The 21st century is being populated by a large number of leaders and successful business people so far. They are so many that it is hard to make a list with them without leaving some remarkable names behind.
But here are 6 names that you probably have heard and the lessons you can learn from them – so it might inspire you to follow their example.
1 – Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
“I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress”.
When Mark Zuckerberg started to create Facebook with his Harvard’s roommates, he was just 19 years old, and he confesses that he knew nothing about business. And it still worked out to become the owner of a net worth of almost US$ 50 billion. His secret was actually not giving much thought about his weakness, but delivering the best service he could come up with at that time instead.
2 – Steve Jobs – Apple
“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith”.
Steve Jobs passed away a few years ago, but his legacy and life lessons are very much alive. The giant Apple, the world’s largest information technology company by revenue, owns more than just clients, but passionate followers that will defend his brand no matter what. Jobs’s love for innovation could only be compared to his understanding that mistakes and failure were part of any business, but that neither of them should stop you from following your dreams.
3 – Bill Gates – Microsoft
“This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50”.
Back to be placed as the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of US$77.3 billion, Bill Gates has great faith in the future. You can reckon it on his constant efforts in keeping an extensive philanthropic work through his and his wife’s “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”. They were also behind the “Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge”, in which Bill Gates and William Buffet agreed to donate at least 50% of their wealth to charity, just for starters to inspire others – and the idea has attracted around 140 billionaires so far.
4 – Warren Buffett – Berkshire Hatha
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”.
You might have never heard of Berkshire Hatha, but you certainly know Warren Buffet. His conglomerate holding company owns shares from a large number of businesses, and it is the fifth-largest public company in the world. Also famous for his political engagement and for donating 99% of his wealth to charity, he always emphasises the important of keeping untouchable the reputation of the business and the people behind it. He might be going for retirement soon, but his words never will.
5 – Sir Richard Branson – Virgin
“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts”.
The founder of the British Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies, is one of the most famous people to defend the idea that people should always follow their dreams. He had a very poor academic performance as a student due to dyslexia, but it just gave him more reasons to look for his own path in life. So he started selling records through a magazine and, nowadays, he is one of the most influential people of the 21st century and owns an airline among other businesses.
6 – Howard Schultz – Starbucks
“Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core. Get your hands dirty.”
The man who transformed a small coffee business shop into one of the biggest coffee shop chains in the world, present in almost 25,000 locations, believes in baby steps. On his own biography, he tells the story of how he did it by pouring one cup per day in a reference that you should always grow your business steadily. He also gives us a lesson on how to identify and seize an opportunity, as he wasn’t the founder of Starbucks but managed to buy the brand so he could expand it in the way he thought it was right.
To Sum Up
What Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, William Buffett, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Howard Schultz have in common here? Some of them were born rich, others were not. Some of them went to university, others not. They also came from different family backgrounds.
But they all became successful after deciding to trust in their gut and doing the best they could. They believed in their ideas and in their own potential, and that was enough to put things on the move.
So the most important lesson that they are giving to the world is that if they could do it, so can any of us. You just have to define your goal and take that courageous first step.