If you could go back to the time you were building your career, is there a thing that you would change? Do you have a lot of regrets? Were there decisions you would like to undo? Online marketers share what they would do differently in the past to achieve their dreams faster.
Do you have one? What’s yours? We all have our regrets and mistakes in our careers, but would you change it? Or if you can redo those decisions, will you? Let us see what these online marketers have to change (or not change at all).
In the start of my career as a freelancer, I haven’t made many connections with other people on the internet. So, If I have to build my career one more time I will first make connections with different peoples on the internet, who can later become my clients. – Umair Akram
I would have gone full time with my blog sooner. I was still far earlier than most in starting (late 2005 when blogs were still in their infancy) but, if I’d been a little more courageous with it, I’d have gone full time with the blog sooner than I did. – Paul Johnson
I might have pursued a consulting career earlier on if I knew what I know now. I might have taken more classes in diplomacy and politics because most of the corporate world is about surviving turf wars vs. doing the work and as a doer, you get overlooked even if your work is stellar and has a lasting impact on a company’s legacy. – Suzanne Baran
I would have started blogging much earlier in my career. Blogging is one of these best methods for showcasing expertise, building rapport, and increasing the scope of your knowledge. Blogging and the production of content in general is also a core part of inbound marketing and SEO. It’s a really long-lasting and effective way to get exposure for a brand. – Chris Dreyer
I’m not sure I’d want to grow much faster. If you grow too fast, especially as a specialized services firm, the work you do can get diluted. We are growing a good pace right now, and we have to continue to grow at an appropriate pace so our work doesn’t suffer.
There are things I’ve learned along the way, like how to find and hire the best team. That’s the main lesson I wish I could have learned faster: waiting for the best team members. In the past we spent time hiring people who maybe weren’t the perfect fit for what we were trying to accomplish.
Now, our team is solid and many have been with us for many years, but, if anything, I would have worked even harder to build this team quicker. – Nate Dame
The biggest thing I would probably do differently is to focus more on the things I truly enjoyed to do instead of chasing the money. Early on, it was about having freedom and getting rich quick for me so I was always chasing money.
However, I have learned through the years that money is the most illusive object of all. If you chase it and make that your primary goal, it will always elude you. However, if you focus on your passion and offering the best value possible, money will just come to you. – Jeet Banerjee
I’d probably charge more from the start and would not work for friends for free at the beginning. I’d also would start a blog with a business model in mind instead of just creating content, socializing like crazy without having a clear idea on how to make money from that.
On the other hand who knows where that would have worked at that time? I guess your mistakes are part of your path. You can’t just beam yourself to the destination like in Star Trek. – Tadeusz Szewczyk
Honestly, I wouldn’t do anything differently. Growing my business has been a journey and it’s been a great one. Cutting corners would have avoided valuable lessons. Grow your business the right way by considering how the work you do will help others and the rest will fall in line from there. – Zeb Welborn
Oh, man. I really, really wanted to be a sports agent so I’d probably pursue that if I were to do it all over again. But if we’re talking about this career and just doing it all again, I would work longer in the real world before going out on my own.
I had zero business experience so it was a very, very expensive lesson that could have been avoided had I had more experience. Couple that with the Great Recession and there were a few extraordinary painful years. – Gini Dietrich
Nothing. It’s all been a great learning experience. I’m not sure I could have gotten here any faster. And if I knew what I was doing ahead of time, it might not have happened! – Gina Horkey
Hire a bookkeeper, accountant and lawyer sooner. I forewent much $$$ due to my ignorance. Speaking of which, I did not read. This was also a mistake, and one I am working hard to make up for. – Adam Steele
I probably would have left my old job at an agency and started my own business earlier, though that been said working for someone else also provided years of insights on many areas of how large business and medium businesses work. – James Norquay
The answer to the question right before really hits home for me. I taught myself instead of interning or working for another company. I think I could have probably cut out 2-3 years of hard knocks by seeing how an agency functioned, what they did, and how they were structured. I started this company right out of college and did the best I could with the knowledge I had.
We have made it, but a part of me thinks even 6 months learning somewhere else would have really helped. – Mike Ramsey
To be honest, there are many things that could have been done better when I look back. That is just life, though, and it is fine with me. I’m still learning something new every day. Making mistakes is a learning experience, and I know that I will be making mistakes in future, too. – Evgeniy Garkaviy
I’d probably give more focus on honing my public speaking skills. – Jason Acidre
I should have started building my email list from day one. I’m also scatterbrained so I wish I would have focused on only one thing instead of trying to build several unrelated websites simultaneously. – Bill Burniece
I probably would start networking a lot earlier. Not just networking to get clients, but networking with other freelance writers and bloggers to really build my business.
