23 Entrepreneurs Share The Most Valuable Life Lessons They've Learned

Nobody becomes an entrepreneur because it’s easy. What these business leaders share in common is that they’re driven by an unstoppable dream. It’s a life calling, not a career. We hold ourselves to relentlessly high standards, and when we fall, we fall hard.

Luckily, so many others have been there before.

In honour of Global Entrepreneurship Week, here are 23 lessons learned from some of Clarity’s top entrepreneurs.

1. David Sifry, Founder at Technorati
“Always trust your gut. Always.”

2. Rick Marini, Founder at BranchOut
“Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”

3. Chris Goward, Founder & CEO at WiderFunnel
“1. Always have a plan. 2. Your plan will not always happen.”

4. Jason Cohen, Founder at WPEngine
“You spend 99.9% of your life working on the path, and 0.1% experiencing the euphoria of an exit or the disappointment of a final failure. If you’re not fulfilled by the journey, you’re wasting your life.”

5. Angie Chang, Founder at Women 2.0; Director of Growth at Hackbright Academy
“When you first have an idea, TELL EVERYONE. This will help vet your startup idea.”

6. Dan Martell, Founder at Clarity
“The only thing stopping you from doing anything is deciding.”

7. Ariel Poler, Founder at I/PRO, Topica, TextMarks
“Speed is Overrated. What good is going fast in the wrong direction? Better to focus on finding the right course and making steady progress.”

8. Laura Klein, Principal at UsersKnow
“Best Practices aren’t always best. You’ve always got to test designs to see how they work with YOUR product and YOUR users.”

9. Cheryl Yeoh, Founder at Reclip.It
“Figure out what your superpower is. Then identify what other superpowers you need for your business to be successful. Build your team around it.”

10. Sujan Patel, Founder & CEO at Single Grain
“Focus. Don’t try to do too much. Entrepreneurs are always thinking of the next thing to do. It’s great, but we only have so much time and brain power to focus on the right areas.”

11. Erica Swallow, Cofounder at Deliverish
“The best breakthroughs are the unexpected ones.”

12. John Doherty, Founder at HireGun.co
“Always ask your customers before you change a business model or launch a new idea. If you alienate your best customer, you’ve lost.”

13. Ashley Kingsley, Founder at Daily Deals for Mums
“Entrepreneurs do not work in an emergency room. Everything does not have to be or feel like an emergency.”

14. Vanessa Camones, Founder at tMa
“Always be honest with your team and clients, whether good or bad.”

15. Vitaly M. Golomb, Founder & CEO at Keen
“Listen to how your customers perceive their problem and deliver more value than you extract.”

16. Francine Hardaway, Founder at Stealthmode Partners
“Watch your cash. Running out of money can happen when your business is at its most successful.”

17. Jeremy Gregg, CDO at Prison Entrepreneurship Program
“Success in entrepreneurship has less to do with what you do than who you are. Confidence, integrity, and drive are critical.”

18. Fred Perrotta, Cofounder at Tortuga Backpacks
“You can’t figure out everything beforehand by reading about it. Just do it and make your own mistakes. Get back up, dust yourself off, and do better next time.”

19. Nick Eubanks, VP of Digital Strategy at Snook & Associates
“Everyone is deserving of your time and attention. There is no customer (or person for that matter) that is insignificant.”

20. Scott Meyer, Cofounder at 9 Clouds
“Show up and give your best effort every time. You never know who’s listening.”

21. Ben Way, Founder at The Rainmakers, Inc.
“However many times you fail — as long as you have your passion, you will always succeed.”

22. Ben Hanten, Angel Investor at Two Bridges Capital
“It is better to feel a little uncomfortable now than it is to feel a lot of resentment later.”

23. Brad Feld, Partner at Foundry Group
“Give before you get.”

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