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10 Big Ideas from the World’s Top Entrepreneurs

Successful entrepreneurs are often the most quoted and quotable in the business world, as they exemplify the traits and passion necessary for accomplishing extraordinary feats. For some, these entrepreneurs serve as a beacon of hope, as many started out in a home garage or found success after many failed attempts; for others, these winners at the game of small business, and eventually big business, play as mentors to those who might be making the journey for the first time.

As entrepreneurs ourselves, we have looked to these and other successful men and women many times over the years in order to maintain our focus on our entrepreneurial end goal, and every marker in between. Today again, our aim is to encourage you as a small business owner with some of our favorite quotes we didn’t share in our post “10 Inspiring Quotes for Entrepreneurs” earlier this year, so you too can have a Passion for Possibilities!

1. Walt Disney, Founder of The Walt Disney Company

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Learn more about this extraordinary entrepreneur and inspiring storyteller in the PBS documentary recently released.

2. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”

3. Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had – everyday I’m learning something new.”

4. Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”

5. Howard Schultz, CEO and Chairman of Starbucks

“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”

Mr. Schultz dreams of creating awareness and opportunity for our U.S. veterans and their families using Starbucks as his vehicle. See how he is executing on this dream here.

6. Debbi Fields, Founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies

“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

7. Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari, Inc. and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theaters

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer not a dreamer.”

8. Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Salesforce

“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”

9. Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s

“What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”

10. Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman of Apple Inc.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Be sure to listen weekly to The Second Stage at 5 p.m. Eastern Time where we break down important topics that matter to you as an entrepreneur, offering resources and tips on creating a foundation for small business success.


Posted by: Brendan Anderson A co-founder and managing partner at Evolution, Brendan has spent the past 20 years as an investor and manager of businesses ranging from manufacturing to financial services. @Brendan_Andersn

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