Every Entrepreneur Has Their Hero

December 27, 2012

Every entrepreneur has their hero, the person who helps to inspire them and whose words of wisdom they turn to during the dark days.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and we look to different people to help guide us in different stages and aspects of our lives. Some people might look to Einstein for inspiration on the world-altering power of imagination, but not for advice on how to win a new business pitch.

Sometimes a person’s heroes can be strange bedfellows, just look at Steve Jobs. He idolized Mahatma Gandhi and Edwin H. Land, the genius behind Polaroid and the man who invented instant photography. Jobs often referred to Gandhi as the man on whom he modeled his spiritual life and values, while he tried to emulate Land’s creative vision and restless pursuit of perfection in the way he ran Apple as a business.

The people who inspire us can come from all walks of life: sports, art and culture, entertainment, religion as well as business. Forbes even ran a couple of blogs on how entrepreneurs could learn leadership skills from two captains of the USS Enterprise: James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard.

Here are some of our favorite quotes on the art of business and leadership from a range of inspirational individuals:

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” Vince Lombardi, football coach.

“When I think of work, it's mostly about having control over your destiny, as opposed to being at the mercy of what's out there.” Gary Sinise, actor.

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vidal Sassoon, founder of hair-salon empire.

“Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is.” Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop.

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill, statesman.

“Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.” Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart.

"In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running, if you stand still, they will swallow you." William S. Knudsen, former President of General Motors.

“Screw it, let’s do it.” Richard Branson, founder of Virgin.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt, statesman.

“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” Jerry Seinfeld, comedian.

Who are your business and life heroes and why? What inspirational sayings have helped you run your life and manage your business?