Entrepreneurs tend to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes there's no reason to--especially if that wheel was created from the lessons learned by successful entrepreneurs.
Here's a guest post from Ryan Robinson, an entrepreneur and marketer who teaches people how to create meaningful self-employed careers. At CreativeLive, he helps the world's top business experts market their transformational online classes.
Entrepreneurs are no strangers to failure.
Learning opportunities, as I like to call them, often disguised as horrific failures, will come with relative frequency when you're pushing yourself to the limits and striving to grow your business in exciting new ways.
What truly sets apart the successful entrepreneurs from all the rest is the determination to continue moving forward, make sacrifices, and find new ways to achieve their goals at all costs.
Just about any business owner who has created a profitable enterprise will tell you they would not have achieved their goals without direction from others. They're not afraid to admit their weaknesses and actively look for outside help to pick up the slack in areas that need attention.
I've always strived to learn from my mistakes and gain powerful insights from those who've gone down the path of entrepreneurial success before me. That's why I reached out to six of the most respected entrepreneurs, authors, and CEOs I've admired for years.
I asked each of them to share his or her single most impactful piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs. We compiled their interviews into a short video clip you can watch here or read below.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, author of #Girlboss
What's Sophia's best guidance for fellow entrepreneurs? "Don't give up, don't take anything personally, and don't take no for an answer."
Since founding Nasty Gal, in 2006, as an eBay store selling vintage clothing, Sophia has transformed the business into a multimillion-dollar empire with its own clothing line, which was named "Fastest Growing Retailer" in 2012. Recently, the New York Times best-selling author of #Girlboss has stepped out of her role as the CEO of Nasty Gal to become the executive chairman and to oversee the creative and brand marketing functions of the business.
Without any fashion or business experience before starting Nasty Gal, Sophia credits much of her hard-earned success to her refusal to accept failure as an option.
Here's Sophia: "The people who told me no were the people who eventually told me yes."
2. Chase Jarvis, CEO at CreativeLive
What's Chase's best business tip? "Scratch your own itch."
After becoming one of the world's best-known photographers at a relatively young age, Chase went on to found CreativeLive, the world's largest live-streaming online education company. He credits much of his success to following his passions and pursuing only the opportunities that he's genuinely interested in.
Here's Chase: "Go after solving a problem that you have. Something that's near and dear to you, not some random market opportunity. Because, when things get hard, if you're chasing just the dollars, or a random market opportunity, you're not going to be able to have the fortitude, the passion, to stay with it."
3. Jon Acuff, New York Times best-selling author of Do Over
What's Jon's No. 1 piece of advice? "Success takes hustle."
This New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over, set out early on in his career to pursue at all costs only meaningful work. For him, that meant 16 long years of being hired and fired, before eventually finding his dream job and launching his self-employed career as a writer, speaker, and brand consultant.
Accomplishing his dream of working for himself took a lot of hard work, focus, and hustle.
Here's Jon: "Hustle is an act of focus, not frenzy. Hustle is about subtraction and addition. It's not about doing more; it's about focusing on the things you need to do, in order to move your business forward."
4. Lewis Howes, author of The School of Greatness
How does Lewis recommend achieving success in business? "Follow your heart."
Lewis, the New York Times best-selling author of The School of Greatness, and host of the podcast bearing the same name, is a professional athlete turned entrepreneur. After suffering a debilitating injury on the field, Lewis faced the fact that his football career was finished.
Overnight, he lost his ability to do what he was passionate about, and was forced to discover a new way to live with purpose. Today, he's a writer, speaker, and online educator who teaches entrepreneurs how to launch profitable online businesses.
Here's Lewis: "Most entrepreneurs are following their money, as opposed to following their hearts. When we follow the things we love most, the things we are most passionate about, we're able to spend more time, put in more detail and thoughtfulness, into making them come to life."
5. Nir Eyal, author of Hooked
What's Nir's cautionary piece of advice? "Certainty is more dangerous than ignorance."
Nir, the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Hooked, has become the authority on how to build habit-forming products. After years of research and experience in the video game and advertising industries, Nir is a sought-after writer, speaker, and educator on the psychology behind what motivates consumer engagement.
Here's Nir: "It's up to us as entrepreneurs to see the world as it should be--not necessarily how it is. When you think you're sure of the way things are, that's when you get passed up and you don't see the opportunities that real entrepreneurs envision."
6. Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, author of The Art of the Start 2.0
What does Guy share with all of the entrepreneurs he works with? "Focus on the prototype."
Guy, the former chief evangelist of Apple, is an immensely successful marketing executive, investor, and author, whose 13 books include The Art of the Start 2.0. Over the years, he's helped dozens of well-known companies take their products from concept to market dominance.
His formula for replicating startup success? Focusing only on the activities that drive positive results for your business, a topic he elaborates on in his online class.
Here's Guy: "If you get a prototype out and you get enough people using it, you never have to write a business plan. A prototype is where you separate the BS from the reality."
No matter your background, skill set, or passion in life, starting and growing a successful business can be done with the right combination of hard work, determination, and seizing the opportunities that come your way.
Having a well-thought-out game plan and not allowing your excuses to hold you back are major steps down the road to success.