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5 Entrepreneurs Share What it Takes to Be Successful

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Alyssa Doyle
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Published on June 15, 2017

Success is something we all strive for, but it looks different for everyone. It can be easy to define yourself by the mistakes you make, but the individuals below have all experienced their share of failure and have used their failure to fuel their success. You will fail, but it’s what you do after the fact that matters most. Check out what these successful entrepreneurs have to say about how they became successful.

1. Mark Zuckerberg

Back in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg was the average college student until he created Facebook in his dorm room. Since then, Facebook has become an incredibly successful worldwide brand, but Zuckerberg explains that it hasn’t always been easy and that his experience truly has been an uphill battle.

After a fallout with his management team, he has redefined his mission and has said that “Finding your purpose isn’t enough. The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. To keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge: to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose.”

2. Mark Cuban

Multi-millionaire tech entrepreneur and Shark Tank judge, Mark Cuban, offers his perspective on success at a young age. He insists that success is a trial and error process of trying and learning until you find your calling or your passion.

He argues that “when you’re 22, 23, 24, there’s no such thing as failure, really. Whatever job you take, you’re getting paid to learn. And you just spend however many years paying to go to school, and you paid a lot of money, probably still owe money. Take that job. You’re gonna get paid to learn, and if it was like my experience where I learned what not to do and I was getting paid, it was still well worth it.”

3. Arianna Huffington

Huffington Post founder, Arianna Huffington, says that a large chunk of success is understanding the importance of self-care and relaxation in your career and in your life. After she collapsed, due to being overworked, she changed her lifestyle completely.

She says that making herself a priority “was really the beginning of reevaluating my life and recognizing that I, like millions of other people around the world, had been suffering from the delusion that in order to succeed, we have to burn out. And yet all the latest science disproves that. It actually proves that we need time to recharge, to sleep, to unplug from technology, and I became such a passionate evangelist for this message.”

4. Phil Knight

Nike Co-Founder, Phil Knight, shares the anecdotal story about the crazy idea he had to make himself run faster, when he was still living in his parents’ house back in 1962. Knight is confident that success is rooted in running with that crazy idea even if no one else thinks anything will come of it.

He said to himself on that day, “Let everyone else call your idea crazy … just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop,” and he strongly believes it’s the only piece of advice anyone needs to hear.

5. Tommy Hilfiger

Designer and founder of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, Tommy Hilfiger, provides his three most important components of success. Hilfiger explains that a strong network of loved ones, an understanding of numbers, and an equal balance of a good product and raw passion are the building blocks of success.

“I’ve always surrounded myself with the right people and people who are very bright, passionate and hard working,” he says. His bankruptcy in his early 20s also affected his outlook on life. He states that “Ever since a bankruptcy in my early early years, I’ve always paid attention to the bottom line to the business part of the business,” though perhaps his most significant piece of wisdom is to “Follow your heart. If you have a business idea or passion, go for it.”

Although every person has his unique approach to success, there are certain elements in each story that are similar: work hard, dream big, and keep chugging along.

Alyssa Doyle WayUp Staff

Alyssa is a Marketing Intern at WayUp and a junior at The College of New Jersey, studying English with minors in Marketing and Interactive Multimedia. She hopes to pursue a career in editing, writing, marketing, or social media. She loves to read, write, travel, listen to country music, and spend time with her family, friends, and dog.

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