You are a twentysomething entrepreneur ready to launch a new business and your emotions are running wild. You're frightened, intimated, and stressed, but at the same time you're enthusiastic and confident about what the future holds.
At this point, it's time to step back and listen to those who have been in the same situation.
It would be a foolish mistake and a missed opportunity not to value the advice, experience, and knowledge a mentor can offer. Put your ego aside; be a sponge and soak up as much wisdom as possible.
I was in this exact position prior to launching SDC Nutrition Inc. I was confident and probably a little too self-assured, but I knew I had to set aside my ego to listen and absorb as much invaluable advice as possible from my advisers.
To date, I still apply their words of wisdom, especially the four below, to my daily business. I credit my mentors' advice for many of my accomplishments.
One adviser told me to ignore anyone who said, “Don’t grow too quickly.” From that day forward, I have lived my life by being fearless, not slowing down, and making those around me keep pace.
Rapid growth in your startup will attract great talent and the capital you need to help your growth trajectory. As long as you continue to work hard and execute your vision, the right people and resources will fall into place.
It is necessary to realize that the best way to get to the next level is to build a team of people who are smarter than you.
Most entrepreneurs have egos, but understanding our weaknesses and filling in those gaps is the single best way to get to the next level.
It's not about you anymore; it's about your company. You need to live in the future.
To do this, you need to hire the most qualified employees to maintain and run your business while you are in the field helping it grow. It's an incredible feeling to know that you can depend on your associates to continually help the company prosper and flourish.
Never wait for a lucky break. Hard work and dedication create opportunity and success. Good fortune is created through determination and diligence. There may be times during the company growth period where you hope for a lucky break, but in the end, your commitment and perseverance will actually generate achievement.
I was told success is waking up every morning and loving what you do for a living. It's looking in the mirror at night and asking yourself, “Is there anything more I could have done today?”—and having the answer be “No, no one could have possibly outworked me today,” time and time again.
As soon as you stop loving what you do, it's time to make a change.
Whether you're an established entrepreneur or fresh to the world of entrepreneurship, you should never hesitate to ask for advice from your mentors. Their expertise and perspective may be the knowledge needed to help you and your business succeed and prosper for many years to come.
Remember to put aside your ego, be a sponge, and soak up as much information as you can. Success will follow.
—Sean Marszalek is no stranger to entrepreneurship. After owning and operating a personal fitness studio, he cofounded SDC Nutrition, Inc in 2009, where he currently serves as president and CEO. Its flagship brand, About Time, is one of the fastest-growing all-natural nutrition brands in the U.S. and can be found in over 2,000 retail locations as well as in Canada, Brazil, and Australia.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program.
[Image: Flickr user electrictuesday]