Starting a business can be both exciting and daunting.
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And, while entrepreneurs come from many different walks of life, a majority of them share the same pitfalls and joys along the way.
To celebrate National Entrepreneurs Day on Tuesday, here are some lessons learned by a few entrepreneurs – in their own words -- along the way.
1. Stick To Your Dreams
The most valuable lesson I have learned as an entrepreneur is that more often than not our dreams are simply too small. Innovators need to continue to push past boundaries and create new paths to achieve something phenomenal. My dream of starting a paleo bakery 6 years ago is what has continued to push me forward through the impossible times caused by lack of experience, lack of industry knowledge, lack of influential network, and lack of capital. The bigger the dream is, the bigger your belief will be in yourself which will render more opportunities for growth in the future. - Jordann Windschauer, CEO and founder of Base Culture
2. Don't Lose Yourself
If there is one lesson I would tell my younger self, it’s to always be authentic to who you are. Anytime you step into a new role, you place a pressure on yourself to know more than you knew previously. That’s often not necessary and can lead you to behave in a way that is not genuine. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. Focus on what you do know and the value you bring to your role. It may sound trite, but being genuine and authentic is the best thing you can do as a leader. - Alex Bingham, President and CEO of The Little Gym
3. Remember Your Passion
When things get crazy and a lot of people start coming at you with different deals and offers and ideas, don’t lose your connection to your inner wisdom that got you inspired and passionate and on the path to success in the first place. Don’t compare and chase after what other businesses and people are doing - do it your own way! - Kimberly Snyder, founder of new wellness and lifestyle brand Solluna, bestselling author and celebrity nutritionist
4. Build Trust
It is definitely important to create a well-functioning, trustworthy working environment. Everyone excels when they feel as though the team around them is built on trust and I found that things run better when CEOs create an atmosphere where people are encouraged to collaborate together and feel heard. Also, always make sure to watch money closely even when there is plenty of it coming in. Expensive bad habits are hard to break when the income slows down. - Nathan Jones, CEO of Xlear
5. Embrace Failure
Don't be embarrassed if you fail at something - learn to find the value in failure as it is inevitable. Some of the greatest lessons can be learned from failure and we shouldn't fear it. We've learned from our own mistakes and have created even better processes and programs to maintain our high level of support for existing franchisees and also allow for reasonable and responsible growth when expanding our system. - Joseph Schumacher, CEO of The Goddard School
6. Be Consistent
One of the biggest lessons for me was the realization that when great ideas die, the cause of death is often a failure to execute. There are very few truly unique ideas, but the focus and determination needed to consistently execute and deliver is what separates successful companies from failures. We were not the first ones to believe Americans would love Brazilian Cheese Bread, but we stayed laser-focused on turning our idea into a reality and that put us at the front of the pack! - Junea Rocha, CEO and co-founder of Brazi Bites