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Last Updated on August 6, 2019

10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs (And What to Learn from Them)

10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs (And What to Learn from Them)

Apart from making crucial decisions for their own businesses, entrepreneurs innovate and grow their ideas. Albeit there being no cookie-cutter answer that fits everyone’s experiences, taking a look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs today, you might spot some similar traits and characteristics.

Starting and nurturing a business entails a great amount of hard work and commitment. However, for aspiring entrepreneurs who are prepared to dedicate themselves to their vision, here are 10 most successful entrepreneurs you can learn from:

1. Bill Gates: Keep Learning and Exploring

    If you don’t know Bill Gates, you likely know the company he founded – Microsoft.

    Bill Gates’ story is a prime example of nurturing an idea that might seem out of this world but make sense in the future. One of the most successful entrepreneurs in history did not complete his degree at Harvard University to pursue a vision that the technology would soon become the future.

    He told a white lie to Altair, saying that he had made a computer program for them, therefore pushing himself to create a system that would change modern history.

    “The most important speed issue is convincing everyone that the company’s survival depends on moving as fast as possible.”

    Gates’ success is built on self-improvement and the seeds of an idea.

    Learn more about Bill Gates’ story here.

    2. Elon Musk: Never Stop Innovating

      Traditional thinking suggests that in order to become a successful entrepreneur, one must focus in a single field or industry.

      Elon Musk, however, breaks that rule.

      Today, the multifaceted tech entrepreneur, investor, and engineer advocates for the diversification of skills and businesses by delving into various fields of interest.

      When done right, skills in a single domain can be carried over then applied into contrasting industries to create something new the world might need. Musk owes his accomplishments to a constant thirst for knowledge.

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      Having birthed Tesla and a myriad of products across the arenas of aeronautics and software design, Musk continues to evolve as an entrepreneur and plans to innovate for the long haul.

      Learn more about Elon Musk’s story here.

      3. Richard Branson: Develop People First

        British entrepreneur Richard Branson founded Virgin Records in the early 1970s. Virgin Records has since grown into the Virgin Group, today responsible for over 400 companies.

        The billionaire is strongly particular about working with a team that shares his core values and aspirations.

        Branson believes that managing a business can become taxing, thus he acknowledges his employees for putting in the effort that they have.

        A good leader knows how to raise morale for positive productivity. Utilising emotional intelligence and compassion is a game changer in seeing results within a team.

        Branson supports the idea of nurturing a positive work environment, with the belief that credentials must go hand-in-hand with an enthusiasm for work.

        Learn more about Richard Branson’s story here.

        4. Jeff Bezos: A Relentless Focus on Customer Satisfaction

          Having founded Amazon, Jeff Bezos is known to be one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. The e-commerce pioneer fixates himself on angry customers with the belief that a business’s loopholes are found in the experiences of unsatisfied customers.

          For the 8th year in a row, customers have ranked Amazon as the number one in customer service (according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index).

          While numerous companies ignore unhappy customers, Bezos found success in learning from reviews and surveys. By focusing on customer service, Amazon shows they care, both for their customers and for rising above their competitors.

          While praise and recognition are signs that a business is accelerating, criticism is an opportunity to improve a product or a service.

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          Learn more about Jeff Bezos’ story here.

          5. Mark Zuckerberg: Start Small, Think Big

            Valued at over 55 billion dollars today, Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of what would become a social networking giant in his Harvard University dorm room. As one of the world’s youngest entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg undoubtedly took countless calculated risks to get his brilliant idea to its current status with 2.38 billion active monthly users.

            “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”

            He’s always daring to explore with a fearless mindset.

            The young tech entrepreneur never shied away from innovating outside of the box. Soon after Facebook became a hit to users and advertisers, big corporations took interest in buying Facebook from Zuckerberg.

            However, he took the risk and decided to stay with his creation. Turning down billions of dollars offered by Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel, he envisioned turning his brainchild into something much bigger than what it already was then.

            Learn more about Mark Zuckerberg’s story here.

            6. Steve Jobs: Live Your Own Dreams

              Steve Jobs lived a rocky path all his life and an aspect of which is a tumultuous career.

              The founder of Apple endorsed his beliefs on the temporality of life and limitations of time. He preached about the importance of working on the very legacies people wish to leave behind, an achievement he’s undoubtedly etched into the the archives of human history.

              Never one to hide under someone’s shadow, Jobs did not live by anybody else’s principles so he formed his own. He tirelessly dedicated himself to building a unique brand of products that became the benchmark for contemporary technology.

              After his highs and lows through his brief battle with cancer, Jobs concludes with yet another lesson to takeaway from his remarkable life.

