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11 Titans Share Their Advice On How To Achieve Success

The fear of failure and limiting thoughts are often what hold us back from achieving our true potential. The truly successful know this, and push through anyway. They are resilient, positive and determined to overcome challenges. Here’s what you can learn from them.

Entrepreneur

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Steven Spielberg

In times of great difficulty, when it’s hard to move forward or even summon the reasons to get up in the morning, there is some comfort. That comfort comes from what we still control.

We often discount the role luck has in our successes, believing them wholly earned — something bought and paid for with sweat and persistence. This can leave us angry and unprepared for our failures, leaving us feeling as if we’ve been robbed or cheated. In reality, our lives should make the best of both work and luck.

Of course, that does little to ease the sting of loss or unfairness. The only remedy for that, the only salve that works, is strength. It’s a steady regimen of putting one foot in front of the other.

Let these wise words on strength and resilience serve as your balm and inspiration — and help you on your long road forward.

1Embrace The Fear

conan-obrien

“There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fear realised. … It’s not easy, but your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.… Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” – Conan O’Brien, talk show host, during a 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth 

Related: 10 Great Quotes On The Power Of Goals

2Accept Your Reality

sheryl-sandberg

“One year and 13 days ago, I lost my husband, Dave. His death was sudden and unexpected.… A few weeks after Dave died, I was talking to my friend Phil about a father-son activity that Dave was not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave.’ Phil put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.’ We all at some point live some form of option B. The question is: What do we do then?” – Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, during a 2016 commencement speech at the University of California at Berkeley.

3Forget Perfect

Greg Louganis

“If you focus on perfection, you may never get out of the gate since you’ll fear falling short of that. Even in diving, the definition of a score of 10 is excellent, not perfect.”— Greg Louganis, Olympic diver, in an article on Entrepreneur.com

Related: 15 Wise Money Quotes From Millionaires And Billionaires

4Hold On

steve-ballmer

“Be hard core.… Hard core means tenacious. Hard core means long-term. Hard core means determined. I don’t care what you do, you’re going to have to be patient and industrious and really stay after things.… You’re going to have to be determined and long-term.”— Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, during a 2014 commencement at the University of Washington

5Listen To Reason

Sara Blakely

“I listen to motivational tapes and my favourite is an early series by Wayne Dyer, How to Be a No-Limit Person. When I was 16, I saw my good friend get run over by a car and killed. Around the same time, my parents separated, and my dad handed me that series, and said, ‘I wish someone gave this to me when I was your age instead of having to discover it when I was 40.’ I memorised all ten tapes. It’s my go-to gift for people I care about.” — Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, during an interview with Entrepreneur

Related: 5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba

6Take Chances On Yourself

Dick Costolo

“When you’re doing what you love to do, you become resilient, because that’s the habit you create for yourself. You create a habit of taking chances on yourself and making bold choices in service to doing what you love.”— Dick Costolo, former Twitter CEO, during a 2013 commencement at the University of Michigan

7Change Your Story

tony-robbins

PC: Oceandrive.com

“Strategies don’t change you. Implementation does. And people don’t implement because they have a missing story or at worst they have a disempowering story, a belief that says, ‘I’ve tried everything.’ So, I tell people, ‘Divorce your story and marry the truth.’ You find the truth by finding someone who is getting the results you want and finding out what they believe. And you’ll find their beliefs are radically different from your own.”— Tony Robbins, author and speaker in an interview with Entrepreneur

Related: The Best 25 Motivational Quotes To Kick Start Every Morning

8Move Quickly

Barbara Corcoran

“Obstacles move in and park themselves on your chest. They’re there to kill your spirit and take your confidence, and you need to spot them coming through the door and shoot them [and] not let them hang out. I didn’t know that back then and could have easily lost my business. When my boyfriend left me, I gave it way too much thought, and as I analysed what went wrong, what I lacked, how the business would not survive and what people would think, I lost my confidence. There were solutions all around as there always are, but I couldn’t see them. I’ve since learnt that you need to treat obstacles just like opportunity — quickly without much thought and move on.” – Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and Shark Tank host, in an interview with Entrepreneur about a breakup with a boyfriend who was also her co-founder and first investor

9Connect With Others

steven-spielberg-entrepreneur

“Instinctively and maybe even genetically, we divide the world into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ So the burning question must be: How do all of us together find the ‘we?’”— Steven Spielberg, director, during a 2016 Harvard University 2016 Commencement address

Related: 6 Epic Quotes From Absa Cape Epic Founder Kevin Vermaak

10Let Yourself Grow

jk-rowling

“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.” – J.K. Rowling, author, on being a jobless divorced single mother seven years after her college graduation, in a commencement speech.

