3 Big Lessons from 3 Successful Entrepreneurs

It pays to learn from your mentors, your heroes and your role models. You may not be able to follow exactly the same path as they did (nor should you), but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn some incredibly valuable lessons from the journeys they have taken. As you continue to move forward with your dot com ambitions, look toward these great men as sources of inspiration.

Eric Schmidt, Google

Image credit: Google

Image credit: Google

“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new.”

If you want to be successful in whatever it is that you want to do, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and be ready to answer the door when opportunity comes knocking. An invitation might not sound like a very big deal, but it could turn into an incredible chance to network and to forge a remarkable business relationship. A random encounter could completely and utterly change your life.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should say yes to everything, because you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed and people will start to see you as a pushover. Sometimes, you have to say no, but don’t reject an opportunity based purely on first impressions. Take a chance.

Jack Ma, Alibaba Group

Image credit: Magnus Manske

Image credit: Magnus Manske

“Alibaba is not just a job. It’s a dream. It’s a cause. Let the Wall Street investors curse us if they want.”

We can look at some of the biggest and best known brands for inspiration. And many people may have been quick to dismiss Alibaba Group as some “cheap Chinese knockoff” company. And those people would be completely wrong, because Alibaba was valued at some US$231 billion when it went IPO in September 2014. That’s bigger than huge. That’s astronomical. And this is all with selling products that are hardly original or unique.

Chasing money can only get you so far. You have to start from a place of passion with a much greater goal in mind. Keep those dollars and cents in your consciousness, but focus on the bigger picture. Haters are going to hate. If you’re not upsetting somebody, you’re probably doing it wrong. Better yet, you can probably make money off these haters too.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Image credit: BingNorton

Image credit: BingNorton

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

Many prospective entrepreneurs assume that the path to riches is a straight line with one big win following another in a string of major successes. As it turns out, that’s a loser’s mentality. A winner’s mentality is one that not only accepts failure, but embraces it. Every time you “fall over,” you should learn something. And that newfound knowledge can further bolster your future shots at success.

It’s not enough to read about the strategies and tactics explained on blogs like John Chow dot Com. It’s not enough to think about how to make money online in theory. The only way you’re ever going to accomplish anything is if you go out there and actually do it. Will you stumble? Will you fall? Probably! But that’s how you’re going to learn and that’s how you’ll give yourself the possibility of becoming the next Richard Branson, Jack Ma or Eric Schmidt.

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Say yes. Dream big. And just do it.