I have never learned more important life lessons than in these last few years as an entrepreneur.
My most important learning is to never rely on anyone and anything to work to your expectations all of the time. Always have back up plans before the problems happen.
In our fiercely ambitious culture its normal to rush into things head first and believe anything is possible with enough effort. This is true in the long run, but we fail to consider how “long” that run will be and how many times we will fail and how many knocks we can take; 1, 10, 100, or 1000.
In our culturally hyped optimism we can feel confident about our talents, our previous successes and even project our confidence on others expecting a like minded work ethic and ability, but we fail to respect and assess the reality of our inexperience and the external factors that will prevent us from reaching our goal.
Never assume that a supplier will provide you with consistently good product and service, never assume that materials will be consistently acceptable quality. Never assume anyone is as ambitious and motivated as you are.
When preparing for, or on a new journey, or project think as proactively as possible. Take the best careful assessment of the road ahead as seriously as possible and plan ahead to avoid, or resolve every problem in case it happens.
Take very seriously the fact that “what can go wrong, will go wrong” which is especially true when something is new and untested, like an advanced project. But remember that what is advanced for you maybe less so for someone else, so reach out to others for help and advice as much as you can.
Question as much as you can and learn what you can before hand. Always push yourself to be one step ahead. But also be careful to not get too far ahead.
Be as ambitious about learning, as you are about reaching your final goal, because one is not possible without the other.