What’s one thing you wish you knew about entrepreneurship before you got started?
That it’s normal to have a lot of extreme ups and downs. The business has my whole heart in it, which is a huge benefit to the company, but it can be difficult to maintain. It’s important to have a supportive group of entrepreneurs to talk to and learn from. I’ve been fortunate to have that.
—Heidi Hertel, founder of Fitz Frames
How hard it is. I know this might sound obvious, but as a society, I think we make entrepreneurship seem really glamorous. You hear stories of people who started from nothing and made it big, and it’s not as common to hear about all the entrepreneurs who failed, not to mention how the sacrifices and tough decisions you have to make can take a toll on your personal life.
—Mada Seghete, co-founder of Branch
Know who to listen to and be very careful about the advice you take. Everyone wants to give advice, but you have to know whose advice you’ll take. A successful CEO told me to resell, but I didn’t follow her advice. My business still succeeded even though we sell directly to customers.
—Daisy Jing, founder of Banish
That entrepreneurship is not a job, it’s a career and it’s a life choice. Once you go down that path, you are making a decision that could impact the rest of your life. You might never return to corporate America or work for someone else, so once you take that leap of faith, going back may not be an option. Entrepreneurs have to continually create, invent and start new projects.
—Georgianna W. Oliver, founder of Package Concierge
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by @titovailona/Twenty20.com