Great business lessons provide freelancers and solopreneurs with both inspiration and guidance. Yet there are so many tips and tricks to be found online and in hundreds of different books. With so much information at our fingertips, some of which is conflicting, it’s difficult to know what to believe and who to follow.
As with anything in life, when you’re suffering from information overload, it’s always wise to listen to the insights of those who have achieved what you want to achieve. In business, it’s the most successful people who are renowned for having created thriving multinational companies completely from scratch.
They’ve been where you are now, wondering what the heck to do. They’ve faced similar challenges and overcome the same fears that might keep you awake at night. They have also forged their own paths and gained extremely valuable business insights from their own mistakes and successes, which you can learn from today.
We’ve collected together 10 great business lessons from some of the world’s most successful people and elaborated on some of the ways you can take inspiration from their words of wisdom. They are as follows:
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett
Growing a successful business takes time. Many solopreneurs and freelancers dream of near overnight success but reality is something different. Hundreds of hours and dollars often need to be invested before results bear fruit. A lot of people who try to create their own business run out patience or time, and this is a common main reason why so many new businesses fail to gain traction.
“If you don’t understand the details of your business you are going to fail.” – Jeff Bezos
Being a successful business owner is all about knowing the important details. What are your sales targets? How skilled are your delegation partners? Is your website up to scratch and if not, why not? Whether you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur in charge of a team of employees, it’s vital you know how every facet of your business is working and how you can improve things.
“You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside everything else.” – Tim Cook
Many freelancers and solopreneurs try to do too many things at once. Building a business is about doing a small number of things exceptionally well, and thereby standing out in a crowded marketplace. We all have specialist skills or knowledge we can perfect, and build as our brand, rather than trying to serve anyone and everyone.
“Move fast with stable infrastructure.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Everyone knows the parable about the foolish man who built his house on sand. The same applies to your business. Successful businesses, regardless of size, build solid foundations and infrastructure that will support their continued growth. It’s also about having the right tools and resources in place that can boost your productivity, improve cash flow, and better manage your finances.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey
If you’re not excited about your business, then no one else will be either. You’ll soon get bored and people will not be drawn to you. It’s vital to create a business based on something you love doing. When you wake up at 5am each morning, raring to go, then there’s every chance you’ll do very well. All of the most successful people have had this burning passion for their work.
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford
Growing a successful business requires self-confidence. When you truly believe you can achieve your goals, you instinctively gravitate towards actions that will help you succeed. This is the power of the positive mindset. It’s the opposite of being constantly worried about failure, retreating from risks, and doubting your abilities, all of which inevitably lead to collapse.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs
Teamwork, collaboration, and delegation are keys to success when running your own business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur in charge of a team or a lone freelancer, having a network of partners and colleagues makes you stronger. By sharing workloads and tapping into different skillsets from your own, you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your products and services.
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson
Very few solopreneurs succeed with their first business idea or endeavor. Failure is often a good teaching tool which allows the creative entrepreneur to find a better way to achieve their goals. It’s vital to understand that things will not always go to plan but that this is okay. By carefully analyzing what went wrong the first time, the solopreneur can make a better plan.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn
It’s very easy to get excited about starting a new business and the potential results. That’s why so many new businesses are founded every single day. Goals are set and accomplishments are dreamed about, yet more often than not, these goals are rarely met. Discipline is a core component of successful people. It’s an essential and non-negotiable facet of great business leaders.
“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.” – John D. Rockefeller
Making money is vital when it comes to creating a bountiful business. In many ways, it is what defines success. Yet if your only goal is to make as much money as possible, then you miss out on some of the important pillars of a successful business. The most successful people had a drive to make things better – usually society as a whole – through their products or services. There is an important underlying ethos behind everything a successful person does, and it’s very rarely to do with becoming extremely wealthy.
Business lessons from the most successful
When it comes to building and growing your business, it’s important to take inspiration and guidance from those who have successfully reached the pinnacle of their industries. Whether you’re a freelancer, solopreneur, or a small business owner, the business lessons of the most successful people will help guide you into making the best decisions for the benefit of your career.