10 entrepreneurs evaluate the business icons that inspired them the most

Many professionals look up to entrepreneurs for their determination, perseverance and freedom to have more control over their daily lives. But even entrepreneurs have role models they look up to. Whether it’s other highly successful entrepreneurs, billionaires, or simply inspiring people, the world is full of those with incredible stories that serve as inspiration for today’s business leaders.

Below, each member of the Council of Young Entrepreneurs presents someone they look up to in the business world, an important business lesson they learned from them, and how that lesson influenced the decisions they make as entrepreneurs.

1. Anand Mahindra

I admire Anand Mahindra, the chairman of the Mahindra Group. His commitment to ethical business practices, innovation and philanthropy is especially inspiring to me as an entrepreneur. One important lesson I learned from him is to always focus on the user experience. This has had a major impact on my decisions as a business owner as I strive to ensure that every interaction with customers reflects my company’s commitment to quality service and satisfaction. Through his example, I also came to appreciate the importance of giving back. This has become the cornerstone of my mission as an entrepreneur—creating positive change by investing in people, communities and technology for long-term success. – Pratik Chaskar, Spectra

2. Bob Parsons

I look up to Bob Parsons, the founder of the GoDaddy group. The story of how this Vietnam veteran built one of the largest domain registration companies in the world is inspiring. To quote him: “You have to go down many wrong paths to find the right one.” This was an important business lesson. From him I learned persistence and the skill of finding wealth in the most unnatural places. When he started GoDaddy in the 90s, he tried many things like building networks and selling education, but it didn’t work. He lost millions of dollars until the domain name registration business took off. Every company has to reinvent itself again and again in order to remain relevant and successful in business. – Brian David Crane, Spread great ideas

3. Tim Cook

I deeply respect Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple. He continued to move the brand forward, even after the death of the legendary Steve Jobs. One quote that stands out to me is, “Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant destination.” I think we would all do well to remember this advice. The suggestion is that if you spend all your time focusing on the next goal instead of enjoying the journey, you will never be truly satisfied with your accomplishments. This advice helped me open up and enjoy my journey as a business owner instead of focusing solely on the numbers and our next big win. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

4. Sam Walton

I look up to Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and a man admired around the world for his work ethic. His hard work and leadership paved the way for Walmart to become the mass brand it is today. He developed the company in a modest but effective way. Walton’s vision led Walmart to become one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The lesson I learned from him is that the key to making your dreams come true is hard work. Countless failures and years may pass before you acknowledge success, but if you keep working hard and believe in what you’re doing, nothing can stop you from reaching your goal. – Stephanie Wells, Scary Shapes

5. Oprah Winfrey

I watch Oprah Winfrey as a businesswoman. She is a great example of someone who has achieved success through hard work and dedication. An important business lesson I learned from Oprah is that no matter how hard the going gets, you should never give up. Her determination to succeed was an inspiration to me. This lesson has influenced the decisions I make as an entrepreneur by reminding me to stay focused and never give up, no matter how hard things seem. It also emphasizes the importance of taking risks in business and believing in yourself, even if others don’t. Knowing that failure is possible encourages me to make well-informed decisions and to persevere regardless of the outcome. – Andrew Munro, AffiliateWP

6. Jack Ma

I regularly quote Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group, and his example of using his company’s vision to facilitate business as a filter for every business decision he has to make. If all suggestions were brought to his attention, he would pass each idea through the filter of “Does this make business easier?” Aligning with a clear company vision by using it as a filter for the choices you make keeps you moving in the direction you want your business to grow. Having a vision, mission and core values ​​is something that I always have at the forefront of my business, but I also apply this practice to my personal and family life. By always making decisions in accordance with the principles I have created for myself, I know that my time and energy are saved for what is most important. – David Henzel, TaskDrive

7. Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton has a very “calculated risk” approach to work and life. She admits she has more guts than talent, and that’s a bold thing to say as someone who rose to fame decades ago when women were often expected to play the roles of mother, wife and support to the man in the house. Part of the reason she is so successful in life, love and business is her courage, self-awareness and how she accepts failure as part of the process. She has a thick skin and can take it with a jab that she is “too blue” or “dizzy”, because deep down she knows who she is, what she values ​​and what she wants to achieve. She also has a program that sends free books to children, so she’s someone who uses her profits for philanthropy. – Givelle Lamano, Law Firm Lamano

8. Bill Porter

He’s not well known, but I’ve always been inspired by the late Bill Porter, a former Watkins salesman. Porter’s story is told in a book and a film Door to door. He had cerebral palsy and had to beg to be allowed to work as a salesman for Watkins. Then he looked for the worst area to sell. Porter worked in the field for years and became the company’s top salesman. He worked for Watkins for probably 40 years or more. It made me laugh that he even stopped Watkins sales at the end of the movie, asking people to contact him if they wanted Watkins products. The lesson I learned from his life is not to limit yourself. Stick to what you know you can do well and don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing it to the best of your ability. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

9. Arianna Huffington

I am inspired by Arianna Huffington. She is an inspiring entrepreneur who has built successful media companies that promote wellness in the workplace. She is an inspiration to many people and I believe her success reminds us of the importance of finding balance and meaning in our work. – Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO

10. Richard Branson

Richard Branson stands out for his innovative approach to business and his ability to move from one industry to another. Spinning isn’t necessarily something I personally aspire to, but it shows an incredibly creative way of thinking. For example, Virgin Records was a very influential company in the music business, but Branson eventually sold it as the music industry evolved and new technologies began to replace record stores. Like many airlines, Virgin Atlantic has struggled over the past few years, but I expect Branson will always find a way to get back on its feet and offer the services it needs in the coming years. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

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