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One thing I have learned is that for the most part, people express the same idea but they express it in many different ways and with many different words. It is the details in the expression, the words, and combination of words used, that give a story its colour, its texture, and brings it–and its lessons–to life.

We are unique combinations of our beliefs, values and life experiences. Differences notwithstanding, we, and our experiences, are important. Therefore, there is value in compiling and sharing these stories and the multitude of ways in which ideas are expressed. Combined, these stories weave a wonderful tapestry that exemplifies just how rich and beautiful life can be.

And who knows? An inadvertent remark or detail in the retelling of a story can stand to attention and have an impact in the world of a reader. And with that exciting possibility, perhaps the most valuable thing I can do is create the space where the stories of those whom I admire and respect can be shared.

Below are people that I have come across on my own life journey whom I deeply admire and respect. Whether it be their tenacity or courage, or relentless drive or passion, each individual generously reveals a different lens in response to the questions I regularly pepper them with.

As we continue on our sharing over this anthology, I will share tidbits and anecdotes as to why I hold them in such high esteem, and what I love most about them. In turn, I hope that you do too.

What’s something you wish people knew about what it’s like being an entrepreneur?

You can’t make it alone.

Adam Massaro, Partner at Akerman LLP. Denver, Colorado.

You can’t make it alone.

Empower those around you and celebrate them.

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If there’s a way forward, an entrepreneur will find it!

Arnie Malham, Founder and President of BetterBookClub.com, Author and Speaker at Worth Doing Wrong. Nashville, Tennessee.

Much like the term “athlete” covers a broad swath of skill levels ranging from occasional weekend warriors to the best-known heroes of the game, the term “entrepreneur” equally includes a broad swath of individuals ranging from hustle solopreneurs to the most respected titans of industry and hero disruptors of our day.

Both as competitors to drive innovation and as collaborators in the grand game of global economics, know that all ‘“entrepreneurs” at every level, play a role in powering economies, innovation, and prosperity all over the world. If there’s a way forward, an entrepreneur will find it!

One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that it’s a great platform to design your best life and live life on your terms.

Finnian Kelly, Founder of Intentionality, Inc., International Keynote Speaker, Area Director for Entrepreneurs Organization. Aspen, Colorado

I wish everyone knew how feasible being an entrepreneur can be. A few intentional acts can get you there, and remember to ask other entrepreneurs for help along the way as we love to help!

One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that it’s a great platform to design your best life and live life on your terms.

Finally, a lot of entrepreneurs seem confident from the outside but on the inside, they are not; inadequacy is a big theme in entrepreneur communities.

If you change the way you look at the world, your world will change

Kym Huynh. Founder at WeTeachMe, Former President at Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Melbourne, Australia.

Being an entrepreneur gives you countless opportunities to practice making conscious and intentional choices in (1) keeping things simple; and (2) choosing how we approach problems/reach to events.

I’m in constant amazement with: (1) how prone people are to making things more complicated than they need be; and (2) how quickly people get bogged down with the little details i.e. things that won’t matter in 10 years’ time.

On simplicity: The act of keeping things simple, is complex (and dare-I-say the ultimate sophistication). Simple problems require simple solutions. Complex problems require even simpler solutions. This type of thinking is rare.

On how we look at problems: The idea–that things that can signal the end of the world to one person and can result in what I call “analysis paralysis” or “constipation via contemplation” can be inconsequential to another–is an intriguing one, and speaks to the idea that how one looks at the world is how one experiences the world. For example, where one sees obstacles and problems, another sees opportunities for learning and growth. In the former, life is a struggle. In the latter, life is a journey of learning, expansion, and growth.

How you look at the world is how you experience the world. In other words, if you change the way you look at the world, your world will change.

Being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming, but it’s not all you are.

Marc Gutman, Founder and Brand Strategist at Wildstory. Host at Baby Got Backstory Podcast. Denver, Colorado.

