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Jun 28, 2022

Collective talks: 5 takes on mistakes

Entrepreneurs on their biggest mistakes

People tend to look at mistakes as something to avoid, but that’s never going to happen. Mistakes are inevitable, and often create amazing learning opportunities, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners. Five Collective members share the biggest mistakes they’ve made over the years, and how they’ve grown from them:

I wasn't prepared for emergencies
Sharia Smith, Founder and Owner of Credit Clubhouse

I had a major health issue, and I wasn’t prepared and didn’t have resources to help me move my business along. I’ve definitely learned a lot since then.

I didn't pay myself
Tess Vismale, Founder and Owner of iSocialX

⁠People are always fictitiously saying “You’ve got to pay yourself first,” or “You’ve got to do this or that.” That’s logical. It sounds nice. But that doesn’t mean it happens. Put yourself on payroll, and even if it’s a hundred dollars, do the hundred dollars. You designed something, and you’re getting something from it. It has nothing to do with bills. It’s just you paying yourself for your worth and your value with what you can at the time.

I should have held my cards closer to the chest
Shaun Randolph, Executive Director of the Obran Institute

⁠Especially earlier on in my career, I wore my emotions on my sleeves. If I felt like somebody was doing something wrong, I was gonna call you out and be unapologetic about it. Almost like it was a movie – “I’m gonna fight the good fight,” good versus evil and all that. But in the real world, they just fire you. So I had to learn to be smarter with my rebellion, if you will.

I struggled to find the right balance
Glen Janssens, CEO of emotion studios

I can definitively say that I needed to value my business sense more than my creative experience earlier on. I’ve really doubled down on running the business as opposed to being a slave to it. For many years, I really valued creative expression over profits. We were struggling. And part of it was, I was taking my eye off the ball with making sure the business was healthy. My balancing act now is that I don’t want to get too far away from the creative and lose the draw of what’s special about the business that we’re in.

I didn't believe I could do it right away
Lydia Michael, President and Owner of Blended Collective

I had just graduated from my international MBA program, and for some reason, I convinced myself that I was not ready to be an entrepreneur or to start my own business. I knew that in the long run, that’s what I wanted to do. But for some reason we do these silly things where we tell ourselves we're not ready, and we have to go back out into the world to gain more experience … The mistake was really not believing in myself right from the get-go, or not believing that I was ready at that time.

For even more great entrepreneurial stories and inspiration, check out our past Weekly Campfires on YouTube, or RSVP for upcoming events.


Sydney Carlson

Inspired by entrepreneurs. Social media master.