"My motto is never give up. Every startup and career has ups and downs, and you need to have passion, conviction, and confidence to keep going and stay motivated. You're going to hear a lot of no's. Don't let that stop you. Find a way to get to yes."
Hilary Mason, 35, founder of Fast Forward Labs and data scientist in residence at Accel Partners
"Don't take advice you see on the internet too seriously! But that aside, make things. It doesn't matter if it's writing, art, code, or furniture as long as you are someone who creates instead of someone who just critiques. Value experiences by how much you're learning, and if you're aren't learning, move on.
"Don't be afraid to push your company in the direction you think is right — you'll either be fired or promoted, and either outcome will end up just fine. If you find something obscure fascinating, learn as much about it as you can, because there's a good chance it won't be obscure for long."
Alan Tisch, 26, CEO of Spring
"Don't be afraid to fail. Risk comes before success."
David Tisch, 33, chairman of Spring
"Focus on what you're best at. That's what you should be focusing your day to day and career around — the thing you're good at, and not necessarily the thing you're trying to get better at."
Ellie Wheeler, 32, principal at Greycroft Partners
"Listen. Be a sponge. Observe how others around you work through situations as they arise, but be sure to stick to your own style. You'll have a different way of doing things, and that's a good thing."
Kathryn Minshew, 29, founder & CEO of The Muse
"Do your research! Use Google, LinkedIn, and sites like The Muse to explore careers before you start blindly applying to jobs.
"There are so many new roles being created, and so many opportunities out there, that you may not even have heard of a job that could be a great fit. The more research you do about what different companies and career paths are like, the better prepared you'll be to take advantage of things that come your way!"
Charlie O'Donnell, 35, partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures
"Make long-term investments in serendipity with 5% of your time on a consistent basis — creating content, speaking, gathering communities together. It will pay off in orders of magnitude."
Nicole Brown, 33, director of Marketing and Communications at Crowdcentric
"Work harder than everyone under you or above you. Nothing commands respect more than a good work ethic. This means being the first one at the event in the morning and the last one to leave in the evening."
Kristin Hodgson, 33, communications director at Meetup
"Make yourself indispensable, which in my experience comes from a mix of great ideas and plain old boring hard work. Go to work with a mindset of continuous improvement, always stretching. Seek critical feedback — genuinely listening and opening up to it — so you can learn."
"Starting a company is harder than you think, and most startups fail. If you're leaving a large company to start a company and get rich, think again. On the other hand, if you have a burning desire in your gut to start something, and you know you’ll regret it if you don’t, then you should take the plunge — but be ready for a bumpy ride."