10 Quotes You Must Read If You're Serious About Being An Entrepreneur
Updated: Jul 15
The following quotes are taken from my conversations with entrepreneur guests on Inter:views, Cracking The Entrepreneurship Code.
It's Never About The Money
“All the time I’ve spent trying to raise money, If I'd have spent that in just sales, I think my business would have been in a different place. We glorify the idea of leveraging ourselves and trying to build a rocket ship with huge capital that gets us to the moon very quickly, we dream of shortcuts like this, and we also hear them every day in the news. The reality is that it’s one very specific path. But there’re many other paths to take. I'd argue that if you focus on sales it doesn’t come at the expense of being able to leverage yourself. Building a sales machine is probably the one skill every founder needs to have." Andries De Vos, co-Founder, Slash.co, episode 34, Make Your Business Investable.
I've talked to nearly 70 entrepreneurs and counting.
None of them did it for the money but sometimes they can get lost in chasing the money.
Entrepreneurship’s a calling, there’re easier ways to get rich.
You Will Make Mistakes
“Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It was painful for me but I’ve learned so much. The attitude of not being afraid of making mistakes, being open to trying new things, is what has helped me grow [...] It’s like exercising. You have to challenge yourself to keep your body strong and your muscles growing, you may feel tired, you may feel pissed off and sweaty, but the result is there only if you commit to doing things.” Natalja Rodionova, Founder, IT Academy STEP Cambodia, episode 41, Be Very Active With Sales.
Entrepreneurs are often paralyzed by the fear of failing.
Guess what? You will make mistakes, you will fail.
Accept it, go on and build the business you deserve.
Don't Forget There's Life Around You
“When you're in the eye of the storm, you’re forging, you’re pioneering, you just crack on and sometimes you don’t stop to look at the collateral damage you’re creating around you by not being there. Not being at home, not being with your family [...] Enjoy the journey, not the destination. The journey is much longer, the journey is much bigger, it’s much more important, it’s every day. A lot of entrepreneurs are so focused on how to get there, how to get to that peak, and when you get to that peak, you're naturally looking at the next peak... Sometimes you don’t actually stop and look at the view.” Paul Baker, co-Founder, Saint Pierre Groupe, episode 46, Enjoy The Journey, Not The Destination.
It's easy to get trapped in your business when you're passionate.
However, remember that life is knocking on your door.
Sometimes, raise your head and breathe.
You Need Buckets of Resilience
“Being patient is very important. Things don’t come up immediately. If you expect to open up your business, work for a couple of days a month, and expect a million dollars, it doesn’t work like this, it’s never the case. It takes a lot of work. Those who made it fast, are an exception to the rule [...] The success lies in the fact that you know what you want and you actually practice it.” Maria Frangieh, Founder, Social Prise, episode 39, You Need To Love What You Do.
Being an entrepreneur requires grit.
Success won't happen overnight if it ever happens (it depends on your definition of success).
Knowing that, don't give up as soon as you face the first challenge.
Start With Why and Stick To It
“I remember one time I asked everyone on the team: What are we trying to do? What’s our vision? And the answers were all over the place. I don’t know if I’ve completely gotten better but I try to paint a picture where I am like 'I was just reflecting earlier today on what could the world look like if every user had a voice? You know, imagine if every company never wasted time in building a product that nobody wants and that nobody is going to use. How much more amazing this world could be?' So I am just trying to essentially share a bit of that vision and communicate what that could look like so we’re all working towards that same goal.“ Tom Hammond, co-Founder, UserWise, Episode 13, Have A True Purpose, Something Greater Than You.
Every company was built for a fundamental reason.
That’s the company’s DNA, it cannot be modified.
When you’ve found your 'why', everything else becomes clearer.
Never Stop Learning
“The biggest skill is the capacity of learning. Entrepreneurs are obsessed with creating something, and they find their own way to teach themselves and get the people that have the right skills. Basically, they must be aware of their own abilities, as well as the capacities around them [...] Entrepreneurs need to know how to care for themselves and others.” Berta Lazáro, co-Founder, TeamLabs, episode 19, A Leader Is Invisible But Available.
Entrepreneurship is like a giant iceberg.
We only see the tip of it.
There's so much more to it you're not aware of that you must develop a capacity to constantly learn and evolve.
Adopt The Right Mindset
"One of the most important things to learn is to realize that there are opinions, there are criticisms, the people who are upper the ladder may not be wiser than you [...] I realized that it was depending on my attitude a lot. Do I continue with the fear and worry and make everything a struggle, or do I make the decision that I can make it all work, and take one step at a time? So I made the decision then I designed a plan to make it work.” Anna Juusela, Founder, WeEncourage, episode 24, Overcome Your Fear, Go For It!
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone.
It starts in your head.
You will start stretching yourself although you’re not sure whether you have what it takes.
The only way to know is to try.
Finance, You Must Understand
“You don’t need to be an accountant expert to do well in business. But if you know 2 things: how to generate revenue and save money, and cash-flow, you’ve got an advantage in business.” Adam Fayed, Founder, International-AMG Ltd., episode 11, Working Remotely Is Only Going To Accelerate.
Like it or not, I'm afraid you don't have the choice: you need to train yourself with basic financial management.
It's more than keeping accounting records.
It's about how to use financial data to make informed decisions and sustain the business.
Trust Your Guts
“One of the biggest lessons is you just need to start before you’re even ready because you’re never ready, and you never know what the answers are and then you just need to figure them out. Being an entrepreneur is a lot about figuring it out [...] If it’s just based on gut feelings, I absolutely know what is the right way. I have the right people, I have the right momentum so of course, I need to take the leap of faith, of course, I need to take the entrepreneurship road… I know in my heart that I definitely did the right thing back then.” Sofia Pohls, co-Founder, Finders Seekers, episode 52, Start Before You're Ready.
Perfection doesn't exist.
You could wait a long time before you feel everything is ready for you to act.
Entrepreneurs learn to trust their guts to move faster and figure it out along the way.
Will you start already?
Hire A Coach
“I know that as an entrepreneur, it's really hard to have a peer group who can tell you that you’re wrong, or that you’re being foolish, or that you’re priorities aren’t set, or to remind you of some fundamental approaches. Because the sounding board you have is generally people for work for you. They might think that it’s insensitive to tell you that you’re wrong, or not good for their own career prospect. So to have a business coach that you can bounce ideas with, who can be objectives, and take a little bit more of a helicopter view, and challenge you, and not let you get away with 'well, I’ll come back to that next week', is absolutely critical.” Richard Burrage, Founder, Cimigo, episode 20, Take Time Out To Reflect On Significant Decisions.
Richard said it all.
The best way to understand the benefits of coaching is to experience it, as Richard did.
By the way, Richard became a client.