Lately, we’ve been obsessed with Shark Tank. You have to admit, it’s insanely inspiring to watch people from all walks of life come up with innovative ideas and find a way to be successful, regardless of their background and the financial means available to them. But the best part about Shark Tank are the sharks—they give some great advice i.e. “follow the green, not the dream,” and “develop a thick skin.”
This got us thinking about today’s topic: there are plenty of successful tycoons out there that give sound business advice, be it related to finance, operations, or marketing. You could probably find that on your own using a Google search. However, what makes a truly unique entrepreneur is his or her ability to think outside the box and come up with truly different ideas. This is why, after scouring the internet and library, we’re sharing some sage quotes by some exceptional leaders, innovators, creators, artists, and entrepreneurs from history to help ignite that spark of creativity within you.
“Don’t tell me it’s impossible, tell me you can’t do it.”
– Dean Kamen, American Engineer known for the invention of the iBot Wheelchair, the Segway and founder of FIRST North Dumpling Island
One of the most important traits frequently seen in successful innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders is an unshaken faith in their vision and their ability to achieve it. Regardless of what society says, they challenge conventional beliefs and relentlessly pursue their goals, despite failures, with single-minded determination and focus. From Albert Einstein to Elon Musk, many innovators in history have faced criticism and doubt, but with grit and perseverance, they’ve accomplished what no one else could. Musk revolutionized space travel when with SpaceX. When both US and Russian rocket manufacturers told him that his idea for economical reusable rockets was not feasible, he hit the books and learned everything he needed to make it happen. Musk was able to accomplish this because he didn’t believe that it was impossible, unlike those in the industry.
“I want to put a ding in the universe.”
–Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple
Steve Jobs disrupted Silicon Valley. He left a mark in the world and in history. While there are plenty of inspiring quotes by Jobs out there, we thought this one summed up his curiosity and thirst for creativity and innovation, all his life. Steve Jobs wanted to change the world; he genuinely believed he could, and he did it, too. The universe is large and you’re microscopic in comparison. Entrepreneurs who live for a larger purpose, driven by a cause and an urge to make an impact tend to not only find success for themselves, but also contribute to the community as whole. Be passionate. The higher you reach, the larger your accomplishment is likely to be, even if it falls slightly short of your expectations.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
–Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
“Failing forward” is an established concept in academia. Failure and obstacles are inevitable in any endeavor, but it’s learning from your mistakes and how you move forward that makes all the difference. In fact, according to a study by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, people who’ve encountered failure earlier in their lives are more likely to be successful in the long run. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, he co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which basically failed. It didn’t stop him though; his passion for computer programming led him to start Microsoft, making him the youngest self-made billionaire in the world back then. If you’ve hit a roadblock, don’t lose heart. Failure is the antidote to complacency, and experiencing it should make you come out on the other side wiser, smarter, and with a better way to do what you set out to achieve.
So, that was part one—we hope you’re inspired! We have plenty more to share and we’ll do that moving forward. Meanwhile, like what you read? Sign up for Evolve’s newsletter to get more useful content on how to Change, Transform, and Grow your business straight to your inbox!