The career path of an entrepreneur can be exceptionally rewarding but also incredibly difficult, bearing full responsibility for the consequences of success– and failure.
Thankfully, the road is well travelled and many have developed the knowledge and wisdom to find the success sweet spot.
Business Insider asked some of Australia’s successful entrepreneurs about most valuable life lessons they’ve learnt along the way.
Here’s what they had to say.
1. Daniel Flynn, co-founder and MD of Thankyou.co
“Impossibility is only someone’s opinion, not a fact. Someone telling you that something can not be done, should not deter you, it should motivate you. We’ve found after time and persistence we were doing things people told us we never could. You can’t let people’s opinions limit your goals and achievements.”
2. Alan Jones, Chief Hindsight Officer at The New Agency
“My Scottish grandmother used to say to me, “You’re a long time dead, lad” when I asked her whether she thought I should do something or not. I didn’t really understand what she meant until I nearly lost my wife to breast cancer a few years ago, and since then I’ve lived my life by that motto, in business as well as everything else. If you don’t try to be what you aspire to be now, the afterlife has an eternity of regret waiting for you to stew in.”
3. Damien Andreasen, Co-Founder of LawPath
“Always treat people with respect regardless of their experience, age, wealth or position, someone you meet now might be turn out to be your boss, business partner or investor 5 years from now.”
4. Genevieve George, Founder and CEO, OneShift.com.au
“Always know your exits. When entering into contracts and agreements, it is important no matter how “good” things are in the beginning, to always look to the future and have a strategy for the “just in case” moment when things can go bad.”
5. Andre Eikmeier, CEO and co-founder of Vinomofo
“From a personal perspective, it’s ‘Be in the Moment’. Just stop, RIGHT NOW. Look at what’s around you. Smell it. Feel it. Listen. Engage. Remember it all. From a business perspective, it’s probably ‘Stand for Something’. At Vinomofo, we stand for no bowties and bullshit. We offer ourselves up, we say ‘this is us’.”
6. Alec Lynch, co-founder and CEO, DesignCrowd.com.au
“Happiness comes from what you do and how you think, not what you have.”
7. Maureen Houssein-Mustafa OAM, Founder and Chairman of The Australasian College Broadway
“Never hire friends and family. It never ends well. Hire the right person for the role and never compromise your selection process.”
8. Paul Lupson, co-founder of LawPath
“Believe in yourself. The world is full of people ready to pour scorn on any new idea, the ´shock of the new´ will always be present… if it´s a valid point don´t lie to yourself for prides sake, see how you could adapt your solution to solve their issue, but don´t let the doubters stop you dead or throw you into a tail spin, believe in yourself, adapt and develop and you´ll get the job done.”
9. Paul Siderovski, Chief Executive of Yogurtland in Australia
“Only invest in things you can control and that don’t take energy up from the main prize (i.e. your business).”
10. Jeremy Bogan, Founder of vtalk
“Making mistakes and failing at things is ok. You just have to realise that even if you do fail, there’s always a way to get back up no matter hard it seems. Always keep that in your mind and nothing can stop you achieving your life’s goal.”
11. Alexandra Tselios, Co-Founder and Publisher of TheBigSmoke.com.au
“All the crappy stuff that happens; the deals that don’t come through, the job you don’t get, the people that let you down, always need to be seen as a minor glitch and you just always have to go after your own dream, relentlessly.”
12. Shiju Thomas, General Manager, Autogenie.com.au
“Without integrity nothing works” and “The only [thing] that really matters is making a difference to someone else”.
13. Peter Mattick, CEO and co-founder of Salmat
“Forget about your home address, your new address is in your pocket with your mobile devices. We’re consistently developing solutions for our customers that follow this mantra for the 21st century.”
14. Tom Howard, co-founder of Adioso
“Most of what holds you back from success is in your own mind.”
15. Adam Dong, co-founder and CTO, Oneflare.com
“A majority of the time, effort and persistence will get you there. Sometimes you have great ideas but most of the time they will never eventuate unless you put effort into it. Persistence is also key as more often than not, you will fail on the first try.”
16. Gus Hashem, Founder and CEO, Diamond Emporium
“Don’t second guess yourself. Always follow your gut feeling.”