Owners would advise younger selves to learn, follow interests

vbridges@newsobserver.comJune 23, 2014 

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners what advice they would give their younger selves if they could go back to their college or high school graduation. This is what they said.

• “Remember that everything you see around you was created by people who are no smarter than you,” said Dennis Putnam, owner of Motley Clue Adventures, a Holly Springs-based business that provides corporate team-building opportunities. “They gravitated to things that interested them and created something new or made something better. Follow your interests and never be afraid to put your unique stamp on the world around you.”

• “I know you think you already know everything. You don’t,” said Nate Adams, owner-operator of Chirba Chirba Dumpling, a Durham-based food truck that serves traditional Chinese dumplings. “When you choose your first few jobs, make a decision based on learning potential as opposed to pay. Choose managers that are natural teachers, position yourself around knowledgeable people and do your best impression of a sponge.”

• “Always remember, if you want a different result, don’t be scared to try something new,” said David Washington, managing partner with Washington & Co., a Raleigh consulting firm that provides services to the federal government, higher education institutions and corporate entities.

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