Entrepreneur Smarts: 30 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years

16. Be good to your family.
I used to fight a lot with one of my sisters. It was stupid. My family has given me so much for a majority of my life and I wouldn't be here without them.

17. Invest in yourself.
Sales expert Grant Cardone once told me to spend all of my money on investing in myself. Learn why this is important and why it's a major focus for me now in this interview.

18. Attract great coaches and mentors.
I'd be an angry, messed up kid still if I didn't have amazing coaches and mentors. They knew how to get the most out of me and teach me about letting go of ego, working with a team, sacrifice and more. The world is a better place because of great coaches. Find one for every aspect of your life and ask them to push you to get better every day.

19. Build a supportive team around you.
I have a personal advisory board that I reach out to frequently. These are people I admire, trust, and believe in. I ask them to call me out on my shit and give me feedback when I need it. No one achieves greatness alone, find the support you need.

20. Follow your dreams no matter what.
It doesn't matter what age you are or how little experience you have with something. It's never too late to follow your dreams. It will be the most fulfilling feeling once you do and you'll never regret going after them.

21. Forgive yourself and others.
Man, have I made A LOT of mistakes and done some stupid things throughout my life. It's OK. Don't worry so much. Forgive yourself, and forgive others for making mistakes. Focus on learning from it and not doing them again.

22. Don't let failure hold you back.
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." -- basketball icon Michael Jordan

23. Stay true to your word.
Don't say you'll do something unless you follow through. Learn to say "no" more often if you have too much on your plate and aren't able to follow through on everything.

24. Pay off your debts.
Some debt is good for building credit, minimizing risk and so on. But there are some debts that weigh most people down from truly following their passion and living an amazing life. Pay off the debts that weigh you down as it's an amazing feeling once you do.

25. Learn outside the classroom.
There isn't much I remember from textbooks in school. The best part about school for me was learning people skills and building relationships. Everything I know about business, marketing, and making a living has come from mentors and learning outside of the classroom. Find the right teacher and take action.

26. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
The only way to grow is to play against harder competition in sports, or hang out with smarter people than you. I'm always the dumbest person in the room, and I intend to keep it that way.

27. Be happy with nothing.
It's not a fun feeling when you have no place to live, and can't afford your own food. I don't recommend doing it on purpose as an experiment. But having lived that way before makes me happy living my life when everything can fit in a few suitcases. I like luxurious things and experiences as much as the next person, but some of the happiest people in the world are minimalists.

28. Learn from your relationships.
People come and go, and so do intimate relationships. Learn from the good and bad ones and stay true to yourself through each relationship. Don't allow them to make you into someone you don't want to be.

29. Do something great.
You've got an opportunity to leave a legacy with your life. What do you want to leave? Each day is an opportunity to do something great.

30. Ask the right questions.
The right questions can ignite innovation, solve problems, create powerful partnerships and help us live a better life.

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The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

A former professional athlete, New York City-based Lewis Howes is co-author of LinkedWorking (418 Press, 2009) and creator of the LinkedInfluence training program.

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