Coach M2woman: What advice would you give your younger self?
I was recently asked to give a presentation to a bunch of entrepreneurs detailing the successes and failures of growing my business over the past 11 years. In today’s world, the impetus to stop and really reflect about the journey you have been on is rare, but the truth is that 15 years ago, I would not have believed that I would be living in New Zealand with two kids, and a business employing around 70 people.
One of the questions I got asked during the presentation was what advice I would give my younger self when I was in my early 20’s. It’s an interesting question and one that is probably very personal to the individual answering it, but also one that can be insightful to those asking. For this column, I decided to ask the same question to some extremely successful Kiwis, who generously shared their wisdom with me.
Chief Digital Officer, NZME
“Looking back at my late 20’s self, I would say to take the credit when the credit is due and to recognise your achievements. Looking only at the big goal means you forget to congratulate yourself when you have those smaller wins along the way.
Also, make sure you have the career conversations with the right people and ask yourself if their plans match your aspirations. Often, you’re up against someone too scared to promote someone better than themselves, and you need to side-step them and have the conversation one peg above. Don’t take ‘no’ from someone who can’t say ‘yes’!
Something I have always done is put effort into networks. They are critical for support, advice, friendship, and to work on shared goals. Get out there and connect.”
Founder & Co-CEO, Socialites, The Social Club and Socialites Academy
“On confidence: Everyone else is also just making it up as they go along.
On humility: Everyone is equal to you, and you are equal to everyone else.
On leadership: Life is a journey; lean in and embrace the tough times as they make you stronger and a better leader in the good times.
On resilience: Hang in there, it always works out in the end. If it hasn’t yet, it’s not the end.”
Serial Entrepreneur, Co-CEO & Founder Tend
“Find a way to say ‘YES’, rather than a reason to say ‘no’. Trust your gut and always put your customer at the heart of what you do.”
CEO & Founder, Pure SEO (me!)
“You will always find a reason not to do something; it’s too hard, it’s the wrong time, you’re not smart or experienced enough, etc. Believe in yourself and don’t put things off. Be brave, be bold, and just do it… before it’s too late.”
There will never be a better time to start than now.
I started my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 30. Over the past decade, I have had the privilege to meet, work with, and be inspired by young people in their 20’s who took the plunge and have already started on their journey in business. That would have been me if I was a bit braver and more self-assured. While it’s true that we all get dealt a different hand in life, your choices still matter, and the choice to start working toward your dreams today—rather than wait for some imaginary, more favourable time in the future—is perhaps the most important.