Advice to My 19-Year-Old Self

Someone recently asked me, "What advice would you go back and give your 19-year-old self?" The question was posed by one of my friends. She's 19 (hence the question) and a total badass -- way cooler than I was at 19. She's already over a year into her startup career, already establishing herself as a respected professional in her network. She's intelligent and articulate and indomitable. That's why she asks questions like this. Because she's…

Training Yourself to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs think differently from the rest of us. They're idea alchemists -- they see not what is, but rather, what could be. The average person looks at a problem and thinks about inconvenience. This is a bother. This gets in my way. An entrepreneur looks at a problem and thinks about solutions. This is what this not being a problem would look like. When was the last time you thought like that? Entrepreneurship is a…

How to be Successful Without a College Degree

I recently came across the following question: "How can you be successful without a college degree?" This is one of my favorite topics — and the answer is much simpler than we're often led to think. You become successful without a college degree the same way you’d become successful with a college degree — by building skills, building a portfolio that showcases the ways you use those skills to create things of value to other people, and…

Quora Answer: What are the Benefits of Not Going to College?

There are a variety of benefits to not going to college. College is an expenditure of a number of resources — time, energy, money, etc. If you aren’t using those on college, you can be spending them elsewhere — namely, on something that’s in more direct alignment with your goals. A few tangible, easy-to-measure benefits: You save money. Even if you’re working with scholarships, college is expensive; $20,000-$60,000/year is a steep price to pay as…

Quora Answer: How Do I Know What Career Path to Take?

Two answers: be deliberate, but also don’t sweat it. First off: be deliberate. You don’t have to know all of the answers. No one expects you to. The term “career path” implies that it’s something that evolves and changes over time, and that’s normal. When you close your eyes and you imagine your life in five years, what do you see? Imagine in as much detail as possible — what type of work are you…

Quora Answer: How do Startup Employees Work for Such Long Hours?

There are two factors: stamina and ownership. Let’s talk about stamina first. Your ability to work, like a muscle, is built over time. Stamina is not inherent, but earned. You could ask the same question about running a marathon — “how do runners consistently run for such long distances?” The principles are the same. They start small, consistently push their limits, and build muscle and capacity over time. When you’re used to running 5 miles,…

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