by Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor
WITH STUDENTS about to graduate, it seems like the right time to reflect and give the best advice we can. There have been some wonderful commencement speeches, one of my favorites was by Steve Jobs. We learn so much from our experiences, and many people if given a chance to go back and do things differently, would make some different choices and decisions. There are others that wouldn’t change a thing and can give advice from real world experience on what was effective for them.
I have been an entrepreneur since 1986. I have learned, made some errors, and had success. There have been tough times, and glorious times.
The best advice I would give a new grad is to keep learning and working on themselves personally. People very often underestimate what they are capable of and have the belief that there isn’t a need to continue learning after graduation. I believe it’s vital to take time to identify their passions, and combine the knowledge, ideas, skills and education they have with all the technology available to start their own business so they are not relying on an employer for work. If you learn self reliance, you will never be the victim of lay offs, downsizing, or office politics etc. Do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled, you are going to spend a lot of time working. Surround yourself with great, inspiring, positive people. Prove to yourself what you are truly capable of, and don’t let anyone squash your dreams. Only take advice from those actually qualified to give it…you will know by their own results in that area. Realize there will be bumps, challenges, and adversities….it is part of life, business, and simply part of the process. Find solutions in those moments, it can often be the stepping stone to future successes. And finally, make sure you have a balanced life…it’s important to work hard towards your goals, but work equally as hard on your relationships, because that is the reason any of us work….we work to live, we don’t live to work.
What advice would you share with young grads?