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How to Be Successful? The Stories of These 15 Entrepreneurs Can Give You Some Ideas

How to Be Successful? The Stories of These 15 Entrepreneurs Can Give You Some Ideas

Passion, motivation, the desire to take risks and confidence. These words define an entrepreneur. Perhaps these words makes you envision Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck. Maybe you see the iPhone as one of the most important ideas of all time. Or maybe when you think about an individual who brought a unique idea to the world and worked tirelessly until it changed life as we know it, you picture Thomas Edison.

Both Jobs and Edison are deserving of the Influential Entrepreneurial title, because both men impacted the world with new ways to communicate. But when I ask you to think of some of the most influential entrepreneurs in the last hundred years or so, would you have trouble listing more than two? Read on to learn about 15 of the most influential entrepreneurs.

15 Most Influential Entrepreneurs of All Time

Henry Ford

    Ford was born into a family of farmers, but he was always curious as to how things worked. After receiving a timepiece from his father as a teenager, Ford took the thing apart just to see if he could put it back together. Though Dyslexic, Ford knew he had a passion about knowing how things worked, and he was determined to do something about it.

    In 1891, Ford met with Thomas Edison (who was very intrigued by his auto-mobile ideas) who allowed him to use his warehouses to manufacture two vehicles. When he could, Ford built his own company so he could build the cars how he wanted to. Ford went on to build the Cadillac Automobile company, but he had terrible financial setbacks along the way. He believed in himself and didn’t let financial failures slow him down. Sales for the Ford group are now $190 billion.

    Oprah Winfrey

      Winfrey may be a household name because of her show and her magazines, but she’s accomplished so much more. After facing a tragic childhood and being very vocal about things she had experienced, Winfrey would gain fame in 1983 when she landed her own talk-show. While she was happy with the fame and financial success she was experiencing, she still had entrepreneurial skills. In 1988, she founded Harpo Studios. This business now has over 250 employees and is growing every year. Her personal wealth sits at a comfortable $2.7 billion.

      Larry Page

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        At just 37 years old, Page has a net worth of $15 billion! He’s the co-founder of Google. His parents were both computer science professors at the University of Michigan. He came from a wealthy family, so he was able to attend the best schools in order to complete his degree in Computer Engineering Sciences. He also earned a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford before meeting Sergey Brin in 1995.

        Brin was also a Stanford student, and the two became friends. In 1996, they went into business together and started Google Incorporated. Through networking, they were able to get financial backing from Andy Bectolsheim, one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems. They would go on to be offered much more from tons of investors.

        Richard Branson

          Branson is a well-known British Industrialist, and you’ve probably seen him on commercials for the Virgin Group’s Virgin Atlantic Airways. Virgin Group spans across 360 different companies including Virgin Records, Virgin Galactic and even some charities. Branson was always of an entrepreneurial mind, as he started his first business venture in 1966 with Student Magazine. The next year, he opened his first charity, The Student Advisory Centre.

          He is heavily involved with all aspects of his company, which helps make him such a success, and part of why he’s on this list. He didn’t stop as soon as he was successful, he continued to work hard because he cares about the work he’s doing.

          Ariana Huffington

            Huffington was born in Athens, Greece in 1950 and is now one of the most professional and successful females within the blogging industry. Along with blogging, Huffington also wrote a biography on Maria Callas in 1981, and Picasso in 1989. She gained more attention in the early 90’s when she supported her ex-husband’s unsuccessful bid for the Senate.

            Always driven, she later founded the Huffington Post. This has spanned and grown and you may also recognize HuffPost Chicago, HuffPost New York, HuffPost Denver, and HuffPost Los Angeles. In 2010, she won the Webby award for the People’s Voice, and she was even named the second place winner in Time Magazine’s Best 25 Blogs of 2009.

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            Charles Kemmons Wilson

              Wilson is one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the hotelier business. Supposedly, he came up with the idea for his business after a road trip helped him see the need for quality hotels. He and his business partner created Holiday Inn of America. It franchised in 1957 and grew dramatically. In fact, by 1958, Wilson and Johnson had managed to create 50 different Holiday Inns all over the country. In just five years, there were 500! And just after a decade, that already impressive number would double to 1000.

