Here are 50 business tips from three ultra successful entrepreneurs to keep you inspired and focused.

 

Elon Musk – Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla

1. “People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”

2. “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

3. “There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.”

4. “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”

5. “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

6. “Really pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends. … Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.”

7. “If you’re co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed… No task is too menial.”

8. “Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive, and determination of the people behind it as the product they sell.”

9. “Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sports team, the team that has the best individual player will often win, but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ.”

10. “If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”

11. “I think you definitely don’t want to grow too fast.   Make sure that every person you hire you really need to hire that person.”

12. “One lesson I learned [at PayPal] is to fire people faster.  That sounds awful, but I think if somebody is not working out, it’s best to part ways sooner rather than later.  It’s a mistake to try too hard to make something work that really couldn’t work.”

13. “You shouldn’t do things differently just because they’re different. They need to be… better.”

14. “Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution.”

15. “Stay very focused on the quality of the product.   People get really wrapped up in all sorts of esoteric notions of how to manage etc., [but]  I think people should get much more focused on the product itself – how do you make the product incredibly compelling to a customer – just become maniacally focused on building it better.  I think people get distracted from that.”

16. “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”

17. “I think the best way to attract venture capital is to try and come up with a demonstration of whatever product or service it is and ideally take that as far as you can. Just see if you can sell that to real customers and start generating some momentum. The further along you can get with that, the more likely you are to get funding.”

 

Richard Branson – Virgin Group

18. “Entrepreneurial business favors the open mind. It favors people whose optimism drives them to prepare for many possible futures, pretty much purely for the joy of doing so.”

19. “Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.”

20. “There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.”

21. “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”

22. “To launch a business means successfully solving problems. Solving problems means listening.”

23. “Successful entrepreneurs don’t fear failure; they learn from it and move on.”

24. “Nobody gets everything right the first time. Business is like a giant game of chess — you have to learn quickly from your mistakes.”

25. “The luckiest people in business are those that are prepared to take the greatest risks. We can all create our own luck by taking the necessary risks to open the door to change, progression and success.”

26. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.”

27. “My definition of success? The more you’re actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will be.”

28. “To be successful, you have to be out there. You have to hit the ground running and if you have a good team around you, and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula.”

29. “Above all, you want to create something you are proud of. That’s always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.”

30. “You can never go too far wrong by thinking like a customer who’s new to the business.”

31. “If you want to stand out from the crowd, give people a reason not to forget you.”

32. “It’s a fairy tale to think that you can do everything by yourself — it’s vital to the success of your business that you learn to hand off those things that you aren’t able to do well.”

33. “I try to spend as much time as possible listening to the people I meet. … I am endlessly surprised by what new and useful information I can gather just by keeping my ears open.”

34. “The brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit.”

 

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

35. “Find that thing you are super passionate about.”

36. “I’m here to build something for the long-term. Anything else is a distraction.”

37. “Building a mission and building a business go hand-in-hand. It is true that the primary thing that makes me excited about what we’re doing is the mission, but I also think, from the very beginning, we’ve had this healthy understanding which is that we need to do both.”

38. “My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being ‘just’ a company means to me is building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.”

39. “You are better off trying something and having it not work and learning from that than not doing anything at all.”

40. “People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.”

41. “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

42. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

43. “So many businesses get worried about looking like they might make a mistake, they become afraid to take any risk. Companies are set up so that people judge each other on failure.”

44. “I think as a company, if you can get [these] two things right–having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff–then you can do pretty well.”

45. “People can be really smart or have skills that are directly applicable, but if they don’t really believe in it, then they are not going to really work hard.”

46. “The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?'”

47. “I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”

48. “People don’t care about what you say, they care about what you build.”

49. “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.”

50. “Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.”

 

I hope these tips give you some added inspiration and focus for your entrepreneurial journey. Look out for more posts containing tips from the world’s top entrepreneurs and investors.

What’s the best business advice you’ve received? 

 

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