According to a report by the US Small Business Administration, more than 50 percent of Americans are either working for a small business, or own one. Small business owners are truly powering the economy by providing employment to every two out of three individuals.
They are the backbone of the country. And although starting a business is not for the faint of heart — most entrepreneurs will experience failure before they find success — committed, passionate, patient, and smart entrepreneurs have helped their companies reach greater heights. Some of the best advice you can receive is from fellow entrepreneurs turned billionaire businessmen.
Here are several quotes that are sure to help any budding entrepreneur stay on the right track.
1. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
When Zuckerberg — along with his friends — thought of connecting people throughout the world with the help of social media, the idea seemed anything but possible. Regardless, he forsook his degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard University, to follow his dream.
Back then, his move might have been deemed imprudent by many, but he proved them wrong and went on to become the youngest, most successful entrepreneur in the world. Facebook is not just a website – it is a phenomenon.
There is no point keeping those brilliant ideas inside your head. Start taking risks, making smart business plans, and bringing those ideas into a physical form.
2. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” – Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA
It's healthy to feel like you're making progress, but you want to be constantly improving and growing. After all, there's no growth in the comfort zone. Nathaniel Koloc, the CEO and co-founder of the recruiting firm ReWork said, “Create time each week (around two hours), each month (one to two days), and each year (ideally at least one long weekend) to think about how you’re improving.” You keep learning until the day you die from the self-created syllabus.
While acting like a student, you must think like a leader. This attitude will help you surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs who recognize your willingness to learn and contribute to the world around you. Listen to what others have to say without actually letting the negativity sink into your skin. Instead of being crushed, use the criticism to evolve, improve, and persist.
3. “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” – Larry Ellison, Oracle
Change is rarely welcomed, and if you try to be different, you will face a lot of skepticism. It is never easy to innovate and to present a new idea to the masses. Remember that you are only going to achieve moderate success by doing something ordinary. All those people who have dared to be different and were classified as troublemaking entrepreneurs ended up revolutionizing their respective fields.
Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, presented the idea of a package delivering company which could deliver overnight in his business management class. He was given a nearly failing grade but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his idea. Now his company stands tall in the logistics world. And before Henry Ford founded the successful Ford Motor Company, he was left penniless from five different ventures which had failed miserably.
4. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft
Gates has always claimed that he has done all the learning through his unhappy customers. These customers have taught him the most valuable lessons regarding failure, and have served as the basis for improvement. Such unhappy customers help identify the weak areas of your business plan and provide the opportunities for improvement.
Every entrepreneur should follow the words of Michael Jordan who said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” All your failures will light your road to success by letting you know what works and what doesn’t. The best part about failure is that it teaches you the lessons in such a way that you never tend to forget them. It becomes the ultimate defeat for the losers, but always leaves the winners inspired.
5. “High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton, Walmart
if you refuse to dream big, you will never be able to achieve anything big. An Indian businessman and philanthropist Azim Premji said, “If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.” If you don’t believe that you can bring a change, there is nothing else that can cause you to think otherwise.
In leadership, the high standards and the huge goals set by entrepreneurs become the driving force for their team to give the best performance. There is a very set and simple formula for success that implies that one should aim high, start small, and stay consistent. As a result of these three actions, it will become easier to reach such height within your business. A Harvard Business study in October 2017 revealed that a whopping 83 percent of the population doesn’t have any goals. This shows how unmotivated people are to achieve something fruitful in their lives.
6. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.
After being pushed out of the company which he had formed himself, Jobs left no stone unturned to prove his mettle. He went on to form two new companies named Pixar and NeXT. The latter was merged with Apple in 1997, making Jobs the CEO of his former company within a few months. Was this sheer luck? Absolutely not! It was Jobs consistency and persistence that gave him a better result even after so many losses.
The key to perseverance is to stay focused on your goal — the big picture — and pay attention to the many small things that will help you achieve it.
How to Be Different in the Crowd?
As per 2016, there are 28.8 million small businesses operating throughout the country. This means that the competition is fierce, and it will be anything but a cake walk to navigate your field and find success. Be unique, be yourself, and be relentless. The world already has Bill Gates and Richard Branson, so don’t be afraid to be different and face any failures and skepticism with optimism. This will help you stay on the path to success.