It’s common sense: If you really want the best advice on how to improve your business, get it from the most successful business owners.
These people are often quick to dish out advice, but the issue is that nobody actually listens. If you really want to build your business, take the advice to heart.
Success doesn’t happen by chance. It takes hard work and a large dose of good luck. Here are eight of the best tips on building businesses–apply them all and you’ll be on the fast track to making your own riches.
1. Create happy customers.
“While strategy, market positioning, and coming up with a long-term plan are all important, focus on making the individual sales and creating happy customers. None of that strategic planning is any good if you can’t keep the lights on because you’re not making enough sales,” says Tej Kohli, real estate entrepreneur and software business leader.
2. Learn your lessons.
“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Those are the sage words of Bill Gates, who learned early that celebrations are fun, but the hard lessons should be reviewed carefully. Otherwise, you risk embodying the definition of insanity.
3. Remember that there are no shortcuts.
“Formula for success: Rise early, work hard, strike oil.” This is the advice from J. Paul Getty, who took the traditional approach to owning a successful business. In an era in which everyone wants to find shortcuts, get rich quick, and get morose if he or she isn’t rich before the age of 30, it serves as a good reminder.
4. Forget perfection.
“Don’t think you are unstoppable or foolproof. Don’t think that the only way your business will work is through perfection. Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for success.” Brazil’s Eike Batista found that he got flustered when things didn’t go perfectly–but they never will. Instead, looking toward success and not perfection was his key.
5. Enjoy it.
“Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.” Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, is quick to point out that when you stop doing what you enjoy, suddenly no amount of money is worth it. There’s more to getting rich than making money and if you do it right, the cash is just a perk.
6. Really be an entrepreneur.
“If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” John D. Rockefeller epitomized entrepreneurship, but it’s something that’s becoming more of a rarity. Instead of going with the safe path, try something new. You may surprise yourself.
7. Stop stopping yourself.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk … In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Mark Zuckerberg’s wise words are certainly worth following. Without risk, there’s no reward. If you don’t make a leap every now and then, you won’t be outstanding.
8. Give back.
“There has to be a balance in life. A balance of business, family, and the opportunity to learn and teach.” Chuck Feeney’s words certainly align with this fact: The people who give the most are often entrepreneurs or business owners. Without balance, everything falls apart.
Ready to become the next successful businessman? Learn from the greats and you’re already ahead of the pack.
Drew Hendricks is a tech, social-media, and environmental addict. He’s written for many major publications, such as Forbes and Entrepreneur.