11 Tips From Successful and Famous Business People

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Business people have it rough; the path to success in business is long and arduous. There are plenty of existing successes that have already charted the road to success for you, however. So without further ado, here are 11 of our favorite tips for success, straight from the mouths of 9 very successful business people.

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Tips from Business People

Be A Penny-Pincher -- Chris Sacca

“Being a cheap bastard now means so much more freedom and choices later,” Sacca says.

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While it may seem like a good idea to pump lots of money into your business at first, Sacca advises that new businesses try to run on a shoestring budget until they have already made their first million. As one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world, Sacca definitely knows what he’s talking about.

Don't be Threatening -- Jacob Hansen

PR expert Jacob Hansen warns that like it or not, people don’t appreciate feeling threatened. Business people should not exactly keep a low profile, but they need to stay humble, so potential clients and collaborators will like them and trust them. Because coming off as a nice person is possibly the most essential part of success in business, most people don’t realize that.

Invest in Yourself -- Warren Buffet

Mr. Buffet offered up one of the most-quoted pieces of business advice in history, which is that the best thing a person can invest in is their own personal development. A business run by someone with a lot of personal skills — public speaking, risk analysis, those kinds of things — is much more likely to succeed than a business with a lot of material assets but a weak business person in charge.

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Learn from Your Idols -- James Altucher

Entrepreneurship guru James Altucher insists that people in business need to pay attention to the successful people’s paths in their own business. For example, if you’re in mass-appeal e-commerce, look at what Jeff Bezos did to get where he is and mimic that.

Have a Backup Plan -- Reid Hoffman

Many business leaders caution against diving into a plan with no recourse, but perhaps Hoffman said it best when he advised to “have a lifeboat.”

It’s not enough just to have a plan B, Hoffman says. Have a plan C, D, and Z (which should look pretty bad) to make sure you won’t be left out in the cold even if everything goes wrong.

Enjoy the Journey -- Richard Branson

Branson stresses the importance of being able to enjoy your journey and not starting a business just as a way to reach the end goal.

If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing and willing to live it rather than just do it as a job, you’ll never make it big.

Be Trustworthy -- Drew McLellan

People want to work with others they trust. It’s as simple as that. Whether you’re dealing with a client, a partner, or an investor, you’ll be 1000x more credible and have 1001x as much opportunity to get ahead with them if you have trust on your side.

Being able to give off the appearance that you are someone to trust, whether it is true or not, is a valuable skill for business people, says McLellan.

Apologize Quickly -- Mark Zuckerberg

A mistake doesn’t seem so bad to others if you apologize for it immediately after it happens. It also increases your credibility and gets people to empathize with you. Besides, apologies are free. Take advantage of those facts by apologizing quickly when you mess up.

One Thing at a Time -- Steve Jobs

Jobs was known for his skills at prioritizing the right issues and focusing only on them. In fact, many higher-ups who worked with him attributed his explosive success to that skill.

The point is, you should never multitask and try to do multiple tasks literally at the same time. Set aside blocks in your day for separate activities, and focus everything you have on one action at a time.

Be Authentic -- Richard Branson

You have to be yourself in business proceedings. If you try to force a personality that is not true to who you are, good business people will sense it and fail.

If you’re a jeans and tee kind of person, do not try to come off as a suit-toting wall street exec type in a meeting. It communicates that you can’t be trusted.

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Be Need-Focused -- James Altucher

Altucher swears by the principle of finding customers before you do anything in business. He says that thinking of a great idea and implementing it because you think people will flock to it is not good enough. It would be best if you found people who are clamoring for something that doesn’t yet exist and make that thing.

Let this expert business advice be your guide… or, at least, use it as motivation on a rainy day.


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