Like many entrepreneurial-minded professionals, you’re probably sufficiently motivated about what the future holds. Even so, you might wish you could get advice from people who’ve been in your place. It’d be nice to meet with hard-working business professionals who were once starting too but have since achieved incredible success.
When that isn’t possible, you can still get inspired by taking quotes from those famous people to heart. When you put their principles into practice, they might work as well for you. The list below will get you off to a strong start in maintaining a healthy mindset while launching or running your business.
1. Oprah Winfrey: “Be the One Thing You Think You Cannot Do”
Oprah Winfrey is arguably one of the most successful African-American businesswomen, with claims to fame including a wildly successful television show, a book club and a production company.
She’s spent years building and maintaining her mega-brand but hasn’t always enjoyed such success. She had a rough upbringing and was moved around to live with various relatives as a child. There were almost certainly times when she wondered if anything would become of her life.
However, Winfrey has some thought-provoking perspectives on putting forth effort: “Be the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment, own it.”
2. Steve Case: “Be One of the Exceptions”
Steve Case is responsible for the success of one of the companies that introduced many people in the United States to the wonders of the internet: America Online. As the co-founder of that brand, Case helped the brand enjoy enormous success and become the first publicly traded internet company. Today, he’s the chairman and CEO of Revolution, a Washington D.C.-based investment firm that partners with promising entrepreneurs.
Case has provided words of wisdom to help people stand firm when they begin to have doubts about their entrepreneurial ventures. In many cases, well-meaning friends and family members also tell startup professionals that statistics indicate they’ll fail. However, Case says, “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.”
3. Mary Kay Ash: “When You Find a Roadblock, Take a Detour”
After gaining experience in the traditional workplace but ultimately getting frustrated when a man got promoted over her, Mary Kay Ash decided to be proactive about her career path. At the age of 45, she became an entrepreneur by starting Mary Kay Cosmetics with an initial investment of $5,000 in 1963.
Although it profited in its first year and helped hundreds of thousands of people start businesses too by being representatives of the company, Ash inevitably encountered setbacks but knew they were conquerable. She said, “For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”
4. Reid Hoffman: “Start Before Others”
Reid Hoffman is associated with PayPal and LinkedIn, two companies you probably know well and likely use. He helped create the former and was a co-founder of LinkedIn. Although both brands are now cemented in the societal landscape, they were pioneering for their time. Hoffman believes that gaining traction as an entrepreneur sometimes involves running with ideas that may not be popular yet. Then, there’s less competition, making it theoretically easier to get the funding required for a project that becomes the next big idea in your industry.
He notes, “The trick to doing well with these things is to be in a place where people are saying, Hey, that’s a crazy idea. If you’re right, there’s the opportunity to produce something really big. You want to be one to three years early. You want to start before others think it’s an easy idea. It’s much harder to be successful when ten similar things are all being financed.”
5. Ryan Allis: “See Your Idea Through to the End”
We live in a world where people often expect instant results. However, success in launching a business or an idea doesn’t always — and usually doesn’t — happen instantly. The road ahead will also likely be tougher if you don’t try hard at work or have a great deal of initial financing from investors.
Ryan Ellis, a co-founder of the internet-based business iContact, got into that venture before he was thirty and turned it into a multi-million-dollar enterprise. In the process, he knew how important it was to set his sights on an idea and have the determination necessary to see it through.
During an interview, he discussed that belief: “I want to sincerely emphasize that when you are becoming an entrepreneur and are about to start a company, anything is possible. You never know how far it’s going to go until you give it your maximum effort. It can sometimes take up to five years to successfully start a business, so make sure you’ve got the passion and the drive to see your idea through to the end.”
6. Anita Roddick: “If You’re Different, You Will Stand Out”
Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop, a company known for its fragrant personal care products. The company carved out a niche compared to competing brands partially due to its commitment to causes such as community trade initiatives and climate change prevention.
Her time-tested advice to entrepreneurs was: “Whatever you do, be different — that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” You may understandably be hesitant to build your business on something that’s dramatically different from what others are doing, but Roddick found success doing just that.
7. Gary Vaynerchuk: “If You Want Real Fuel to Win, Be Grateful”
When it seems like more things are going wrong with your business plans than succeeding, it’s easy to feel discouraged and start to get cynical by adopting the “Why me?” point of view. Gary Vaynerchuk is the founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency with a roster containing Fortune 500 clients. Also, he initially became prominent as a wine critic and grew his family’s wine business into a $60 million establishment.
While writing a blog post about how to stay motivated and hungry as an entrepreneur, Vaynerchuk brings up gratitude as one of two key components. He clarifies, “Most of the time when people ask me about motivation, 80% of the time I attribute it to gratitude. If you want real fuel to win, be grateful.”
Later in the post, he emphasizes, “Being motivated is all about a mental shift in perspective. It’s the understanding that time is your number one asset; you have to do right by it by being grateful with the time you’ve had and selfish with the time you have left.”
8. Sheila Lirio Marcelo: “Don’t Worry About How You’re Being Perceived”
Care.com is an online caregiver portal representing over 20 million members in 18 countries. Its founder Sheila Lirio Marcelo confesses during an interview that she was concerned about how others would view that type of business at the start.
Before launch, Marcelo said, “My initial challenge was my own mental barrier. I was worried about how I would be perceived and judged for the business I was founding. A friend of mine from business school confirmed that worry; she said, ‘You’re going to start a babysitting company?’
In that same interview though, she advises up-and-coming entrepreneurs, “Don’t worry about how you’re being perceived, especially as a woman entrepreneur with a female-centric business. I learned I had to play by my own terms and be authentic to who I am. Don’t worry about fitting into the molds of business stereotypes.”
9. Elon Musk: “Seek Negative Feedback, Particularly From Friends”
Elon Musk is an incredibly visionary businessman known for founding Tesla Motors and SpaceX. While the former company seeks to change the way we travel in cars, the latter one has a goal of colonizing Mars and wants to revolutionize space flights.
Many entrepreneurs crave positive feedback, but Musk thinks it’s valuable to ask for not-so-good comments, too, especially when making improvements. He explains, “You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback, particularly from friends.”
10. Arianna Huffington: “[Make] Personal Connection[s] With People”
Perhaps best known as the founder of the well-known news website the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington is the author of over a dozen books and the CEO of Thrive Global, a company that relies on science-based solutions to reduce stress and improve well-being.
She believes it’s crucial to value the potential connections you could make with people in your life, especially when it comes to creating a fulfilling workplace. “One of the microscopic steps that I think is a great way of bringing love into the workplace is making a personal connection with people that otherwise, at work, you might take for granted or pass by. It could be the cleaning crew, it could be somebody serving lunch.
Very often we are just too busy to interact. We are buried in our smartphones or in our thoughts. And I think that really changes the experience at work.”
As you can see from these examples, you can learn a lot from the words of some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. With their suggestions, you can learn from their examples and permanently alter the way you do business.
Source: Home Business
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