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.
Most ordinary people don’t have what it takes to become billionaires. It takes extraordinary people to become extraordinary entrepreneurs. We can all learn something powerful and inspiring from these great entrepreneurs.
“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 successes and failures (mostly the former) and has earned him not just millions but billions of dollars. Richard started his company as a mail-order record store before expanding into the well-known company we know today, which, when you consider it, was quite a feat.
Considering all the ways 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 of 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 get 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 thanking 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 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 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 even 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 your family, but you can choose your friends and business partners, so choose them wisely.
“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 McDonald’s 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 the company across all 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 over 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 work, the more ‘luck’ you’ll 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 automobile, and he deserves it as the inventor of the assembly line and the Ford Model T. Henry Ford is no doubt one of the most successful businessmen 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 that 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 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 for 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 a better 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 touches upon Steve Jobs’ quote from above; Sam is saying that if you want to be the best, you have to 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, has led 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 has everything 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 high-quality content, then the brand will speak for itself over time. When I browse commenters’ websites, it’s all too easy to see 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, will always be met with someone who tells us 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 in 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 telecom company, he also owns stakes 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 one, particularly in this day and 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, but 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 successful. 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 he’s learned 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.
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney was a pioneer of entertainment and cartoons and developed new technologies that 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 that 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. It was a challenge, but it was a fun challenge that he knew he could handle. 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 favorite quotes on the list because it sums up the making money online industry really well. There are plenty of imitators—people who have learned from sites like this and 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 on this site all the time; in fact, if I cared to Google, I could find one right now, 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 turn for these people. As soon as someone finds both sets of content, the quality will become clear, and the tide will turn against your competitor. It’s only a matter of time.