Being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming, but it’s not all you are.

Entrepreneurship is just one part of who you are. Don’t let it swallow you whole.

What they don’t see is the many late nights and early mornings, the continuous challenge of finding (and retaining) the right people, and the personal financial risks you take to grow the business.

Richard J Bryan, Founder at The Bryan Group Inc., Keynote Speaker and Author. Denver, Colorado.

Being an entrepreneur looks easy from other people’s perspectives. They see you driving a new car, being in control of your own calendar, and taking nice vacations. What they don’t see is the many late nights and early mornings, the continuous challenge of finding (and retaining) the right people, and the personal financial risks you take to grow the business. Having said that I wouldn’t want to have it any other way as I love the freedom of choice that being my own boss brings.

Here’s the real truth. Being an entrepreneur is hard. But it’s worth it.

Stu Swineford, Founder at Relish Studio, President at Anabliss, Partner at Forty105 LLC. Denver, Colorado.

Here’s something you won’t hear every day. Being an entrepreneur is hard.

Most of us have been brought up to hide our pain; to keep vulnerability undercover. We put on a happy face and exude control, positivity, and power. Well, that’s just not how things work in business.

Business is a tough journey full of hurdles, setbacks, and challenges. Many peers talk only of the successes and big wins and hide the multitude of setbacks and losses experienced along the way.

You are going to need to expand your skill set more than you ever might have expected. At the onset (unless you have some serious capital backing your new venture), you are going to be wearing a lot of hats; many of which simply don’t fit. Figure out how to get rid of as many of these as possible, as quickly as possible, to keep yourself focused on those items that matter most for your new business. If it’s something you aren’t great at or really dislike doing, get help.

Here’s the real truth. Being an entrepreneur is hard. But it’s worth it.

What do you think?

Do you agree or violently disagree with anything shared in this article? Or do you have any of your own stories that you want to share? Pop them in the comments and I will personally reply.

Call to action 

My goal is to help 1,000,000 people. My wish is to have these articles shared 1,000,000 times through the various social networks. For this reason, I provide this collection online for free and all I ask of you is this: If any of these articles have helped you in any way, please take a moment to share on social media, email to someone you think will find benefit, or print and leave it on the desk of someone whom you believe has the motivation, but lacks the tools to take themselves to the next level.

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Revenue sounds great but being profitable is a lot more difficult. You’ve got to understand the details and the reality is that if you are in a business, or starting a business, you really need to understand the backend of things. It can’t just be just about turning over a lot of revenue and thinking, “I turned over $4M and that means I’m great.” No, it’s not like that at all.” — Jeffrey Gore

People have fantastic brand ideas or business idea, but don’t put in a lot of commercial thinking. This is where people get caught out; they’re in that fun phase of launching an idea and seeing it come to life, but then quickly discover that they have to think about cash flow. We’re the first to admit that we fell into that trap.” — Mia Klitsas

You need to understand the things you’re not good at and the things that you don’t know, then don’t try to do those things. Find people who know that stuff and talk to them the best way you can, or hire them if you can. It took us a long time to figure out. There are certain things that we are not good at yet we try to do them because we’re the boss and we try to do everything. However, it’s not our core skill set and it is better to pay someone to do it.” — Jeffrey Gore

As a tradesman, you don’t know anything about online marketing or websites. Once I reached out to a company to build for the business a website. We burned $90,000 that year and it nearly sent the business bankrupt.” — Tom Harley

Sometimes you just have to go out and learn things. Now I know more about digital marketing now than most people and now have an in-house digital marketing team.” — Tom Harley

Doors started to open once I reached out to other people; people who have their own businesses; accountants and friends whom I went to school with. What we need to know is not in here, it’s out there.” — Tom Harley

It was once just three of us; my dad, my brother and myself. Once I started collecting knowledge from others, doors started to open. After my first business coaching class, I went home and sat in front of the computer and just wrote for three hours. Twelve months later we have 15 staff and are doubling year-on-year.” — Tom Harley

