PayPal co-founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel is easily one of the most successful venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. By investing early in dozens of startups, including Airbnb, Facebook, LinkedIn, Palantir, and SpaceX, Thiel built himself a venture capital empire worth $2.2 billion. In a charming, stream-of-consciousness-like delivery and soft-spoken manner, Thiel delivers some venerable advice to budding entrepreneurs. Take a look at some of his best tips below:

1. On the big idea behind his book Zero to One:

"'Zero to one' companies are companies that have not been built before. The next Bill Gates will not start an operating system. The next Larry Page won't start a search engine. The next Mark Zuckerberg won't start a social network company. If you are copying these people, you are not learning from them. If you are competing against these people, or you think you are competing with these people, you are actually trying to copy them, and again, you are not learning from them." --Thiel in an interview with Wharton management professor Adam Grant, October 2014

2. On believing in yourself:

"Whenever I interview someone for a job, I like to ask this question: 'What important truth do very few people agree with you on?'

"This question sounds easy, because it's straightforward. Actually, it's very hard to answer. It's intellectually difficult, because the knowledge that everyone is taught in school is by definition agreed upon. And it's psychologically difficult, because anyone trying to answer must say something she knows to be unpopular. Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius." --Excerpt from Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future 

3. On taking charge of your path:

"A startup is the largest endeavor over which you can have definite mastery. You can have agency not just over your own life but also over a small and important part of the world. It begins by rejecting the unjust tyranny of Chance. You are not a lottery ticket." --Excerpt from Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

4. On the value of trying to build a business monopoly:

"From the point of view of a founder or entrepreneur, you want your company to always be a monopoly. You want to be offering something to the world that no one else is offering, and therefore you have some really healthy profit margins around your business. From the inside, I would argue monopoly is always a good thing. That's what every entrepreneur should attempt to build." --Thiel in an interview with Wharton management professor Adam Grant, October 2014

5. On building a "happy" company:

"Tolstoy opens Anna Karenina by observing: 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Business is the opposite. All happy companies are different: Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are the same: They failed to escape competition." --Excerpt from Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future