Business Advice from Start-up Billionaires

elon musk - Start-up Billionaires
Photo via TheHill | Business Advice from Start-up Billionaires | The business world can be a harsh place, especially for startups and those looking to create something out of nothing. Succeeding in one’s mission with just a dream and hard work isn’t easy, which makes it all the more worth it when a startup does make it big. A million little things need to come together and be executed perfectly. It takes an extraordinary amount of effort, amazing timing, and driven leadership to make a company successful and have a chance at changing the world. 

Every startup wants to succeed, and every CEO or owner thinks their company is the next big thing to revolutionize the industry. However, the reality is that over 90% of startups fail, which means that clearly not everyone can achieve their dreams. All companies go through ups and downs, and many face serious adversity in pursuing their goals.

However, there are tons of example companies that have faced challenges and overcame them, by people who started from the bottom and ended up some of the most successful and well-known entrepreneurs and business leaders in the world. These self-made billionaire founders have been through every challenge and every trial possible to get to where they are now, and have come out wiser and more experienced than before. 

To share these startup billionaires’ invaluable experience and knowledge, Embroker has created a list of iconic leaders and lessons from their illustrious careers. 

Elon Musk

The eccentric and influential founder of Tesla and SpaceX is one of the richest CEOs in the world, and that’s all due to his laser-focus on one mission. Musk has always advocated his goal of  “accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy”, and has actively championed the cause through his company and contributions to the tech world. 

However, his focus on his mission has meant making hard decisions at times, including layoffs and other changes. And although that may occasionally cost him the support of certain people or groups, his dedication to sustainability and creating revolutionary technology has given him a large fanbase, a platform to share his opinions, as well as the opportunity to further pursue his goals. 

Jan Koum

This billionaire founder created WhatsApp, a truly revolutionary communication platform that has enabled people from all over the world to message each other and communicate seamlessly. WhatsApp has become one of the most preferred and used messaging services across the globe. 

Koum explains that he and his co-founder created WhatsApp to solve their own problem of missing calls on their phones. Originally, they did not intend to build a company, but create an app that helps them and their friends. However, with the growth of their useful technology, Koum realized that at the heart of entrepreneurship and building a successful startup is solving a problem and creating a product that people use. 

Frank Wang

The creator of DJI, the biggest drone company in the world, has accomplished a lot in his 35 years, building a new and innovative product. His mission and motivation centers around constantly striving for perfection and improvement. 

Wang says that “You can’t be satisfied with the present”, and believes in never stopping trying to do better. His strong attitudes towards aiming and striving for perfection have helped him create a successful, world-renowned business. 

Jack Dorsey 

Currently the CEO and founder of both Twitter and Square, Dorsey emphasizes the quality of one’s team when it comes to building a successful company and succeeding in business. Business is about people and creating something that helps others, and he believes that part of doing that includes having the best team that works together to establish the right culture. 

Dorsey doesn’t place someone’s value on how important they are to the company, how famous they are, or who they know, but focuses on how they contribute to company culture and morale. To him, these attributes are more important than anything else, and he advocates for cutting out toxic employees or executives who don’t fit and have a negative impact on the company. 

Brian Chesky

Chesky’s original vision struggled to gain prominence and support at first. His plan for AirBnB was having trouble attracting investors and contributions in 2008, and he had to devise a new plan to help make his dream a reality. So Chesky found a way to use bootstrap marketing measures by selling transformed cereal boxes during the Democratic National Convention. 

He and his co-founders spread information about their company and made enough money to launch the business, this time successfully. His experience teaches us that you can’t give up an amazing idea even when there are serious financial hurdles. A revolutionary dream is worth doing whatever it takes to make it a reality, sometimes including bootstrapped marketing strategies. 

Drew Houston

Almost every business these days uses Houston’s creation—DropBox. However, this tool wasn’t always so prominent, and in 2007 it was struggling to achieve visibility and prove useful. So co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowski decided to take unprecedented measures to spread awareness and shared their startup on Reddit and Digg. 

Their thinking outside the box paid off and these sites significantly increased traffic and interest in DropBox. Thus, the company was able to achieve its goals of spreading awareness and visibility of the product, showing that with a little creativity and meeting your users where they are, anything is possible. 

Ben Silbermann

Pinterest’s founder preaches the importance of a talented team on your side when starting a business. When Silbermann began this new platform, even the users themselves were specially picked by him to make sure Pinterest maintained a level of creativity and uniqueness. Now, anyone can use the platform, but its founder still focuses on the importance of having a high-quality team. 

Silbermann believes in bringing people on when they have clear talent and abilities, even if there is no clear role for them. He values innovative and original thinking above all else and says that great people “actually want to work on hard problems”, being able to solve issues that most cannot. His dedication to hiring only the most talented has paid off as his company is worth billions of dollars and is widely used all around the world.

Building a billion-dollar company out of nothing is a feat not many are capable of. However, these self-made titans of the business world have overcome many obstacles in their paths and worked hard to create the right opportunities and environments for their visions to prosper. For the full list of lessons from the experiences of self-made billionaire founders, check out the infographic below.

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