Monday Musings: What I'd tell myself if I can go back in time
If you're just about to get into a new industry whether as a fresh graduate or jumping ship from an old career, I have one advice for you: don't be too caught up about the pay check. Everybody will tell you that the pay will be shit and it will be late, which are both true. Newbies don't get to be choosers. They get to be at the bottom of the totem pole until they're not, through sheer hard work and dedication to the job.
Of course, not everybody has the luxury of caring little about money and when it arrives. If you are one of them then practicality dictates that you find another job that will pay the bills. If your dream is what you really, badly want so much that it hurts, you'll find a way to hold down two jobs to sustain you financially and emotionally.
You can't have all the things - yet. Bide your time, learn and network as much as you can, and you'll get there. I assure you this.
Last weekend I realized the difference between how entrepreneurs and employees think. Entrepreneurs care about the business and its future, foregoing immediate gratification for long-term success. Employees on the other hand care about the present and measure success by how well they are doing presently. I'm not saying one is better than the other - sometimes entrepreneurs sacrifice and risk too much, sometimes employees are too complacent.
As with all things, balance is key.
I was asked: if you can go back in time to five years ago, what will you tell yourself to do?
My knee-jerk answer was, "I would tell myself to start my business early. I'd tell myself to raise money, incorporate, hire my staff, blow up content, and monetize efficiently." But thinking more about it, I wouldn't have known five years ago how to follow this advice. I would have absolutely no clue how to do what I do now.
I would also not have enough industry and personal relationships to tap for my projects.
All of the above takes time to build. Five years may not sound much, but they were crucial to my personal growth. I had to be in the exact same spot I was when I made the decision to become an entrepreneur. A time-traveling Liz wouldn't have been able to bring me there even if she explained the details.
In other words: don't be anxious about the future overmuch. If you're consistent about pursuing that thing you want so badly it hurts, you'll eventually arrive at your destination. That in turn will point you to the next step, and the next, until you live the life you've chosen for yourself and die with little regret.