16 Valuable Life Lessons You Can Learn From Entrepreneurs

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Whether you’re faced with an obstacle or an opportunity in life or business, such moments can offer important life lessons that can help you grow.

Certain business or life lessons tend to stick with you through the years, shaping your personal and professional mindset. That’s why we asked a group of Young Entrepreneur Council members to weigh in on the following question:

Q. What business or life lesson has stuck with you through the years? What can other business leaders learn from it?

1. Surround yourself with good people

A lot of being successful in business and in life is about who you surround yourself with. Do everything you can to have a tribe around you that is supportive and will be there for you in times of need. If you find people who will work for you and are the perfect fit, do everything you can to keep them around. The same goes for your friends in life. —Zach BinderBell + Ivy

 

2. Remember when you wanted what you currently have

Having an ongoing gratitude practice is important in staying calm and grounded through the ups and downs of business ownership. Gratitude helps you celebrate the journey, rather than mindlessly jumping into the next goal, and can help keep you in a great headspace to make decisions. —Rachel BeiderPRESS Modern Massage

 

3. It’s about the ride

Everything we do, we do because there is something we want. But with business and life, if you only cherish the moments where you are getting that thing you want, you may very well be miserable the rest of the time. Find a way to enjoy the ride. It will make the journey much more enjoyable. —Rana GujralBehavioral Signals

 

4. Fear is the most important emotion

Whenever you start something new, great or risky, the fear and doubt will start to set in. If you can focus on acknowledging those fears, addressing them and moving forward regardless of how scary it is, you will surpass those who get hung up on fear. Most of the things that don’t get done in entrepreneurship are because someone was too afraid to execute. Fear is a mindset one chooses to have. —Jeff KeenanLeadsRx

5. Collect nos

No one loves failure and rejection, but it’s a part of life and growing as a person and business. Knowing this, I have flipped the script and now try to collect “nos.” I know that the more “nos” I hear, the more likely it is I will soon get a “yes.” It also removes the fear of taking a chance on things. If I know that putting myself out there might get me more “nos,” then I am in! —Colbey PfundLFNT Distribution

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6. Be good to your talent

Show real appreciation for those who work for you. Having loyal employees is so valuable and it’s something people don’t focus on. It’s a big mistake to take talent for granted or let them know they can be replaced. We can’t treat people like products as part of a throwaway society. That talent will leave and you’ll then realize how important they were to your success. —Peter DaisymeHostt

 

7. Keep your ethics and values no matter what

I’ve learned the importance of sticking to my guns about ethics and values no matter what opportunity presents itself. Nothing is worth compromising your own values to achieve, even if it means more money or success. Always being true to what you believe in should come before business. —Serenity GibbonsNAACP

 

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8. There are no problems, only challenges

The language you use to tackle tasks can determine how well you actually accomplish the task. Often the very words we use can define who we are. That’s not just in the behavior we are using, but also in the way we think and the way that we approach things. A challenge is something that can be faced in a positive manner; a problem is something that can drag you backwards. —Nicole MunozNicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

9. Always have a backup plan

Have a backup plan for everything. This allows you to be flexible and change needs. Try to anticipate what happens if a key employee or client leaves, or a new competitor comes into the market. Plan what you would do in as many scenarios as possible and have a backup plan in case your first option fails. —Peter BoydPaperStreet Web Design

 

10. Stay hungry

As an entrepreneur it can be easy to get comfortable when things are going well. Your traffic is growing month-over-month, the team is taking over more responsibilities, and processes are better than ever. That doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. Things will change at some point, and if you keep putting in the work when things are trending upwards, you’ll be better prepared for it. —Karl KangurAbove House

11. Get out of your comfort zone

Nothing great ever got achieved by people staying where they’re comfortable and doing the same things over and over. If you want to succeed, you need to put yourself out there and push yourself to do things you’re uncomfortable doing. I used to struggle with social anxiety, and the thought of networking and meeting other professionals scared me, but the more I did it, the better I got at it. —Jared AtchisonWPForms

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12. Be patient

Some entrepreneurs expect overnight success, but you never know what’s to come or what hurdles you’ll have to overcome along the way. We have this mindset that if we don’t reach success quickly, we’re failures, and it’s detrimental to our progress. Remember to be patient and that it’s a process. Learn to enjoy the hardships, because you won’t be stuck forever. —Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

13. Communication can fix almost everything

I have found that proactive communication can resolve most issues before they even develop. Explaining the situation clearly and outlining potential outcomes before things get out of control can minimize most problems while still maintaining relationships in the business. —Matthew PodolskyFlorida Law Advisers, P.A.

 

14. Be grateful

I’ve learned many valuable lessons in the more than 13 years I’ve been in business, but being grateful for all the amazing people around me has been truly game-changing. Gratitude is the best motivation. The most exceptional things in the world were built by a team of people, and I wouldn’t be at where I am today if I was alone in this journey. —Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

 

15. Every interaction matters

Whether you’re trying to partner with another business or win a customer, every interaction adds up. It’s said that you only get one chance at a first impression. What I’ve found is people tend to remember the average of your interactions with them. So even if you fumble in one interaction, don’t give up. You’ll have many more opportunities to make up for it. —Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

16. Failing is part of succeeding

Most business leaders are afraid of failing. Failure is portrayed as shameful in our society, and because of fear of failing, we may miss out on opportunities and success. Failure is actually the best teacher—getting things wrong and trying again is when the path to success starts to show itself. —Alfredo AtanacioUassist.ME

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