13 Successful Female Founders Open Up About What Life Is Really Like at the Top

Updated 11/14/19

Although we often highlight the glamorous side of being an entrepreneur here on MyDomaine, there is an undeniable underside to attaining success as the founder of a company. Between developing a business plan, raising capital, and making personal sacrifices, the job is often more challenging (and alienating) than its alluring title lets on.

To find out what life is really like at the top, we asked 13 influential female founders to share insights from their personal journeys, including the biggest barriers they've had to overcome, the lessons they've learned along the way, and the support systems they've relied on for advice and encouragement. Ahead, smart, savvy, and enterprising entrepreneurs share insider details of what it really takes to be successful and give their sage advice for young women just starting out in their careers.

Bertha González Nieves, CEO and co-founder of Casa Dragones Tequila

Bertha González Nieves, CEO and co-founder of Casa Dragones Tequila
Ball & Albanese; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

I think it takes passion and focus. I never thought of myself as a woman in a man's world. I just knew I was passionate about tequila and worked hard to have a voice in the industry.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

I don't view roadblocks as barriers and something that need to be "overcome"—I see them as opportunities. Everything worthwhile takes a lot of knocking on doors, so you have to have the perseverance, determination, and knowledge to back it all up.

Does the reality of being an entrepreneur align with the expectations you had for the role?

Being an entrepreneur means letting go of expectations! Things evolve and change all the time, and opportunities arise when you least expect it. Personally, I stay focused on the work, and I don't really worry about whether something happens the way I expected it to or not. Loving what I do and being passionate about the industry is the only expectation that counts for me.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

Most of my executive team here at Casa Dragones just happen to be women, and I count on them. They're capable and pivotal to the success of the company.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

It is all about having a passion for what you do and building the right credentials. Come prepared to meetings, be open-minded to new ideas, and never be afraid to put your ideas out there. Just make sure you can back them up.

Jen Gotch, founder of Ban.do

Max Wanger; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: V iviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

I can only speak to my own journey, but my guess is that it is a combination of some of these things for most successful people: hard work, passion, resilience, sacrifice, and luck.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

I'm either really lucky or just have a horrible memory because every time I am asked this question I can't think of anything of note. There have definitely been road bumps and unfortunate events but no huge barrier to speak of from my perspective.

Does the reality of being a founder and entrepreneur align with the expectations you had for the role?

I am an accidental founder and entrepreneur, so I didn't have any expectations. The reality changes as the business changes, but even in its most challenging times it felt reciprocal—the more I put in, the more I get out, and the quality of the energy I put in is returned to me—good or bad.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

I didn't for a long time. I felt really alone in my experience—which is really common for founders/business owners—especially at the start. Over the years, I have been really lucky to find a huge support system of men and women that have laughed with me, cried with me, strategized, encouraged, and generally just made themselves available to me and I them. I'm very lucky to have that. It completely changed my experience.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

The career you are starting now does not have to be (and probably will not be) your last, but I have found that each job and subsequently each career gave me something to take to the next. A skill, an experience, a life lesson. You can't always see or understand them at the time but remain open and all of that will come.

Shan-Lyn Ma, co-founder of Zola

Shan-Lyn Ma, co-founder of Zola
Courtesy of Zola; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

I think success is a really personal thing. You need to define for yourself what will make you happy and successful. For me, I always wanted to create products that customers love, and work with an inspiring team, and that goal gave me the drive to work harder than almost everybody around me. I've also tried to surround myself with people who know what I do not know, so I can learn from them. You can never get comfortable in your own knowledge; it's important to learn every day.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

Figuring out when I was ready to take the leap and start my own company with my co-founders. I always knew it was something I wanted to do, but it took me a long time to feel "ready." I had to remind myself that almost all founders are doing this for the first time, so there wasn't a magical moment when I was going to feel 100% good to go. I just had to believe in myself.

Does the reality of being a founder align with the expectations you had for the role?

Every founder's journey is different, so it's hard to know exactly what to expect. But what I can guarantee is that you'll think about your business 24/7/365, so you need to focus on an idea that you feel strongly about. Zola was one of the many ideas that Nobu and I explored when we decided to be co-founders, but it was the only idea that we felt overwhelmingly passionate about. We knew that we were the right people to build a better wedding registry given our experience in design and technology, and we were excited to do it. It did live up to that expectation of working 24/7, but almost five years later I still love thinking about my work every single day.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

Yes, it is so important to have support from other like-minded women. I have friends who run companies at later stages than Zola and at earlier stages. I've relied on them many times from asking about fundraising to marketing to having a much-needed cocktail. I think there is an especially strong community of female entrepreneurs in NYC that I'm proud to be a part of.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Remember that your time is your most valuable asset, so think about if what you're doing is really what you want to spend your time on, think about if it's getting you to a place that you want to go in the long run. If it's not, go do something else.