A lot of my current work comes from referrals and people finding my website through guest posts and other outreach methods. – Corinne Kerston
I often ask myself that too. My answer would always be, I should have focused on how to help more than focusing how much I can earn fast. Understanding the pains of your clients will open a lot of opportunities where you can offer more help. – Rey Baguio
I would stick with helping through the world of technology vs. trying to help people. One of my grandfather’s used the expression, “You can’t help stupid” and he didn’t really mean the individual was “stupid”.
He meant that humans are often “uncontrollable” in the sense that we either expect too much or not enough. Or worse yet…they don’t know what they expect. After my interior design career that my mentor suggested, I exit after 10 short years, I stupidly chose to go back and help people…..as if I can. haha.
Yes, we can all be helped so my time is not wasted. At the ripe age of 40, I would now just go back to my 30 year old days and create a platform to react to the algorithms I set forth.
That way, my expectations would be my own and my own fault if they failed.
I still do this through applications for clients but I am slowly removing the client and doing things on my own in order to achieve results faster as I feel as though we are often slow to the race and lack the ability to make decisions in a timely manner. – Christi Tasker
I would have focused more on math in High School and at University. I had not idea how technical my job ultimately would become and being better at math would have helped me go farther faster. – Danny Dover
I would have learned web development earlier, and launched my blog sooner. I started in 2007 but I already had the time and opportunity to go online as early as 2004. – Fitz Gerard Villafuerte
If I could go back to 95 again, I would buy up a ton of domain names that were available back then, hold them for a bit and sell them for millions. Like anything else… if only we knew back then! – Zac Johnson
I’d have gone solo much faster. I spent 6 years or so in a “normal” job in R&D in software, then 12 years working for big consulting firms. It was great experience, but if I’d been braver I could have gone solo after 5 years with a big consulting firm. I had fun and earned a lot of money in the later years in consulting, but I could have been building my own business at that time. – Ian Brodie
I would trust my gut right from the beginning. I had many clients who haven’t been a good fit and caused lots of struggle. And oddly enough, I’m currently exploring a business model that I turned off right when I became self-employed. I was too scared to that time, just to find out 3 years later that I’m absolutely capable of doing what’s necessary. – Jan Koch
I would have started reinvesting back into myself and back into my business earlier on. I could have grown a lot quicker if I would have taken the money I was making and used it to either grow my education, or invested back into paid advertising. – James McAllister
Absolutely nothing. Every failure is a chance to learn something new. – Dragos Roua
I’ve thought about this many times over, and I think if I had the chance to start over, I would put a lot more time and effort into working on my business so that I could reach my goals faster. When I started, I didn’t have a small family as I do now. But I didn’t make the most of the free time that I had to focus 100% on building up my business either.
I was so consumed with having a lifestyle, going out on the weekends, surfing and having a great time, when I should have been focusing more on using my time more effectively.
I was always passionate and driven, but I feel I definitely lacked time management and organisation skills. – Fabrizio Van Marciano
I would start earlier, I started when I was 17. Given the chance I would start even more early, as early movers always have the greatest advantage in any field. Also I would hesitate less. In my initial years I hesitated a lot and always thought of keeping backup options in forms of job placements and other things.
I would have believed in what I was doing a little more and the greatest thing is to form a team. A single person can only do so much, the faster you form a team and work with them the sooner you can scale up in whatever you aspire to do! – Aditya Nath Jha
I would have accepted that my life in the carnival business as a show owner was over sooner. By trying to hang on to a business that was failing I postponed the start of my own business. No one likes to accept failure, but sometimes we have to acknowledge that one door is closed so we can move on to something even better.
And as the blind blogger I wish I hadn’t fought so hard against the idea that I am an inspiration. I would even go so far as to say that my path might have been better if I had bypassed college and went straight to work in the family business.
I can also see how my life would be different if I had allowed my family to get me tested for sleep apnea in my 20’s or had gastric surgery years sooner. But sometimes we just have to wait until we are ready before we can make changes that we should have known were needed all along. – Maxwell Ivey
My co-founder and I could have started blogging when we were in B-School – back in 2004-’06! We would be in a different league altogether now! – Peter Banerjea
I probably wouldn’t change much. I really like the path I’ve taken. – Joy Hawkins
I don’t think it’s realistic to achieve something very fast. Anything that you do in this world needs you to focus and put a lot of effort over a longer period of time. Nothing comes easy. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. You need to put in the effort every day. Learning, improving, experimenting. – Marko Saric