A CEO shares the best advice she received before launching her business

Kathryn MinshewKathryn MinshewThe Muse cofounder Kathryn Minshew says persistence is key.

Before Kathryn Minshew decided to found The Muse, a career and employment platform, she thought she wanted to be a diplomat.

So, early on in her career she gained experience working at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, McKinsey & Company, the US Department of State, and the World Health Organisation.

Eventually, though, she realised that the field wasn’t for her, and decided she instead wanted to help others find their dream job.

But the shift wasn’t so easy — and starting her own business was certainly no walk in the park.

Luckily, there was one piece of advice Minshew received that kept her going: everything worth doing requires persistence.

“It’s often said that if doing something was easy, everyone would be doing it,” Minshew tells Business Insider. “I think that’s particularly true when you’re trying to make your mark or architect your own career. There’s often not a path to follow.”

She kept this in mind any time she ran into new challenges during the early days of The Muse.

“There are always going to be obstacles,” she says. “I think the bigger your aspirations, the larger the obstacles.”

Today, Minshew — who is the CEO of her company, which draws 50 million users every year, according to Forbes — adds her own personal twist to the mantra of persistence, noting that it should go hand in hand with politeness.

“Persistence can become incredibly annoying to those around you if you’re not thoughtful and respectful of their time,” she says.

So, lesson learned: Don’t give up. Keep going. But be nice to others along the way.

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