By M. “Gonzo” Gonsalves
Launching a startup business isn’t easy. It takes time, energy, and dedication to your cause. With all that work and delayed gratification, it can be easy to get discouraged and burnt out before you see the results of your labor. Whenever you feel like this, it helps to get some perspective and remember why you’re putting in the work now to reap the rewards later.
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you feel discouraged is to remember that others have been exactly where you are now and that they’ve come away with successful businesses because they stuck to their work and kept moving forward. Some of those successful entrepreneurs have had some very interesting and inspiring things to say about the process that could help you now and in the future.
DON’T CHASE THE MONEY
According to Tony Hsieh, CEO and founder of Zappos, you should “chase the vision, not the money. The money will end up following you.” If you have a higher sense of purpose for your business than just making money or chasing trends, you’re going to be much more likely to succeed. If you’re chasing a vision, you’re going to have the passion and drive to keep chasing it, even if the money doesn’t come as quickly as you’d hoped. If you stick to it, though, as Hsieh says, the money will eventually chase you.
LISTEN TO UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS
Bill Gates says, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Criticism and bad reviews might not feel good, but things that make us feel good and comfortable rarely help us to grow. If a customer doesn’t like something about your business, and you take the time to learn why, you can learn how to better serve them and future customers.
FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAMS, NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S
According to Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” In other words, if you spend your life following other people’s dreams and rules, you’re going to limit yourself to their outcomes and results. If you want to reach the moon, you can’t live by the dogma of people who’ve spent their lives living on the ground.
STICK TO YOUR PASSIONS AND THE THINGS YOU LIKE
Along the same lines, Mark Zuckerberg says, “If you just work on stuff you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” If you love your work, you don’t have to have a big exit strategy for your business. It’s still a good idea to have a business plan and some strategies for growth, but if working on your ideas and your business brings you pleasure and joy, you won’t have to have a master plan to get out of it in a certain number of months or years.
These are all quotes from insanely successful entrepreneurs who’ve taken the leap, put in the work, and reaped the benefits of building from the ground up. Whenever you feel like the road is too long or you’re not ready to jump into the world of entrepreneurship, check back with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world with these four quotes. Then keep pushing forward to find your own success.