This is a selection of quotes from some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world, and there’s something that we can learn from each of them. Ordinary people don’t have what it takes to become billionaires, it takes a little extra something that each of these people have, so I feel that they’re definitely worth listening to.
“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”
There’s no doubt that Richard Branson has led a very interesting life, it’s a life that has had many success and failures (mostly the former), and earned him not millions, but billions of dollars. Richard started his company as a mail order record store, before expanding into the well known company we know it as today, which when you consider it, was quite a feat. Considering all the ways that people can make money online these days, and the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is substantially richer, yet owns what could easily be considered virtual property, it makes it even more impressive when someone makes big money in real business. When you look at a list of Richard Branson’s business ventures, the list is huge, and it makes you wonder how one man can achieve so much, but then you look at his quote above, and you start to understand why. Sir Richard Branson doesn’t set himself small goals, he goes for the big ones, and then he follows through – which is the most important part to reaching success.
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
Steve sums up my feelings about blogging, in just a couple of sentences. I got into blogging for two reasons, firstly to draw attention towards my photography, and secondly because I saw a gap in the market for good quality content. So many people want to start making money online with a website, but they don’t know how to write good content, or they simply don’t put in the necessary effort. When you become a yardstick of quality, and expect excellence from yourself, then you start to become noticed for all your hard work. I’ve recently started receiving a lot more comments from people, taking their time to tell me what a good job I’ve done, and thanked me for my help. When I started blogging, I decided to become a yardstick of quality, where only the best is good enough. In a competitive market, gimmicks and cliche posts will only get you so far – you have to be the best to become successful.
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
This is a great quote from one of the richest, and most successful people in the world; Bill Gates. We learn a lot less from our successes, than we do from our mistakes, because we’re easily tricked into thinking we’ve done everything right. Just because something hasn’t failed the first time round, it doesn’t mean it won’t fail the second time. Success also gives you the feeling that there’s not much you can do differently to improve your results, which is far from true, because all success is relative. When I started my website, I was thrilled to get 100 views in a day, but now that would be considered a massive failure. When I started receiving a steady 1000, I considered that to be a success and I didn’t think much of it, but I actually learned a lot more about how my website works when that started to dip to around 500 on a regular basis. It was this perceived failure that made me question my tactics, and work on different techniques to improve my website.
John D. Rockefeller
“A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.”
As a Brit, John D. Rockefeller isn’t a massively famous name for most, but he’s still someone that I find to be completely fascinating. He was the world’s first billionaire, and when you consider that he reached this princely sum back in 1916, it makes it much more amazing. He made the majority of his money from Oil, which he invested in very early on, and if he had made his fortune today, he would be worth around $200 billion, which is far more than anyone else. He was clearly a man who knew business, and I think we can all agree that he raises a valid point here. Businesses founded on friendship can work, but there’s always the possibility that personal feelings can interfere with results. You can’t choose family, but you can choose your friends and business partners, so choose them wisely.
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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison was an amazing man, he was a man who held over 1000 different patents, and invented some incredible technology throughout his lifetime, from the light bulb to the film projector. For every success, there were many more failures, or so it may have seemed. You see, Thomas Edison didn’t see these as failures, he saw them as learning curves, which provided him with information on how to improve. The important message here is that so long as you learn from your mistakes, then they’re not failures at all. If you don’t consider giving up to be an option, no matter how hard something is, then it’s only a matter of time before you’re successful. This is similar to what Bill Gates said about success being a lousy teacher, because it doesn’t push you to make improvements where some may be needed. I think we would all be better off if we thought a little bit more like Thomas Edison.
“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
Ray is famous all over the world, for one particular brand; McDonald’s. There’s not much more American than a hamburger and fries, and McDonalds is the king of all fast food restaurants. He bought McDonald’s from the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million, because he had grown frustrated that they had only opened a handful of stores. He then spread out the company across the whole of America, and implemented systems that ensured that a Big Mac would taste the same in California, as it would in New York. When he took on the company from the brothers, there were lots of roadblocks that were uncovered, largely due to the nature of their handshake contract, but that simply meant that Ray worked even harder to get to where he is today. That leads us to his quote, stated above. He’s simply saying that it’s not luck that makes the difference, it’s the hard work and sweat. The more you sweat, the more ‘luck’ you’re going to have in business.
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”
Henry Ford’s name is synonymous with the motor car, and as the father of the production line, and the Ford Model T, it’s well deserved. Henry Ford is no doubt one of the most successful business men in the world, as it takes a lot more to start producing physical, original products, than it does to create a website. His quote is all about mindset, and how you think about different tasks and life in general. Without wanting to sound too Disney, he’s saying that if you think that you can, then you can, but if you think that you can’t, then you can’t. So long as you believe in yourself and what you’re doing, then all you have to do is follow through. If you don’t believe that you can complete what you set out to do, then it’s no wonder when you can’t.
“High expectations are the key to everything.”
