Growing a business has to be one of the most intense personal development journeys possible.

It’s a boot camp of lessons to rival elite sports or military training

It tests emotional resilience, humility, realism, creative problem solving, human insight and empathy, boundaries, assertiveness, discipline, organization, reading others’ [and avoiding] bull****, and just developing plain grit.

Here is a list of things I have learned recently that wish my younger self knew:

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I was someone that wanted [and needed] people to tell me I was on the right track.

To encourage me and affirm my decisions.

I needed parents and teachers to tell me well done and to encourage me if I faltered.

I was also very dreamy and had lofty, unrealistic ambitions.

When people laughed at my dreams I halted progress.

When people urged me to take a break and not try too hard or stress myself out, I withdrew slightly.

Or if they simply told me a matter of factly I was okay but not great at what I was doing.

I’d get crushed and shut down.

What I wish I could tell my younger self is to go forward and try out creative and entrepreneurial endeavors even if you’re terrible at them to start with.

Because what I learned by trying would be SO TRANSFORMATIVE to who I was.

I want to tell my younger self that you will always have those who doubt you, question your plans, and urge you to settle down and not try too much.

Do it anyway.

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Related to the first point, I was someone who saw achievement as granted to me through various gateways such as being accepted into a course or program.

Or being invited to step up to a level of leadership or be included in the inner circle of the elite.

If I didn’t get into the course the first time I saw it as a sign it was not for me.

If I was not included in the circle of the elite it was the confirmation I was not worthy.

What I want to tell my younger self is these pathways are only some of the pathways possible.

You can try again later.

Or not even try that path again. The world is wide and mysterious and there are many roads that lead to Rome if you want to get there.

It’s the ones who passionately DO THE WORK and don’t give up who emerge victorious.

I wanted mentors, guides, peers or collaborators to help me navigate my journey forward.

If there was no one in my small circle who was remotely interested in my dreams, I took it as confirmation that my dreams were invalid.

We all need help but it’s a mistake to WAIT for help.

I want to tell my younger self to keep looking for help, keep reaching out relentlessly for the help I needed.

Move cities, states and countries to get in the way of people doing what I wanted to do and who would willingly show me the way.

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It’s a trap to think “I’m too young” – I need to finish school, finish college or university, get the relationship, get married, have kids, buy the house, save money or be financially independent……..before I start.

It’s a mistake to wait to arrive – whatever the benchmark of arrival is.

If you’re just starting out, embrace the status of beginner.

Follow those who are just ahead and help those who are just behind.

Get going and build the discipline, resilience, humility, realism, creative problem solving, and every other thing that will be required in the journey ahead.

Learn to handle disapproval, criticism, rejection, disappointments, failures.

How many “overnight successes” have been 10 years in the making.

Start now.

Don’t give up.

Don’t wait.

Advice I Would Give My Younger Self