Most Inspirational Entrepreneurs: What can we Learn from Them?

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Everyone admires them; some people would like to be them, or at least emulate their success. The most inspirational entrepreneurs of our time are easily on a par with similar historical predecessors, whether one is thinking about the greats like Ben Franklin, Henry Ford, or Thomas Edison.

Today we look at entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Sam Walton and the late Steve Jobs as inspirational; each of them has a trait common to highly successful business people. Each had a singular vision, worked hard to achieve it, including making sacrifices along the way, and in turn, were highly rewarded for their hard work and vision.

None were overnight successes, though they might be thought of in that way by some portion of the populous.

What can be learned from the success (and mistakes) of the most famous entrepreneurs of our time?  Many lessons on how to achieve your own brand of success, of course, and while this group of businessmen have all obtained lofty positions in the business world, and share similar personality attributes, each has their own definition of success, and their own ideas of how others can go forward in the business world.

Some of these ideas and suggestions may resonate with you, personally.

Richard Branson, British global industrialist, shares some of his thoughts:

  • Forget the office, work from the home or wherever you are most productive.
  • Get up early. He believes the early bird does catch the worm.
  • Eat lunch. Branson is not a sandwich guy, he believes a full meal of good food at midday will sustain you.
  • Take risks. You can’t achieve greatness without risk.
  • Plan ahead. Think about the worst things that could happen to your business, and be prepared for them.

Bill Gates, whose Microsoft Corporation arguably changed the entire world, how business is done, how people communicate, left college to start his company with a few of his pals. Today he is the 2nd wealthiest man in the world, whose personal fortune is estimated at over $50 billion dollars.

Gates has his own list of tips, among which are:

  • Life isn’t fair, get used to it.
  • The world expects you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
  • You will not make $90,000 a year right out of high school.
  • If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you have a boss.
  • Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity; your grandparents had a different word for flipping burgers: opportunity.

Steve Jobs has impacted the life of nearly everybody on the planet; from computers to personal music devices, tablets to telephones, Jobs was at the forefront, leading edge, always one or ten steps of ahead of the competition.

On Job’s list:

  • Do something you love.
  • Put “a dent in the universe.” In other words, dream big.
  • Make connections. Don’t live in a bubble. You never know when some seemingly insignificant experience will come to play later in life.
  • Say “no” to a thousand things for every one you say “yes” to.
  • Create insanely different experiences. Make your customers relate to your products and company on every possible level.

Sam Walton took a single store and grew it into the world’s third largest corporation and largest retailer.

Each of these men have had and acted on their visions, and have shared some ideas to inspire you on your path.

Your success in this world is limited only by your willingness to work hard, and make sacrifices when needed, in order to stay on your path and accomplish your goal. And a ms in management is always a great place to start.

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