7 Valuable Lessons To Learn From Early Failures of Successful Entrepreneurs

From Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren to Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, successful entrepreneurs of today have one thing in common – they learn from mistakes.

Here are seven valuable lessons successful entrepreneurs of today learned from their early day mis-adventures!

1. Tim Westergren, Co-Founder – Pandora


Tim Westergren’s story really puts truth behind this statement:

“Nothing is more haunting than thinking, ‘I wish I had…’.”

He had an idea, a passion, and he went with it and brought it to life instead of passing it over like many young people are wont to do. Pursuing his passion led him to found Pandora, arguably the most popular music streaming service ever.

2. Jimmy Wales, Founder – Wikipedia


Wikipedia’s founder literally has a fount of information at his fingertips, and yet Jimmy Wales has one simple thing to say to young 20-somethings.

Be smart with your money now, so you can live out your dreams later. 

You’re new to the job market, new to real money and debt, but make anything you take on count as an investment that can help you later in life.

3. Bill Ready, CEO – BrainTree


A prime example of walking the walk is Braintree’s CEO Bill Ready.

“At Braintree, many of our competitors are huge, established companies in the market with market caps in the billions–but we’re not afraid of going after them.”

Braintree is mobile payments platform, and a little fish in a big sea. But still, Ready is surrounding himself with big names and big companies, and tackling the big ideas that come along with them.

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4. Alexander Ljung, CEO – Soundcloud


It’s not about being the best, or the biggest after the first round.

Alexander Ljung believes in the effectiveness of simplicity, of pinpointing one area and making it truly excellent.

5. Philippe Courtot, CEO – Qualys


Philippe Courtot, CEO of the cloud security firm Qualys, believes in the power of happiness.

It’s rare that someone ends up on top by doing something they don’t enjoy or care about, and Courtot expands on that.

Taking the time to reflect and find out what makes you happy, and ignoring any naysayers, brings to light what’s most important to you.

6. Kevin O’Connor, CEO – FindTheBest


A productivity tip if we’ve ever heard one, focus on a few tasks instead of 100.

The more projects you try to tackle at once, the less productive you’ll be because you have less brain to work with.

O’Connor from Find The Best, a popular comparison website, puts his focus on 3-5 tasks per day and forgets the bigger picture. How many tasks are on your To Do list?

7. Carlos Ghosn, CEO – Renault & Nissan


Meetings are all fine and good if they’re punctual and effective. But when they’re just time-wasters to get together and postpone actual work, it’s time to cut back.

Reault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn learned to keep his meetings as short and succinct as possible, and only if they’re absolutely necessary.

Many successful people took early mistakes like the above and learned from them, leading them to become the successful entrepreneurs they are today.

Don’t live a life of regrets; check out 10 Surprising Things Financially Successful People Regret Doing In Their Youth for more mistakes you can avoid.

  • Lucifer999

    Make sure your spouse is just as passionate about the business as you are. Even better, get him/her involved. It is inevitable that you will need to draw on their emotional support at some point, and if both of you don’t have the same level of commitment, the support may not be there when you most need it.