Are you about to start your first ever business from the ground up? As a beginner, you need every help available to avoid the ditches/pitfalls and to run a startup that grows/adapts through time and changes.
Ever heard of the saying if you meet a successful person, never ask for money, seek financial advice?
In this article, I’ll show you how 10 successful entrepreneurs started, how they got through obstacles, how they turn situations in their favor.
Hopefully, at the end of this post, you’ll get some takeaways from the top entrepreneurs in the world.
Just as with most other richest entrepreneurs alive, Bill Gates’ path to success was hugely paved by his passion. Right from the start, he was an argumentative kid with a burning passion for everything that is a computer. He’d gladly exchange anything for a computer. At the age of 13, Bill started hacking and even got banned from the school computer library for hacking unethically. Huh?
According to a story, Bill excuses himself from math classes to pursue his programming hobby and even dropped out of Havard school of law. He later meets a techie friend, Paul Allen, who was to later become the co-founder of Microsoft. His first job was creating a computer language for Altair Engineering. Inc. Then he later received a job call from Steve Jobs to build software for Apple. This job leads to the creation of Windows. And that became the big milestone for the birth of Microsoft.
Here’s a piece of advice from Bill Gates; your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning…
Next up is your one and only, the 5 billion people connector and one of the youngest richest men on earth, Mark Zukerberg. Born in 1984, Mark’s entire success story can be broken into 3 simple parts namely; meets a computer, learns and starts hacking, and develops and manages software. But, as expected, there are a lot of in-betweens.
As a 10-year-old boy, Mark found his father’s computer and learns to use it. Still at that age, he connected his father’s home computer with the one at the office and called it ZuckNet™. His passion for programming exploded and soon enough he was taking programming tutorship and creating games with his friends’ drawings.
Sharing the same story with Bill, Mark enters Havard only to drop out in 2004. His first ever big work was a program that could learn your music taste and he turned down Microsoft’s 1 billion offer for it. Other meaningful works include a course-matching program and a dating site for Winklevoss’ bros. He later created Facebook and turned down an estimated sum of $20 billion offer from Microsoft, Viacom, Yahoo, and MTV.
A piece of advice from Mark; Move faster and make mistakes
Steve may not be around any longer but his legacy remains unerased from the very hardcore of historical records. Focus, attention-to-detail, hard work, smart work, spirituality; there’s just so much a myriad of values to pick up from the library of Steve Jobs. Here’s a simple overview of his windy success path; born and adopted, drilled into electronics, entered and dropped out of college, went spiritual, started apple, and got fired…
Wait…let’s stop right there. Steve actually got fired from his own company by the CEO he hired himself. As an entrepreneur, you want to read deeply into this story for lessons and wisdom.
His first ever step was learning electronics from his foster father. He later dropped out of college and flew over to India to practice Buddhism, psychedelics, and spirituality. Though he’d initially met Wozniak. This time he went back, got back his job with Woz, and made his first big money with Bluebox.
He started Apple computer company in a garage, sold apple, get fired, and bought apple back.
In his words; quality is better than quantity, one home run is better than two doubles…
Jeff’s story is another one with a thousand miles of roadblocks. From getting denied of studies for being too bookish to getting sued for creating Amazon, and a lot more.
Jeff Bezos was raised by his mother’s second husband and had a passion for being an astronaut after watching the Apollo 11 moon landing. But later on, he found that his brain wasn’t wired for physics but, anyways, graduated as a computer scientist and an electrical engineer.
He co-founded a fax newsletter but came up with the “sell everything store idea” later on after realizing that the internet grows by 2300% every year. He quit his former job and started working on his business idea in a garage together with his wife and 2 other programmers.
He was threatened by Barnes and Noble’s CEO to shut down Amazon and that got Amazon its first biggest publicity.
According to Jeff Bezos; the most important single thing is to focus obsessively on customers.
