Irrespective of where they are in their journey, most entrepreneurs needs to fuel their enthusiasm either with motivational quotes, books or lessons of those that have towed that path before them. It is practically impossible to learn everything yourself. As the saying goes, no man can build an island. We will look at some successful global entrepreneurs and how their statements can push someone who needs such motivation. 

So, what can we learn today about becoming a successful entrepreneur? Let’s take a clue from those before us. 


1 – Brian Chesky on good ideas:


If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You have to find the solution for a problem in your own life. – Brian Chesky

In most case scenarios, young businesses fail because there’s no market need for their idea. 42%, that’s almost half, of startups, fail because of this. The message here is simple, to be successful, identify a problem your market will solve. In other words, we need to solve a problem that needs solving, not only a problem that’s interesting to solve. 


2 – Anne Sweeney on defining success:


“Define success on your terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney.

Most startups begin to compare themselves using parameters or levels in the same niche as them. You have to measure your success by yourself. Everyone possesses unique traits, strengths, and passion; it is not advisable to compare with any standard. 


3 – Jack Ma on passion:


“In carrying out e-commerce, the most important thing is to keep doing what you are doing right now with passion, to keep it up.” – Jack Ma

This one’s a no-brainer. But, people underplay the massive importance of passion in business. If you think the drive to make more money or name for yourself will keep you going through the rocky terrains of entrepreneurship, think again. Nothing fuels you like passion does. Carrying out a rough survey among entrepreneurs will show that passion rather than money is the motivating factor.


 4 – Zig Ziglar on goals:


“Unless you have definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within you.” ― Zig Ziglar

This quote rings true for successful entrepreneurs. Setting sail without knowing your destination is a fool’s journey to nowhere. Perhaps you might end up getting somewhere, but only after having wasted a lot of your time.

In contrast, clear goals give you a target. Once you have this target, you can easily focus on it instead. And according to science, setting goals can make you ten times more successful than moving forward without them — so this is not an empty suggestion. It’s the real deal.


5 – Walt Disney on getting started:


“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney.  

Not playing favourites here, but this is one of my most treasured quotes on becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Often the overwhelm can bite at you and chain you down to a stop. This is a common struggle, so if you’ve been there, you’re certainly not alone. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” This quote shows is the motto of every aspiring entrepreneur. 

The best part? In a study on the world’s top entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs are 40% more motivated to turn their ideas into action than the rest of the population.

6 – Ellen DeGeneres on seeing the big picture:


“I work hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” ― Ellen DeGeneres.

Another one of the first steps to becoming an entrepreneur is thinking big. Getting caught up in the details is similar to getting stuck in quicksand – you keep drowning, losing sight of your direction.

This doesn’t mean you need to start big. Instead, start small, but think big. Thinking big does not mean taking significant steps as a startup. It means taking those baby steps but still with a long-term sight of your future goal. Successful entrepreneurs take an idea and let it fly. The takeout? Think big.


 7 – Ralph Waldo Emerson on support systems:


“Our chief wants in life is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him, we are easily great.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s be honest: achieving things on your own can triple the troubles you go through. However, a supportive network or a trustworthy friend can make all the difference by offering emotional, appraisal, and informational support. It is essential to have a small but impactful network of freelance peers for the informational support you might need.


 9 – Jim Rohn on self-education:


“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” –Jim Rohn

If there’s one thing that I’ve seen unfold right in front of my eyes, it’s what Rohn gives voice to: “self-education will make you a fortune.”

81% of learners throughout the world think education will become more “do-it-yourself” in the future as people choose short courses, online learning, and self-teaching over formal education. There is no better way to self educate yourself as an entrepreneur than investing in yourself by reading books and taking clues from successful men.



The truth is that if you’re naturally curious, you’ll make an excellent life-long learner. Because learning to satisfy your curiosity makes learning enjoyable and helps you retain more of what you read. Several Nigerian entrepreneurs are great authors of different books, which gives an insight on how to be successful in the Nigerian markets. These books will interest any startup and push them to the next level of their business. 

After going through this article, you feel you now have the answer to get started as an entrepreneur. To be successful, get this straight:

  1. Just get started.
  2. Don’t look back.
  3. Don’t look sideways.
  4. Get a mentor to guide you through. 

Having thoughts on getting a reliable mentor? The “Catalyst Mentorship Programmme” (CMP) is a good platform to have a one on one session with Hammed Olawale Catalyst who is a seasoned entrepreneur with the goal of impacting the society and growing other young and talented entrepreneurs/intending entrepreneurs.

The CMP is a six months mentorship program focused on building next generation of already/intending entrepreneurs who will build successful and yet sustainable brands. 

For more information, you can reach out to catalyst on +234 816 272 6997 or visit the CMP page.

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