From the Trenches: 23 Entrepreneurs Share Their Most Valuable Lessons Learned

Looking into the Sun

Nobody becomes an entrepreneur because it’s easy. What these business leaders share in common is that they’re driven by an unstoppable dream. It’s a life calling, not a career. We hold ourselves to relentlessly high standards, and when we fall, we fall hard.

Luckily, so many others have been there before.

In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, here are 23 lessons learned from some of Clarity’s top entrepreneurs.

1. David Sifry – Founder at Technorati
“Always trust your gut. Always.” [Tweet this]

Follow @dsifry; Connect via Clarity

2. Rick Marini – Founder at BranchOut
“Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.” [Tweet This]

Follow @rmarini; Connect via Clarity

3. Chris Goward – Founder & CEO at WiderFunnel
“1 – Always have a plan. 2 – Your plan will not always happen.” [Tweet This]

Follow @chrisgoward; Connect via Clarity

4. Jason Cohen – Founder at WPEngine
“You spend 99.9% of your life working on the path, and 0.1% experiencing the euphoria of an exit or the disappointment of a final failure. If you’re not fulfilled by the journey, you’re wasting your life.” [Tweet This]

Follow @asmartbear; Connect via Clarity

5. Angie Chang – Founder at Women 2.0; Director of Growth at Hackbright Academy
“When you first have an idea, TELL EVERYONE. This will help vet your startup idea.” [Tweet This]

Follow @thisgirlangie; Connect via Clarity

6. Dan Martell – Founder at Clarity
“The only thing stopping you from doing anything is deciding.” [Tweet This]

Follow @danmartell; Connect via Clarity

7. Ariel Poler – Founder at I/PRO, Topica, TextMarks
“Speed is Overrated. What good is going fast in the wrong direction? Better to focus on finding the right course and making steady progress.” [Tweet This]Follow @arielConnect via Clarity

8. Laura Klein -Principal at UsersKnow
“Best Practices aren’t always best. You’ve always got to test designs to see how they work with YOUR product and YOUR users.” [Tweet This]

Follow @lauraklein; Connect via Clarity

9. Cheryl Yeoh – Founder at Reclip.It
“Figure out what your superpower is. Then identify what other superpowers you need for your business to be successful. Build your team around it.” [Tweet This]

Follow @cherylyeoh; Connect via Clarity

10. Sujan Patel – Founder & CEO at Single Grain
“Focus. Don’t try to do too much. Entrepreneurs are always thinking of the next thing to do. It’s great, but we only have so much time and brain power to focus on the right areas.” [Tweet This]Follow @sujanpatelConnect via Clarity

11. Erica Swallow – Cofounder at Deliverish
“The best breakthroughs are the unexpected ones.” [Tweet This]

Follow @ericaswallow; Connect via Clarity

12. John Doherty – Founder at
“Always ask your customers before you change a business model or launch a new idea. If you alienate your best customer, you’ve lost.” [Tweet This]

Follow @dohertyjf; Connect via Clarity

13. Ashley Kingsley – Founder at Daily Deals for Moms
“Entrepreneurs do not work in an emergency room. Everything does not have to be or feel like an emergency.” [Tweet This]

Follow @ashleykingsley; Connect via Clarity

14. Vanessa Camones – Founder at tMa
“Always be honest with your team and clients, whether good or bad.” [Tweet This]

Follow @vanessacamones; Connect via Clarity

15. Vitaly M. Golomb – Founder & CEO at Keen
“Listen to how your customers perceive their problem and deliver more value than you extract.” [Tweet This]

Follow @vitalyg; Connect via Clarity

16. Francine Hardaway – Founder at Stealthmode Partners
“Watch your cash. Running out of money can happen when your business is at its most successful.” [Tweet This]

Follow @hardaway; Connect via Clarity

17. Jeremy Gregg – CDO at Prison Entrepreneurship Program
“Success in entrepreneurship has less to do with what you do than who you are. Confidence, integrity, and drive are critical.” [Tweet This]

Follow @jeremygregg; Connect via Clarity

18. Fred Perrotta – Cofounder at Tortuga Backpacks
“You can’t figure out everything beforehand by reading about it. Just do it and make your own mistakes. Get back up, dust yourself off, and do better next time.”

Follow @fredperrotta; Connect via Clarity [Tweet This]

19. Nick Eubanks – VP of Digital Strategy at Snook & Associates
“Everyone is deserving of your time and attention. There is no customer (or person for that matter) that is insignificant.” [Tweet This]

Follow @nick_eubanks; Connect via Clarity

20. Scott Meyer – Cofounder at 9 Clouds
“Show up and give your best effort every time. You never know who’s listening.” [Tweet This]

Follow @MrScottMeyer; Connect via Clarity

21. Ben Way – Founder at The Rainmakers, Inc.
“However many times you fail – as long as you have your passion, you will always succeed.” [Tweet This]

Follow @bway; Connect via Clarity

22. Ben Hanten – Angel Investor at Two Bridges Capital
“It is better to feel a little uncomfortable now than it is to feel a lot of resentment later.” [Tweet This]

Follow @benhanten; Connect via Clarity

23. Brad Feld – Partner, Foundry Group
“Give before you get.” [Tweet This]

Follow @bfeld; Connect via Clarity

What is your most valuable lesson learned as an entrepreneur? You pick #24. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Rasica/Shutterstock

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