Essential advice from entrepreneurs


We’re not all going to own a business. We’re not all going to work for ourselves. We may not ever see our names on a Forbes list, but there’s always room to improve to become our best selves. Whether you’re looking to go the extra mile at uni, or smash those KPI’s at work, these self-made entrepreneurs from Inspiring Rare Birds will inspire you to do a little better everyday. 

Parrys Raines is an entrepreneur veteran at the tender age of 22. She began her venture into business at 13, presenting a speech to the United Nations and founding her sustainability education platform, Climate Girl merely a year later.

Now she’s an International Advisory Board Member of the POP Movement, Non-Executive Director of the Future Business Council, Mentor at Inspiring Rare Birds, CEO of the Future Business Generation (FBGen) and the Millennial network for World 4.0. Phew!

“My goal in life is to be a billionaire – but not in the sense of making a billion dollars, instead helping a billion people.” says Parrys. “I believe that everyone has a purpose in life, if you think you can achieve this purpose, you have an obligation to yourself to make it happen.”

Jo Burston is Founder and Managing Director at Job Capital, Founder and CEO of Inspiring Rare Birds, as well as Co-Founder and Managing Director at Startup.Business. That’s another thing these women have in common, they’re super busy with business!

“Everyday my staff influence me; their passion and dedication to making what we do successful is what reminds me that I took the right path in life.” says Jo.

An unexpected habit of entrepreneurs?

Morning exercise.

That’s one of the common threads between these self-made women. It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that morning exercise makes us feel more awake, and ticks one achievement off the day’s to-do list before you’ve even left for work or class.

Brigham Young University researchers have found that a good bout of morning exercise not only curbs cravings, but increases our overall activity throughout the day. Another study published in the Journal of Physiology found that glucose intolerance and insulin resistance were less likely after morning exercise, effectively suggesting that it’s a good way to prevent type 2 diabetes. Healthy body, healthy mind!

Parrys starts her day with 60 minutes of exercise, whether that’s running, walking or swimming. “I believe physical health is as important as mental health and it allows me to set myself up for the day.” she says. Jo likes a little more structure, choosing yoga every single morning as her wake-up call.

How can you integrate morning exercise like an entrepreneur?

– If the idea of waking up any earlier makes you yawn, consider starting slow. Get up 15 minutes earlier and go for a quick walk around the block, and work up to a real work-out.

– It takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, which may seem daunting at first. It’s a small price to pay for feeling refreshed and prepared for the day ahead.

parrys 3002 entrepreneur

“My goal in life is to be a billionaire – but not in the sense of making a billion dollars, instead helping a billion people.” – Parrys Raines.

jo 3002 entrepreneur

“Everyday my staff influence me; their passion and dedication to making what we do successful is what reminds me that I took the right path in life.”

Surf Sense Founder entrepreneur


“The idea behind Surf Sense is to bring the world’s first real-time, coastal wave monitoring infrastructure and notification system to beaches.”

Surf Sense Founder, Nathan Adler

Passion is key

For Jo, an inquisitive nature is what keeps her on her toes. Questioning every statistic and focusing on improvement is how Jo learns from past mistakes. Using statistical analysis ensures she has solid evidence of what’s working or what needs to change.

“Ask questions,” says Jo. “Never stop. Without feedback and acting on that feedback, I can’t be a better entrepreneur, I can’t learn from mistakes and I can’t make things grow.”

Parrys thrives on determination. Being complacent has no place in the life of an entrepreneur, and it shouldn’t have a place in your life either – surely it doesn’t, now you’re reading this article?

“If you wholeheartedly believe in something, no matter how hard things get, there is always something else you can do to make it happen.” She says. “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, because after every ‘no’, there will always comes a ‘yes’ – it may just take a while.”

How can you become a ‘yes’ person like an entrepreneur?

– Write a to-do list every day. Ticking things off fosters a sense of positivity and achievement, and allows you to focus on what’s really important.

– Have a strategy, and be disciplined. It’s ok to change and develop with feedback, but having structured plans in place ensures your energy isn’t wasted.

– Don’t just think yes, say yes. “An idea without action is only a story in your head. Ideas have to become something to have meaning or value to anyone else.” says Jo.

Gumtree CTO entrepreneur


“If you find something you’re really passionate about, you will be successful and the tech industry will be all the better for having you in it”

Gumtree CTO, Roisin Parkes.

Reflect on your achievements

Comparing ourselves to others can be a real success deterrent. Sometimes, taking inspiration from others can provide a healthy dose of motivation. However, keep in mind that everyone’s circumstances are different; some will take a gap year before university, some will dive straight into a career, most won’t even measure their success in the same ways.

“Something else I have integrated into my nightly routine is practicing gratitude.” says Parrys. “Each night before bed I think about and write down three things that I have been grateful for that day, big or small. While it is important to strive and have goals, I think it is also important to love the journey and appreciate where you are on this day, at this exact moment, and be grateful for it.”

How can you recognise your achievements like an entrepreneur?

– Recognise the things we take for granted. Maybe you’ve landed a great job or a great course at uni and have forgotten that sense of achievement, or maybe you beat your personal best in a maths test. Use those as stepping stones for your next big achievement.

– Actively acknowledge the achievements by writing them down. You’ll probably come up with more ideas than if you just thought about them, and you’ll start creating a record of the things you’re proud of that you can look back on for inspiration.

-Eliza Brockwell

Amy_Heffernan_largesquare analytical chemistry entrepreneur


“She encourages everyone considering a STEM career to “just go for it: know your value and develop your skills”.”

Amy Heffernan, Analytical Chemist.
Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.


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