With 2015 right around the corner, that means new goals, new challenges, new opportunities and new milestones await. Here are 10 great quotes from successful entrepreneurs to inspire you to come out swinging in 2015, whether that involves growing a current business or starting a new venture.
1. I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. – Donald Trump
No successful entrepreneur starts something with the goal of being mildly successful, especially not Donald Trump. If you truly believe that you have an amazing idea or think you can expand your business, then go for it. The “go big or go home” mentality has worked very well for many — will you be next?
2. Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough. – Mark Zukerberg
Sometimes, windows of opportunity don’t remain open for too long. If you have an idea or see an opportunity, strike and move fast. It is impossible to tiptoe along and avoid all mistakes or pitfalls. Those that wait, or move slow due to being over-cautious will sometimes miss out.
Facebook was struggling with monetization when the majority of its user base became mobile, but its team moved fast and now the company is beating Wall Street’s expectations.
3. When you’re first thinking through an idea, it’s important not to get bogged down in complexity. Thinking simply and clearly is hard to do. – Richard Branson
Look how most successful startups get off the ground. The companies set specific milestones that must be met in order for the concept to advance to the next stage. The longer it takes to hit each milestone, the greater the odds of the startup failing.
Don’t make things harder than they need to be in the beginning.
4. Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective, ‘What’s the best way to make money?’ – Elon Musk
When your product or service impacts people and changes the way we do things, it can be extremely rewarding. The best ideas always come from truly passionate individuals that started their company because they wanted to solve a problem. Musk recently decided to allow other companies to use Tesla Motors’ patents – because he feels it will benefit the world, not his net worth.
5. To get GoPro started, I moved back in with my parents and went to work seven days a week, 20 hours a day. I wrote off my personal life to make headway on it. – Nick Woodman
You have to be willing to make sacrifices, and in Woodman’s case those sacrifices paid off big on June 26 of this year when his company went public — he even got to ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock market.
6. You always hear the phrase, ‘money doesn’t buy you happiness.’ But I always in the back of my mind figured a lot of money will buy you a little bit of happiness. But it’s not really true. – Sergey Brin
If you were a diehard baseball fan and you were presented with the following two options, which one would you pick?
- Start a Major League Baseball blog that allowed you to travel around the country and watch baseball games all day. Business revenue potential: $350,000 a year.
- Open a sewage treatment plant that required you to literally work with crap all day. Business revenue potential: $850,000 a year.
I would hope the first one would appeal to you much more. There is nothing more rewarding than doing something you absolutely love.
7. Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession. – Mark Cuban
You have to love what you do and become completely obsessive with every aspect of your business. If not, you will get burnt out quickly, leading to failure. Nobody is going to care about your company more than you, so be prepared to set the bar high and work harder and longer than anyone else. The only way you will remain sane is by enjoying every minute of it.
8. If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer focused allows you to be more pioneering. – Jeff Bezos
Keeping your sights set on your competition will actually slow your growth. Constantly watching them takes your focus away from the one thing that is responsible for your success — your customer. Put all of your energy into creating happy customers and you won’t have to worry about the competition because they will be behind you.
9. Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. – Howard Schultz
I love speaking with people that are smarter than I am. Anyone who truly believes that they are the know-all authority within their industry is delusional. Every entrepreneur has strengths, weaknesses and room to grow. Embrace every opportunity to speak with fellow entrepreneurs that are smarter, more established and more successful. That is priceless education.
10. Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles. – Steve Jobs
This couldn’t be any more accurate. My online marketing company works with established companies as well as startups. At first, they all want the same thing: more website traffic. Well, more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more sales and revenue. Focusing on quality traffic over quantity always produces better results. Less is often more.