I had a conversation with a group of entrepreneurs in their 20s to 40s. The conversation was varied and rich! Here are three pieces of their wisdom – what they know now that they wish they new then. Relevant for entrepreneurs and beyond!
Learn to code:
“I would say like I have permanent job security because I can write code. There’s such a starvation mentality out there right now especially for stay-at-home moms who can’t get back to the workforce. Then there’s the whole mommy blogger sphere. I was thinking, you can learn CSS in two weeks and you then can start making $30 an hour. How can you not do it!
I literally nursed my daughter on my lap as I wrote code. Seriously. It’s really easy and there are different levels. You can start by learn how to set up the WordPress blog. All the people are afraid there are no jobs…that there’s no money to make out there. Learn how to make a website and you’re like employee forever at least these days. I think there will be very few jobs in the future where knowing how to code will not be an advantage even if you are not the one responsible for doing it.”
More on what women who teach code have learned at Women 2.0
Negotiate – the real gift of negotiation is self worth…
“When you are given an offer…negotiate. I had lunch with a male founder last week and I was quizzing him on the structure in his office. He said that it’s mostly women and no one had ever negotiated off of their offer. From my experience, the more you ask for, the more they value you. And once you start negotiating for yourself or deals for your company….it is really great ,especially for yourself. The self-worth that you get from that is priceless. They might say “no.” You have to be prepared when they say, “no.” But that’s okay. Just ask.
If you don’t speak up…you end up feeling undervalued and resentful. You have to say, “I feel this way. This is what I need. They will look at you and say, “Wow, You have a voice? Awesome.”
In fact now that I sit on the other side of the table, I never ever put my best offer forward first. I assume the person sitting across from me is going to negotiate and I can’t afford to go higher if I give them the best offer first. So I never give the best offer first. If you’re not going to negotiate then you just gave up money.”
“What do you do when you’re 28 and super successful, painfully single and cannot find someone you are eminently interested in as husband material? Freeze your eggs.”
More perspective on this here from MeiMei Fox’s series on the Huffington Post on what she learned going through the process of freezing her eggs: