Advice from YLAI Network entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you may have made a few mistakes in getting started. We all do. But you learned.

We asked YLAI Network entrepreneurs what advice they wish they had when they got started, so we can learn together.

Here’s what we heard:

Find your balance

[Entrepreneurship is] about what and how you experience the journey. … It definitely is hard work, perseverance, dedication, believing in your product or service, thinking every moment about how you can be more innovative, come up with new strategies, creative ideas.
– Ruiz Kartoredjo, Suriname

Sometimes, at the beginning, we have fire in our blood, sparkles in our eyes, which is very positive, [and] sometimes we want to go very fast, but this kind of attitude may hinder/hamper the future of our startup. If we go too fast, we may have to close our doors very soon. But if [we] go slowly, we may lose a lot of opportunities.
– Faradjine Alfred, Haiti

As an entrepreneur, a leader, a manager, you often will make your own schedule. This means there will not be anyone to tell you to finish your day. There will not be anyone to prioritize your responsibilities. As a leader, you are responsible for finding your own balance. If you are looking for ways to bring more balance into you life, check out our advice for young leaders on incorporating health and wellness into your daily life: How Healthy Diet and Exercise Could Help You to Achieve Your Goals, and Other ways to improve personal productivity.

Stay organized

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work." -Steve JobsDo not underestimate the importance of accounting and bookkeeping.
– Evie Kanhai-Gurchuran, Guyana

Running a business is no small feat. There will always be something more to do, so it is important to be organized and up-to-date on the key activities for running your business.

Know your customers, deeply! Make sure your unit economics work, and make it a weekly habit to review them. … Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do TODAY to improve [my business]? Always underpromise and overdeliver!
– Paloma Pinheiro, Brazil

Launching and running a new business venture is an enormous endeavor. Make sure you are prepared with Startup Smart: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs.

Cultivate your network

Networking is not about meeting and becoming known to people. It is about supporting and caring for one another and creating relevance and, more importantly, relationships by giving and receiving.
– Morgana Toaldo Guzela, Brazil

“Whether you’re a student, professional or entrepreneur, having a strong network can make a world of difference when it comes to achieving your goals. While professional networking is often associated with job hunting, its benefits are numerous: In addition to career opportunities, your professional network may offer business leads, knowledge resources and even lasting friendships. So what exactly is professional networking? Put simply, it’s the process of deliberately building and maintaining relationships with others in your professional sphere.”
Professional Networking 101

Learn more about professional networking from this advice on Taking Charge by Networking.

You can also build your networking and relationship-building skills with the YLAI Network’s online course on Strategies for Personal Growth.

And finally …

Keep antacid close by.
– Bárbara Conejeros, Chile

Connect with other young leaders and entrepreneurs in our Facebook group: My YLAI Network!