              Wilson was a true entrepreneur, as he brought innovative ideas to the market which helped leverage the way things worked as well as adding financial pressure to traditional hotels and bigger competitors.

              Anita Roddick

                Roddick created the Body Shop in 1976 with only 15 products and loads of compassion. She had sourced the products from all around the world and was determined to give shoppers in the UK access to “Greener” products. She was so motivated and passionate about what she was doing, she was able to open store after store. As of 2003, she had built an empire of 1,980 stores serving more than 75 million customers in 50 countries. She sold her company to L’Oreal and made $1.03 billion on it.

                Jeff Bezos

                  Born in 1964, Bezos is the founder, chief executive officer and Chairman of the Board for Amazon.com. Bezos started as an Exxon engineer, but he had always been interested in science. He received an honorary doctorate in science and technology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and graduated from Princeton. In 1994, after a trip from New York to Seattle, Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon. He was able to get backing and now Amazon is one of the most successful e-commerce sites in the world with a revenue of about $25 billion.

                  George Eastman

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                    You’ve probably heard of Kodak, but you probably haven’t heard of Eastman, even though he was the man who made it all happen. He founded the company in 1884, but he was more interested in creating than running the business. He hired Henry Strong as the president and in 1885, Eastman invented the roll film which was used for over 100 years.

                    Penny Streeter

                      Streeter was born in Zimbabwe in 1957, but she moved to the UK in the late eighties. After launching a recruitment business, she was left broke and homeless due to its failure. To add to her troubles, she was faced with a divorce at the same time.

                      Six years later, she decided she had nothing more to lose and started a recruitment business once more. This time, she created Ambition 24Hours and it sought to fill roles in nursing, social work, teaching, lecturing, and care-giving. In 2004, the company expanded into South Africa and in 2006, she made her first noticeable acquisition; the nursing services of South Africa. This was the largest staffing agency for nursing personnel. Streeter went from being broke to having a net worth of $117.80 billion.

                      Linda Bennett

                        Bennett truly worked her way from the bottom. Passionate about the clothing industry, she founded the luxury womenswear brand LK Bennett in the UK in 1990. She opened an accessories shop in Wimbledon with a small savings account and a bank loan. She managed to become an icon, creating shoes for the Duchess of Cornwall which she wore to marry Prince Charles.

                        In 2004, she tried to sell the business, but didn’t, as the asking price wasn’t met. Four years later she sold to a private equity firm called Phoenix Equity partners and Sirius Equity for around $110 million.

                        Madame C.J. Walker

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                          Walker died over 90 years ago, but she made an empire. Born Sarah Breedlove, Walker is known for being America’s first African-American entrepreneur, as well as one of the wealthiest of her time. Many women in the 18-1900s suffered from hair loss (thought to be due to a lack of plumbing and electricity which prevented bathing regularly). Walker recognized it was a problem and decided to make some home-made remedies.

                          They worked so well that she invested and created a business. The products were a huge success and stores across the country were selling her products. In 1908, she opened a college to train hair dressers, and in 1910 she started a factory. She would later become a teacher and lecturer, speaking to female entrepreneurs to help them find their own success.

                          Walt Disney

                            After being hired by the Kansas City film Ad Company, Disney learned how to make animations from cut-outs. He went on to have many successes and failures, but he continued to work on his animation knowledge. In 1932, he won an Academy Award for his efforts in animation. He is of course responsible for Disney Land and Disney World which are currently worth about $35 million.

                            Hans Christian Andersen

                              Anderson grew up poor, but a fortuneteller told him he would grow up to be famous. He tried and failed to become an actor and a singer, but the director of the Royal Danish Theatre took him under his wing and paid for his education. He was bullied at school and began publishing his writings after leaving. His fairy tales became famous and Disney has adapted most of them.

                              Michael Newton

                                Newton started a CCTV system in 1982 that monitored how long a person was at a bar. He introduced a line of multi-channel systems that were able to view a broad range of areas all at once in various locations. Now using this system, over 7 million images are recorded every second. In 1994, he made the move into the commercial airline industry and is now the CEO of the AD Aviation company.

