5 Principles of Small Business Success — Straight from the Masters

by Charissa Arsaoui on June 23, 2011
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When it comes to running successful businesses, few people have made their mark on the world the way that Jack Canfield, Dale Carnegie, Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, and Timothy Ferriss have.  In addition to accumulating wealth, these intelligent businessmen are known worldwide for their leadership skills and influence.  The lessons they’ve learned along the way are each powerful in their own respect — and many have made it their mission to share their secrets with others ambitious enough to break into the world of business. Here are five of them.

Jack Canfield, motivational speaker, coach, and co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series states, “Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.

Dale Carnegie was a writer, lecturer, and developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.  His book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, was first published in 1936 and remains a bestseller today.  He said, “Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”

Donald Trump has enjoyed enormous success as a real estate mogul, author, television personality, and entrepreneur.  Despite being best known for his famous phrase, “You’re fired,” he has a surprising amount of sound advice to offer prospective business owners, including: “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.

Warren Buffett is an investor, industrialist and philanthropist as well as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. His skills and experience have helped him become the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011. He reminds us: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

Timothy Ferriss, the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.  He is now a full-time angel investor and acts as an advisor to to StumbleUpon and Shopify. He teaches the following principle: “If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’a just do it and correct course along the way.

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