Abigail Cook Stone, founder of Otherland

Abigail Cook Stone, founder of Otherland
Courtesy of Otherland; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

Success can be defined in so many ways. Professionally, I define success as building a career centered around something you are personally passionate about, something that is sustainable but keeps you jumping out of bed each morning because you do what you love. Success is about creating opportunities for yourself to open up a path to wherever you want to go. Relentless determination, a ton of hustle, and a bit of luck help to self-actualize those dreams.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

After my first job (what I thought was my dream job) turned out to be the opposite of what I'd expected, finding the confidence to move on and try something new—something I'd never done before—was daunting. Having just landed in a new city, I felt a little intimidated and I definitely didn't know where to start. Then I found podcasts, I listened to every single one about startups, soaking up the wisdom of my peers and slowly, but confidently, entering a world that was completely new to me. Finding that insight and, ultimately, the confidence to get involved in a world that I first thought was completely inaccessible to me is a barrier I'm most proud of overcoming.

Does the reality of being the founder of a company align with the expectations you had for the role?

When I was preparing to start Otherland, I knew being the founder of the brand would be all-consuming. But sacrificing hours in a day and a few vacation days felt like a small price to pay to do something that I love and am totally passionate about. So in that sense, yes.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

Definitely! I'm all-in on the idea that you need to surround yourself with smart, high-energy, talented people that you admire—the company you keep will motivate, support, and inspire you. Plus, you'll need someone to text when you're still working at midnight and need a little moral support. Be careful on the like-minded part though, and stick with a crew that brings diverse perspectives and can challenge you with your thinking.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Never settle. I've changed careers several times, each change just as daunting as the last, but never lose your motivation. It's absolutely fine for your first job (or your second or third) to not be the right role. Let it inspire your curiosity and move on quickly.

Candace Nelson, co-founder of Sprinkles and Pizzana

Candace Nelson, co-founder of Sprinkles and Pizzana
Amy Neunsinger; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

Being successful requires you to set goals and work toward them every day. Surround yourself with positive people.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

I've had to learn how to think bigger with my ideas.

Does the reality of being an entrepreneur align with the expectations you had for the role?

Yes and no. Being an entrepreneur is definitely as rewarding as I thought it would be, but it's also much harder than I could have ever imagined. The highs are higher, and the lows are much lower.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

I'm so lucky to have an amazing group of entrepreneurial friends in Los Angeles. Sometimes when you're starting and running a company, it can feel very lonely. It makes such a difference to have a group of friends who just get it.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Learn from the best, and don't be afraid to embrace the traits that make you unique.

Aishwarya Iyer, CEO and founder of Brightland

Aishwarya Iyer, CEO and founder of Brightland
Julia Stotz; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

I will let you know when I get there. In all honesty, the definition of success is different from person to person, so it's paramount to first identify what success means to you, and start laying the building blocks toward your goals and dreams. For me, being truly successful means that you enjoyed the journey as well and didn't just keep your eyes on the prize and lose sight of everything that it took to get there.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

Thinking that I wasn't enough—smart enough, good enough, quick enough, innovative enough. I had to turn that negative voice and inner critic into a strong, positive force that could propel me forward rather than hold me back.

Does the reality of being an entrepreneur align with the expectations you had for the role? 

After years of watching many entrepreneurs start companies and helping early-stage startups grow, I thought I had an idea of the roller coaster that I was about to hop on with my own company. I haven't been surprised by the highs and the lows, but have been more surprised by the sheer speed at which everything moves in today's climate.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

There are some wonderful fellow entrepreneurs who I turn to for support, counsel, and advice. Had it not been for their generosity and willingness to share knowledge, I am not sure if Brightland would be where it is right now.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Soak up everything! Learn as much as you can. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Do all of the jobs—no matter how "small" they might seem; that is where you will learn incredible lessons that will serve you well later in your career.

Jen Rubio, co-founder and chief brand officer of Away

Jen Rubio, co-founder and chief brand officer of Away
Masha Maltsava; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

A community of people who believe in your vision as much as you do, who will challenge you to ask the hard questions, and who will be there to support you in finding the answers. No matter how great your idea is, and how capable you might be, no one person can do it alone.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

In the early days of Away, I wanted to be involved in every decision we made. Today, I recognize how valuable it is for me (hello, work/life balance!) and the company to consciously remove myself from certain conversations. We've built an incredible team who's capable of achieving more than I could have ever anticipated, so when I take a step back, I'm able to both fully empower them to do their jobs because I'm no longer a roadblock and offer a more valuable perspective when I do weigh in because I'm looking at things with a fresh perspective.