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                                Last Updated on February 17, 2021

                                50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

                                50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

                                If you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do, maybe it’s time to check-in with your time management skills.

                                No one is born to be very good at time management, so that’s okay if you think you’re bad in it. But everyone can learn to boost their productivity and achieve more!

                                Here are 50 ways to increase productivity and add hours to your day.

                                1. Set a Timer

                                Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. How you go about this is up to you as there are many different ways. There is the Pomodoro technique where you focus on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break afterwards.

                                In the event that you have a task that will take much longer than that, you can consider one of the many timer-based apps. One that comes to mind is Clockify. It’s used for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike, however it’s a good way to be setting yourself a timer. It provides reports and you can serve as a project manager of sorts too. Best of all, it’s free.

                                2. Eliminate All Distractions

                                Distractions include the phone, email notifications and having multiple web browsers open on the desktop. Just as it’s important to be organized offline, it’s key to have things organized online as well. This free guide End Distractions And Find Your Focus is a good tool to help you. With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of distractions and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

                                You can also learn more on how to get rid of all distractions in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                                3. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

                                Distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a bit of music in the background can help you focus.

                                Of course, it doesn’t need to be heavy rock music, but a bit of Beethoven may do you some good.

                                Here’s a complete guide to help you pick the right music for better productivity: How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

                                4. Find Meaning in What You Do (And Love What You Do)

                                Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.

                                If you aren’t sure what you love doing yet, don’t worry. Leo Babauta has some unique ways to help you: How to Find Your Passion

                                5. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.

                                By listing your tasks in order of importance, you can make sure that you finish all of your most important tasks during the day.

                                Learn a unique technique to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

                                6. Batch Similar Tasks into a Single Batch.

                                Tasks like blog writing, phone calls, email and errands can be grouped into a single batch. You will save time by completing similar tasks in one session. One way to help you with organizing all of those things is through the app Todoist. It’s an easy and simple way for you to plan out your day, set reminders, and group all of your most important tasks in a convenient spot.

                                7. Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks First Thing in the Morning.

                                Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.

                                Many people tend to check emails in the morning because after checking a list of emails, they feel fulfilled. But that’s just an illusion of having achieved more.

                                Doing simple tasks like checking emails first in the morning is bad for you. Instead, do the difficult tasks because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!

                                8. Reward Yourself for Finishing a Big Task

                                To stay motivated for whatever you do, reward yourself every now and then.

                                Keep track of your small wins and milestones and celebrate them. So whenever you struggle about your progress, you see how far you’ve come!

                                Find out more about this 2-Step Approach to Self-Motivation: Track Small Wins and Reward Yourself.

                                9. Don’t Multitask

                                Research has shown that multitasking is not productive. If you think you can multitask, think again.

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                                For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.

                                10. Step Away from the Computer

                                The Internet has become one of the number one distraction. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.

                                I do this a lot when I try to brainstom new ideas and have found it to be very beneficial to simply unplug.

                                11. Use Focus Tools

                                Make good use of apps and technology to help you remove distractions.

                                Here’re 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools to help you stay focused. This way, you’re not distracted by the web, e-mail, or IM.

                                Also, join the free Fast-Track Class – Overcoming Distraction, and you’ll learn the one simple method to work even when you’re surrounded by distractions. Join the free session now!

                                12. Just Start

                                Often times, starting is the hardest part. People tend to wait for the perfect time with perfect condition to start. But there’s no perfect condition.

                                Once you get going, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

                                13. Find out Your Productive Hours

                                Everyone has a certain time of the day in which they are more productive than others. For me, it’s the morning.

                                Find out when your prime time is for productivity and optimize your work schedule accordingly.

                                14. Keep a Notebook and Pen on Hand at All Times

                                This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second. Another consideration is getting the app Evernote. Not only does this save you on ink and paper, Evernote is a convenient place for you to jot down notes and thoughts and then share them with the team. In certain circumstances, this can prove useful if you’re the type of person that has a lot of ideas that you want to share.

