7 Tips From Entrepreneurial Icons

Words of wisdom from entrepreneurial icons to help you grow your business. 

Web 2.0 Expo SF 2011

Rashmi Sinha, Slideshare

“I’d rather we make a mistake, realize we did, and try something else instead of spending a lot of time thinking and not acting.”

Capitalize on the energy of your startup. If that means making minor mistakes to avoid bigger ones down the track, so be it. You’ll have invested less time and money, and reaped larger rewards.


NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23:  Founder of Spanx Sara Blakely attends the 2013 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images)

Sara Blakely, Spanx

“As soon as you can afford to, hire your weaknesses.”

It’s crucial to delegate as soon as you’re able. Even if you’re a small scale business, that could mean hiring freelancers to take on responsibilities you’re less confident with: anything from marketing, to graphic design, to copywriting, or even operations.


Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo, Oscar De la Renta

“Things never happen on accident. They happen because you have a vision, you have a commitment, you have a dream.”

As an entrepreneur, with fashion and with any industry in which you are disrupting a market, you have to stay focused on your vision, and committed to how you want to change to happen.


Reid Hoffman, Linkedin

“I don’t think Groupon could have ever been founded here [Silicon Valley].”

To some degree, location informs your successes. Know your purpose, and your audience. For example, Maker’s Row is based in Brooklyn, the east coast’s artisanal hub, and it’s reflected in the brand, identity and messaging.

23/5/12. Arianna Huffington @ C2-MTL. CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER / C2-MTL

Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

“We’re always willing to disrupt our own game and see ourselves as a work in progress.”

It can be tempting to stick with tried-and-true mechanisms that granted you early success. However, when you reach the point of scale or bust, agility and adaptability is key – whether that’s considering new strategies, embracing different technologies or bringing on staffers from diverse backgrounds.


Russell Simmons, Co-founder of Def Jam and founder of Phat Farm

“Be encouraged. Stay on your hustle. You can’t fail until you quit.”

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As an entrepreneur, mindset and focus is everything. Russell Simmons, who, “doesn’t do shit until he meditates,” understands how staying true to your vision and keeping to a focused path is necessary for success. Resilience is what gets you over the finish line.


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

“No person knows how to deal with everything… you don’t have to be superhuman.”

Surround yourself with the right people – friends, family, colleagues – to establish a supportive network that prioritizes your startup the same way you do. Without the love, your business is doomed from the start.