Everyone would like to have the crystal ball with the ability to know the outcome before they make certain decisions, and that is especially true when it comes to a career. Often, knowing specific things about the work environment in advance would have been a game changer from how things really turned out.

Since I can't go back now and get a do-over the next best thing is to share these lessons with you in hopes you can make different choices going forward.

1. Don't think a large sum of money on a deal is a shoe-in for success. In actual fact, it could put you right down at the bottom again if you don't manage it appropriately.

When I sold my first company, I made what I thought to be a small fortune and thought true success had finally arrived. Little did I know that this money would actually be the start of a trail of problems that led to me ending up with less money than I had before I even started that company.

Not understanding what that big of a sum meant had me making some poor choices that led to the money practically evaporating before my eyes. I did not know how to manage the funds appropriately in order to put them into another new business that I then could grow.

Looking back now, I would have worked with a mentor or money manager to determine how best to save and use the money. I should have used the money as a springboard to make even more.

2. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Being new to internet marketing, I was afraid to ask anyone for assistance because I viewed it as a sign of weakness or that it might compromise the personal brand I was trying to build.

However, by not asking for help, I realized later on that it took me a lot longer to get up and running because I didn't go out and get the contacts that could help me make short work of certain parts of establishing my business.

Instead, I chose to reinvent the wheel rather than approach anyone that could have gotten me to where I wanted to be that much faster. It also would have saved money and ramped up profitability more quickly.

I encourage others to find mentors or advisors that can guide them through the process of working, learning and negotiating the curves in a new industry and creating a business from the ground up. Here is a guide that helped me in the past. Though you might not be blogging, it's applicable in other aspects.

3. Don't believe something has to be perfect before you release it.

I've always been a perfectionist in heart and mind so I spent way too much time on my first product than necessary where, later on, I realized that I wasted a lot of time and money again, plus lost the opportunity to start making money sooner. I had no idea that people don't mind if a product isn't perfect.

The point is to have enough of the product available where it really can help those customers with a problem or issue they are having. Plus, when you get the product or service out there you can beat any possible competition to market. With startups since then, I've rolled out my product and then tweaked it later after hooking customers with the initial product that gave them enough so that they started seeing benefits. Later on, the other enhancements were what the customers and clients really wanted and were just the cherry on top. Listening to the need cemented my relationship with those customers plus attracted more.

4. Don't stay in a business niche because it's the only thing you know.

It was easy to stay just in Internet Marketing because it's where I got my start and it was that comfort zone. The only problem is that it only would go so far.

When I realized that there was limited growth, it dawned on me that I could take what I knew about Internet Marketing and literally apply it to any other industry that interested me. Once I did that, I really started making money because it took away the barriers I had set up for myself by thinking I should just stick with what I knew.

I didn't know much about online invoicing and business payments before I started, but I studied the industry and looked for where I could make a difference. Then, I started using everything I knew about internet marketing to grow that business in that industry.

I realized that, although there are some differences, the approach to growing and running a business is similar across all niches. It hit me later that I stayed too long in my comfort zone and could have launched into multiple industries sooner if I had just known it was possible to bridge business niches with a limited knowledge of those areas.

In hindsight, I could have done a lot of things differently, but the point is that I did learn from these things. Sometimes I say the coulda, woulda, shoulda to myself, but I try not to. The five things I learned and mentioned here I have implemented in all businesses going forward. It also feels great to share these experiences with others out there, hoping that I just saved them a ton of money, time, and hassle so they can succeed that much sooner!