The Definitive Guide to Business

7 successful entrepreneurs share the advice they'd give to their 20-year-old selves

Daymond John
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

It's impossible to get everything right in your 20s — after all, there's no handbook for the "real world."

CNBC asked a handful of successful entrepreneurs and members of the YPO chief executive network what they would tell their younger selves if they could do it all over.

Here's what they had to say:

Daymond John, 'Shark Tank' investor and founder of FUBU

Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and entrepreneur.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Do something you enjoy instead of chasing money.

"There's a great saying: Money is a great slave, but a terrible master. I would tell myself, don't do it for the money — do it for other reasons and the money will come. And if it doesn't come, you won't suffer."

Koel Thomae, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt

Koel Thomae
Source: Koel Thomae

Continually step outside your comfort zone.

"I would tell myself to travel more. Once you get locked into a career path or start a business, you don't get to do that quite as much. And, when you travel, you're going outside of your comfort zone, which is really applicable to business or starting a company."

John Kelley, CEO of CoachUp

John Kelley, CEO of CoachUp
Source: John Kelley

Be bold and keep learning.

"Take risks early in your career, and don't be afraid to change jobs. There's a lot of pressure when you graduate from college to get started on your career, which is understandable.

"However, the reality is, most college graduates aren't sure what they want to do, or whether what they think they want to do is really the right thing. It's easy to get used to a routine, and before you know it, you're years into a job and other doors are closing that you didn't even know were there.

"It was 12 years before I left the corporate world and joined my first start-up. That's where I've been the happiest and most fulfilled — I love the challenge, the pace, and the camaraderie, but I wish I'd figured that out sooner by taking more risks."

Chris Fanini, co-founder of Weebly

Chris Fanini
Source: Chris Fanini

Pay attention to whom you're hanging out with.

"The people you surround yourself with is really important. There's a saying that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and I think that's very true."

Allison Page, co-founder and head of product of SevenRooms

Allison Page
Source: Allison Page

The traditional path is not always the right path.

"I wish I could go back and tell my 20-something self to explore other career paths. I would tell her to try something new, go work for a start-up, and to not just follow the set path. I went to Wharton, majored in finance, interned in finance, and eventually took a job in finance.

"To be honest, I had no idea this other world of technology and product even existed. It wasn't on my radar when I was graduating.

"If I had gone outside the box a little more, I would have found where I was supposed to be a lot sooner than I did. And I do consider myself one of the lucky ones. I was only a few years into my career when I realized I wasn't passionate about what I was doing and needed to change gears."

Nick Huzar, co-founder and CEO of OfferUp

Nick Huzar
Source: Nick Huzar

Don't forget to listen.

"Talk less and listen more. Looking back at the start of my career, I was always anxious to share my opinion and be heard, but the best way to grow is to step back and absorb as much information as possible."

Kimberly Rath, co-founder and chairman of Talent Plus

Kimberly Rath
Source: Kimberly Rath

Visualize what you want and build a team that will turn that vision into reality.

"See the future and find the best people to partner with to get there. I've learned from so many people along the way, and today, I'm hopeful that I am passing those things on to others. You can't always repay those who've helped you — the only way to thank them is to do that for someone else."

Disclosure: CNBC and YPO have an exclusive editorial partnership.