Famous business leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are gregarious like Richard Branson. Some are shy like Michael Dell. They can be wildly creative like Steve Jobs or plain boring like Warren Buffett. However, they ALL have a few things in common.
Let’s first examine a few of them:
Donald Trump: No prizes for guessing what he does for a living! Mr. Trump, also called “The Donald”, assumed responsibility of his father’s business, the Trump Organization, in the 1970s, which focused on middle-class rental housing. By 1994, he was almost $9 Billion in debt. But he fought back and built an empire, parts of which can be seen bearing his name in Manhattan. He made his wealth by identifying undervalued real estate, developing it and selling for a huge profit.
Bill Gates: From becoming the world’s richest man to being richer still (his recent philanthropy has proved rumors about a heart of gold correct), Bill Gates is inspiration personified. Known to all as the co-founder of Microsoft® Corporation, his user-friendly Operating System – Windows®, took the personal computer to every home. He is living proof of how far you could go by innovating. His path to wealth came from innovating new ideas and leveraging them.
Thomas Alva Edison: His claim to fame? Light! His Menlo Park research lab turned out some of the first incandescent electric bulbs. Unlike the previous two famous business leaders, Edison had a tough childhood, being handicapped by partial deafness. His first forays into inventing were laden with failure, but he survived it all to become one among the most admired entrepreneurs of all time. Like Bill Gates, his path to fortune was through innovation.
Estée Lauder: “Make the world a better place” sang Michael Jackson, but this lady made it her business to make the world look better as well! Her range of cosmetics gave beauty a new meaning. Starting with four skincare products, she soon expanded her empire to address the grooming needs of men as well. The brand loyalty she attracted with her determination and sharp business acumen could serve as a shining example to aspiring entrepreneurs. Ms. Lauder’s key to success was taking existing products and knowing how to create a strong brand out of them.
Richard Branson: Also called ‘Brand’son. He started as a teenager with his own student’s magazine and expanded his company ‘Virgin’ into music and then airlines. There are now more than a hundred companies that share the brand name ‘Virgin’. Sir Richard creates wealth by identifying underserved market niches, finding a partner to run the business, investing his brand and money in the project. He is truly the ‘King of Branding’
Each of these famous business leaders has taken a different path to success. So what do they share in common that you can learn from? They ALL set themselves apart from others in the business with their ability to think ahead, work hard, and overcome many failures backed by sheer grit and oodles of self-confidence.
The bottom line? If you want to be counted among these famous business leaders yourself, it’s not important WHAT business strategy you have. You just need to be willing to be focused on your goal and not get daunted by obstacles.