Whether you’re starting your first job or are the CEO of a large business, there are ups and downs in every career. And, understanding how to navigate through the highs and lows of your career path can be the difference between success and failure. To help you stay on track and remain inspired in your job search or in the workplace, take a look at these important lessons from successful entrepreneurs.
1. Perseverance is key.
In 2008, Danae Ringelmann launched one of the largest and most popular crowd-funding platforms in the world—Indiegogo. But, the platform’s inception wasn’t as successful as it is today. In fact, 92 people actually refused to fund the concept before one said “yes.” Danae’s story of perseverance proves that hope and belief in your vision can help you overcome the obstacles you face in your career. “Resistance comes in the form of ridicule. It comes in the form of rejection. It comes in the form of self-doubt,” Danae said. “It’s your job to keep going.”
2. Look for opportunity.
Honest Tea, a company whose mission is to create healthy beverages, was created when Dr. Barry Nalebuff noticed a gap in the beverage market. He thought water was too boring, diet drinks were too unhealthy, and soda was too sugary. So, he launched a new venture and eventually caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey. “When opportunity strikes, you have to be prepared for it,” Barry said. You never know when you’ll bump into someone who can make your dreams a reality, always be prepared and remember to keep your eyes open for new opportunities.
3. Give back.
Blake Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS, the shoe business that donates a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country for every pair sold. The business concept supports social entrepreneurship and has turned TOMS into a famous brand that has partnered with big names like Ralph Lauren. “I recognized very early on that when you incorporate a purpose beyond profit in your business, your customers will become your biggest marketers,” Blake said. Stories like Blake’s prove that you can make a positive impact in the world while developing your career path.
4. Focus on your decisions.
The hip, affordable eyeglass retailer, Warby Parker, was founded in 2010 by CEOs Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa. The company has since sold more than a million pairs of glasses and gained wide popularity. Early on in their businesses, Neil and Dave learned that every decision they made was going to have a significant impact on their career. “No matter what you’re doing, you should always try your best, especially early in your career,” they said. “How you do anything is how you do everything. No matter what task you’re faced with—large or small—always seek excellence.”
5. Don’t take things personally.
Lori Greiner started with one small jewelry invention in 1997 and grew it into a multi-million dollar venture with products in the world’s biggest retailers and on QVC. When the “Shark Tank” investor met with a lawyer to receive a patent for her first invention, her husband accompanied her. During the meeting, the lawyer assumed Lori’s husband was the brains behind the business and spoke only to him. Even though Lori was angry and even confronted the lawyer about the issue, she knew she couldn’t let it affect her confidence. “Don’t let business get personal. It’s just business. Shrug it off,” she said.
There are hundreds of stories about successful entrepreneurs who learned valuable lessons when starting their businesses. What are some of your favorite lessons? Share with us in the comments section below.
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