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Twenty Things I Learned as an Entrepreneur

The company I founded and ran for five years, Consorte Media, was acquired earlier this year. On my last day at the company, I wrote an email to myself listing the twenty things I learned as an entrepreneur. I list them below for you.

  1. It’s rare when someone is what they say they are; treasure it in others, cultivate it in yourself
  2. Call and email—the squeaky wheel does get the grease
  3. Hold yourself to a standard of behavior and business
  4. Pay attention to detail
  5. It truly is win-win; don’t work with folks who think about it any other way
  6. Focus
  7. Don’t bang your head against the wall; go with what works, but that doesn’t mean you don’t continue to innovate
  8. Be kind but firm
  9. Adopt the Cindy Crawford motto and never point out your flaws but do admit to your mistakes
  10. FEAR: False Expectations Appearing Real
  11. You always have a choice
  12. People will fight you on everything—stick to your guns
  13. Perception is reality—you’re always creating an impression
  14. Everything is a negotiation, even if you don’t think it is
  15. People hear what they want to and usually only remember the negative
  16. Generosity looks good on
  17. Have the difficult conversations, they’re always worth it
  18. It goes by fast and your health is the most important thing. Take care of it and make it a priority
  19. Those old business axioms are true, e.g., take time to hire and be fast to fire
  20. The path to hell really is paved with good intentions

Ready to jump into entrepreneurship? You don’t have to create a business to be an entrepreneur. You only have to realize that everything you ever wanted is just beyond your comfort zone.