If you ask the world’s successful entrepreneurs how they achieved success, most will tell you it’s not that they’re necessarily smarter than everyone else and they didn’t rely on some super-secret formula the rest of us don’t know about. Instead, they often credit their success to a mixture of passion and perseverance, plus a healthy dose of stubbornness.
Let’s dig a little deeper into what some of the incredibly successful people really think you need to do to step into their shoes. Here are some of the advice straight from the top, on what they believe you need to do to add those extra zeros to your bank account balance.
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Bill Gates: Focus on development
Net Worth: $89.8 Billion
Microsoft founder told Rolling Stone, “You know, development sometimes is viewed as a project in which you give people things and nothing much happens, which is perfectly valid, but if you just focus on that, then you’d also have to say that venture capital is pretty stupid, too. Its hit rate is pathetic. But occasionally, you get successes, you fund a Google or something”
Amancio Ortega: Obsess over what your customers want
Net Worth: $84.3 Billion
Owner of Spanish brand ZARA, Ortega’s fashion acumen comes from observing what people are wearing and listening to what they want. “The customer has always driven the business model,” Ortega wrote in Inditex’s 2009 annual report. He has consistently stuck by that motto. In the 2010 annual report, the last before Ortega stepped down from his position as chairman, he wrote, “The customer must continue to be our main centre of attention, both in the creation of our fashion collections and in the design of our shops, of our logistical system and of any other activity.”
Jeff Bezos: Be a missionary to stay motivated
Net Worth: $83.7 Billion
Amazon founder and CEO, in a 2010 interview with Fortune, revealed that he thinks of business as a mission.
“I strongly believe that missionaries make better products – Jeff Bezos“Jeff Bezos
“They care more. For a missionary, it’s not just about the business. There has to be a business, and the business has to make sense, but that’s not why you do it. You do it because you have something meaningful that motivates you.”
Warren Buffett: Think long-term
Net Worth: $76.4 Billion
The business magnate, investor, a self-made billionaire Warren Buffett believes in using long-term investment strategies. Buffett once said, “Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
Mark Zuckerberg: Think like a hacker
Net Worth: $71.1 Billion
Facebook’s founder Zuckerberg attributes his success to a willingness to take risks and a desire to create something that can change the world. Additionally, he believes in following a business strategy known as “The Hacker Way.”
In a 2012 letter to potential Facebook investors, he wrote, “The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better and that nothing is ever complete.”
Larry Ellison: Be aggressive with acquisitions
Net Worth: $59.2 Billion
Oracle’s founder Ellison’s open-minded acquisition style enabled him to turn the organisation into a giant worth $187.6 billion. In a discussion with Wall Street analysts, he said, “We use our money for a variety of things. We buy back stock, we pay dividends. We haven’t made any large acquisitions for a while. Do you know? We’re kind of saving our nickels and dimes. We might do something interesting, one of these days.”
Bernard Arnault: Stay ahead of the competition
Net Worth: $55.6 Billion
Bernard Arnault oversees the luxury goods powerhouse LVMH, which is an umbrella company that includes Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Dom Perignon, among other businesses.
Arnault attributes his continued financial prowess to a desire to beat the competition, something he has been able to achieve on a global level. As part of his mission to bring haute couture to the developing world, Arnault recently staked a claim in Asia. In an interview with Forbes, he said, “I am quite competitive. I want to stay ahead and increase our advance.”
Michael Bloomberg: Never stop learning
Net Worth: $51.8 Billion
For former New York City Mayor and current founder of Bloomberg, the key to success is to keep learning new things every day. During a 2013 episode of his weekly radio show, he said, “I’ve never met a Nobel Prize winner who didn’t think they had an awful lot more to learn and wasn’t studying every single day. So, when a parent says, “How much does my kid have to learn before they can stop studying?’ I don’t know how to break this to you, lady or sir: there is no answer to that.”
Charles Koch: Follow a proven management style
Net Worth: $47.6 Billion
Charles Koch, along with his brother, inherited Koch Industries from his father and turned it into one of the largest companies in the U.S. Koch attributes his long-standing financial success to the company’s use of Market-Based Management® – a term which he has gone so far as to trademark. According to the Charles Koch Institute, “Market-Based Management® (MBM®) enables organisations to succeed in the long term by applying the principles that allow free societies to prosper. Just as upholding values such as free speech, property rights and progress are important to a healthy, growing society, they are also pivotal in fostering a healthy, growing organisation.”
The entrepreneur streak within me desires to start following this advice starting today. Which of these pieces of advice is appealing to you? Share your thoughts.