“Who doesn’t dream of having the chance to go back and right a wrong, to take a do over, to say yes (or no) when we should have?” asks David Olk, in his latest column for Inc. “I’m not saying to live with regret — there’s no point in post-mortem’ing your life (is that a word?) — but the luxury of time and reflection does lead to wisdom.”
For me, I would tell my 25-year-old self not to raise money from certain specific people I now know who are the worst forms of incapable and arrogant humanity. I’m kidding (But not. Call me. I’ll tell you more.) Seriously though, I would take the time to build authentic relationships.
At 25 I had no kids, no family obligations — I had all the time in the world (besides working my butt off) to socialize and get to know people better. To forge true friendships. To get solid advice from my peers and mentors. And those relationships matter even more 15 years later. Those are the people I turn to for advice I can count on; for capital when I’m starting a new company; for introductions that will make a difference.
I asked several entrepreneurs, all on the horizon of 40, if they could turn back the clock, what would they tell their younger selves?
Betty Liu, Bloomberg TV anchor and founder/CEO of Radiate
“Stop being so hard on myself. We are our worst critics and I spent too much time in my 20s telling myself I couldn’t do this or that because other people were smarter or better than me. And then it dawned on me as I got older that everyone else succeeding was no smarter or better; some very successful people made lots of the same dumb mistakes I made, too.
And so I stopped the negative self-talk and just went for things, knowing I might fail miserably at some but also succeed exceedingly well at others. That’s life!”
For words of wisdom from three other leading entrepreneurs, read the full story as published on Inc here.