The people at the top of the business world are usually there for a good reason. Many of them have lived professional lives full of hard knocks, and are aware of what it really takes to get to the top.
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I hope to join them someday — but in the meantime, I like to learn as much as I can from them. So after I heard some really great stories about business professionals connecting through our app, it stirred an idea for me: what if each month, we took one of our members from Here On Biz and set them up with one of the most influential business men or women in the world for an hour of mentorship?
What started as a simple idea has grown into an incredible series of meetings. I’ve heard insights from legendary venture capitalists, an advisor to the federal reserve, and powerful executives who have sat in corner offices in some of the tallest sky scrapers in the world — it currently is my favorite part of what we do.
Here, I wanted to share five of the quotes that resonated most with me from some of the influencers who took an hour out of their lives to share wisdom with others:
1. “Cooler heads prevail.” - Scott Minerd, the CIO of Guggenheim Partners and Special Advisor to the Federal Reserve.
During the 1993 European exchange rate crisis, Minerd orchestrated the restructuring of Italy’s Eurobond debt. By employing the largest debt exchange offer ever executed by a G7 country, Italy was able to reestablish itself as a credible capital markets borrower. In any business, it is important to always keep calm, even in a crisis situation. In doing so you maintain clear focus, limit the possible damage and increase the chance of success. How did YOU react during your last business crisis?
2. “If you are not failing 30% of the time you are not trying.” - William Lupien, General Partner of Kudu Partners and legendary commodities expert.
In 1969, Lupien executed the first-ever electronic stock trade in history on the PSE SCOREX system, whose design he pioneered. Lesson: Don’t fear failure — face it and learn from it. Great companies and leaders embrace this mentality, and if your company or management doesn’t, you are simply letting the clock run out on being a true leader in your industry. Have you failed lately?
3. “Success in any field, but especially in business is about working with people, not against them.” - Keith Ferrazzi, author, one of the world’s most connected people and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight.
Ferrazzi launched his career as the youngest Chief Marketing Officer in the Fortune 500 at Deloitte Consulting, and was also CMO at Starwood Hotels and CEO at YaYa Media. To win at anything it takes a team. Are you building a team or are you building a personal silo?
4. “… To make a persuasive pitch, you need to be passionate about the topic, act as a storyteller, limit the PowerPoint slides and ingest no more than one cup of caffeine.” - Porter Gale, speaker, author and Former CMO of Virgin America.
Advice worth heeding coming from Porter, who was awarded the “Changing The Game Award” by The Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), was on AdAge’s Digital Hotlist, iMedia Top 25-Digital Marketers and named a Digital Passionista by The Huffington Post. In your business, you will inevitably have to ‘sell’ something, a product, a vision, the reason why you deserve a raise. When that selling moment comes, will you be convincing enough?
5. “There can be no success without failure.” - Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. of California, author and small business owner.
During his tenure as Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom participated in much of the development of the San Francisco tech scene and led the way with his visionary policy. But most people don’t make as much progress as they could, largely due to their fear of falling. Will you take the easy path, or the path of progress?
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I hope you learn from these insights — and don’t forget to keep listening and learning on your journey upward. Now it’s your turn: Please share wise sayings or quotes you have heard from important people in your life who have shaped your entrepreneurial success in the comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.
Nick Smoot partners with amazing ideas and tells their story to people who care. He lives in L.A. with his wife and two ridiculously cool sons. If you would like to be considered for one of Here On Biz’s hour-long mentorship sessions with influencers like the speech writer for Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of First Round Capital, board member of Coke and many others, download the app.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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