You can’t go anywhere in the business world without receiving unsolicited advice from almost everyone, but are they really the ones you should be listening to, all things considered? There are way too many advice out there for people starting and growing businesses.

There is no single recipe for insane success but some things are pretty much the same when you are starting up. A better foundation can go a long way if you intend to build a sustainable business that can stand the test of time.

Here are nine tips for success from people who have actually made it.

1. There are no shortcuts.

There are no shortcuts on the road to success, says billionaire Mark Cuban.  The investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks tells Business Insider the best advice he ever got was: “Do the work. Out-work. Out-think. Out-sell your expectations. There are no shortcuts.” The advice came from his father, who did upholstery on cars.

2. Give yourself room to innovate

CEO Jason Fried hates meetings and refuses to schedule them. “Creative people need unstructured time to get in the zone,” he says, pointing out that 20- and 30-minute meetings will chop up your day and stop your imagination from flowing without interruption.

3. Leverage everything you have

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich started with just 2,000 rubles as a wedding present from his in-laws. He spent it wisely, however, investing in businesses and eventually starting his own, and now he’s the fifth-richest man in his entire country. You can’t be afraid to spend money to make money.

4. Never stop reading

A staggering percentage of college graduates never read another book after obtaining their degree. You’ll want to avoid this mistake: Successful businessman like Sukanto Tanoto have avidly and repeatedly pointed to reading as one of the cornerstones of their success. Read everything you can get your hands on, and that includes business, philosophy, self-help and even religious books.

5. Know your company

Kayak.com founder Paul English keeps four monitors running in his company’s headquarters at all times. They track site metrics like visitors, hits and page views, and every employee is expected to follow these numbers and incorporate them into their marketing strategies or customer service calls.

6. Be persistent

J.K. Rowling was rejected by nine publishers before she finally found one for the Harry Potter series. It’s now the single most successful literary phenomenon in the world, and it never would’ve happened if she’d taken no for an answer. Don’t slink away from rejection. Push past it and keep going until you get lucky.

7. Embrace opportunities

Howard Schultz didn’t found Starbucks. He did, however, buy into the company when it was still a fledgling enterprise, and he eventually climbed the ranks to become its billionaire CEO. Even if you don’t have a lot of entrepreneurial ideas yourself, you can still make a fortune by having the good sense to invest in something with potential.

8. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Marc Lore, the founder of one of America’s most successful e-commerce businesses, routinely walks the length of his office floor to greet his employees, answer their questions and keep them informed of company progress. He doesn’t lock himself in an ivory tower and count his money. He interacts and engages for the benefit of all.

9. Use your negative experiences to regroup.

Michael A. Stelzner is the CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner says his biggest failure ever was when he invested in a $2000 program that promised if he simply followed their suggestions he would make a ton of money. He did precisely what they suggested and it was a huge failure.  He used all those negative experiences to regroup and figured out a way to launch events that fit within his comfort zone.

What ended up happening was the birth of his online summits. He eventually launched a new experimental website called SocialMediaExaminer.com back in 2009. Today it’s one of the most resourceful social media blogs out there.

These are just nine ways to become successful in your chosen field. It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring tech mogul or a modest mom-and-pop business looking to expand; these tips are the ones you’ll want to follow to become the best professional you can be.