10 (more) things I wish I knew earlier about starting businesses.

Conor McCarthy
7 min readApr 21, 2021

10 (more) things I wish I knew earlier about starting businesses.

Apr 21

Written By Conor McCarthy

Photo by    Nejc Soklič    on    Unsplash
Photo by    Nejc Soklič    on    Unsplash

Photo by Nejc Soklič on Unsplash

The First 10 things I wish I knew are here.

Like anyone who works from themselves, I have a litany of things I learned the hard way.

All of them have taught me things that now are a part of my subconscious judgement when making decisions.

They help me be less wrong in the future.

In speaking with founders on The First 10 Podcast about how they found their first 10 customers, I have discovered that some of these mistakes and failures are universal.

The only way to learn from your mistakes is to reflect on them and the only thing to do with your failures is to juice them for all they are worth.

Don’t let them leave with the building without picking their pockets.

Here is a shortlist of 10 (more) things I’ve learned along the way that might help you improve your decision-making process and general judgment.

1. Waste time to save time

This is a steal from Amos Tversky, the late collaborator of Nobel-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who once said “the secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.” I used to think that being busy was the best and only way to succeed. Cram it in and figure out a way to squeeze the most from every minute of every day. And yet, on reflection, it was the breaks I took, the holidays, the days off, the long walks with friends, sometimes even the time cleaning the house, that led me to have “new” thoughts, new breakthroughs. Having some slack in the system means your brain can do what it does best. Think.

2. 2 ears, one mouth

Back in the days when I thought my ideas were the best ideas solely because I had them, I had many…

Conor McCarthy

Host of the First 10 Podcast, coach, entrepreneur, dad. Science guy living in arts world — conormccarthy.me