Startup Confessions: 5 Lessons I Learned My First Year as an Entrepreneur

Here are five important lessons I learned my first year as an entrepreneur.

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3. Asking for help is essential. 

I’m the worst when it comes to asking for help. But I’m getting better.

In general, entrepreneurs are by nature — confident and optimistic, but startup success is based on much more. It is the outcome of a various random factors.  Therefore, asking for help from others is important.

It’s also humbling.

The minute you eat your pride, tell it like it is, and share what you need — that’s when things can change. If what you’ve built is truly meaningful and impressive, let your guard down. Share your toughest business challenges, biggest small business fears and those that can help, will — if they can.

4. Schedule time to think and be creative. 

Emails, meetings, sleep, repeat.

Suddenly a week has gone by without time to actually think.

This might sound silly, but schedule time to just think. I’ve literally benefited from the “thinking time” on my calendar; and I beg everyone on my team to do the same. Also, my most creative ideas come from doing, seeing, and experiencing something else that is entirely different. For example, some of my best ideas have come from seeing a random movie, attending a jazz concert, or taking the time to explore new places.

5. Build something different by doing things differently. 

A good friend, and Founder of Runkeeper, Jason Jacobs once said in an interview:

“We have no exit strategy, we have longtime horizons. We are digging our heels in and we are going to slog through this over a long period of time.”

In today’s startup community it has become increasingly easy for people to gt swept up in thinking that says, “That’s what everyone else is doing.”

It obviously makes some sense to do what others have done. But I’m learning that success — for me — is different. I’m getting better at realizing that to achieve something different, we need to do things differently.

Connect with Derek on Twitter.

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Photo Credit: 7Diamonds

Derek Flanzraich is the founder and CEO of Greatist, a health and fitness media startup on a mission to make better choices easier for everyone. He’s also a fan of theme parks and theme bars.

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