I use to throw $5,000 at a marketing initiative and would sit back and hope that it worked. But testing and measuring is smarter. If you put $200 on something and the leads come in, you must log where the leads are coming in from and find out what the leads cost. What does it cost to acquire a customer? Once you get good at testing and measuring, everything opens because you know with certainty which customer acquisition channels work.” — Tom Harley

I started as a student and I really knew nothing. Arguably now, 13 years in, I still know nothing. I’m good with that because it means that I am constantly pushing myself and challenging myself. I don’t for a second think that I know everything because the minute that you get into that headspace, disruptors come in.” — Mia Klitsas

I am always learning and believe that you can learn from anyone and everyone. Just be open because learning is everywhere.” — Mia Klitsas

With thanks to

Mia Klitsas & Jeff Gore are co-founders of the feminine hygiene brand Moxie. While they have solved the problems of tampons getting lost in handbags, they have created a few challenges for themselves that have been difficult to overcome. Mia and Jeff point out the importance of profit over revenue and focus on what’s important.

Tom Harley is the co-founder of Harley & Sons Roofing. After rounding up his plumbing brothers to work with his dad, Tom has led the way in developing a business that is doubling in size each year. Tom says if you don’t know something you have to get out there and learn it.

About Masters Series by WeTeachMe

Masters Series is a show about inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and visionary dreamers, and the stories behind how they built their companies.

Subscribe to show

Show brought to you by

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

Our strategic alliance partners: MYOB, SitePoint, and Entrepreneur’s Organization.

Our media partners: Startup Victoria and Digital Marketers Australia.

Our content partners: Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this show are linked websites that are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

Question of the day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

I put a sign on my door that says “Redundancy in Progress”. I’m working very hard on making sure that I can make myself redundant so the really great people that I have can come through. Another thing that has been fantastic in a learning sense is hiring the right people “for you”. There is hiring people that have the skills, that are smarter than you, and can do the job better than you, but to find people that suit you is very important. Understanding this has taken many years of learning.” — Anou Khanijou

If you put yourself out there, the opportunities come. People say you have to be in the right place at the right time but I say if you take the opportunity, the right place and the right time happens. For example, if I had sat at home and said, “I’m not going to do this today,” I would not have met the right person that said, “Can you help me with my pants?” I say, “I am going to take every opportunity as it comes, and learn. Even if nothing comes from it, I’ve learned, I’ve engaged, and I’ve met somebody that helped me on my journey.” It’s about taking every chance that presents itself, converting them into opportunities.” — Anou Khanijou

We didn’t know anything about anything. I lived in a bubble, did what I studied, and painted within the guidelines. Starting a business was so crazy! For every part of the journey, we didn’t know anything; we just did it. Our first product was a complete failure. But one thing leads on to the next, and on to the next, and opens up to so many more opportunities. And before you know it, you turn around and you think, “I kind of know a thing or two now.” I would have never guessed that I would be where I am now today.” — Carolyn Wong

Small and steady growth is enough. I used to be very caught up in doing things quickly and when someone told me that it would take 10 years o build our business into a successful business, I said “No way. I’m going to do it 3 years, and then I’m gonna retire.” Eight years later, I am still here. There’s no point in putting that much pressure on yourself; just slow and steady. I have learned to appreciate the journey and appreciate the moment because time flies. The whole journey is really beautiful and fulfilling.” — Carolyn Wong

As you’re scaling up, you get to point where you need to get into your business the right people with the right culture, and they are going to do things differently. They won’t do things the way you want them to. They’re going to make you uncomfortable, and if you’re prepared for that and learn to close your eyes and accept that, “Yes I would have done it differently but I accept that he/she will do it their way,” then you can scale up. That is growth.” — Anou Khanijou

