a waste of time if you learn from it.

This is a way of thinking that Jeff Bezos--CEO and Founder of Amazon-- strongly believes in as well. It's known that his climb to the top wasn't without it's stumbles. At the 10th annual Summit LA Conference, Bezos said:

"In most cases, our biggest regrets turn out to be acts of omission. It's paths not taken and they haunt us. We wonder what would have happened. I knew that when I'm 80, I would never regret trying this thing that I was super excited about and it failing. If it failed, fine. I would be very proud of the fact when I'm 80 that I tried. I also knew that it would always haunt me if I didn't try."

Many business leaders have tried and failed over and over again, crediting these experiences as lessons learned. As an entrepreneur, what appeals to you? If you're working a job you don't love, while slaving away after hours building your own business? Kudos to you!

You're making progress, and ideally you're surrounded by friends and family that support you. If not, you can find tips and advice from others who've paved the way before you online, via podcasts, and so on. 

Take the advice of David Harbour (or don't, in his words) and find what appeals to you and give it a shot. Worst case scenario, you educate yourself. Best case scenario, you succeed and become the happiest you've possibly ever been. The choice is yours.

Published on: Dec 17, 2017