Journeys to Success with 6 Incredible Entrepreneurs
These six revealing videos of Elon Musk, Angela Ahrends, Steve Jobs, Daymond John, Reid Hoffman, and Arianna Huffington will Inspire your entrepreneurial journey.
“Pessimists spend a lifetime waiting for perfection while finding imperfections in everything. Entrepreneurs commit to something imperfect and spend their lifetime perfecting it.”
Your entrepreneur’s journey is unique but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Everyone who has taken that journey before you has something to offer; valuable lessons to help you with your own trek. While reading a biography or a well-written article provides some insight, there is a magic to actually hearing these stories from the people who lived them, unplugged, without the benefit of editors and prosaic copy; it’s raw, revealing, and humanizing.
What you realize as you listen to these stories of success, and the inevitable failures along the way, is that entrepreneurs share some fundamental qualities; a passion to succeed, an ability to forge ahead despite overwhelming odds, the charisma to attract the best teams and to challenge them, and an uncanny instinct to redirect their trajectory and jump on opportunity when they most need to.
I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a junky when it comes to listening to others describe their own entrepreneurial journey, but I’m not a fan of well edited and choreographed interviews. I like seeing the real person behind the myth; that flawed human being who somehow navigated through their insecurities and challenges and isn’t afraid to talk about them.
“In the final analysis of every entrepreneur lies a simple truth–perfect people do not exist; what does exist are human beings who have the determination to achieve despite their imperfections.”
These six videos are among my all time favorite examples of that sort of raw, revealing insight. Not just because of the personalities involved in each case, though they are clearly fascinating individuals, but more so because of how each of these interviews gets behind the hyperbole that surrounds these people to illuminate what drives them.
In the final analysis of every entrepreneur lies a simple truth–perfect people do not exist; what does exist are human beings who have the determination to achieve despite their imperfections. I’ll warn you ahead of time that these videos total over five hours, but that’s time well spent that will provide some of the most intimate and personal views of what it takes to build and sustain an entrepreneurial mindset.
1. Elon Musk, interviewed by Alison van Diggelen. This is by far one of the best, if not the best, interview with Musk. It covers his entire life up to Tesla and offers an amazingly intimate portrait of Musk’s philosophies, attitudes, and drivers.
2. Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry and now SVP of retail and online stores at Apple Inc, interviewed by Sal Kahn, talks about her passion and intense focus on being great at just one thing.
3. Steve Jobs uncut in the Lost Interviews. A series of interviews with a young Steve Jobs that include unedited cuts and wonderful insights into the mind of a master marketer and visionary. Jobs had charm to spare when he wanted to turn it on. He understood the value of vision and passion. And he knew how to work an audience and a camera.
4. Daymond John, interviewed by Behind the Brand host Bryan Elliott, talks about everything from the unlikely creation of the FUBU brand, to his mistakes and challenges, to the need for ongoing purpose in the life of an entrepreneur. This is one of those interviews that truly reveals the person behind the media persona.
5. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn founder, interviewed by Sal Kahn, on his entire journey from gamer to LinkedIn phenomenon. Love the Kahn interviews; they are unpretentious, from the heart, and make you feel as though Sal and his guest are right there chatting with you in your living room.
6. Arianna Huffington, interviewed by Sheryl Sandberg, talks about her journey from poverty to media mogul. Love her or hate her, Arianna provides a clear view on the meaning of success, its rewards and its perils, with a much-needed focus on the challenges and impact of entrepreneurship on women.
As you watch these videos take the time to think about how your own journey is reflected in what you hear. You may not have Elon Musk’s vision, Reid Hoffman’s connections, or Arianna Huffington’s clout but I will bet my bottom dollar that you share their commitment to making it work and you’re not willing to wait to achieve your dreams. Pessimists spend a lifetime waiting for perfection while finding imperfections in everything. Entrepreneurs commit to something imperfect and spend their lifetime perfecting it.
This article was originally published on Inc.
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Tom Koulopoulos is the author of 10 books and founder of the Delphi Group, a 25-year-old Boston-based think tank and a past Inc. 500 company that focuses on innovation and the future of business. He tweets from @tkspeaks.