Finding an entrepreneur you admire is a way to model your own behavior toward success. Learning how they found their path, what challenges they faced and the solutions they found can be wildly inspirational.
Below, nine thought-leaders share which entrepreneurs they consider successful. Find out why these entrepreneurs have earned their reputation for success.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google
My scorecard for entrepreneurial success is really about momentum. An entrepreneur is someone who successfully puts things in motion. That momentum could be around a single business or around a multitude of business ideas. So, which entrepreneur has the most momentum with the thing(s) they’ve put in motion? I’d have to go with Larry Page and Sergey Brin. From writing about Google’s founding principles at Stanford to where they’re at today, it’s just remarkable to experience the things they’ve put into motion with incredible momentum.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Tony Hsieh, Zappos
I consider Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh very successful because of the way he’s managed to change the discussion of corporate culture. Zappos was one of the first companies to spend a great deal of time on how their employees feel about the workplace and create an environment where they feel glad to come to work.
John Yardley, Threads
Tony Robbins, Author
Tony Robbins created a brand that has impacted many in the duration of his 40+ years in personal development. He discovered a way to “bottle the fundamentals and recipes” and create lasting change. He designed products to encourage clients to engage and get into action, not just passively listen. He was a trailblazer in the coaching industry so other coaches could make their own impact in the world. As a former active global Tony Robbins coach, I saw the fundamentals he displayed on stage in front of thousands being taught through his coach training program so his coaches were able to support clients to achieve similar results.
Mark Jamnik, Enjoy Life Daily
Emily Weiss, Glossier
Emily Weiss is the founder and CEO of Glossier. Her success is incredible, with Glossier being one of the biggest and most popular beauty brands in the market today. She defines what it means to turn a passion into a business, having started Gloss as a side blog during an internship.
Ryan Nouis, TruPath
Rand Fishkin, SparkToro
I see Rand Fishkin, Co-Founder and CEO of SparkToro and previously the founder and CEO of Moz, at the top of his game. There is an entire generation of marketers that came of age during the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s that owe a great deal to Rand Fishkin (whether or not they specialize in SEO). Rand was one of the first marketing leaders to use educational content marketing effectively, sharing the frameworks he and his team at Moz developed with the end goal of helping educate marketers, both young and old, to deliver value to their business in their day-to-day.
Chris Gadek, AdQuick
Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks
The most successful entrepreneur is the one who is urged to transform an ordinary life by making life-changing decisions and who is willing to take risks. Mark Cuban, with a net worth of 4.2 billion USD, used to sell stamps door-to-door as a kid and gave disco lessons to meet his educational expenses through Indiana University. When he first moved into a one-room apartment, he didn't even have a place to sleep. Things were so cramped that when he used to come home after a night of bartending, he would have to sleep on the couch or sometimes on the floor, keeping his few belongings in a heap.
Rameez Ghayas Usmani, PureVPN
Grant Botma, Stewardship
My good friend, Grant Botma of Stewardship, is one of the hardest-working, generous, and stand-up entrepreneurs I know. His ability to start and grow multiple businesses while still caring well for the people in his life – his family, his staff, and his clients – is a true testament to his character and work ethic. He is a fantastic model of ‘success' for entrepreneurs everywhere.
Mike Jones, Resound
Oprah Winfrey, O
Oprah Winfrey is an excellent example of a successful entrepreneur who started from the ground and worked her way up. She was able to climb her way up the ladder of success, despite racial bias and stereotypes plaguing her early years. Still, she was able to create a world-wide personal brand that has spanned decades and ventured into books, directing and even her own television network. She is a shining example of saying yes when everyone tells you no.
Vicky Franko, Insura
Elon Musk, Tesla
I consider Elon Musk a successful entrepreneur because he isn't afraid to try things. Failure is not in his vocabulary. He knows success comes from trying, testing, learning and adjusting. I think these are very entrepreneurial characteristics.
Diane Helbig, Business Advisor