What These Successful Entrepreneurs Wish They Could Have Told Their Younger Selves

15/03/2016 7:27 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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How amazing would it be if you could turn back the clock to your uni days and pass on some advice to your younger self?

What would you say (apart from being very insistent that you should buy shares in an up-and-coming networking site called Facebook)?

Here, some of the country's top CEOs and entrepreneurs share what they would tell their younger selves if they could take a ride in Doc Brown’s Delorean.

jessica ruhfus

Jessica Ruhfus -- Founder and CEO of Collabosaurus

"I remember thinking I was incredibly busy while I was at university," Ruhfus said. "Truth is, I had no idea what the real-life corporate world was like day-to-day. I went from holding a waitressing job and studying four days a week to a job that demanded a 1.5hr commute to and from work, a graduate salary and long hours.

"I wish I was more aware of time management and priorities so that I maximised study to involve more work experience placements and internships. That way, I could have strengthened industry connections and entered the workforce far more prepared."

martin hosking

Martin Hosking -- CEO and co-founder of Redbubble

"I wish I had known that what I did outside of the courses would be truly as important and useful as what I did in the courses," Hosking said. "More and more, I value the time I spent directing plays, which had nothing to do with the courses I was studying, but which taught me skills I have appreciated ever since.

"My advice to my younger self would be to do exactly what I did -- but with less anxiety."

christian mischler

Christian Mischler -- co-founder and CMO of HotelQuickly

"I started my first startup when I was in high school and my second one when I was freshman at university," Mischler said.

"This is the perfect time to launch a startup, as you’re officially anyways only studying, you have not much to lose, your living standard hasn’t yet adjusted to a salary, and you have a lot less commitments compared to when you grow older. Even though I’m happy to have started companies when I was in my teenage years and 20s, I feel like I could have taken a lot more risks.

"I should have pushed more and tried to build an ambitious tech venture, taken up investor money, and learnt a lot more lessons a lot earlier in my life. I regret to not have done this back then -- my entrepreneurial self could be on a different level by now."

rebekah campbell

Rebekah Campbell -- CEO and co-founder of Hey You!

"I wish I had known that I didn't have to wait until I was more experienced before starting my own business -- it doesn’t matter what age you are," Campbell said.

"If you're at university and have aspirations to start something, why not start it now? Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just get out and do it! The younger you start, the earlier you can start learning, especially from any mistakes along the way."

mike rosenbaum

Mike Rosenbaum -- CEO of Spacer

"I discovered early on that I prefer ‘learning by doing', and learning from other successful entrepreneurs and business leaders rather than from textbooks and just lecturers," Rosenbaum said. "Having amazing mentors and advisors has helped me fast-track knowledge and experience, as well as tapping into rich resources online, and international conferences. Learning is a forever game."

james crawford

James Crawford -- CEO and co-founder of Beanhunter

"That I should have bought stocks in Facebook! I wish someone had told me that you don't have to finish the degree you start," Crawford said.

"If you get part of the way through it and are finding that it isn't for you, or it isn't going to help you achieve your goals, it's perfectly fine to change to something you are going to be invested in, rather than just going through the motions to finish a degree."

sarah hamilton

Sarah Hamilton -- CEO and co-founder of Bellabox

"I wish I knew to take a break and to travel overseas before uni," Hamilton said. "I think without the break it becomes an extension of school (being taught and not having to apply yourself in a work sense).

"I would have liked to challenge myself more at uni and to have a better understanding of what my education could have been utilised for in the 'real world'."

taryn williams

Taryn Williams -- Co-founder and CEO of theright.fit; founder and managing director of WINK Models

"Don’t waste time re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic," Williams said. "Whether it’s personal, study or work related, if something is not working, cut your losses and move on. It’s in the same vein of ‘fail fast’ that is so popular in Silicon Valley."

alex louey

Alex Louey -- co-founder and managing director of Appscore

"Getting bad marks will not affect your future success. Other than you and your parents, no one in the real world really cares about them," Louey said.

"Spend more time going to parties, socialising and learn how to tell good stories. Business is about relationships and you will get further with people by telling a good story than pulling out a straight A exam transcript."

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