If you believe in what you want to do, no age is the wrong age. Any age is correct. If you are not true to that belief, it will never be correct. I have always believed very strongly in what I wanted to do, and I have always set forth to achieve it. If you believe you want to be in business, then be in business.” — Anou Khanijou

Be goal orientated and not task orientated. At the beginning of your journey, you’re a micromanager because you have to cover every aspect of the business. You’re the maker, the packer, the sender, the seller… everything! But it’s about transitioning and stepping out of these things, and it’s difficult because you’re letting go and trusting other people. If you can’t trust your staff to do the right job then there’s a big question mark.” — Carolyn Wong

With thanks to

Anou Khanijou is the Managing Director of Anouconcept, but she created her first business before the age of 18. Starting with a successful Thai restaurant, she then created another restaurant, followed by a nightclub. Then came an almighty failure, one she’s determined to never repeat.

William Du & Carolyn Wong are co-founders of giftware retailers Short Story. Growing from market stalls to department stores, this couple has seen success and failure — often in equal measure. William and Carolyn share are enjoying success, but share their failures in the hope that you won’t suffer the same fate.

About Masters Series by WeTeachMe

Masters Series is a show about inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and visionary dreamers, and the stories behind how they built their companies.

Subscribe to show

Show brought to you by

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

Our strategic alliance partners: MYOB, SitePoint, and Entrepreneur’s Organization.

Our media partners: Startup Victoria and Digital Marketers Australia.

Our content partners: Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this show are linked websites that are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

Question of the day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

## The 10.10.10
* If you do the 10.10.10 exercise every morning, very soon reflection and awareness will become part of you
* 10.10.10 gets you up and going every day. It’s to put your mind in the right place. It’s to prepare you for the race. Our job is to give it our best ever every day, and when we do it we change the game dramatically.
* The process of the 10.10.10 has powerful consequences. It’s not the 10.10.10 itself, it’s how it prepares us for the rest of the day; to have an exceptional, great, day.
* The 10.10.10. changes your day
* One reason we start with 10/10/10 is to begin to understand the importance of time and that every second counts
* 10/10/10 sets your mind and efficiency in a particular order

## How to do it
1. 10 minutes of meditation. Sometimes I think about what I’m grateful for. Sometimes I think about the people most important in my life. Sometimes I just let my mind be still. I play this  [https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0vGlylfZOqgQd1Xl9qfcQE?si=bIG4_9yRSmK2P1t_ZWNnOA](https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0vGlylfZOqgQd1Xl9qfcQE?si=bIG4_9yRSmK2P1t_ZWNnOA)
2. 10 minutes of reading something positive. The 2 books I am reading currently are attached.
3. 10 minutes of journalling. The question I write at the top of each page: “What is going well in my life?” Example journal entry attached.

I hope the 10.10.10 serves you as well as it serves me

 

The best way to find out what’s involved in starting a business is to ask a founder. In this podcast, we’ve done the asking for you, with two experienced entrepreneurs who are happy to share their secrets to success — and their tips for avoiding failure.

Ben Sze is a Co-Founder of Edrolo, an educational tech company that is creating better outcomes for students. Ben points out several key things that fresh founders should keep an eye on — not least of which is time. There’s a time management practice here that you’ll find invaluable.

David Fastuca is a Co-Founder of Ambisie, a business putting entrepreneurs in front of school students to broaden their horizons. David founded his first business at the age of 14 and it has had many different incarnations since then. He says we live in a lucky country where if all else fails, we can just go get a job — so have a crack at founding your own business.

About Masters Series by WeTeachMe

Masters Series is a show about inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and visionary dreamers, and the stories behind how they built their companies.

Subscribe to podcast

Podcast brought to you by

Thank you to Jahzzar for the music.

Masters Series is presented by WeTeachMe.

The Masters Series podcast is produced by Written & Recorded.

The views expressed by the contributors on this podcast and linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

Question of the day

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.