11Remember: Setbacks Are Natural

Oprah Winfrey

“At some point you are bound to stumble because if you’re constantly doing what we do, raising the bar; pushing yourself higher, higher than the law of averages, not to mention the Myth of Icarus, which predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”— Oprah Winfrey on the challenges of starting OWN, during a 2013 commencement address at Harvard

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Lessons Learnt

Give Your Business The Best Chance Of Success

For that to happen an entrepreneur must distil the business’s reason for being and then doggedly pursue that vision.

Gil Sperling

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successful-business

In my capacity as a business owner and venture capitalist, one of the questions I get asked most often by entrepreneurs is, “how do I ensure my business succeeds?” While there’s no straightforward answer, there are important elements that I believe every entrepreneur must consider to ensure the greatest probability of success.

Firstly, no business will succeed if it doesn’t solve a unique pain point or problem for modern consumers or businesses. However, even if a business is able to carve out that niche, there’s no guarantee that growth will follow. For that to happen an entrepreneur must distil the business’s reason for being and then doggedly pursue that vision.

North Star metric

This principle of having a clear business vision guides all my decisions. Whenever I need to validate a choice or a change in strategic direction, or if I’m trying to determine what to focus on, I always refer back to my vision. If the two are incongruent, then I know I need to change tack.

Elon Musk is a great example of a successful entrepreneur who is guided by his grand vision. Everything he does, from Tesla to SpaceX, pertains to sustainability, both for the planet and the human race. It might be hard to make the connection when you consider his various businesses out of context, but everything he creates fits into a broader ecosystem that in some way moves the needle towards his ultimate objective. Developing Tesla cars that run on renewable energy is but a small, short-term plan that feeds into his grand vision, yet it’s also been the catalyst for the evolution of the motoring industry.

Related: The Popimedia (Mega) Success Story

Be clear, concise

In the same way, every decision an entrepreneur makes should in some way take them a step closer to realising their vision. In this regard, it is also vital that your vision is crystal clear – a murky or undefined vision will divert you off your path to success.

That’s because you’ll tend to focus on the wrong things, especially when scaling rapidly, or when running bigger organisations, because there are many tasks to complete every day. A lack of clarity also leads to poor decision-making, or, worse, decision paralysis, and that’s business suicide – I’d rather make a bad decision than no decision at all, because it prompts action. However, with a clear vision, more often than not, those decisions will be correct.

Defining your vision

So, how do you know if your vision is clear and, more importantly, relevant and consequential? The way I stress test my vision is to evaluate it every day against the decisions I take, and the direction of the business. This daily process helps to sharpen my decisions over time.

The other step is to remain open-minded enough to accept and acknowledge criticism, and take on board advice from trusted confidants and impartial experts. This is important, because you need to craft your vision based on as much information as possible, including valid criticism.

Ultimately, though, your vision for the business should align with your purpose. Forget about money and turnover as points of departure when defining your vision. These are merely metrics that can determine the strength and effectiveness of your business strategy.

For each of my several business interests, be it VC funding or ad-tech innovation, I have different visions. Each are meaningful to me, but in every instance, I don’t wake up every day with the sole ambition of making money.

While I need to make money to grow these businesses, or build something new, having purpose and vision are the ways I pull through those inevitable challenging situations. Having your vision front of mind in everything you do helps you make better decisions, and makes the hardships easier to endure. It helps you see through the turmoil, because you know where the process will lead, and you always know where the ultimate objective lies.

Read next: A Comprehensive List Of Angel Investors That Fund South African Start-Ups

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Lessons Learnt

Jimmy Choo’s Co-Founder Explains Why There Are No Small Jobs

Tamara Mellon shares the strategy that has helped her find new opportunities throughout her career.

Nina Zipkin

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The co-founder of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon, believes that you can find inspiration and opportunity anywhere. All it takes is determination to keep going and a keen eye for observation.

Mellon began her career in the early 1990s working as an accessories editor for British Vogue. Always on the hunt for up-and-coming designers, she came across Jimmy Choo, a cobbler working in London’s East End.

She would commission him to create shoes for fashion shoots. They were so well received by readers that the pair realised they could expand beyond one-of-kind pieces for the pages of the magazine.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Lessons Learnt

6 Habits Long-Time Millionaires Rely On To Stay Rich

It’s a simple fact: Most millionaires have different habits than the average person. However, these habits are far from inaccessible; they improve one’s odds of finding success but can be adopted by just about anyone with a bit of concerted effort.

Timothy Sykes

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jack-dorsey

To take that idea one step further, once someone has become successful, how do they stay successful? Here, I’d like to take a slightly longer-sighted look at the habits of millionaires, focusing not just on the habits that make them successful but the ones that help them stay successful over time. By cultivating these habits in your own life, you’ll be investing in your own sustained success over time.

Here are six habits of long-time millionaires:

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