How Successful People Think: Startup Tips From Famous Entrepreneurs

By Tom Egelhoff
There’s a certain magic surrounding the entrepreneurial culture. Starting your own company is a unique experience that can teach you more than any college or university. But it can also feel overwhelming. It's all in the right mindset. You're about to beat all odds, and thinking a certain way will help you get there. See how the top entrepreneurs think as they compete against the giants of their industries.

There’s a certain magic surrounding the entrepreneurial culture.

Starting your own company is a unique experience that can teach you more than any college or university.

But it can also feel overwhelming. It’s all in the right mindset. You’re about to beat all odds, and thinking a certain way will help you get there. See how the top entrepreneurs think as they compete against the giants of their industries.

11 Startup Tips From Successful Entrepreneurs | How to Think | Startup Jungle

There is so much knowledge to absorb, and so many people with opinions on what to do and what not to do.

And while being open to advice is critical to your success, not all advice is great advice.

So has taken the liberty of consolidating 11 of the most valuable tips to startup success from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. 

1. Outwork your Competition – Mark Cuban

The notorious Dallas Mavericks owner and serial entrepreneur got to where he is by being a hustler. One of his most famous quotes is:

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.”

While that quote may just seem like a catchy saying, it highlights an important point.

There are no shortcuts.

The startup world is filled with dreams of those who failed with great ideas because of a lack of work ethic. There will be times when your hard work is all that keeps your dream alive, and that’s when you have to outwork everyone else.

2. Embrace Being Uncomfortable – Marissa Mayer

Yahoo’s famous CEO once said:

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

The truth is that if you’re not stepping out of your comfort zone then you’re not growing. That’s how you develop new skill sets and continue to improve.

As an entrepreneur, you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Learn to do what others can’t or won’t do. As Marissa Meyers said, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

3. Challenge Yourself – Sir Richard Branson

One of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs in the world, Richard Branson has done it all.

How does someone so successful keep driving forward?

According to Branson, his biggest motivation is to keep challenging himself. He makes it a point to learn something new every day, and you should have a similar goal.

A surefire way to fail is to assume you know everything there is to know about a subject. By having blinders on, you may miss a critical piece of the puzzle. Keep learning and challenging yourself to remove those blinders.

4. No Regrets – Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, says it helps to know that he wouldn’t regret failure, but he would regret not trying. People can come up with objections for pursuing an idea because not trying means not failing.

Yes, you may fail. But if you don’t at least try, then you’ll always wonder “what if?”.

Don’t be afraid of failure, just be afraid of the regret of not trying.

5. Yes, You Can – Henry Ford

Yoda once said “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

But decades earlier, Ford Motors founder Henry Ford said it best, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.”

Entrepreneurs often go through dark times, and it’s important for you to remember to believe in yourself and your vision. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?

Employees follow confidence, and customers are drawn to a strong salesman.

That all starts with believing in yourself.

6. Keep your Word – Marcus Lemonis

The star of TV’s “The Profit” once said that the best advice he ever received was about shaking hands and making a deal.

The point of this is to honor your word. Do what you say you’ll do.

If you fail or forget to do what you promise to get done, not only will your business suffer as a result of incomplete projects, but partners, prospects, and potential customers will stop trusting you. And that means your business is almost guaranteed to fail. It’s a simple lesson, but a very important one!

7. Focus on your Market – Brian Chesky

Airbnb founder and CEO Brian Chesky once said in an interview that the best advice he’d ever received was during his time at the world famous Y Combinator program. His words?

“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like”

If you start with a very specific audience in mind, you’ll find that it’s easier to make something a small group will love than it is to make something that pleases everyone. For example, a study for college students may be a smart idea, but different students study in different ways. A study app focused on one major, such as biochemistry, may have that group in love with your app, and referring others to it.

Once you get some momentum, your business will begin to snowball. But the fastest way to get there is to focus on a small segment and give them something they’ll love.

8. Take Chances – Sergey Brin

Google’s founder has never been one to play it safe. So, it’s no surprise that his advice to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer when she left Google after 13 years was “Be bold!”.

Sure, you can play it safe. Aim for and achieve the minimum. Go for the low hanging fruit. And you can probably do okay for yourself doing so. But if all you want out of life is to “do okay”, then maybe you’re better off being an employee for someone else’s company.

If you’re a true entrepreneur, then you need to take chances! Go talk to the people who make the rules, don’t just listen as they speak. Contact the biggest names and the biggest companies, and eventually, you’ll find yourself on equal footing with them.

The only way to improve is to compete against the best competition, so be bold and pursue the biggest and most exciting options. You may not get them all, but just one win elevates your business to a new level.

9. Just Go – Walt Disney

Delaying and putting off difficult projects is the easy path in starting a company. But as Walt Disney once said,

“The easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

If you wait until everything is 100% ready, you may never launch your business. Oftentimes, you’ll learn and get better just by going out and doing the work. Embrace the fear, go out, and start.

Disney was absolutely right in his quote, and that lesson is more applicable than ever today when procrastination is such an easy option. But if not now, then when?

10. Stop to Smell the Roses – Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s notorious CEO, has had a meteoric rise to the top. His advice during a talk at a “Startup India” event?

“Whatever you do, you have to enjoy the ride.”

Kalanick makes a good point. If all you’re doing is working, you’re missing out on the joy of an entrepreneur’s journey.

Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, you may find yourself struggling financially to keep your head above water.

You may even battle depression and fear. But you’re also daring to pursue your dreams. You’re having a true adventure. You’re meeting amazing people and learning valuable skillsets.

If you don’t stop to appreciate what you’re doing and where you are in your life, it may all pass you by before you know it.

11. Listen Up – Bill Gates

Billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates once said that your best source of learning is your most unhappy customers.

And while talking to them may be uncomfortable, if you can genuinely listen and incorporate their feedback into your product, then not only can you make your business better, but you can turn angry or unhappy customers into lifelong loyal customers.

Don’t be afraid to deal with unhappy customers. No matter how big you get, focus on your most upset customers to really improve your service.

Final thoughts…

Bringing an idea to life takes a lot of time, and for some people, that’s reason enough not to pursue their dream. But the time will pass anyways, so what’s the harm in putting it to use?

Focus on the above pieces of advice from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs to elevate yourself and your business to new levels of success.

We hope that this article was helpful and was able to shed some light on you on how successful people think. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure you sign up for the 21 point business startup checklist.

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