“Jeff Berger–who is now president of Digital Media at the Universum Group and CEO of Doostang.com–learned the value of experience early in his entrepreneurial career. Here’s how.
There were two constants for me growing up: my dislike for school and my curiosity for business. I never understood how learning about subjects like medieval literature would have a practical application in my future endeavors in the business world. I was more interested in learning about entrepreneurs who noticed market opportunities and turned them into innovative companies.
By the time I went to college, I was convinced that I didn’t need the degree and would start a successful company before graduation. Thankfully, I stayed in school anyway, and graduated. I say “thankfully,” mostly because my first start-up, Koda, did not go as planned. While our vision for the future of recruiting was well received, turning an idea into a successful company is a tremendous challenge that needs both a little luck and great execution.
Along the way, I’ve received a ton of advice (both good and bad) and here are three of my favorite pieces:
1. “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
I was a 21-year-old college student the first time an investor put money into a start-up of mine, and no saying could have been more accurate. I thought I had all the answers, but the reality was that I didn’t have the experience to even know the questions that I needed to ask. I learned then the value of experience and putting myself around people who have done it before and can compliment my strengths.
That doesn’t mean more experienced people are always right, but they can often help you see potential issues that you don’t notice. In even my most successful business ventures, had I known what I know now, I would have had even more success–or reached my goals quicker with previous experience.”
For more lessons from Jeff, check out the entire INC article here!