As president and CEO of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, founding president of the Austin Black Technology Council, and the founder of women’s business collective Walker’s Legacy, Natalie Cofield knows better than most the challenges of running one’s own business. Being young and female, she often had to work harder to be taken seriously, though many of her companies’ growing pains are common to anyone managing an organization. Here, in Cofield’s own words, are tips for succeeding at being your own boss:

1) The first business you run is you. Sometimes entrepreneurs are so focused on the company that their personal matters don’t get taken care of, or they don’t take care of themselves. I always make it a point to run and work out because it helps with the mental part of managing an organization.

2) You have to get comfortable with other people telling you that you can’t do things and not let that stop you from getting things done. People told me what I couldn’t do all the time, but the greatest revenge is success. Use that feedback, however it comes to you, as a challenge to work harder and work smarter.

3) It’s not about how much money you make; it’s what you do with what you have. We put so much value on whether a company is a multimillion-dollar business, but if you are one and you’re still in the red, are you really better than a smaller company that’s in the black? Just because an entrepreneur isn’t at the million-dollar mark it doesn’t mean he or she is not seriously in business. In fact, learning how to start off smaller helps you manage your resources when you do have more.

4) Don’t let fear of failure hurt your business. For entrepreneurs, our businesses are like our babies. Your ego can get you to a place where you may make decisions that are not always the best ones for your company. You might hold out on pivoting your business because you’re so caught up in not wanting it to fail. But it’s not about failure in that context; it’s about the smartest decision for the company and sometimes entrepreneurs have to stop and start over again. I think all entrepreneurs come to a point where they have to do a self-assessment, but they shouldn’t lead with their ego.

5) It’s never a failure when you fail forward. If you focus more on how you can win from a failure and less on the fact that you “failed,” then you’ll be in a better place.

Related Article:

At the Forefront of Technology, Business, and Diversity