Does the reality of being a founder align with the expectations you had for the role?

I think, as a society, we've glamorized the role. It isn't glamorous. Parts of my job are exciting, sure, but the idea that my life as a co-founder is always really fun or easy couldn't be further from the truth. It's a lot more challenging than most people expect, but I'm proud of what we're building at Away, and I wouldn't change a thing about my role today.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

Absolutely! Having a support system is crucial. I recently heard someone say she had a "board of advisors," not just one mentor, and it really resonated with me. I have different women (and men!) who I turn to for various challenges, and I'm incredibly grateful to have a toolkit of some pretty incredible people in my back pocket.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Trust that your path won't necessarily be linear, and get comfortable with the fact that there's not one right way to approach your career. You'll take twists and turns that might not always seem totally rationale on paper, but if they feel intuitive at some level, listen. You'll end up exactly where you're supposed to be.

Katalina Mayorga, founder of El Camino Travel

Katalina Mayorga, founder of El Camino Travel
Jennifer Young; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

Grit and perseverance. If you are trying to break the mold in your industry, you are going to be taking lots of risks. There will be successes, but it is likely there will be more failures. You need to be able to emotionally push yourself through those low points and constantly iterate on your failures (what did you learn and what do you need to do better next time). However, you also need to celebrate and be proud of your successes! Take what works and run with that!

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

Being patient. I am naturally not a patient person, which is both a blessing and a curse. While that unabashed hunger for change has gotten me where I am now, it also has led to certain situations that I look back on now and cringe. Over the years, I have been able to recognize when patience would serve me very well.

Does the reality of being an entrepreneur align with the expectations you had for the role?

Not at all. I did not realize what an emotional toll it would take at times. I knew it would be hard, but it wasn't until about two years in that I heard about the "trough of sorrow" on the Startup Podcast, which is a period of deep malaise (and even depression) when you have experienced a significant setback in your business. It seems like after this episode came out, more and more entrepreneurs in my network openly talked about this stage in the entrepreneurial journey which was a great thing.

That being all said, I also have never had to push myself the way I have had to be an entrepreneur and a boss. I have seen myself grow in unexpected ways, I have seen my level of determination taken to a whole new level, and I have come to realize I am one resilient badass. I truly can get through anything and come out of it a better and stronger person, and for that, I am proud of myself.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

Yes! I feel incredibly lucky to be based out of Washington, D.C. There is a whole network of young, ambitious and brilliant women who are all changing their respective industries in fascinating ways. I have gone to many of them for advice and pep talks over the years. I also am super close to several of the fellows I met through the Tory Burch Fellowship who also have been amazing sources of support and inspiration. Surround yourself with women who will push you and inspire you by their sheer talent, but also want the best for you.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Stay focused, be humble, be collaborative, realize that you have a lot to learn, and ask all the questions.

Joey Wölffer, co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard and founder of Joey Wölffer

Joey Wölffer, co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard and founder of Joey Wölffer
Courtesy of Wölffer; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

You can't ever think of yourself as being successful. There is always more work to be done! It's important to remain humble and hard-working, be confident, and believe in what you are doing—because if you don't, who else will? On the flip side, however, I have no ego about what I do. I am happy working in all aspects of my companies because that is the only way you learn what works and doesn't work. The people you hire are essential to success, as is allowing them to do their jobs and not standing in their way.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

Fear. There have been so many moments throughout the years where I've been afraid to move forward. Sometimes it's circumstances within the business, and sometimes its just my own confidence level. Fear can be debilitating. Again, I am so lucky to have amazing people who believe in me and my businesses.

Does the reality of being a business owner align with the expectations you had for the role? 

It's funny. I am fully aware of my role and title, but I very much like being part of the team. When I need to stand in as a leader, I always do, but being on the ground with the team is where I am most productive. Once I left the corporate world, all my views and opinions on positions such as CEO changed because it is so different working in a family/privately owned company.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

FINALLY, I do. I spent a lot of years feeling really lonely in my career. I do a lot of different things, so that makes me unique as well, but I struggled to find women I could be 100% candid with. Through all my businesses, I have met awesome women who inspire me to do better and give more. I don't question whether I'm doing the right thing anymore and that is because I am surrounded by people who are also working hard to make it. It's been essential to my success because I no longer feel alone.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Times have definitely changed, but I do think having experience in a bigger company to start is always important. I started out at the Jones Group, where I learned so much. I was able to make mistakes and learn from those without it being hugely detrimental to the company. I also learned to stand on my own two feet and not follow, which made me excel in the company quite quickly. I was always really humble but also equally eager and hardworking. I learned that work ethic early on and it has helped me throughout my career.

