The following is an excerpt from a 2-part series on mentor lessons with Tina Roth Eisenberg. Tina shares tips to success for Shopify’s 2013 Build a Business Competition. Special thanks to Shopify for hosting the video. Watch part 1 and part 2.
Don’t be a complainer, make things better. I have this personal rule that if I find myself complaining about this same thing over and over again, I need to either let it go or do something about it.
So if you look at my side projects that turned into companies, they are all based out of that rule. I started a temporary tattoo business, [Tattly], because I couldn’t stand my daughter’s temporary tattoos that she would bring home from birthday parties.
I started a to-do app, [TeuxDeux], because I couldn’t find the one I wanted. I started a co-working space called Studiomates just because I couldn’t find the work environment that I envisioned.
And I started a a breakfast lecture series, [Creative Mornings], because I was tired of big, bloated conferences that were too expensive and unaccessible.
And all of these things have turned into accidental businesses. So I really believe as James Murphy from the LCD Soundsystem said - the best way to complain is to make things.
That is really a lesson I want to teach my children.
I really believe our society has come too dependent on numbers. Numbers are important, I don’t disagree with that. But I do feel we need to be able to listen to our gut a little bit more.
And all the really important decisions in my life, looking back, have been gut decisions. It’s something that I ask my children a lot, what does your gut say?
It’s interesting to shift my daughter’s mindset to what is my body telling me. It’s just something I think we need to reconnect again.
If the opportunity scares you, you need to take it.
If there is one thing I want to teach my children, it is that you need to surround yourself with like-minded people. Smart, kind, driven people.
There is nothing more contagious than being around people that are as enthusiastic or interested in similar things than you are. That’s contagious.
That is why I’ve started Studiomates, a co-working space here in Brooklyn. Because I really believe you spend so much time at work. I want to be surrounded by people that I really enjoy being around.
I’m convinced I wouldn’t be where I am right now, if I wasn’t surrounded by my Studiomates. It’s really important you surround yourself with like-minded and kind people.
There are people that build things, and people that tear them down. Ignore haters. They get none of my time.
We owe it to the people around us to inspire others. Because when you’re happy, when you’re on the right track, when you’re doing something that is fulfilling you - you are going to be inspiring other people.
I feel like we all owe it to each other to get to that point where we are happy in our life. And able to pass that enthusiasm, energy, and happiness on by inspiring other people.