                                15. Write a Blog to Chronicle Your Own Personal Development and Achievements

                                The blog keeps you accountable and always working towards self improvement and personal growth.

                                When you write down all the small achievements you’ve been having, you’re also more motivated to move forward.

                                And you know what, this is how I started Lifehack too! What also helped me in starting Lifehack is WordPress, which allows people to set up a website for free. WordPress has simplified a lot of the process of building a site to the point that virtually anyone can build a website now.

                                16. Write out a To-Do-List Each Day

                                I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up. The Full Life Planner is a nice tool to help you organize your days and get things that matter done. Check out the planner here and start to plan your day ahead easily!

                                Make sure you don’t make any of these common to-do-list mistakes!

                                17. Write Your Most Important Tasks and To-Dos on a Calendar.

                                The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to be doing there at any given time. Effective calendar management goes hand in hand with good task list management.

                                Learn here How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space.

                                18. Reflect on Your Productivity Constantly

                                As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself:

                                “Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?”

                                This one simple question can be an excellent boost to your productivity.

                                19. Get up Early Before Anyone Else

                                I know it could be difficult for some to wake up early in the morning but nothing beats a quiet house!

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                                Here’s How to Start Your Day at 5:00 AM and some Simple Things Early Risers Do to make waking up early easier.

                                20. Get Plenty of Sleep

                                When you work online, sleep can become a long lost memory. However, it’s important to get plenty of sleep so that your working hours can be as productive as possible.

                                Try out this night routine which I highly recommend for productivity: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                                21. Exercise

                                Research has shown that midday exercise boosts productivity and morale in the workplace.

                                Take a short walk at lunch or do some simple stretches during your break to maximize your productivity.

                                Here I have some exercises recommendations for you:

                                22. Outsource as Much as Possible

                                If you want to achieve more in less time, learn to delegate or outsource work. Here are just a few of the companies that will help you outsource your everyday tasks:

                                Also, read this guide to learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                                23. Set Some Exciting Goals

                                Without worthy goals, you will never be motivated to get things done.

                                Set goals that are challenging and achievable. The best goal setting framework is a SMART goal. That said, there are other tools that can help you out as well. For example, The Dreamers’ Guide To Reaching Your Goal is a great guide to help you set and reach goals effectively. Grab your free guide and learn how to make your goals happen this year!

                                24. Tell Other People About Your Goals

                                When you tell others about your goals, you will instantly be held accountable.

                                25. Listen to Podcasts

                                Listen to educational podcasts or audio books while you’re driving to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or cooking dinner.

                                Audio learning has the power to add hours to your day. Not to mention, your cranium is sure to thank you for it.

                                Some recommendations for you: 11 Podcasts To Inspire Yourself

                                26. Read David Allen’s best-selling book Getting Things Done

                                This is one of the most important productivity books you will ever read. Read it, apply the tips in your daily lives and get more things done.

                                Here’re more great books about productivity too: 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

                                27. Learn to Speed Read

                                When you can read faster, you will read and learn more! Check out these 10 Ways to Increase Your Reading Speed.

                                You can also make use of the app OutRead to help speed up your reading speed!

                                28. Learn to Skip When You Read

                                When you’re reading a book, just read the parts that you need and skip the rest. But you have to read with a purpose.

                                Learn how to make it work here: How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

                                29. Focus on Result-Oriented Activities

                                Pareto’s law (also known as the 80 20 rule) states that 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. This means that 20% of our actions result in 80% of the results.

                                We must find the 20% that is creating the 80% of our desired outcomes and focus solely on those activities.

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                                30. Take a Break

                                You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times.

                                31. Start a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

                                What is polyphasic sleep?

                                Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily.[1] This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

                                While you can learn more about it here, you’re recommended to take some naps during the day to recharge your energy too.

                                32. Learn to Say “No”.

                                We can’t do everything and therefore we must learn when to say no in order to save our sanity.

                                Learn the Gentle Art of Saying No from Leo Babauta.

                                33. Go on an Information Diet

                                Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing.

                                Stop reading three different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.

