Every successful entrepreneur has had their ups and downs.
Most have experienced crippling failures before eventually rising to fame and fortune. What sets these successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest, is their resolve to learn from their mistakes, try again, and most importantly listen to business advice from those who’ve gone down this path before them.
One of my most valuable sources of business advice over the past few years has been Ramit Sethi, an Entrepreneur, NY Times bestselling author, and instructor of How to Make Money and Grow a Business here on CreativeLive.
Ramit’s helped me realize that success never comes overnight, and you won’t build a profitable business without some help along the way.
Today I reached out to some of the most successful and respected entrepreneurs from around the world. I asked them to share the best business advice they’ve ever received.
1. Tim Ferriss: Choose your friends wisely.
“The best advice I’ve ever received is ‘you are the average of the 5 people you associate with most.’ I’ve actually heard this from more than one person, including bestselling authors, Drew Houston of Dropbox, and many others who are icons of Silicon Valley. It’s something I re-read every morning. It’s also said that ‘your network is your net worth.’ These two work well together.”
2. Sheryl Sandberg: Seize incredible opportunities that come your way.
“The best advice I ever received was from Eric Schmidt, when he was Google’s CEO & I was thinking about not taking the offer from Google. He told me that when picking a job, only one criterion mattered: fast growth. He said, ‘If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”
Sheryl, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer is very focused on empowering women to become leaders in business through her book and frequent speaking engagements with her organization, LeanIn.
3. Lewis Howes: Invest in yourself.
“Grant Cardone told me to invest more of the money I make back into my brand and in myself. Always invest in you!”
Lewis is an accomplished former professional football player and lifestyle entrepreneur that’s taught thousands how to turn their passions into viable online businesses and has built a powerful personal brand on the back of his top-ranked business podcast.
4. Guy Kawasaki: Listen to your customers (while you still have the chance).
“I’ve had lots of good advice but this one is one of the best. ‘As long as people are complaining, they still want to do business with you. When they stop complaining is when you need to worry.’ It was from Marty Gruber, president of a jewelry manufacturer that I was working for in Los Angeles, way before my tech career.”
Guy is an immensely successful startup founder, best-selling author, and investor. He’s currently the chief evangelist at Canva, an online graphics design service that makes it easy to create graphics without any previous skills.
5. Vanessa Van Edwards: Seek learning opportunities in everything.
“Every time you think to yourself, ‘I already know this’ or ‘This isn’t for me,’ try turning it around by asking, ‘How can I make this work for me?’ This instantly puts you into a learning mindset and helps you see opportunities everywhere. I learned this from Marie Forleo and it has fundamentally changed how I approach my business life.”
Vanessa is a brilliant behavioral scientist on a quest to teach people how to effectively communicate and accomplish their dreams. Check out her online class, Master Your People Skills.
6. Nir Eyal: Build a meaningful network.
“The most insightful advice I can remember receiving came from Andy Rachleff, who at the time was teaching at Stanford. He helped me understand the tremendous power of the network effect.”
Nir is a technology entrepreneur, speaker, and author of the recent best-selling book Hooked, already one of the most respected works on building powerful, habit-forming products. He has a great course on CreativeLive where he teaches how to create repeat customers for any type of business.
7. Tara Gentile: Know your customers inside-out.
“I’ve learned to really think about who I actually want to sell to, instead of some generalization or profile of who might buy from me. Every time I’ve named individual people and created content with them in mind, those people have actually worked with me. No solicitation, just genuine connection by tailor-making what works best for them. Of course, I’ve also met many other amazing people who needed the same things.”
Tara is an entrepreneur and prolific business strategist. She teaches small and medium sized business owners how to truly unlock their potential and connect with their customers. Check out her in-depth class on Turning Your Service Into a Product.
8. Michael Port: Never stop chasing your dreams.
“I asked a friend, who made more than 30 million dollars by the time he was 30, why he thought he was successful. His response: “there’s all this money our there, someone’s going to pick it up, it might as well be me.”
Michael is an accomplished entrepreneur, actor, author, and speaker. His Book Yourself Solid framework has helped many business owners and freelancers grow by getting the right clients that help them achieve their best work.
9. Chase Jarvis: Fail often.
The best business advice I’ve ever received was from the legendary Sir Richard Branson (an investor in CreativeLive and mentor/inspiration to me). His simple but brilliant advice is to always manage the downside. “When you prepare against catastrophic downsides (avoid “betting it all” or “mortgaging everything”) it allows you to create a culture where you can take lots of small to mid-size risks, learn and build.” Put simply – it’s exceedingly rare that greatness comes from a single blind all-in swing or a brash act. Boldness is required but the boldness that sticks around to experiment regularly, to fail small and often, and cultivate a culture of risk taking is what generates the most big wins in the end.
Here’s a recent video we shot with Chase and several other entrepreneurs, sharing more business advice.
Chase is the co-founder of CreativeLive and is an award-winning professional photographer, director, artist, and entrepreneur.
10. Derek Halpern: Do great work and promote the hell out of it.
“The best business advice I ever received came from a simple quote from John D. Rockefeller. He said, ‘next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.’ Right now, we live in an overcrowded world, and if you’re not out there promoting yourself, you’ll NEVER make an impact. That’s why this quote is so important. Do good work and promote the heck out of it.”
So, how are you going to change your business with this advice?
If you’re looking to launch a freelance career and start charging high rates for the services you provide, check out Command the Fees You Deserve with Ilise Benun. If you’re still searching for the right side business idea, then focus on seeking opportunities that live at the intersection of your skill set and passion.
Whether you’re starting a business while working full-time, or you’re preparing to make the leap to self-employment, learn what it’s going to take to launch your business with Ramit Sethi in Money + Business for Creatives right here on CreativeLive.