Erin Kleinberg and Stacie Brockman, co-founders of Métier Creative

Erin Kleinberg and Stacie Brockman, co-founders of Métier Creative
Courtesy of Métier Creative; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

Stacie Brockman: A lot of guts and even more vulnerability. You need to be defiant in picking yourself (and your team) up when things get tough. You need to be able to be humble enough to laugh in moments of utter humiliation and nimble enough to take feedback that's hard to hear and try to change even if you're reluctant. You need to make sacrifices to your personal life to gain professionally and vice versa. You need to be willing to try things, say "yes" to the unfamiliar, and get comfortable with constantly feeling uncomfortable.<br/>Erin Kleinberg: It sounds simple, but working hard and being humble are so important. For anyone, but especially for entrepreneurs, you need to eat, sleep and breathe your concept. Understand where the "white space" in the market is and where you fit into the puzzle is so important. It really comes down to convincing yourself that you are going to succeed at what you're setting out to do.
What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

Stacie Brockman: A lot of guts and even more vulnerability. You need to be defiant in picking yourself (and your team) up when things get tough. You need to be able to be humble enough to laugh in moments of utter humiliation and nimble enough to take feedback that's hard to hear and try to change even if you're reluctant. You need to make sacrifices to your personal life to gain professionally and vice versa. You need to be willing to try things, say "yes" to the unfamiliar, and get comfortable with constantly feeling uncomfortable.<br/>Erin Kleinberg: It sounds simple, but working hard and being humble are so important. For anyone, but especially for entrepreneurs, you need to eat, sleep and breathe your concept. Understand where the "white space" in the market is and where you fit into the puzzle is so important. It really comes down to convincing yourself that you are going to succeed at what you're setting out to do.
What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

SB: Myself. I think I definitely can get in my own way. It's weird but I often see myself as my own roadblock. I can be stubborn and strong-willed and bold in my beliefs. So overcoming the barriers that I've created for myself and allowing others to critique me and offer constructive criticism is definitely what I'm always working on.
EK: One of the biggest challenges was launching Métier, building a new home, and having a baby all at the same time. Ironically, it was also one of the most rewarding experiences.<br/>Does the reality of being a CEO align with the expectations you had for the role?

SB: I always thought that the more employees you had, the easier it would be. So wrong. In fact, it requires 100% more and in the most strategic way. Less doing, more planning, strategizing, mentoring, nurturing, training, and listening. I always thought the CEO is supposed to have all the answers—clearly so off base!—and my team has taught me first-hand that we can collectively work together to solve problems and it's impossible for one person to know everything.

EK: As the eldest child and grandchild in my family, I like to think that I acquired leadership skills from a young age. I've always preferred the independence that comes with working for yourself but I quickly learned that as an entrepreneur if you want to be successful, it is up to you and ultimately takes discipline. Even though this marks the 11th year of running my own companies, I'm learning every day what it takes to be in this role.
Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

SB: Erin is my OG. From boys to business to bags and beyond, I literally live for a gut-check from her. We share the same sense of humor, and she always knows how to give advice via stand-up comedy act, which always helps. I love getting advice from Faith Kates (founder of NEXT Model Management and investor), Nicole Warne (Gary Pepper Girl), Jen Atkin (celebrity hairstylist and founder of OUAI and Mane Addicts), Katherine Power (CEO of Clique Brands), our entire team of Métielves, and my inspiring group of childhood best friends. You haven't heard good advice until you've been in from a group chat of 13 strong, smart, and brutally honest friends.
EK: I'm surrounded by an epic team of women all day every day, and I find myself turning to them for advice on the regular. I really try to emphasize the importance of relationships and networking because they are the reason I am where I am. When I was 20, I interned for W Magazine where I was able to meet a lot of really empowering individuals who ultimately helped me with my clothing line, Erin Kleinberg Inc. Additionally, when we launched Coveteur, it was thanks to the support of all my prior contacts. Everything I've learned has come through peers, my mom, podcasts—I really stress that everyone should surround themselves with as many talented and intelligent individuals as they can.
What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Kim Malek, co-founder of Salt & Straw

Kim Malek, co-founder of Salt & Straw
Courtesy of Salt & Straw; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

A conviction for your vision and the ability to bring people along with passion.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

As a female business leader, you will find yourself constantly struggling to have your voice heard. I like to remember a piece of advice I once heard: The greatest gift someone can give you is to underestimate you.

