Priceless Advice from 50 Entrepreneurs

I teach an entry level university course in entrepreneurship. Of the various learning activities, visiting speakers, and readings I use, one of my favorites is this 19-minute video. Fifty entrepreneurs, most of whom you will recognize, give small excerpts from larger speeches and the comments are stimulating for any would-be entrepreneur. Every person involved in a business startup should take the time to listen and use it for further reading and discussion on intriguing topics.

  • Do something you are very passionate about – Jeff Bezos, Amazon
  • Think about building something someone really needs – Danae Ringlemann, Indiegogo
  • Constantly seek criticism – Elon Musk, Tesla
  • It is very rewarding to work on something the makes a difference for someone – Serge Brin, Google
  • Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done – Pierre Omidyar, eBay
  • People pay for our story – Seth Godin, Marketing guru
  • The top traits for team members are High Intelligence, High Energy, High Integrity – Kamal Ravikant, AngelList
  • You have to be a great listener and if you praise people they will flourish -Richard Branson, Virgin Group
  • You need to be open to changes – Jessica Livingston, Y Combinator
  • Build things for yourself, things you want – Steve Wozniak, Apple
  • When starting, go after small markets – Peter Thiel, PayPal
  • It’s all about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you work on the idea – Jack Dorsey, Twitter
  • You have to test your ideas rigorously throughout the process – Eric Reis, The Lean Startup

I also got to thinking that some Biblical entrepreneurial wisdom might look like this:

*    Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” – David, King of Israel.

*     Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Solomon, King of Israel.

*     Deuteronomy 8:18 – “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth – Moses, Leader of the Israelites.

*      2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” – Paul, Apostle of Jesus, and early church leader.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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