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    12 December 2013

    50 Wise Thoughts on Business

    When it comes to creating your own career and your own business, you’re ultimately in the driver’s seat and responsible for your own destiny. It’s a heck of a lot different from clocking in and clocking out for 40 years of your life and allowing someone else to play the cards for you. Some might say that “working for the man” can provide the stability and job security that being an entrepreneur cannot.

    However, being an entrepreneur comes with freedoms unlike any other career choice. Allowing yourself the permission to beat your own drum and set your own schedule doesn’t come as easily as some may think. As an entrepreneur, one must kick passion, creativity, and determination into overdrive, as the clock ticks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thoughts and ideas consume you, and most of the time, your brain never rests. You take big risks to enjoy big rewards.

    In the spirit of entrepreneurs who triumphed over 100 years ago—Thomas Edison and Henry Ford—to modern-day legends such as Steve Jobs and the countless young geniuses that have the courage where others lack the fortitude to keep their eye on the prize,

    I have compiled a list of 50 wise thoughts on business that can shed some light on a path to living the life of a bona fide entrepreneur.

    1. If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build his or hers.
    2. Being an entrepreneur is living a few years of your life the way most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life the way most people can’t.
    3. Building an empire takes passion and determination. Without passion and determination, all you have is business.
    4. Own your ideas and put them into practice.
    5. Expect the best. Plan for the worst. Give everything you’ve got. And never give up.
    6. Try your best, and you will never fail.
    7. Visualize victory, and don’t let anything stand in your way.
    8. Don’t stop believing in what feels right.
    9. A leader succeeds by supporting employees. A failure falters by leading with fear.
    10. Every challenge offers an opportunity to do better.
    11. Don’t ever give up your integrity at the cost of getting ahead in business.
    12. Own your mistakes, and do better the next time.
    13. Most people fail in business because they focus on the small things and don’t see the big picture.
    14. Surround yourself with like-minded people who share similar interests and will keep pushing you.
    15. Experts share their secrets and develop themselves as role models. Those who lack confidence keep their thoughts to themselves. (By the time someone actually capitalizes on your secrets, you’ve thought of a bigger and better idea.)
    16. Don’t work for money. Make your money work for you.
    17. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for excellence.
    18. Don’t consider how you can use people but rather how you can build a partnership. Nobody is attracted to someone who is always taking rather than giving.
    19. There’s plenty of money to make but not as much time in life to enjoy it.
    20. You will always be in the same place if you don’t go somewhere you don’t know.
    21. “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” ~ Jeff Bezos
    22. Winners visualize the rewards of failure.
    23. Don’t be a spectator on the sidelines. Successful people learn how to take a hit and get back in the game.
    24. The journey of success is not the outcome but rather the person you became along the way.
    25. Quit talking and start doing.
    26. To unlock your true potential, the only person you have to impress is yourself.
    27. Overcome procrastination.
    28. A job is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
    29. “Quality is doing things right when no one is looking.” Henry Ford
    30. What you do once you get to the top is the true measure of who you are as a person.
    31. When you die, you can’t take your success or wealth with you. Have a plan to do something worthwhile with your accomplishments. Keep things in perspective. Your business is not really yours—it is what you do while on this earth. What you leave behind is your legacy.
    32. The only limits you have are the ones you create yourself.
    33. Know your competition, but don’t dwell on it; rather, focus on making your business better every day.
    34. Business opportunities are all around you—you just have to see them and go after them.
    35. You must be willing to try—and not give up—to turn a business idea into a reality.
    36. Strategy and innovation make you a leader, but good character is the definition of an effective leader.
    37. Value your customers, and they’ll keep coming back.
    38. Entrepreneurs see opportunity when others see impossibility.
    39. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goals; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson
    40. Those who are successful never think what’s in it for them but how they can serve the world.
    41. You can’t accomplish anything without first deciding to try.
    42. When you use your own creativity, no one can tell you that you’re wrong.
    43. The true measure of integrity is doing the right thing when you don’t think anyone is looking.
    44. Those who succeed focus on the solutions, and those who fail are too concerned about the problems.
    45. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela.
    46. It’s not what you say but rather what you do that makes people stand up and take notice.
    47. The most successful businesses are created based on how you overcame your past mistakes.
    48. An ego can break down any hard work that you have done. Placing your own needs and wants above what’s best for society will get you nowhere in the end.
    49. It’s not how much money you have in your wallet but how much heart is in it.
    50. If you’re content, then opportunity has been left on the table.

    It would be presumptuous of me if I said you could define an entrepreneur in just a couple of sentences or even with a list of 50 wise thoughts on business. Is it always as glorious as billionaire Richard Branson makes it look, surrounded by the world elite and defying gravity in anything he does? Even for the cream of this billion-dollar crop of entrepreneurs, it takes a lot of resourcefulness and passion. But they all have showed that mountains can be moved!

    Branson told Esquire, “Once we get comfortable as a company, I like to push the boat out again.” When commenting about success and settling down, tossing in his work hat and enjoying life, he said, “When the body gives out, you can say you’ve lived a good life. If I put all my money in the bank and drink myself to death in the Caribbean, I just think that would be a waste of the fantastic position I’ve found myself in.

    What’s my point? Do what you love, and leave a mark on the world!

    Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.

    Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren

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    8 Responses to 50 Wise Thoughts on Business

    1. Shawn Hartwell December 12, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Thank you for that inspiring list. Little things like this can be all someone needs to get the motivaton to change their life. “Working for the man” may work for some but many don’t see themselves working someone else’s dream for the rest of their lives.

      When you’re working for another company you’re really only helping the CEO reach their dream(s,) and this reminds me of something I read in the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” The book mentioned that you need to, “mind your own bussiness,” and that by following that you can get what you want. The basic idea is to work for the security and to help the dream of your employer, but not to forget to work on yours, even if that means getting up 4 hours before work!

      How do you feel about working for a company? Do you feel your needs are met? Can you still follow your dreams?

    2. Deepa December 13, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Good list. To stay fresh in business, one needs a self motivational stand else there are too many obstacles in businesses.

      One of the major thing to remember in business is on having “Go Big or Go Home” attitude. People mostly don’t fail because of external circumstances but due to loss of will power to stand and fight again.

    3. Irish Carter December 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      Very motivating. I agree and try to live my life as an entrepreneur by so many of these. Mostly, I agree with #1 in that if you have a dream, pursue it! Others are going to if you don’t. You can sit back and help others reach theirs while you are wishing you could do the same OR you can put action behind that dream of your own and GO FOR IT!

      Irish

      • Ivan Widjaya January 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

        I love that quote as well. In fact, I have that plastered in my room so that I can remember that it is really worthwhile to be an entrepreneur.

    4. Syed Naimath December 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Great List Matthew. HOwever, I believe, 5th one should be – Expect the worst. Plan for the best.

    5. order food online December 19, 2013 at 9:26 am #

      Great post and definitely which I recognize.That is such a simple truth.I definitely give away alot more information than I do trying to sell to my audience though.It should be able to communicate its core ideas clearly to the broadest audience possible as well.

    6. Ivan Widjaya December 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Really inspiring. I agree with Irish. It is nice that you kicked things off with the dream quote. Being an entrepreneur after all starts with that big dream. You better build it, else, you’ll end up building someone else’s dream.

    7. Hang Pham January 15, 2014 at 11:57 am #

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