Does the reality of being a CEO align with the expectations you had for the role?

Someone recently took me through the exercise of identifying and remembering what my towering strengths are that contributed to the success of my company. This was incredibly valuable because as the CEO of a small company, you get sucked into everything and can easily lose track of where you actually add the greatest value. I now question every meeting I'm invited to and strive to get back to a point where I'm focused on the right things.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

I was recently invited on a four-day rafting trip with female CEOs from Oregon. We didn't have cell service on the trip (gasp!), and I didn't really know many of the women. With a young family and the demands of my company, I seriously debated not going on the trip. In the end, it was one of the most important things I've ever done. Creating this network and having this dedicated time together was life changing. Men have been doing this kind of thing for hundreds of years. I now understand why.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

Don't get stuck perfecting your idea before you bring it to the world. Women tend to hold back too long or never come forward because they want everything to be perfectly thought through first. It's an analysis paralysis of sorts that puts us at a disadvantage compared to our male counterparts, who tend to socialize things much earlier and develop an ecosystem of support.

Daina Trout, co-founder of Health-Ade Kombucha

Daina Trout, co-founder of Health-Ade Kombucha
Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha; ORIGINAL GRAPHIC: Viviana Duron

What does it really take to be successful?

I think first you have to know what you want—you don't necessarily need to know how you're going to get there, but you have to be able to visualize what being successful means to you. Then, and I believe this strongly about any goals, you have to work hard and be focused to achieve. Especially if the goals are difficult to reach or rarely achieved, you probably will have to work harder than most ever would and make a lot of sacrifices. I'll tell you what it doesn't take—it doesn't take who you know or how much money or experience you have. Success is 100% accessible to everyone. Anyone can wake up two hours earlier to make a goal happen.

What is the biggest barrier you've had to overcome in your career?

Raising capital has always been a challenge because it is so vital to sustaining the business's fast growth, but it takes so much time and energy outside my normal job to make happen. It's also emotionally difficult because it usually doesn't go smoothly.

More personally, the biggest challenge has been learning how to constantly grow as a person so I am always no more than one step away: the mom Hendriks needs me to be, the wife that Justin needs me to be, and the CEO that Health-Ade needs me to be, all while staying true to myself. This is a normal struggle of all working moms, but the warp speed at which start-ups, and especially Health-Ade, is growing has turned this challenge up to turbo mode. Whereas most people go through a major personal transformation every few years, I go through about 10 a year—not kidding.

Does the reality of being a CEO align with the expectations you had for the role?

Not always. I expected to "hold the paintbrush and paint my canvas," and that's proved to be mostly true. You are in control when you are the boss. What I didn't realize is what that would mean day to day when you have 200 employees and a fast-growth business. You have to understand EVERY piece of that business and ensure that all are headed in the direction you want because the buck entirely stops with you. Because of that, the level of responsibility and loneliness at the top was not one I expected. I also didn't know how tough business could be sometimes. Decisions are not always easy, like being the end decider on whether to terminate a hard-working employee who started as your friend who just isn't keeping up with the demands of your business. What Health-Ade "needs" doesn't always prove to be what I want, and the job of a CEO is to do what is always best for the business. You are the sole guardian and protector of the business, and every decision you make has to be in its name, not your own.

Do you have a support system of other talented, like-minded women that you turn to for advice? If so, how important is it to your success?

I've become better at this in 2018 because it's proved to be such a critical growth year for us, and the decisions became very complex and alienating. I joined a group of female movers and shakers in a series of workouts put out by Lacey Stone Fitness (you can do them virtually) that pretty much changed my life—not just because I was getting in shape, but because the network of support I received was invaluable. Many of these teammates have turned into friends and confidants.

I also joined YPO (a network of presidents with businesses of similar size), another addition that has changed my life. The only regret I have in business is not doing this earlier. You can get by without your network, and I did for six years, but this year I realized how much better and stronger you are with support. I recommend getting that network started early on and staying connected. You want to trust someone when your first real issue comes up, and that takes time.

What advice would you give to a young woman starting out her career?

You can do anything you want, just not everything. Pick what you want, work harder than most to get it, and believe in yourself. Confidence in yourself is one of the most important gifts you can give. You don't have to know exactly how you get all the way just yet, but always think one step ahead. Finally, talk to others! The journey of doing anything great is always rough, extremely uncomfortable, and full of detours and ups and downs—you need friends and support to get through it.

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