I read a great post a couple of months ago, written by a friend of mine, for females, that really inspired me (even as a male). As we get older, we begin to see things more clearly. Things we once thought were important become secondary. We start to truly understand what life (and business) is all about.

At my age, 38, I'm not claiming to know everything, nor to be an expert in anything, for that matter, but I do believe I've learned a few things. As I approach my 40s, I thought I'd share the lessons (sometimes hard) that I've earned--and learned:

  1. Nobody cares about what you say, only what you do.
  2. Funding is not the end, only the beginning.
  3. Once you take on funding, the stress gets worse, not better.
  4. Don't beg for investment dollars. Someone's paying to be your partner, not the other way around.
  5. Arrogant and disrespectful investors will never be good partners. Ignore them.
  6. Never, ever, ever, pay to pitch.
  7. TechCrunch is overrated. Unless you sell to startups, it doesn't do sh*t. It's good for the ego, though.
  8. Some people care only about people whom they think are popular. They'll acknowledge you only when you appear to be more connected than they are. Get rid of these people.
  9. Some people like you only for what you can do for them. Pay them no mind.
  10. Accelerators are good only for funding and meeting new friends. Is that what 6 to 8 percent equity is worth to you?
  11. Take a job if you have to. You will not lose your will to be an entrepreneur for doing so.
  12. Take huge risks in your 20s. Take calculated risks in your 30s.
  13. If you have an idea that keeps you up at night, do something with it. If not, it will always be only a dream.
  14. It's OK to be driven by money at first. Once you have it, you'll find your true motivation.
  15. Nontechies: If your tech co-founder says it's going to take three months or more, she's lying.
  16. If your tech co-founder says she can't use existing code, cut ties immediately.
  17. If your nontech co-founder says he can't sell X until you build Y, he's making excuses for not working.
  18. Sales are everything. Nothing else matters. Nothing.
  19. Learn something new every day. One thing at least.
  20. Write. Even if you don't publish it.
  21. Marketing isn't luck. It's hustle.
  22. Press isn't magic. It's hustle.
  23. Always partner up; never partner down.
  24. Do something uncomfortable as often as you can.
  25. Failing is part of growing. Very little of what you do is actually going to work. Embrace it.
  26. ".com" is still the best domain you can get. It's probably worth the price.
  27. Things are never as bad as you imagine them to be.
  28. It doesn't matter where your startup resides. It's only you that cares.
  29. Tech conferences are a waste of time, but fun.
  30. Working all night is unnecessary. In fact, it's detrimental.
  31. Work-life balance is a real thing and necessary to succeed.
  32. Don't wait until you "succeed" to start your family.
  33. Stay competitive.
  34. Talk to your customers every day.
  35. Help every entrepreneur that you can.
  36. Take every speaking opportunity you're offered.
  37. ASC--Always stay curious.
  38. Exude confidence and success. It translates.

What lessons would you add to the list?

Published on: Mar 4, 2015
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