Editor's note: We asked noted entrepreneurs to reflect on what they wish they'd known starting out and to put it in a letter to their younger selves. Logan Chierotti started and sold three companies and whose InternetReputation.com ranked No. 513 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. in 2015.
So far in life, you've worked hard to follow your path. Many times, the route you took was not a traditional one. Instead, you chose directions that suited you as an individual, often against the recommendations of friends and family.
You'll spend your adult life as a businessperson, but, believe me, life is not only about business. In fact, by making the right choices in your personal life, your progress in business, or in any field, will subsequently flourish. This fact is one people often neglect.
You're also a family man, and now, a father. When making decisions, you'll always keep this in mind. You don't disregard family because of business matters. On the contrary. It is family, more than anything else, that allows you to stay focused on what is truly important.
Your deepest held philosophies carry over into all other aspects of life. To that end, you must be acutely aware of the person you become. Regardless of what you might hear, the choice is up to you alone. So choose wisely.
Don't ever let the world determine who you will be. That right is yours alone.
We all must determine our individual path. But here is some advice that might help along your journey.
1. Be confident in you.
Forget about being self-conscious. Your differences are your strengths. Embrace those quirks. Children worry about fitting in, but adults stand out because they are unique.
2. Don't be afraid to take risks.
Life is a risk, so get used to pushing the limits. If something scares you -- face it. Whether it's the bully at school or opening your first business, strength develops through harsh experiences.
3. Love what you do.
It's not a cliché. Live with this goal in mind and always follow your path. If people question your choices, it's a good hint that you're on the right track.
4. Use failure as fuel.
Contrary to popular belief, failure is beneficial. It's the only path toward learning new skills. Your success will be the result of hard lessons learned along the way.
5. Ride the wave of success.
Changes in life are inevitable. Profit comes and goes -- life ebbs and flows. Become accustomed to instability and push forward in the face of adversity. Remember one thing: Behind most overnight successes, lay years of dedication and hard work.
It's true that you're only young once, so have fun with it. Enjoy the hilarity of your awkward adolescence. Keep a sense of humor, close friends, and family nearby. They will help to break your fall.
Lastly, when you reach my age, don't worry about not having all the answers. You'll have sold three companies. You've been a successful businessperson for over a decade. You're a father and a husband. Even still, you'll still be figuring out life one day at a time.
Be humble, young Logan, and always keep learning. Check your ego at the door. Finally, remain true to yourself, and everything will turn out fine.