When in doubt about a decision that has to be made (now!) or how to handle a career challenge, entrepreneurs seek advice from their mentors, investors and advisory board members. Heck, most of what they having to do is new to them, so it is not surprising that they frequently need to turn to a trusted group (with experience) to guide them through the challenge.
But what about simply asking your peers? Sometimes the best advice comes from the friend or founder who recently "went through the exact same thing". It's advice that timely, relevant and relatable. So with learning from your peers in mind, here's the best advice seven entrepreneurs say they wish they'd either had or wanted.
I wish I had known that there is never a good time to start a business. This is something I've been told (and many women often hear) about having children. My business is my baby and I was never going to have gone on enough vacations, saved enough money in the bank or been stable and secure and ready enough. There is no perfect time. There is just now. I wish I had known that sooner. - Naz Riahi, Founder of Bitten @nazriahi @thisisbitten
There are so many things I wish I had been told (or listened to) early on, but a big part of life is figuring out things on your own. If I had to do it all again, I'd focus on the following: First, as soon as possible, learn how to swiftly distinguish between those you can trust and depend on and those you cannot. Once you've made that distinction, direct your time, energies, investments, generosity, etc. towards those individuals. Second, have fun--lots of it, as much as you can, whenever possible. Third, make developing superior people skills a priority. Fourth, don't dwell on the past and wish you had done something different or made a different choice. What's done is done and can't be undone. Finally, you can always walk away. - Courtney Young, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of @thinkyoungmedia
You do you." In the African finance space, I'm about half the age as anyone else in the room. And female. And just as vocal as anyone else. Most people have got an opinion about it. Thankfully, it's mostly supportive. But the cynics exist. I used to get worked up until I realized, 90-percent-plus of the time, it has absolutely nothing to do with me! It's differing values, a bad day, issues inside. So, now I do me. "Dogs don't bark at parked cars." I hear feedback when the intention is genuine, ignore the rest, act with my values and principles in mind, and keep Ingressive meeting deadlines and objectives. - Maya Horgan Famodu, Founder of Ingressive @mayahorgan
My favorite piece of advice that I try to follow now, but wish I had adopted earlier is to focus on getting going, not getting it right. As an entrepreneur, so much of what you do will evolve, change and morph in ways you never thought possible. When you get welded to the idea of how it 'should' look, you end up paralyzed. Making a start and bringing 'it' to life as soon as possible takes the idea out of your head and gives it a life of its own--no matter what they 'it' is--a piece of art, a poem, a business idea. What matters is that you make it real and give it space to flourish--and evolve over and over again. - Annabel Acton, CEO & Founder of Never Liked It Anyway @neverlikedit
People focus a lot on learning how to code and on building the product. Not too many people share that in addition, you need someone to sell what you are building (unless you are an excellent programmer and a salesperson). - Amrita Aviyente, Founder/CEO of Date My Wardrobe @amrita_ux
Never cut your own bangs. - Alex Merrell, Founder & CEO of TREC, DJ @alex_merrell
There is one piece of advice that I always fall back to when I encounter a situation that appears really difficult. "Nach eins kommt zwei", is what my mom always says and it means something like "after one there is two". It reminds me to break down one large problem into many small challenges that I can solve one at a time. - Felicia Schneiderhan, Cofounder of 30SecondsToFly @Felicia_S_
Seeking more peer-wisdom? Then read "11 Entrepreneurs On The Best Advice They've Had (Or Needed)".