This is something I still struggle with. Honestly, a lot of the “lessons” I teach entrepreneurs now when I mentor them are the same things I remember people telling me when I was younger, and I just didn’t listen.

The best teacher was never someone else. It was always me trying something, failing, and having to learn the lesson the hard way.

That’s not ideal, obviously. But that’s also the curse of youth. When we’re young, we think we know everything. It takes getting older to recognize how foolish that is. So I guess I’d say the most effective method/tool I’ve found is time. I realize that’s not a helpful answer. I’m certainly welcome to better options if you know of any…

I teach entrepreneurship at Duke. Software Engineer. PhD in English. I write about the mistakes entrepreneurs make since I’ve made plenty. More @