It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. It takes a ton of hard work and a bucket full of tears if you want to be successful. Kevin Thompson, CPA says “being an entrepreneur is about the hardest thing I have ever done. As the entrepreneur, I am responsible for customers, vendors and, most importantly, employees.” Below are observations from 23 well known personalities about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Beyonce finds that the pressure to keep up a hectic schedule and to stay on top is unbearable at times but she loves what she does. She doesn’t think about it and, instead, stays happy by doing her own thing. Thompson says “how many readers see her as an entrepreneur?” Responsibilities for her brand and the various outlets including fashion, cosmetics and, of course, entertainment, keep her very busy.
- Mark Zuckerberg
When he first started building Facebook he wasn’t thinking so much about building a company because he didn’t know how to go about it. What he believes made him successful is enlisting the help of other people who knew how to get it done.
- Larry Page
Larry, who is a co-founder at Google realizes that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that you acquire knowledge over time. After a while you pick up things. He believes you have to have a vision for the future and understand the industry you’re in. Starting a company takes hard work, sometimes 24 hours a day. What you lack in skills can be made up in other areas.
- Sergey Brin
Sergey is Google’s other co-founder. His take on success is all about serving people. Google serves millions. Google has gone from about 10,000 searches per day to 50 million. The scale at which the company has grown is where the challenge lies.
- Lori Griener
Lori is a “Shark Tank” investor. She finds the biggest challenge is dealing with people who are unethical. She believes that “karma is a bitch.” What goes around, comes around.
- Bill Gates
As founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates nurtures the idea of being innovative. He feels that small companies attempting to launch don’t take advantage of this concept. Technology is the strategic weapon of large companies but it can overwhelm the smaller ones causing them to not take advantage of its power.
- Travis Kalanick
Travis founder of Uber feels that entrepreneurs must be careful not to let their passion overtake them and compares it to going down the rabbit hole. You have to keep your passion in check.
- K. Rowling
The author of Harry Potter remarked that we talk too much about success and not enough about failure. Most entrepreneurs fail over and over before they succeed. It’s the ability to resist failure or use it as an opportunity to achieve success that’s important. Thompson says “my now departed friend and business confidants, Dave Williams, used the phrase failing forward. I don’t know too many, if any, successful entrepreneurs who have not failed at least once before enjoying success.”
Building the right team is crucial to make it to the top. Make sure all the people around you have the same vision and motivation. It takes time to build the perfect team. Once you do that, stick with them.
- Mark Cuban
Don’t take “no” for an answer. “Every no takes you to a yes.” It’s all about the numbers.
- Jack Dorsey
The founder of Twitter didn’t know what he was doing when he started. His biggest challenge was bookkeeping. He learned from his mistakes and from listening to his customer’s suggestions. His best-selling items came from employees and customers.
- Tory Birch
Tory became successful helping women feel and look glamorous but her biggest challenge was her self-esteem. In an article she wrote, a friend mentioned that she had shied away from the word “ambition.” Tory realized that she was right. Thompson says “I quote Sara Bareilles and tell people who are interested in being entrepreneurs that I want to see you be brave.”
- Barbara Corcoran
Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran says that an entrepreneur’s biggest enemy is fear and noted that after 10 years of experience under your belt, you start to realize how many near death experiences you actually lived through. It only gets scarier because you know what you have to lose. This makes you less open to the universe where you are willing to try a dozen things at once. Thompson says “as entrepreneurialism becomes more and more a part of your existence, you have to learn to manage quicker.”
- Charles Schwab
Even though he’s in his 70’s Charles Schwab isn’t slowing down. He is a proponent of innovation like Bill Gates. “It’s the engine that drives our future.” “Those who do not innovate go out of business fast. You have to stay nimble and inventive if you want to survive.” “When I am looking for innovation,” says Thompson, “I just watch young people. They are always innovative in their lives. They accept change easily and adapt to technology quickly. It is free and exciting research and, when you engage them, it can really be a lot of fun.”
- Oprah Winfrey
Lady O says the hardest time in her life was starting her own network OWN because she knew people were waiting for her to fail. They were lying in wait for her to make a mistake. You either have to close down or make cutbacks to move forward.
- Michelle Phan
Michelle is a YouTube star and was basically an overnight success. It was overwhelming for her. She went from a shy loner to having 10,000 friends overnight and felt an incredible connection with them. Now she has over 7.5 million subscribers and makes friends easily.
- Diane von Furstenberg
Every day is a challenge and you have to embrace it. She learned early in her life to roll with the punches and deal with unpleasantness.
- Kevin O’ Leary
Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary believes that in order to be a venture capitalist, you need to have started a business first. It’s important to experience the terror of getting started so you avoid making mistakes.
- George Foreman
Heavy weight boxing champ George Foreman says that you have to understand that you start at the bottom and work your way to the top in any business you choose to pursue. Most people are afraid of that, particularly celebrities and others who are well known. They hate to think about starting at the bottom again because they know they have a long way to go. When you start at the bottom, you can only go up.
- Wolfgang Puck
If you want to be a good chef, you have to multi-task. That means being a manager, businessman and a great cook. This can sometimes be difficult.
- Larry Ellison
CEO of Oracle finds the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is having to let people go who have helped build his business because of management problems. He felt loyal but realized that he had outgrown his original team and had to make changes in order to move forward.
- Robert Herjavec
Shark Tank Investor Robert Herjavec believes in the power of teamwork and leadership. You have to be able to inspire the people around you. If not, go sell real estate. People don’t want to be managed. They want to be led. “And,” adds Thompson, “they definitely do not want to be entrepreneurs.” Thompson CPA used to present seminars around the topics of How to start and Run successful small businesses. Thompson said “one particular seminar weekend offering in Los Angeles, we had over 1,000 people sign up. One hour in, hundreds of them headed for the door because “they wanted a job and not to be entrepreneurs.”
- Arianna Huffington
Arianna realizes that there must be work-life balance. It can’t be all about money and power. Success may work in the short term but after a while you will topple over. Instead the measure of success includes well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.
Contact Kevin Thompson CPA
firstname.lastname@example.org or call him @ (310) 450-4625 x102.