You hear it all the time from famous entrepreneurs: Long before they were running multimillion-dollar companies, they were flexing their entrepreneurial skills by selling lemonade on the corner, building gadgets in their garage or hosting weekly college beer pong tournaments. It seems that behind every successful mogul is a kid who grew up knowing they were born for business.
But what exactly is it that sets entrepreneurs apart from the rest? What is it that makes certain people believe in themselves enough to take the prospect of failure head-on and have the determination to come out on top?
No one embodies the word “passion” quite like Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin mega-brand. Part of Branson’s passion lies in his insatiable appetite for starting companies. Founded in 1970, the Virgin Group has expanded to more than 200 companies, ranging from music, publishing, mobile phones and even space travel. “Businesses are like buses,” he once said. “There’s always another one coming.”
Part of Branson’s appeal is that he not only has passion for business, but an incredible passion for life. Branson is famous for his adventurous streak and zest for life, making him one of the most admired entrepreneurs for his ability to have a successful work/life balance.
Jeff Bezos knows the power of positive thinking. Living by the motto that “every challenge is an opportunity,” Bezos set out to create the biggest bookstore in the world with a little internet startup called Amazon.
Amazon.com launched in July 1995, and with no press, managed to sell $20,000 a week within two months. By the end of the ’90s, though, the dot-com bust had brought Amazon’s shares from $100 to $6. To add insult to injury, critics predicted that the launch of Barnes & Nobles’ rival website would wipe out Amazon. Instead of hiding in the corner, Bezos came out fighting with optimism and confidence, pointing out to critics all the positive things his company had accomplished and would continue to do.
Photo by robchivers.