                                The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. Here’re some simple tips you can try: 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information

                                34. Organize Your Office

                                The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system and dumping the junk.

                                Check out these 21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done and 20 Easy Home Office Organization Ideas to Boost Your Productivity.

                                35. Find a Mentor

                                By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.

                                A good mentor is hard to find, so here’s a guide to help you: What to Look for in a Mentor

                                36. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

                                With technology’s help, you can double your work efficiency. Even better, you learn all the shortcuts when using technology, for example keyboard shortcuts.

                                When you use keyboard shortcut, you gain 64 hours every year!

                                Not sure what shortcuts to lear? Check out these 22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja.

                                Besides learning the shortcuts, you can also create keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey.

                                37. Improve Your Typing Speed to Save Time

                                Do you know you can save 21 days per year just by typing fast?

                                You don’t really need to take some serious courses to type faster, try these typing games online:

                                38. Work from Home and Avoid the Daily Commute

                                If your job is a flexible one, consider working from home. This saves you the commute time and you’ll find yourself more energetic throughout the day as you have saved the long ride.

                                Take a look at these tips to help you stay productive while working from home:

                                How to Work from Home and Stay Ultra-Productive

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                                39. Get Rid of Time Wasters

                                Common time wasters include Instant Messenger, video games, Flickr, checking your stats 10 times a day, television and extraneous Internet surfing.

                                Don’t rely on your willpower, make use of some of these useful tools to help you stay focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

                                40. Plan Your Meals in Advance

                                Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This allows you to focus on the necessary – saving you time and money. You can also save yourself even more time through a wide variety of apps. One app that I find helpful is Mealime. It’s an app that provides you with a wide selection of recipes and also a convenient spot for your grocery list as well.

                                Considering the fact that over 4 million users have this app, it goes to show that there is a good selection of meal plans that you can follow and that the app is friendly to use.

                                41. Cook Your Meals in Bulk

                                When you cook your meals in bulk, you will have plenty of leftovers. This can avoid having to cook everyday.

                                Find out more about how to make cooking in bulk works: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

                                42. Protect Yourself from Unnecessary Phone Time with Caller ID

                                The minutes you spend on picking up unnecessary phone calls are time wasted. You can prevent that from happening.

                                Check out this detailed guide how you can deal with those unnecessary phone calls: How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day – Cellphone Calls

                                43. Take Shorter Showers

                                This one may sound silly but it’s actually something I struggle with. I spend up to 30 minutes in the shower. Think of the time I could save simply by speeding up a bit.

                                44. Save the Trips to Bank by Taking Direct Deposit

                                Many employers now offer direct deposit. If yours does, then be sure and take advantage of it and save yourself from a number of trips to the bank.

                                45. Auto Pay Your Bills

                                How many times have you been worried about whether you missed the bills deadline?

                                Auto paying your bills will save you time and eliminate late fees and increased interest rates.

                                46. Shop Online

                                Whenever possible, avoid going to the store. When you shop online, you can be more focus about what you’re getting.

                                47. Speed up your Internet With a Broadband Connection

                                Many people are aware of the slow speed of internet but aren’t doing anything about it. In fact, this is the number one Internet time-saver!

                                If you must use dial-up, then you can use accelerators like Propel and SlipStream to double or even triple your speed.

                                48. Keep up the Speed of Your Computer

                                If you’re a Windows user, use Windows hibernation feature to avoid the slowdown of exiting and restarting Windows.

                                Or maybe, consider switching to Mac as there’re plenty of Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC.

                                49. Turn off the TV

                                The average American watches more than 4 hours of television every day. Over a 65-year life, that’s 9 years glued to the tube.

                                For better health and productivity, turn off the TV. Here’re 11 more reasons to tell you to stop watching TV so often.

                                Turn off the TV and you are sure to get more out of life.

                                50. Use a Tivo or DVR

                                This can help you cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. You can save time while not missing the fun.

                                So, here’s the ultimate list of techniques you should learn to boost productivity. Pick the techniques that work for you and make them your daily habits. As time goes, you’ll find yourself being a lot more productive.

                                More Time Management Tips

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Medical News Today: What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?

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