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11 “Do-Overs” Entrepreneurs Would Incorporate in Their Career

YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about do-overs and learning from mistakes. Here are their responses.


If you could have a do-over in your career, what would you change?

1. Focus More on Recurring Revenue Businesses

I wish that earlier on in my career I had focused more on recurring revenue opportunities for businesses. I’ve realized that having fewer customers who make repeat purchases requires less time and effort for marketing, which allows me to focus on improving my product and attracting more business from inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is too time- and energy-intensive to be worth it.
– Dave Nevogt,


2. Intern at a Diverse Set of Companies

As a college student, I interned only once during my senior year at a software startup. Looking back, I wished I had tried interning at other kinds of companies like consulting firms, manufacturing companies or banks. Since these are the kinds of companies that we sell to today, it would have been helpful to know them and their decision-making process from the inside.
– Pratham Mittal, VenturePact


3. Actively Seek Out Mentors

Not everyone can be a traditional mentee.  I wish I had done then what I do now: have a personal “board of advisors” that includes people in all stages of their career who are your sounding board for advice, ideas and more. It’s a constant cycle of learning and helping, which feels more valuable.
– Benish Shah, Refinery 29


4. Write Out What I’ve Learned

I’ve learned so much over the years from being a founder, an entrepreneur and bootstrapping my business that it’s easy to forget just how much knowledge I’ve accumulated. While I now write down what I’ve learned on a weekly basis, I wish I’d started sooner so that I can share even more of my experience and knowledge with other budding entrepreneurs.
– Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile Swim School


5. Nothing

We make decisions based on the information that’s available, and it’s easy to look back and make judgments about them. But we will never know what could have been if we’d taken the other fork in the road, so it’s not realistic to think in terms of do-overs. Evolving and learning from our mistakes shapes us, and mistakes often lead to much bigger personal growth.
– Jason Geater, Solvusoft Corporation


6. Leave Dead-End Jobs Earlier

I always recommend that aspiring entrepreneurs work for other companies because it’s a great way to gain invaluable experience quickly. I’m very grateful for my early career jobs in music and advertising, but in both instances I should have left before I did. As soon as you realize your goals and plans no longer align with your company, it’s time to move on.
– Brittany Hodak, ZinePak


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7. Surround Yourself With People Who Are Going to Lift You Higher

If I could redo my career as an entrepreneur I would have surrounded myself with amazing people much earlier in my career. By surrounding yourself with people who have accomplished a higher level of success, you desire and will naturally be pulled in that direction.
– Dustin Cucciarre, BryghtAds Inc.


8. Learn to Fail Successfully

I would have learn to fail sooner and fail faster. The thought of failure is scary, and it holds a lot of entrepreneurs back. If I had accepted failure sooner and learned how to make it work for me, I probably would have been able to achieve even more than I already have.
– Mike Seiman, CPXi


9. Focus on Delivering Results and Not Just a Product or Service

I spent a big part of my career focusing on delivering services and not the results. This is a mistake many new businesses make: they fail to attract or retain customers because they focus more on themselves. I saw a drastic change once I started focusing on actually making a difference and improving the lives of my customers.
– Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic


10. Learn to Code

I wish I had learned to code so I could be more effective in communicating with developers. Not having a basic understanding of the language they use makes it tough to understand the complexity and time things take.
– Aron Susman, TheSquareFoot


11. Start My Career Sooner

If I could start my career over, I would want to have the courage to begin my entrepreneurial venture sooner. If I had done so, I would be way ahead of where I am today. When I look back at my career thus far I do not have many regrets, but realizing now what I am capable of makes me want to go back to the younger version of me, shake him and say, “You can do this!”
– Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

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Young Entrepreneur Council

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 BusinessCollective (, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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