Everyone strives to be successful in life, business and career but the big question is-are you doing what you actually NEED to do to achieve the success you crave. “Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.”- Roger Babson. 

You should be doing the RIGHT thing right now to get you closer to your dream business or career. There are no short cuts. “Really it comes down to your philosophy. Do you want to play it safe and be good or do you want to take a chance and be great?” –Jimmy J

These are real business and career lessons from 9 of the most successful business founders and leaders you can trust. Share this with a colleague at work or a friend who will find it useful.

1. Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group

Keep it simple

You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business.

Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.

2. Jeff Weiner, CEO at LinkedIn

Schedule nothing

As an organization scales, the role of its leadership needs to evolve and scale along with it. Endlessly scheduling meeting on top of meeting and your time to get things right evaporates. Periodically schedule nothing.

Use your buffer time to think big, catch up on the latest industry news, get out from under that pile of unread emails, or just take a walk. What ever you do, just make sure you make that time for yourself — everyday and in a systematic way — and don’t leave unscheduled moments to chance.

3. Penelope Trunk, Co-founder, Brazen Careerist

Start unlearning, fast!

No matter what age you are, the faster you start your unlearning the faster you can shed the weights that hold you back from moving forward in today’s knowledge-based workforce.

In the workplace, to create our own value, we must create our own learning path. You have to unlearn the habit of waiting to be told what comes next in your education if you want to take control of your adult life.

4. Jason Fried,  co-founder of 37signals

Stop Trying

Motivation, productivity, efficiency—these things are not constants. In my experience, they come in waves. They ebb and flow, and there’s no sense in fighting it. The key is to recognize a productivity surge when it appears, so you can roll with it.

5. Jordy Leiser, Co-founder at STELLAService

It pays to be relentless

When it comes to business, the relentless pursuit of new ideas and opportunities can often lead to serendipitous breakthroughs or connections that can change the course of an organization.

I believe that the probability of landing that “lucky break” goes up in direct proportion to the amount of hard work contributed to the cause.

6. Jack Welch, Founder, Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University

Be real

Everyone knows that to succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace, you also have to be smart, curious, and highly collaborative. The most powerful thing you can do is, well, be real.

The most successful people in any new job always own their failures, learn from them, regroup, and then start again with renewed speed, vigor, and conviction.

You have to acquire, develop, and refine most of the skills you need to achieve success. But one of them – the most important one – is already inside you, ready to be let out. Don’t get in its way.

7. James Caan, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor in People with Passion

Don’t run before you can walk

Like everything in life, if you really want something you are going to have to work for it and put in the time and effort. There is no point in going into business for yourself if you do not have any confidence or self-belief.

When you first start in business there is a tendency to grab every piece of work which comes your way, which can be a potentially fatal mistake. More importantly don’t take on more work than you can manage.

8.  Ilya Pozin, CEO of Open Me. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Serial Entrepreneur.

3 things successful people do

Fail. No matter how hard you work, failure can and will happen. Rather than running and hiding when you fail, embrace it.

Act. Successful people don’t always know the right answer, but the keep moving anyway.

Commit. Throw yourself into your tasks and go the extra mile every single day. Make no exceptions.

9. Michael Lazerow, Entrepreneur (Buddy Media, GOLF.com, U-Wire/Student Advantage, Lazerow Ventures)

The #1 mistake entrepreneurs are making

The #1 mistake entrepreneurs make – FOCUSING ON THE WRONG THINGS. People who focus succeed. It’s that simple. Focusing is not a natural exercise for many entrepreneurs.

So in order to focus, you need to build your “focus” muscle and train your brain to focus and stay focused.


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