10 Tips for Beginners

As someone who has been programming in Python for several years, I’ve picked up some advice that I wish I had known when I was first starting out. This list of tips is the perfect place to start if you’re looking to become an intermediate-level Python developer—no experience necessary! For each tip, you can expect to see background information on why it’s important and how it works, along with links to more information and relevant resources so you can easily follow up on anything that piques your interest.

1) Take it slow

Unless you’re naturally gifted, you can’t expect to become a professional blogger in a few days or weeks. When you first start blogging, it’s more important to produce good content than it is to write every day. If you burn yourself out and stop producing great content, then what’s even the point? Instead of putting too much pressure on yourself, build a routine around writing that works for your schedule and personality.

2) Follow your gut

No matter what you do in life, don’t let fear stop you from pursuing your dreams. If something scares you, then it’s probably a good idea to try it out—you may learn something new about yourself or realize that what you thought was a fear is really just excitement. Many of us grow up in a culture where we’re told to go with our gut—this is great advice, but too often we overanalyze instead of trusting ourselves.

3) If you’re not making progress, check your pulse

When you begin to make progress and overcome challenges, it can be easy to forget where you started. If you’re not making progress, check your pulse—and take a step back to look at how far you’ve come. Remembering where you started will give your confidence a boost, which in turn should help speed up your rate of success going forward.

4) Don’t get discouraged by setbacks

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, know that setbacks are part of your journey. While failure can be scary, remember that it’s how you deal with failure that matters most. Each time you fail, learn from your mistakes and move on to do better next time. Above all else, have faith in yourself! As Steve Jobs once said: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?

5) Play for fun, not profit

Playing games is fun. Playing them well is even more fun. Unfortunately, some people confuse their desire to win with their desire to make money playing games—and end up making suboptimal choices that hurt both their profitability and their own enjoyment of a game. If you’re one of these people, recognize that gaming is not about profit; it’s about entertainment and competition! Play for fun first and profit second, and you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience overall.

6) Learn from other people’s mistakes

Tips are always good to have, but when it comes to entrepreneurship there’s no one right way to do things. There are numerous examples of successful entrepreneurs and startups that have started from humble beginnings and persevered to great success. No matter how big or small your idea, there’s no substitute for hard work, so make sure you dedicate enough time and energy to making your business successful.

7) Stay out of your head and play your hand

This is a simple tip that is often difficult to follow through on. When you are up against it, a single chip can make all of the difference in whether or not you win your hand. That said, if you make a decision based upon one particular card in your hand and end up losing anyway, be aware that there may have been a better play that would have led to victory.

8) Don’t let bad beats break you (or keep you from playing the next hand)

Poker is all about knowing when to hold’em and when to fold’em. If you take a bad beat, shrug it off and pick up your chips. Don’t let emotions from previous hands affect your play on subsequent hands—especially if it happened as a result of pure chance. The key to winning in poker is learning how to lose. And that means learning how not to be emotionally attached to any one hand or outcome. The more you can distance yourself from bad beats, especially early in your career, the better off you’ll be in terms of bankroll management and long-term results.

9) Know when to fold ‘em (and walk away while they’re hot!)

Having someone to reach out to when you’re feeling tired, lazy or overwhelmed can make a huge difference in your success. Knowing you have someone to call or text whenever you want means that when you’re having one of those days, a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Having an accountability partner can also help keep your emotions in check. If you get down on yourself because of a failure, they can remind you that everybody fails and that it happens to everyone—it doesn’t mean anything other than practice makes perfect. They will give you their full support; after all, they are there because they want you to succeed as much as they do!

10) Find an accountability partner

Ask a friend, coworker or even your spouse to be your accountability partner. Tell them about your goal and ask them to help keep you on track. Whether it’s checking in with you at 10:00 every morning, chatting with you before bedtime, texting every day or calling on Saturday night—find what works for you and have that person support you as best they can. This way, if life gets crazy at home or work (or both), there’s someone who can remind you of your goals and push you forward when it feels like there are too many distractions tugging at your attention.

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