They were college dropouts, they were the ones who dared to go against the system and they are the ones who we now read about. These are some legends of our time who went with their gut feelings and the rest has been history. But what did they do right? What did they do so differently that scores of others don’t, try as they might? Here are 6 such modern day heroes sharing their tips and advice on what to do to make it big.
Articles like these would without a doubt feature the enigmatic co-founder of Apple; but then, why shouldn’t they? The man changed the way we looked at technology and started out with almost nothing, except a dream.
For every product Apple designed, Jobs wanted it to be practical and beautiful. He didn’t only want a product that people would use, he wanted a product that people would love. This attention to aesthetic detail is what set Apple apart from competitors like IBM and Microsoft. In his own words, Jobs explains his passion for making beautiful products: “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
The IKEAs around the world bear little resemblance to the IKEA that Ingvar Kamprad founded in 1943. Back then, it was a mail-order company that sold everything from pens to watches to furniture to cards. It took a decade for Kamprad to move focus only to furniture and interiors and another decade to decide on the physical store format and do away with the mail order.
So what’s the lesson here? After testing various different strategies, Kamprad decided on one and focused on one thing only. He found his niche and then cut away all that was superfluous and not in line with his strategy.
The result is the mega stores we are familiar with today – full of endless living space exhibits that look like a dream.
Touted to be the most successful investor of the 20th century, Warren Buffet has some special advice for the budding female entrepreneurs out there:
He asked them to, “Do the same thing a male will do. You follow your passions. You find something you love. The truth is, so few people really jump on their jobs, you really will stand out more than you think. You will get noticed if you really go for it.”
Probably the most respected and admired businessman of our country. Ratan Tata tells us about risk taking:
“I view risk as an ability to be where no one has been before. I view risk to be an issue of thinking big, something we did not do previously. We did everything in small increments so we always lagged behind. But the crucial question is: can we venture putting a man on the moon or risk billions of rupees on a really way-out, advanced project? Do you restrict your risk to something close to your heart?”
The CEO of General Motors is a true inspiration to a lot of people out there – men and women alike. This is what she believes will take you to the heights you dream to achieve:
“Do something you are passionate about, do something you love. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you are just naturally going to succeed, and a lot of other things will happen that you don’t need to worry about. There are so many opportunities and choices that women or anyone can make about what they do. Do something you are passionate about. Life is too short.”
Movies are this man’s life. The CEO of Dreamworks shares a lesson that he learned; and one that has been close to his heart: “I saw the movie Spartacus when I was just 10 years old. And from that day on, Kirk Douglas was a hero to me. Thirty years later, I found myself sitting next to him at a charity event. He had just addressed the crowd in a more eloquent, elegant, and passionate way than I had ever heard anyone speak before. I asked him where that passion came from. That is when he said the most important words anyone has ever said to me: “You haven’t learned how to live until you’ve learned how to give.” ”
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