Sam Walton is the founder of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, and a true American businessman. He created a Wal-Mart, which by the time he died, had 1,960 stores, and such wealth, that it’s been passed on through the generations – the Walton family even held five spots in the top ten richest people in the United States until 2005. Walton clearly knew what he was talking about when it came to business, and he makes a very interesting point about expectations. Whether it’s expectations you set yourself, or what you expect of others, it helps to provide better results as higher targets must be reached. If someone knows that you expect a lot out of them, then the worry that they will disappoint you, will yield better results and work ethic. When it comes to expecting higher results from yourself, you’re setting yourself a standard that you have to live up to, if you want to be successful. This brushes upon Steve Jobs’ quote from above, only Sam’s saying that if you want to be the best, you have set yourself the highest expectations.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
If there’s one person who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to branding, it’s Jeff Bezos, as his company Amazon.com was named the most trusted brand in America in 2010. People buy from his website time and time again, because they know that Amazon is a safe place to shop, with reliable results. His understanding of brands, as quoted above, have lead him to create one of the best websites in the world, and made him one of the richest internet entrepreneurs. Keeping a strong brand identity is all about having a good reputation, and as Jeff says, that’s all to do with what people say about you when you’re not there. If you work on your website well enough, and produce a lot of good quality content, then the brand will speak for itself over time. Sometimes I browse commenters websites and can see all too easily where they’re going wrong, and what I’m thinking is effectively what people are saying when they’re not in the room.
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.”
It’s always been hard to be the person who comes up with new ideas, because when someone doesn’t understand something, then it’s hard to get them on board, but so long as you’re sure that you’re right about something, then you can do no wrong. Some ideas we have, whether it’s about photography, making money online, or even cooking dinner, every time we have a new idea, there will always be someone there to tell you it can’t be done. I’m not saying that everyone innovates to the same extent that Larry Ellison, the 5th richest person in the world does, but we all do things in our own way. Self belief is an important factor to your own success, and relating back to what Henny Ford said, if you think you can, then you can.
Carlos Slim Helu
“When you live for others’ opinions, you are dead. I don’t want to live thinking about how I’ll be remembered.”
Carlos is currently the richest man in the world, and is believed to be worth a cool $63.3 billion. As well as owning a telecoms company, he also owns a stake in over 200 different companies, from Saks retail to The New York Times. I personally can’t say what it takes to become the richest man in the world, but Carlos has his own views, and when someone’s worth that much money, it’s usually a good idea to pay attention to what they’re saying. The point he’s making is a very valid point, particularly in this day of age, where people can anonymously put someone down over the internet. How many of you have submitted something to a website like Reddit, or commented on a website and received a negative response from someone you don’t even know? This can put you off promoting your own content, when you shouldn’t let it. So long as you believe in what you’re doing, then carry on doing it. You’ll never be able to please everyone, and if you live to satisfy what other people think about you, then you’ll never become a success. People are always going to be jealous of other people’s success.
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
Donald Trump has gone through his fair share of ups and downs in business, and I’m sure that for him, he’s leaned a lot from his mistakes. In a way, his quote is similar to Thomas Edison’s, in that every failure has taught him a new way to succeed, or spawned a new idea, which ends up being worth a lot more. Entrepreneurship breeds ideas, and I don’t know about you, but I for one can say that I’ve come up with a lot more ideas for websites and businesses since I started my first website. When you fail at something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not going to succeed, it may just mean that you’re going to take a different route to get there.
Mary Kay Ash
“Those who are blessed with the most talent don’t necessarily outperform everyone else. It’s the people with follow-through who excel.”
If you’re from America, then you’ll likely be familiar with the name Mary Kay Ash, who’s an American businesswoman who started her own cosmetics firm. It started out as a book, which became a business plan, before becoming a way to help women to make their own way in business in a male orientated world. Mary outlines in her quote, that to be the best in business, it’s not enough to simply have an idea, you have to actually follow it through. The greatest idea in the world is worth nothing if you don’t do something with it. You hear about people complaining all the time that someone else has stolen their idea, and while I’m not in a position to say whether a particular person did or not, it’s worth noting that on the majority of occasions, it wouldn’t have happened if that particular person had followed through with the idea themselves. If you take your own idea and follow through, you have a business, and that can’t be stolen, only duplicated.
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney was a pioneer of entertainment and cartoons, and headed new technologies which were used to create animations. If you met a man on the street, who said he was going to take some doodles of cartoon characters and use them to make one of the most successful entertainment businesses, which was going to be popular for decades to come, you would have laughed and walked away. A lot of the technology, and business ideas that Walt used, had never been tried before, so in a way, he was doing the impossible. Sure it was a challenge, but it was a fun challenge, and one that he knew he could take on. Taking on the impossible has obviously paid off for him too, because his name is now synonymous with cartoons and animations, as well as toys, shops, theme parks and more.
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”
This is one of my favourite quotes on the list, because it sums up the making money online industry really well. There’s plenty of imitators, people who have learned from sites like this, who then want to go and create their own. There’s nothing wrong with being an imitator if there’s something new that you can bring to the table, but if you’re just regurgitating the same old content, then there’s no need for that blog to exist. There are websites that rip off the content that’s written on this site all the time, in fact, I could find one now if I cared to Google, and they know who they are, and they’ll never be as successful. There are even blatant copies of the PopUp Domination software, but we can rest assured that the tide will go out for these people. As soon as someone finds both sets of content, the quality will become clear, and the tide will go out for your competitor. It’s only a matter of time.