You know why you should listen to your elders? Because they've lived though it. They have fallen, and they have risen; they have had big ideas, taken risks, failed and succeeded. Whether it's a parent, boss, co-worker, spouse or idol, taking in all the advice and information you can not only shapes your business sense, but it helps you develop the passion and drive you need to succeed.
Here are some of the best nuggets of advice from the world's top entrepreneurs:
Sir Richard Branson
The founder of Virgin Group was encouraged by his mum to have no regrets. It's a waste of time to look back on failure; Richard Branson advises us to use that time to develop new ideas. In a piece he wrote for LinkedIn, he explained how his mother is constantly starting new projects (like breeding parakeets and growing Christmas trees) and considers setbacks part of life's learning curve.
Imagine climbing a steep mountain. It's much easier to climb if you're facing forward and looking up. If you take time to look behind you, you instantly slow yourself down and have to reset for the upward climb.
CEO and founder of GoDaddy, Bob Parsons has 16 rules for success. Some important ones include:
- Never give up.
- Focus on what you want to happen.
- Don't let others push you around.
- Fair is what you pay to get on a bus (i.e., fare). Life isn't fair. You make your own breaks.
- Don't take yourself too seriously.
But the best might be what his father told him when he was struggling to get Parsons Technology up and running early on in his career. "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you." What's the worst that could happen?
You can do anything you put your mind to. That is what Martha Stewart's father taught her at a very young age. And sometimes your desires change; sometimes, what you think you will get out of a job is much different than you had imagined. After a brief modeling career and a stint working as a stockbroker in New York City, Stewart knew she was interested in houses, landscape, design and cooking. After shifting directions and finding success in a small gourmet food market she opened, she found her niche and began a catering business, which in turn, launched her empire. When trying to discover your entrepreneurial passion, Stewart encourages people to consider their strengths, weaknesses, interests and desires. Ask yourself how hard you want to work. And believe in yourself.
Even a brief encounter with a stranger can change your life. Watch. Listen. And remember, as GoDaddy's Bob Parsons reminds us on his 16 rules list, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time!"
Join the conversation: What is some of the best business advice you have gotten? Your response may change someone's life.