If you’re looking for career advice, why not learn from the best? Those who have already scrabbled up the corporate ladder or built a successful business from the ground up have lots of wisdom to share. The career advice they dispense has several themes running through it, and might just be a recipe for success.
Lots of success stories start with the main character taking a huge gamble. Maybe an entrepreneur quits his steady job to found his own company or an investor puts it all on the line and risks his life savings. So, be bold and follow your instincts. As these businesspeople attest, risk taking was key to their success.
• “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.”—Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
• “The cover-your-butt mentality of the workplace will get you only so far. The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business—but it’s a whole lot more fun, don’t you think?”—Bill Rancic, Real Estate Developer, Motivational Speaker, TV Star, and Winner of the First Season of “The Apprentice”
Business opportunities do not come to those who sit around and wait. Thinking about moving up in your career does nothing to advance you up the corporate ladder, and dreaming about being your own boss does nothing to make that a reality. Take the necessary steps to qualify for a promotion or start your own business. As these top businesspeople attest, those who snooze are sure to lose.
• “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”—Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese
• “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”—Madam C.J. Walker, late founder of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company and America’s first self-made female millionaire
Never Give Up
It’s often determination to succeed that sets executives apart from cubicle-dwellers and successful entrepreneurs apart from quitters. If you fall off that corporate ladder or your first attempt at building a business fails, try again. These business leaders didn’t give up, and neither should you.
• “You’ve got to say, ‘I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it.’ It’s called perseverance.”—Lee Iacocca, former President and CEO of Chrysler
• “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”—Steve Jobs, late co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple
So, take it from these successful business professionals: Take chances, make things happen and persevere no matter what to build a successful career.