Billionaire entrepreneurs are a breed apart. They got to where they are today through hard work, quick thinking, good instincts, and trial and error decision-making. But in their journey, they made a right decision along the way, or met a crucial mentor or pursued a certain vision. By doing this, they turned a business idea from a gut feeling into a billion dollar company.
Bob Parsons is the founder of GoDaddy, one of the country’s largest web registrars. In a summer 2012 article, Parsons listed his 16 tips for survival. Two of the most memorable of them are closely related and serve well to list both here:
- “Almost nothing works the first time it’s attempted. Just because what you’re doing does not seem to be working, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means that it might not work the way you’re doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.”
- “There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”
Keep It Simple
A new book on the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, describes his tenacity to trim back and keep things simple. In Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success, author and Jobs’ former creative partner Ken Segall wrote that Jobs used simplicity as his secret weapon.
“Simplicity means products (Apple II, the Macintosh, iPod) that consumers not only understand, but bond with right out of the box,” wrote Segall. “Throughout Jobs’ career, it meant “insanely great” innovations such as human-oriented design, graphical computer interface vs. the dark mysteries of MSDOS, one button instead of two. He elevated usability to an art, and elegant design to a competitive advantage.”
Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump has been well-quoted on his ideas of leadership success. His is a story of American success via hard work and a dose of celebrity and New York braggadocio, not a bad combination when you think about it. Some of his key success tenets include:
If you love what you do, you will work harder. You will enjoy your business and your life. You will spend the time to know your business inside out. You can brag about what you are going to do but if you do not bring the goods to the table, you will be knocked down.
One of the modern era’s most driven entrepreneurs must be Sir Richard Branson, who has charged his business ideals with personal adventure habits that have included skydiving, ballooning and sailing adventures. Richard Branson outlined his top five business principles in a BBC radio interview:
- If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. You must love what you do.
- Create something different that will stand out.
- Your employees are your best asset. Happy employees make for happy customers.
- Lead by listening: Get feedback from your staff and customers on a regular basis.
- Market the company and its offers by putting yourself or a senior person in front of the cameras.
And lastly, one of the greatest investors of our time Warren Buffet once compiled his list of ten winning rules. They are all worth reading, but the first rule is valuable to all of us. “Reinvest Your Profits – When you first make money, you may be tempted to spend it. Don’t. Instead, reinvest the profits.” Buffett started reinvesting profits early on from a pinball business, and soon enough, was able to reinvest in stocks and start other businesses, eventually running the massive Berkshire Hathaway.
Jennifer Lewis writes about social networking and business, especially as they relate to education. She lives in the New England area and loves all snow-related sports.