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#IMAGEinspires: What Advice Would You Give To Your Younger Self?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it’s only in our later years that we usually avail of lessons learned from our youth. If you had the chance, what would you say to your younger self? Before the success, before the mishaps and before you bounced back up again? What words of wisdom would you impart? We asked some of those nominated in the Young Businesswoman category of the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards what advice would be top of the list if they could go back to before it all began…

I would say don’t try to be bigger than you are at the beginning. There is nothing wrong with starting out small. I tried to portray Apple House as a big creche when I first opened because I was in such a hurry to succeed- I wanted people to see it the way I wanted it to be in two years, rather than how it was when it first began. If I had advertised as a small intimate service, it would have been far easier to get off the ground and grow from there.  You are far more likely to get those customers if, when they arrive, you are what you have advertised. You should grow as you can afford to, it’s so much safer. You also end up with a superior product.  Clodagh Collins, Director, Apple House Childcare

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Clodagh Collins, Director, Apple House Childcare

I would definitely tell my younger self not to compare myself to others, both in business and in life, nothing good comes of it! Concentrate on what you’re doing, and you will continue to grow and get better at it – by thinking about what others are doing or comparing yourself, you are only holding yourself back and wasting your own time and energy. Ali Delaney, Founder & Designer, Custom Vintage Dublin

The advice I would give to my younger self would be to be more fearless. Be bolder. Believe in yourself more. I think I worried too much about what others thought of me. A quote that has guided me in recent years is one that has been attributed to Winston Churchill. It goes: ‘When you’re 20, you care what everyone thinks; when you’re 40, you stop caring; when you’re 60, you realise no one was thinking about you.’ That emboldens me. Katie McGlade, Director, Therapie Clinic 

Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy it, I look back now and think of all the things you stress about as a younger girl and the mind just boggles. It’s the most fun and carefree time of your life, and I think a lot of girls get so caught up in the small stresses of life that they don’t enjoy it as much as they should. Danielle Kennedy, Group Managing Director, Lloyds Hair

Everything will be OK in the end, if it’s not OK, it’s not the end. I love this quote from John Lennon and it always resonates for me. Starting out in business you can become fixated on the small subjects, of lesser value. Small hurdles at the time can feel like mountains and it is only when you have time to reflect back on your journey and accomplishments, that those little challenges are insignificant to the bigger story. Anita Murray, Director, Pink Beauty Group 

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Anita Murray, Director, Pink Beauty Group

Strive to have a good balance in your life. Work hard, play hard and be nice along the way. Rebecca Bourke, Managing Director, Assembly

Be Brave. I’d tell myself to speak up more and have confidence in my own opinions. Time has told me that I can get it right, and I was probably right back then, but if I were unsure I’d stay quiet. Say it out loud, and if it’s your opinion, you can’t be wrong. Zara Flynn, Managing Director, Guns or Knives

Find your voice! When I reflect on my earlier career in another industry, it often strikes me how little confidence I had; I was often intimidated by more experienced colleagues and felt that my opinion was less valid than theirs and as a result, I often didn’t contribute in meetings. I wish I had voiced my opinion, what’s the worst that could happen? Adele McKeown, Director, Macfar Property Management

Be confident, the world isn’t as scary as it seems and Mind yourself;  you have a few bumps ahead of you, but you’re stronger than you think. Also, take off your make up at night time! Chloe Harris, Owner, Foodie Cafe 

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