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Agreed. Startups are incredibly hard, and this can bring out the best in people... or the worst.

Just like you, I'm early on in my career. I appreciate the incredibly valuable and lifelong lessons that I've learned from them. I feel that in the long run I'll be better off for them since I know exactly what to look for to identify bad situations before I'm in them, and how to protect myself if I do end up in one.

Most importantly, I've learned what not to do to other people and find that I've developed stronger ethics as a result.

Biggest mistake is thinking you have to "get" experience.

I'm 42 and at the other end of the scale. To me the line now that "it's a good learning experience" and "I'll know better in the future" are just ways of saying "I'm making mistakes".

From someone who has been there and done that, best not to make the mistakes in the first place. I had strong ethics to begin with and compromised them many times because I thought that's what you had to do to get on. I was wrong.

Learn from listening to experience and watching others fail or succeed, much smarter.

You can never have enough advice before making decisions. Find successful people you trust and listen to them.

Much easier than having to go through your own hassles.

You'll be happier.

I totally agree! I have a number of trusted family members and advisors that have saved my bacon many times.

But I accept that I will make mistakes throughout my life. When I do, I think about them to figure out why I made the mistake and how I can avoid it next time. Then I let it go- beating myself up doesn't help. Honestly, if I'm going to make a mistake at some point, I'd prefer that it be sooner rather than later.

I'd say I had strong ethics to begin with, and these situations gave me a chance to test (and uphold) them.

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