              “No matter how much money you have, even the richest man can’t buy time.”

              Learn more about Steve Jobs’ story here.

              7. Warren Buffett: Balance is Essential to Success

                Despite being the third wealthiest person in the world, Warrant Buffett sported a frugal lifestyle for most of his life.

                After buying a house in Omaha, Nebraska for just above 31,000 dollars, he has lived there since 1958. As a leading investor and a founder at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett believes in setting aside an amount to save and spend only on necessities.

                With a long term goal as a top priority in mind always, treating oneself can be sustainable once in a while. He advices to save money by deciding first and foremost what aspects to scrimp on and what aspects to splurge on to ensure a happy and balanced lifestyle.

                Learn more about Warren Buffett’s story here.

                8. Jack Ma: Never Give up

                  On every journey to success, everybody stumbles and arrives at roadblocks. Some more than most, like Jack Ma, who survived countless rejections and failures only to get back up and brave every storm.

                  Ma is the founder of multinational technology conglomerate Alibaba Group. Despite being rejected to Harvard after every one of his 10 applications, Ma was never defeated.

                  His grit and tenacity is a fine testament to the fact that grades do not determine a future. While qualifications on paper are important, the development of skills and an attitude is just as helpful in making a recipe for success.

                  Despite finding himself in the verge of bankruptcy in the 1990s, Jack Ma possessed the resilience to put one foot in front of the other until he finally made it. He says:

                  “It’s important to have patience.”

                  Learn more about Jack Ma’s story here.

                  9. Melanie Perkins: Know Your Worth and Keep Trying

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                    Melanie Perkins founded Canva, a Sydney-based business valued at $1Billion having successfully raised a number of rounds of successful funding and boasting more than 10 Million users in 179 countries.[1]

                    She told BBC that one of the biggest challenges she faced getting into the business was talking about her company’s accomplishments when she first got to Silicon Valley. She attributed this difficulty to a cultural difference where Australians tend to ‘talk down’ their achievements and this would slow down her fundraising progress for a few years.

                    Despite hundreds of rejections, Melanie emerged three years later with a much clearer strategy and stronger investor pitch that prompted a series of fundraising rounds netting the company $82Million of funding in total.[2]

                    Learn more about Melanie Perkins’ story here.

                    10. Tan Min Liang: Passion Can Pay Off

                      Tan Min Liang is the founder of the leading high-performance gaming hardware, Razer. Always on the look out for new opportunities to connect and scale his business, Tan has been bold in making many of his life’s decisions.

                      Having deviated from a traditional path set by a family that consists of doctors and lawyers, Tan was to find his life’s work and passion while gaming with his older brother.

                      The idea was simple: there were so many games out there to play, however, there were hardly any gaming equipment to match this.

                      So he dropped out of law and began going a different direction, into creating solutions in the gaming industry. At the start of 2019, Tan wrote to tech luminary Elon Musk to which Musk’s reply suggested of a joint venture between two of the most successful entrepreneurs today.

                      Learn more about Tan Min Liang’s story here.

                      Final Thoughts

                      In today’s cutthroat world, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is a long and arduous process trailed with ups and downs. A valuable lesson that a good hand of entrepreneurs would love to convey to aspiring entrepreneurs is to keep the spirit of innovation and to explore uncharted waters.

                      Learning from experience and failure is one direction to a desired end goal. Exhibiting the same dedication and grit so many entrepreneurs have through their unexpected careers – today’s budding visionaries ought to hang on their dreams and leave room for improvement along the way.

                      More Articles About Entrepreneurship

                      Featured photo credit: Patrick Tomasso via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Eugene Cheng

                      Eugene is Lifehack's Entrepreneurship Expert. He is the co-founder and creative lead of HighSpark, offering presentation training for companies.

                      10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs (And What to Learn from Them) How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs Why Leadership and Management Are Two Sides of a Coin 12 Foolproof Tips for Entrepreneurs to Be Successful in a New Venture How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur (15 Powerful Actions to Take Today)

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                      Last Updated on January 13, 2020

                      7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

                      7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

                      Throughout the ages, there have been many beliefs in various tricks to boosting brain power, yet when held up to scientific scrutiny, most of these beliefs don’t add up.

                      When I was a child, for example, my mother told me if I ate fish it would make me more intelligent. Of course, there’s no scientific proof this is true.

                      Today, there is a myriad of games you can download to your phone that claims to improve your brain’s cognitive skills. While we are still waiting for a conclusive scientific verdict on these, recent studies by neuroscientists at Western University in Ontario[1] and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia appear to contradict these claims.[2]

                      So, how can we really boost our brain power? Well, it turns out there are a number of simple things you can do that will improve the function of your brain. Here are seven to get you started.

