The path of entrepreneurship is a long and arduous process  filled with moments of success and failure, and feelings of self-doubt and personal satisfaction. Those who find success in entrepreneurship embrace these trials and use them to move further and  find even greater success. 

 It is from these people that we can learn some of the most powerful lessons to find success as an entrepreneur.

As you start on this journey, here are six lessons from the people who have gone down this path before us and found success as entrepreneurs and leaders.

1. “Don’t sleepwalk through life” – Warren Buffett

“Don’t sleepwalk through life, don’t say I’ll do this and I’ll do that, and I’m just marking time to get to be older. It is like saving up sex for your old age,  it’s not a good idea.

You really want to be doing what you love doing, you won’t necessarily find it on your first job but don’t give up before you find it.”

2. “Don’t back down from the sharks” – Admiral Mc Raven

“To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One is the night swim.

Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente. They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark — at least not recently. But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position — stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid. And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you — then summon up all your strength and punch him in the snout, and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.”

3. “No excuses” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“What if I told you this was the last Monday morning of your life. What if I told you you died this week. Would you complain about your crap job or that test you don’t want to take?  I doubt it, you would go much higher level thinking.

You have to realize we’re living in a world where there’s so much more opportunity : the internet created great more opportunity for all of us. So now, I want you to take a step back and think about how awesome it actually is, and recognize that you can attack the world in a totally different way, because you were lucky enough to be born during this era.”

4. “Know your destination” – Simon Sinek

“I want you to go to that corner in a straight line but without telling you I slip a chair in front of you.  What do you do you ? Go around the chair, so you just disobeyed what I told you.  This is the amazing things about human beings : when we’re given a clear destination we use our own creativity and our own sense of innovation and our own problem-solving abilities to overcome obstacles to get to the destination.

In other words the destination is more important than the route, we are flexible about the route and we’re obsessed with the destination. When you have a clear destination, the obstacles become easy to overcome. When you don’t have a clear destination you keep coming to a grinding halt, and that’s what we do in our companies.  We are counting the steps we’re taking along the route, but we’re never looking at the destination.  The point is is that people want to feel that the effort that they’re exerting are moving somewhere. 

My ideal is to live in a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning, inspired to go to work and fulfilled by the work that they do.”

5. “Self esteem” – Will Smith

“We tend to base our self-esteem on what other people think and that’s not really self-esteem. Self-esteem is supposed to be how we feel about ourselves and it is very dangerous to allow other people to determine how you’re going to feel about you.  It is like looking into a broken mirror and changing your face to try to look good.  Other people’s opinions are a very bad way to determine how we feel about ourselves.”

6. “Make a difference” – Denzel Washington

“Anything you want, you can have, so claim it, work hard to get it. And when you get it, reach back, pull someone else up.  Each one teach one, don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.”


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