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. Rhett Power co-founded national toy company WildCreations.com, a two-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. in 2011 and 2012.
You're probably uncertain about what you want to do in life. You worked hard but with no certain goal in mind. Don't worry: it will all work out. Your work ethic will be your biggest asset. Here are some things to consider as you stumble your way to success.
1. Save more money.
Like, save everything. You should try hard to cultivate a habit where you don't make impulse purchases, like that boat you don't need. You do well most of the time, but you'd also be a lot better off if you set aside 20 percent of everything you brought in. Remember, discipline now is the key to success and financial freedom later.
2. Go to bed early and wake up early.
When you finally settle into doing this every day, you will be shocked at how much you can accomplish and how quickly your life improves. You are a night person and always have been, but make it a point to get to bed earlier, so you can get up earlier. Mornings are going to be your only time to read, exercise, and have alone time. Trust me on this.
3. Build those business and personal relationships.
Do better on building relationships, because your network will be essential to your success. Write or call someone you've lost contact with a couple of times a week. Keeping in touch with people will be easier later in life, but it's probably not fair to tell you how.
4. Focus on your work.
You will do lots of different things before you find your true calling. That's OK, because each one of those jobs is preparing you to be the person you're growing to be. You will learn from good bosses and bad. You will learn, lead, and manage people, and those lessons will be helpful to you.
5. Find a mentor straight out of the gate.
Gobble up everything you can from someone you trust, and you'll learn so much faster. Find someone who you respect and is successful so he or she can tell you how they do it. Ask for help. Seriously -- don't be afraid to ask.
6. Stop investing (if investments aren't paying off).
So that you know, I'm not talking about money. You give your time and emotions to people, and those are so much more valuable. The people you associate with shape the kind of life you will lead. Make sure to be around individuals who motivate you and push you to better.
7. Say no.
You like to say yes, and that is OK, but sometimes it means you put too much on your plate. Saying no will be important as you get busier in your career and personal life. Your time is valuable, so don't give it away.
Hang in there, and never give up. Your hard work and diligence do pay off.