The 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs to Achieve Their Goals

By :   on February 27, 2015

1. Choose Must.

Elle Luna quit her dream job at the peak of success. She left Mailbox before it was acquired by Dropbox because she wanted to create art. Over the next year, the talented designer behind Uber‘s mobile app and Medium painted, traveled to Bali, and launched her own textile venture, The Bulan Project. Most importantly, she emerged with a lesson that applies to everyone: “There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And each time, we get to choose,” says Luna. “’Should’ is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do.Must is different. Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self.” The hard thing about Must? It’s a daily practice and a recurring choice. The good news? You arrive at these crossroads again and again, and you always get to choose. Here’s how Luna did it.

2. Stay stupid.

Tobias van Schneider lives his life like one big side project. Today, he designs and builds new products for Spotify in New York, but he couldn’t have predicted that when he dropped out of school at age 15, or when he got rejected from multiple art schools. His career stemmed from several experimental side projects. But, in order for these types of projects to truly succeed, van Schneider says, you have to let yourself be stupid. “The only way a side project will work is if people give themselves permission to think simple, to change their minds, to fail — basically, to not take them too seriously,” he says. When you keep things loose, you try new things without fear of failure, you ditch your obsession with structure and growth, you trust yourself more, and you create a culture of passion. Here’s how companies can help their employees stay stupid to be more creative.

3. The 20-40-60 Rule.

Throughout her career as an entrepreneur, executive and investor, Heidi Roizen has picked up several lessons for building both a fulfilling life and career: the critical importance of ethics, respecting your gut instincts, etc. But one of the most liberating and motivating principles she’s learned is this: “At 20, you’re constantly worrying about what other people think of you. At 40 you wake up and say, ‘I’m not going to give a damn what other people think anymore.’ And at 60 you realize no one is thinking about you at all,” she says. The truth? “Nobody is thinking about you from the very beginning. Your boss isn’t thinking about you. Your peers aren’t thinking about you. You need to think about you.” You need to be your own advocate. Realize that no one is thinking about you as hard as you’re thinking about yourself, save that time, and get to work.
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