Life Lessons, Courtesy of Business/Entrepreneurship

JoeChre
3 min readJun 20, 2020

My first foray into entrepreneurship was in 2013. I took place in an internship with a company called Southwestern Advantage where I drove my car to Indiana and sold educational books door-to-door for 80hrs a week. Not only was I successful in sales, but I also pushed myself in a way that allowed me to conquer my timidness and realize that I could truly do anything I set my mind to.

A year or so after this experience, I realized that if I had the work ethic to create income for myself under someone else’s imprint, why couldn’t I do so for my own imprint? I created a 5-year plan in which I decided I wanted to do two things. 1. Have a business that allowed me to be creative (and eventually hire my friends) 2. learn to develop software so I could at some point work in an industry that was teeming with growth. This article details some of the most vital lessons I’ve learned in business.

I became a DO-er

Many of my initial pitches to clients fell through, but the process of trying out the ideas, pitching them, and implementing part of the idea, gave me skill-sets that will last forever. I learned how to DO things.

Going out and taking a big idea and chopping it up into small things and then starting on those small things is a really important skill.

It helps you to learn to be creative. You can’t be creative on big ideas all at once. But it feels really good to be creative in little bites that turn into something big.

I “leaned in” to rejection

I also learned a lot more about the subtleties of rejection. Most people say, “I learned how to fail”, or “I learned how to handle rejection”.

But rejection has many dialects.

And the way to learn a language, as we all know, is to immerse yourself in that language (or my favorite way, to date someone who speaks that language).

So I “leaned in” to the culture of rejection. I tried to always take every rejection as a direction sign that points me in another area to try my creativity. This way of thinking has helped me tremendously while trying to get my start in tech.

Ultimately, all of this implementing and doing and selling and getting rejected and getting more and more creative led me to start my first business.

I learned how to sell and motivate others

I’ve learned how to sell. I’ve learned how to negotiate. I’ve learned how to get things done on tight deadlines.

I’ve learned how to handle clients yelling at me. I’ve learned how to hire people and then motivate them by showing them how working for me can help them in their own lives and provide a little more meaning for their futures.

I’ve learned how to deal with people I didn’t like very much. I’ve learned how to be diplomatic when a client didn’t like something an employee did.

To summarize: I’ve learned how to DO things and chop up big efforts into small do-able efforts. And I learned how to build a business which is a super-complicated thing to do that involves many many people and many disciplines.

In the long run, these three things worked out for me very well. I failed many times afterward but also had many successes.

I learned to be a student for life

I’m grateful for the way that business has transformed my life and given me a certain freedom, but I don’t always want my quality of life to depend on my efforts or even me and my team’s efforts alone(we’ll save that convo for another blog).

The main thing that I have learned is that being a student for life means also being a student every single day.

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