                      1. Do Your Most Difficult Tasks in the Morning

                      Our brains work at their best when they are fresh and energized after a good night’s sleep.

                      If you have a task to do that requires a lot of thought and focus, the best time to do that task would be first thing in the morning when your brain is at its freshest.

                      This is one of the reasons why checking email first thing the morning is not a good idea. You are wasting your brain’s best hours on a simple task that can be done when your brain is not at its freshest

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                      Throughout the day, you will find the amount of time you can focus for will fall. Your decision-making abilities will also begin to weaken as the day progresses. This is called “decision fatigue” and that means the decisions you make later in the day will not be as good as the decisions you make earlier in the day.

                      It’s far better to do your most difficult, creative tasks early taking advantage of your brain’s higher energy levels.

                      Try to avoid meetings first thing in the morning and schedule work that needs higher creative energy and concentration.

                      2. Get Enough Breaks

                      Our brains are not very good at maintaining concentration and focus for much more than an hour. Once you go beyond a certain amount of time, doing focused work, you will find yourself making more and more mistakes. This is a sign your brain is tired and needs a break.

                      Taking the right kind of break is important. Switching from working on a complex spreadsheet to checking your social media feeds is not going to give your brain the right kind of break. Instead, get up from your desk and head outside. If that is not possible, go to the nearest window and look outside.

                      Your brain needs a break from the screen, not just the spreadsheet, so leave your phone behind so you are not tempted to look at it and just savour the view.

                      3. Read Books, not Social Media Feeds

                      There are no shortcuts to improved knowledge and you are certainly not going to improve your general knowledge about anything useful by reading social media feeds. Instead, make reading books a regular habit.

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                      When you read good quality books, you increase your ability to use the knowledge you learn to solve problems as your brain will apply the knowledge you learned to existing situations.

                      Learn about economic theory, history and psychology. All these topics have real practical applications for us all today.

                      4. Exercise Regularly

                      Humans did not evolve to be stationary animals. You need to move.

                      Had our ancestors spent their days sat around, they would not have survived very long. To survive and find food, our ancestors had to keep moving. Our brains have evolved to function at their best when we are exercised.

                      In his book, Brain Rules, Prof.John Medina explains when we exercise, we increase the amount of oxygen in our brains and this helps to sharpen our brain’s functions.

                      In studies, when a previously sedentary group of people began a light exercise programme, their cognitive skills improve as well as reaction times and quantitive skills.

                      This is why you are more likely to find the solution to a problem when you are walking somewhere or exercising rather than when you are sat at a desk in front of a screen.

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                      5. Get Enough of the Right Food

                      You probably have experienced the afternoon slump at some point in your life. This is when you feel tired and fatigued in the mid-afternoon. This is a result of the carbohydrates you ate at lunchtime, stimulating your body to produce insulin which then causes a drop in your blood sugar levels.

                      When you go into an afternoon slump, concentrating for long periods become almost impossible and you just want to curl up and go to sleep.

                      To prevent the afternoon slump, try to eat a protein-rich lunch such as a tuna or chicken salad without pasta, rice or bread. Keep some healthy snacks such as mixed nuts and dried bananas around your workspace and when you feel a little peckish, eat a few of these.

                      Not only will you avoid the afternoon slump, but you will also improve your overall general health and feel a lot more energetic.

                      6. Drink Enough Water

                      Your brain is made up of about 70% water, so without enough water, your brain will not function at its best.

                      When you are not drinking enough water, you will find your ability to concentrate, make decisions and stay alert will reduce. You will feel sleepy and lack energy. Your brain functions at its best when it is properly hydrated.

                      The solution is to keep a large bottle of water at your work station and sip regularly from it throughout the day. This will increase the number of trips you need to make to the bathroom which is a good thing. It will keep you moving and taking regular breaks from your screen.

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                      7. Don’t Deprive Yourself of Sleep

                      You probably don’t need a long scientific study to convince you that if you are not getting enough sleep, you are not going to function at your best.

                      You just need to go a couple of days without getting enough sleep and you feel your abilities reduce. Your decision-making skills become erratic, your energy levels drop and your ability to stay focused on your work diminishes.

                      If you want to improve your brain’s ability to function, then start with getting enough sleep. The number of hours you need will depend on your own circadian rhythms, so find what works best for you.

                      Six to eight hours is usually enough for most people so make sure you are hitting that number of hours per night as a minimum.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Improving our brain power is not difficult. All we need to do is develop a few simple habits such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating the right foods.

                      These seven tips will go a long way to helping you to become more alert, able to focus longer and make decisions. All simple common sense tricks anyone can use.

                      More to Boost Your Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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