Wouldn’t it be great if would-be entrepreneurs could tap into decades of experience from those who’ve walked the road before them? We asked eight entrepreneurs, all graduates of St. Edward’s University in Austin, what they wish they had known the day they started their own ventures.

You don’t have to be an expert in everything.

“When I started the business, I thought that I should also be an expert in taxes, bookkeeping, accounting, office leases, etc. — in addition to producing videos, the focus of the business. This just fragments a person, and you can’t capitalize on your strengths.”
—Heather Chandler, Founder of Innovative Multimedia Group LLC

It’s about more than ROI.

“Life flies by quicker than you think, especially when you’re so focused on trying to make a venture successful. Focus on your ‘return on life investment,’ as much as — if not more than — your business ROI.”
—Wes Hurt, Founder of Hey Cupcake! and CLEAN Cause

It’s going to be hard.

“When I’d read entrepreneurial stories, I always had a tendency to focus on the end success and brush over the hard work and struggles that it takes to make a business wonderful.”
—Sarah Darrouzet, Founder of Zubiate Foods

Make time to build the relationships.

“A business partnership needs as much care and time as business matters. It’s the foundation for a strong business.”
—Kelley Russell Du-Varney, Co-Founder of Muse Stream Personal Branding and Workshop Facilitation Services

Running out of money is part of the journey.

“When things get tough, I try to remember a quote from Richard Branson that neither success nor failure is ever final.”
—Carlos Martin, Founder of Z Bottle

Trust yourself.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are the creative exploration of the unknown. It is a journey of highs and lows, trial and error. If you trust yourself and discipline yourself to this process, you can create great things.”
—Kyle Ballarta, Founder of Falkon Ventures

It’s going to take self-discipline and planning.

“I experienced more of a culture shock than I expected during my transition to entrepreneurship. I once again owned all of my time and quickly realized that I needed to create a structure best suited to my new lifestyle.”
—Dara Carrillo, Co-Founder of Muse Stream Personal Branding and Workshop Facilitation Services

You never have to stop learning.

“Smart people will teach you what they know if asked humbly and listened to. The world can continue to be your classroom after graduating.”
—Nick Swift, Co-founder of Swift Distilleries

The MBA program at St. Edward’s University builds highly sought-after skills in entrepreneurial thinking, social enterprise, innovation, global collaboration and business analytics — the areas business leaders (and entrepreneurs) need in today’s business world.

Frannie Schneider is the content marketing strategist for St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

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