Priceless Advice From 50 Of The Most Successful Entrepreneurs

These philosophies and tips are worth their weight in gold and if you pay attention you’ll see many of them overlap and form a common pattern. That’s the real lesson here. 

  • “Do something you’re very passionate about. And don’t try to chase what is kind of the hot passion of the day.” – Jeff Bezos – Amazon
  • “If you don’t really love it (what you do) you’re going to give up” – Steve Jobs – Apple Computer
  • “Don’t let people who you may respect, and who you believe know what they’re talking, don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.” Pierre Omidyar – eBay
  • “People who look for great ideas to make money are not nearly as successful as those who say Ok what do I really I love to do, what am I excited about, what do I know something about.” Michael Dell – Dell Computer
  • “It very rewarding when you work on something that you think is going to make a big difference.” Sergey Brin – Google
  • “You have to have an emotional investment in what you’re doing. If you don’t love what you’re doing, failure is pretty much guaranteed.” –  Biz Stone – Twitter
  • “If you know exactly what you want to be, you need to spend as much time with people that are actually that already”.  Gary Vaynerchuk – Wine Library
  • “Ask yourself: given everything you have to do, is there a way that we can make this better?” Daniel Ek – Spotify
  • “What kind of new market is this creating? and also what part of my day and what problem is it solving?” Kevin Rose – Digg
  • “You have to come up with new ideas every single day or your idea muscle atrophies.”  – James Altucher – Stockpickr
  • “Understand that naturally nobody is interested in your ideas. The world could care a less and you have to persuade them and you have to show that you’re the one person out there that can do it.” Robert Greene – Mastery
  • “You need to foster the belief in what you are dreaming so that it becomes a reality.”   Guy Kawasaki – Apple Computer
  • “Build things at first for yourself that you would want.” Steve Wozniak – Apple Computer
  • “For somebody aspiring to take things to the next level or to even surpass their wildest dreams there’s always going to be an element of luck but I think more important is putting yourself in a business that can be ubiquitous that really doesn’t have limits.” Mark Cuban – Cyber Dust
  • “You want an idea about what you can say. I know it sounds like a bad idea but here’s specifically why its actually a great one. You want to sound crazy but you want to ask to be right.” Sam Altman – Y Combinator
  • “If you’re not having doubts, you’re not pushing the boundaries far enough.” Tony Fadell – Nest
  • “Don’t think about what is the quickest way to success. Think about what is the best way to build something important that the world really needs.” Danae Ringelmann – Indiegogo
  • “Very very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. Why does your organization exist?”  Simon Sinek – Start With Why
  • “What’s your story? Why should I pick you? Why do I care about what you’re doing?” Seth Godin – Tribes
  • “If this was successful , and I was not involved, would I want it to do well?” Ev Williams – Medium
  • “When you have an idea, a classic entrepreneurial impulse is to hold the idea close to you and not tell people and that’s almost always a mistake.” Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn
  • “The hardest thing to do is start. You have all these ideas and everyone has an idea. but it’s really about executing the idea, and building the idea, and attacking other people to help you work on the idea.”  Jack Dorsey – Twitter, Square
  • “You need to find people that are drawn to the idea that you build, and they end up taking it and making it even better.”  Kevin Systrom – Instagram
  • “You must maximize the probability that someone shows up at front door of your store or website and ends up with a solved problem.” Drew Houston – Dropbox
  • “Often times the best methodology is to start with the tip of experience of just one person. Get that right and then scale something great.” Brian Chesky – Airbnd
  • “When you are starting a new business you don’t want to go after giant markets. You want to go after small markets and take over those markets quickly.” Peter Thiel – Paypal 
  • “A well thought out critique of whatever you’re doing is as valuable as gold.” Elon Musk – Tesla
  • “If you’re not utilizing an online community than you’re at a disadvantage to those that are.” Alan Schaaf – Imgur
  • “Don’t underestimate anyone you come across. The smartest leaders I’ve ever seen have always gone around the room and asked for everybody’s opinion” Chris Sacca – LOWERCASE Capital
  • “Most startups fail. Ultimately because they did not make something that people wanted. They made something that they thought people would want.” Paul Graham – Y Combinator
  • “Don’t let other people distract what you’re doing. There’s always haters.” Dennis Crowley – Foursquare
  • “Its about integrating this concept of testing our ideas rigorously throughout the product development process, the marketing process, even as you’re scaling.” Eric Ries – ‘The Lean Startup’
  • “Get it out there and get customers using it. Because your customers are going to be the ones to tell you if it’s really working or not.”Leah Busque – TaskRabbit
  • “It’s OK early on to solve small problems in layers until you actually get to a point where you have the capacity to do that.” Anthony Casalena – Squarespace
  • “What this all comes down to is doing something exceptional for your users.” Alexis Ohanian – Reddit
  • “I think you should be spending your money on teaching and sharing so that might mean hiring a writer instead of a marketing person.” Jason Fried – Basecamp
  • “Realize that you can’t do everything. And even if you can, you shouldn’t.” Palmer Luckey – Oculus Rift
  • “Find a great partner no matter what it is that you’re doing. Look for someone with very high intelligence, very high energy, and very high integrity. And you need all three of those. You can’t compromise on any one of them.” Naval Ravikant – Angellist 
  • “The important thing when you’re working with someone early is that you guys line up on what your goals are.” Ben Silbermann – Pinterest
  • “We wanted to come up with committable core values. And by committable, meaning we were able to hire or fire people based on those values completely independent of their actual job performance.” Tony Hsieh – Zappos
  • “No amount of data will sway you from those principals. And the degree to which you have the courage to making your conviction around those ideas is the degree to which you’re going to be successful over the long term. “Andrew Mason – Groupon
  • “As a leader of people, you have to be a great listener, a great motivator, be very good at praising and bringing out the best in people.” Richard Branson – Virgin
  • “Its my job to make sure you have everything you need to kick ass.” Alex Ljung – Soundcloud 
  • “Many many external circumstances are outside of your control, but will affect the outcome, and you have to be OK with that.” Justin Kan – Justin.tv
  • “Another quality that I think is important is being flexible minded or open-minded. You need to be open to changes.” Jessica Livingston – Y Combinator
  • “So many things go wrong when you’re starting a company and often people ask what mistakes should you avoid making.  My answer to that question is don’t even bother trying to avoid making mistakes because you’re going to make tons of mistakes.” Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
  • “The two things we really zero in on people are courage and genius.” Marc Andreessen –  Andreessen Horowitz
  • “What you actually spend your time on is just a lot of hard work.” Dustin Moskovitz – Facebook 
  • “Optimism has a place. But I think even more so for the first-time entrepreneur you need to be pragmatically pessimistic.” Tim Ferris – “The Four Hour Work Week” 
  • “If you don’t love it you won’t make it through the long period of pain that is inevitable.” Emmett Shear – Twitch

*Most of these quotes are verbatim. But a few are paraphrased for simplification and grammar.


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