What would you tell your 21 year old entrepreneurial self?

© Irina Chirkova - Fotolia.comThere are so many things I know now that I wish I had known at 21. In fact, I’ve been modeling these for my own teens in hopes that I can help them cut the learning curve on their way to the top! What would you add to the list?

Dear 21 Year Old Self:

1) You do not know it all. Hire a business coach or find a successful mentor. It will be the best investment you will ever make in your business.

2) You have baggage that you need to unload. Everyone has personal hangups that can hinder their success. Address these through personal development programs, a mastermind group, or hire a life coach who will call B.S. on your ‘stories’ when you get stuck in the same patterns.

3) Yes it takes money to make money but not much and you can be creative to get what you need. People are surprisingly open to trading or bartering for services, for example. Leverage what you do have to get what you need.

4) Never ever ever sacrifice your health, your sense of self, or your family and friends for your business. Schedule in gym time, lunch with Mom, nights out with friends and journaling or meditation – and keep them up no matter what. It is easy to get excited and lose track of these personal priorities. Put them at the top of your list and you will set yourself up for life long fulfillment.

5) Celebrate your successes! You will have lots of extreme ups and downs – huge highs and desperately low lows. At every step, celebrate your successes, big or small, and be grateful for each experience. They are all stepping stones on your path, and each is equally important.

What do you wish you’d known at 21 if you were starting your entrepreneurial life at that time? Share in the comments!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Brian Cain December 14, 2012, 2:44 pm

    Wow… I just found this post and feel lucky to be 21. I just realized and started exercising the 5 things that you have mentioned in this post over that past couple of months, and I already feel more empowered as a young entrepreneur who is on the right track. Thanks for confirming and cementing in the recent discoveries that I have made. You have just made my day 🙂 -One thing that I would like to add-on is that there is a lot of room to make mistakes and grow. A year or two of pain and struggle as an entrepreneur at this age will be your biggest asset for the rest of your life.

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      December 14, 2012, 3:22 pm

      Oh you are so right! Thanks for adding to this post!

  • Brooke @ Home Candle Business January 11, 2013, 4:46 pm

    I agree with Brian that this age allows a lot of time for mistakes… and we ALL make them! I would tell myself that there is a time to learn from others who have walked this path before me. It’s ok to work in an office, work for a corporation, work for a small business. All of those experiences help create the foundation for building my own business. I would also add that it’s ok to fail. The number of successful entreprenuers who got it right on their first try is far smaller than that of those who got it right on their subsequent attempts.


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Karen Clark

Karen Clark, Social Media and Direct Sales Speaker.When she was an active direct sales leader, Karen Clark walked the walk as she sold, booked, and supported a team offline, while expanding her reach and service online. Now working with direct selling companies and their field representatives as a speaker and social media corporate consultant, Karen uses her nearly 20 years' online marketing and direct selling expertise to teach audiences exactly where, when, and how to establish an ethical and effective online presence with social media, while remaining true to their principles and personal direct sales business. Read more

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