Here, five tips for success from business owners who know what growing and winning are all about. Consider these words of wisdom from Entrepreneur Magazine's Emerging Entrepreneur of 2011 Adam Nelson and Entrepreneur of 2011 award winner Lee Rhodes.
1. Put your networking skills to work. "Find people you can learn from," says Nelson, founder and inventor of the Good Nite Lite, who first created his product to solve his son's difficulties falling asleep. "What you may not need from them today, you may need tomorrow."
2. Don't be swayed by naysayers. When Rhodes was pushed by bankers and experts to start manufacturing her hand-blown glass candleholders in China to save money, the experiment backfired. "We lost a fortune," says Rhodes, founder of Glassybaby, which donates a percentage of revenue to programs that help cancer patients. "I listened to people who didn't understand Glassybaby. It's all about the story and there was nowhere to fit 'Made in China' in my story."
3. Keep taking risks. "Our personal motto is: 'Fail cheap, fail quick,'" Nelson says. "Don't be afraid to try."
4. Hire your weaknesses. "Remember as an entrepreneur, you're probably a big-picture person and the details aren't as important, but they will be and it'll come back to haunt you," Rhodes warns. "If you're not good at [something], make sure you have someone beside you that is, as you grow."