Startup Lessons

Written by: Hannah Atkins

As if finishing my undergrad, working a part time retail job and figuring out where my life is heading wasn’t enough, last year, I became involved with building a creative agency.

Startup life is a rollercoaster that hits highs and lows that you never see coming. Although unique, entrepreneurship is a challenge that definitely comes with lessons. As an entrepreneur, the way you react and adapt to sudden changes that define and heighten your success. 

Since I have been lucky enough to be wrapped up in this crazy experience, I'd like to share my thoughts on the lessons I've learned over the past year

1. Life isn’t fair. Far from it actually. But you don’t learn if everything goes your way.

 2. Failing is the best thing you can do while starting out. The greatest lessons come from failing the first (or tenth) time. 

 3. Friends and family are your strongest support system. When you’re at your lowest, you need people to lean on. Just make sure you can count on those people.   

4. Balance is key. No one can work all the time. Make sure to have a life.   

5. Dive in head first. You can't learn to swim by dipping your toe in the water.

 6. Health comes first. There is nothing more important than your physical and mental health. End of story.

 7. Take “no” as “try a different approach.” Hearing a “no” is an opportunity to rework your idea and gain a different perspective. 

 8. Everyone you meet is another chain in your network. Take advantage of it. 

9. Success in business is more than just the monetary reward. 

10. What you are doing only matters if you are happy.

Now that you’ve stuck around this long, below are my unfiltered top 10 startup lessons that every entrepreneur will encounter. Trust me. 

1. Coffee is not a food group. You can only live off of midnight takeout for so long before your body decides to hate you. 

3. Sleep as much as you can, whenever you can. 

4. Wine is also not a food group. Not everyone is going to agree with you, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong. 

5. Fight for what you believe in. Normal is boring. Never let anyone force you into being someone that you aren’t. 

6. You don’t know everything. Sorry, but no one does.

7. Take the time to binge watch that crappy TV show on Netflix. Your brain needs the break. 

8. Laugh. A lot. All the time. Have people in your life to make sure that happens. You don’t need to have your life figured out at 20…or 21…or ever. Just take everything one day at a time.

No matter what path you are on, life is going to throw you around. The key is to take time to enjoy the process and use each experience to learn.