Fun fact! Elon Musk lost his first big deal with a bank for using the exec bank’s coffee machine. Huh?
To the important part of his financial journey, Elon Musk was born a genius. He read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and ran out of books to read in the library. He read 10hrs a day, learned BASIC and finished a 6 weeks’ course in 3 days, and finally writes video game Blaster which he sold for $500.
His existential crisis drew him into learning everything about space and physics. With the $28, 000 startup fund he got from his father, Elon Musk raises a $3 million investment and gets $22 million from Zip2 at age 28. He later created PayPal and designed his first-ever rocket from scratch, which exploded. He failed in his quest to launch a rocket 3 times before eventually succeeding at the 4th trial.
Today, Elon Musk runs Tesla and SpaceX.
In his words; constantly think about how you can do things better.
Looking for a Chinese version of Steve Jobs? You’ve found Jack Ma.
Jack Ma, born into a poor family, bought his first laptop at the age of 33. He made the search “beer” on it and discovered there was no Chinese beer business alive. Seeing the opportunity, the Chinese man was able to convince a group of friends into investing in his online marketplace idea.
Jack had tried several business ideas and failed before finally finding success with Alibaba which was originally a trading platform that grew into an eCommerce store in 2003.
Alibaba leads to the invention of AliPay, and today, Jack is the richest Chinese man in China.
A piece of advice from Jack; think of others when you work on yourself, it’s only when others succeed that you can succeed.
Mark Cuban was an avid reader and a lover of money right from the beginning. He started a bar business with a sum of $15, 000 amidst his undergraduate studies in Business Administration at Indiana University.
In the 1980s, Cuban started Microsolution which he sold along the line for $6 million. In the 1990s, Mark Cuban started AudioNet, later named Broadcast.com which was later acquired by Yahoo, and Mark took in $1.7 billion Yahoo stock.
Later in the Millennium, Mark Cuban became one of the major owners of Dallas Maverick for $120 million and is now an outspoken critic of Bitcoin.
One thing to learn from Mark Cuban; Love what you do or don’t do it.
Richard is a business tycoon and an opportunity spotter personality. He has a keen eye for business opportunities where anyone could least expect and fish out whales of cash in the shortest span of time. This is obvious in his short financial story shared below.
Richard’s first business was a magazine which he called The Students. He saw the business opportunity after dropping out of school since his dyslexia won’t let him keep up. The Student magazine first earning was $8, 000.
On moving to England, Richard develops an interest in the British music scene and this lead to the creation of his mail-order company, the Virgin. The continuous profit from The Virgin helped both in funding The Student and in creating The Virgin Records.
Today, Brenson controls over 400 companies under his umbrella and is still counting.
An important quote from Richard Branson; If you don’t have time for small things, you won’t have time for the big things.
The story of Tony Robbins is quite straightforward but whimsical. This is in the sense that Tony was like every other unfortunate person on earth. He was hanging on to his past and was blinded from seeing the opportunities that the future promises.
Working as a Janitor and earning $30 every week, Tony was considered a failure by both parents. On a faithful day, he had an encounter with Jim Hannah who saw his hustle and how greatly he worked his tail off.
Jim Hannah introduced him to a webinar by Jim Rohn which Tony spent a week’s payment on but was glad he did though skeptical at first.
According to tony in an interview; I learned that increasing my value is the key to financial freedom and I have been doing that ever since.
Henry Ford (Image Credit: History.com)
Here’s the last on my list. Though dead and long gun, the legacy that Henry left behind is driven across the world in the popular Ford cars.
Henry Ford started his financial path at the age of 16 when he left his family to work in the machine shops in Detroit. In 1893, Henry was made the chief engineer at Edison. This huge position stopped him from pursuing his real goal which is creating a gasoline-powered vehicle.
Fortunately, and finally, he was able to build his first horseless carriage in 1896. He frontiered the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899 and later started Ford.
Here’s a piece of financial advice from Henry Ford; Business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
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How 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Started