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The 5 Pieces Of Advice You Wish You Were Told Before You Started: Told By Ed Stulak

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”?

“Never trust anyone.”

In business and in life, the majority of people only care about their own self-interest. You need to ensure that you can keep a thick skin and hold your own because the reality is that most people cannot be trusted. When I first embarked on my entrepreneurial journey, one of the initial companies that I started working for promised me a lot in return for the work that they were asking me to do, but instead, once I was finished they just kicked me to the curb and wiped their hands clean of me.

I couldn’t believe that they were just using me for their own personal benefit, but it taught me a very valuable lesson. No matter how well you think you know someone, it’s important to never trust anyone and always be able to fall back and rely on yourself to accomplish the things that will ultimately help inspire your vision.

“Don’t be deceived by people who sugarcoat.”

There are many positive aspects to social media, but unfortunately with everything good there comes a dark side. When portraying your life on a platform for everyone to indulge in and to follow, it’s always good to be truthful in the information that you’re conveying. Far too often, I see social media users being mislead into buying a product or subscribing to a service that they saw advertised on Instagram because it was ‘proven’ to help them ‘get rich quick’.

Don’t be fooled by influencers on social media who just want your money and don’t actually care about the value they are providing for you. The best influencers to follow are the ones providing actual value towards your craft, not just offering you a scheme to try and get you to buy into something that you could figure out on your own.

“You’re not the only one that feels this way.”

When you’re feeling down and feeling as if your life is spiraling out of control, realize that you’re not the only one that feels this way. There’s always someone that’s in it deeper than you are, so don’t feel as if failure is an exclusive feeling that only you have to face. Feeling like an outsider usually means that you are doing something right because it means you are challenging the norm and striving to create your own lane in a world where everyone follows instead of choosing to lead.

When I was transitioning from hockey to entrepreneurship, I began changing my image to reflect the person that I wanted to be even though no one that I knew at the time was doing the same thing. I felt singled out because I was selling all of my stuff and dressing dapper for no reason, and my friends started to take notice. But ultimately I was just orienting my goals towards my ambitions, and that has since made all the difference.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

To this day, this is one of my favorite quotes from the world-renowned artist Pablo Picasso. If you’re seeking to be the best in whatever it is that you do, you have to be willing to steal and adapt your craft based on others who you look up to. Stealing something from someone, whether it be a style, a habit or a product, and then reworking it to reflect your ambitions is key to adapting to the ever-changing world that we live in.

When I first met Gerard Adams in 2017, I knew right away that I wanted to be like him. I began emulating his career and started taking bits and pieces of what he did with his personal brand to help bolster my reputation as “The Millennial Realtor”. Gerard has given me unequivocal value in the social media marketing realm and I’m forever grateful for his hustle because it has since helped define mine.

“Find and seek out mentors.”

One of the most important things I wish someone would have told me early on in my career is to make it a priority to find and seek out mentors. If I had sought out a mentor right away after transitioning from playing hockey to starting my own business, it would have undoubtedly cut my learning curve in half. When I started dabbling in Real Estate I was never told how to do things, only what I needed to do.

It wasn’t until I was approached by a prospective mentor that I was truly able to flourish into who I am today. The skills that you have need to be desirable and of some specific value for a mentor to approach you, but you should never wait and let them find you. If you’re passionate about what you do, it’s pivotal to your success that you go out of your way and seek out mentorship to help fill in the gaps and position yourself to succeed.

I work at one of the most active Venture Capital Firms in the world, Alumni Venture Group. Before joining AVG, I Co-founded Beast Media Agency, a digital marketing, and PR company focused on helping founders get their stories featured in online publications. In my free time, I like to interview entrepreneurs, founders, and influencers who are making an impact on the world for publications like The Hustlers Digest, Kivo Daily, Future Sharks, Thrive Global and Disrupt.

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