Success Tips

Tips for success from today's biggest names

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Many start-ups don’t get to celebrate their first birthdays. In Kenya, an average of 400,000 small businesses shut their doors every year, which works out to almost 1,100 businesses a day.

While there are many factors that lead to the failure of a business, one of them is that too many entrepreneurs go into business without an idea about the practical nature of being in business.

That’s where seasoned entrepreneurs come in – your experiences may not mirror theirs, but there’s certainly something you can learn from them when things get tough for you.

Here’s some motivation from renown entrepreneurs to get you fired up.

“Don’t worry about being successful: work toward being significant, and the success will naturally follow.”

– Oprah Winfrey, media executive (pictured)

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“If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.”

– Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

– Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

“You have a viable business only if your product is either better or cheaper than the alternatives. If it’s not one or the other, you might make some money at first, but it’s not a sustainable business.”

– Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams

“It is the hard days – the times that challenge you to your very core – that will determine who you are. You are defined not just by what you achieve but by how you survive.”

– Sheryl Sandberg, author

“Learn as much as you can about your industry immediately. Become an expert in that industry … also try to find a mentor who directly answers your questions. Any information is always good information.”

– Daymond John, founder of Fubu

“Don’t be afraid to fail. My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying.”

– Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx

“It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.” 

– Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks investor

“Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”

– Thomas Edison, inventor

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

– Mark Twain, publisher

“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.”

– Simon Sinek, motivational speaker

“You don’t need to be a genius or a visionary, or even a college graduate for that matter, to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”

– Michael Dell, founder of Dell

“Don’t measure too many things. People often become overwhelmed with a deluge of data because they’re looking at 1,500 variables. And that can be paralysing because you end up sitting there looking at your analytics programme all day long as opposed to doing the more uncomfortable thing that you should be doing, like calling that big customer. And usually, the most uncomfortable thing to do is the one people need to act on soonest.”

– Tim Ferris, entrepreneur

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

– Walt Disney, co-founder of Walt Disney Company

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