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Opinions - October 14, 2022

5 Motivational Speeches Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

Now and then, entrepreneurs need inspiration. At times, it comes in the form of motivational speeches that encourage these individuals to continue despite the urge to give up. Apart from getting the strength to continue from motivational speeches, an entrepreneur can also get pumped with insightful business ideas from listening to and resonating with a speaker. This is because some speeches have the power to change the way we see things, thus becoming an agent of change.

Tapping into the power of motivational speech has seen many entrepreneurs become more assertive in their businesses and gain experience. This includes some of the most renowned entrepreneurs in the world.

As an entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu said he gets inspiration from four people. He said, “I can think of four people, two of whom have passed away, that I continue to draw inspiration from; one is Steve Jobs, and the other is Michael Jackson. The other two are Bill Gates and Jack Ma.

With Steve Jobs, I think it’s simply amazing that a man founded a business, and after his death, it became the first company to cross a trillion-dollar market cap! A key aspiration for every entrepreneur anywhere in the world should be the ability to build a lasting business. This is a rare feat that Steve Jobs has accomplished and should serve as an inspiration to all.

The second person is Michael Jackson. We all know him as an entertainer, but there is much more to learn from his movie, This is it, released just after he passed. Michael Jackson was talented and worked hard. He constantly refined himself and was very disciplined. He was focused, and he made sacrifices. These are the things I like to see in leaders.

For inspirational figures who are still here with us, I would have to mention Bill Gates. Bill’s acumen as a businessman stands out, especially what he’s achieved in technology. But he is also a tremendous thinker and an exemplary thought leader. I like Jack Ma too. Both men have done very well.” Here are some motivational speeches you should consider listening to as an entrepreneur.

J. K. Rowling – Keep pressing on, never give up

Failure to the world means you have failed. The truth, however, is that you can define your failure. The definition you give to it will be the definition of who you turn out to become. This explains the sayings of J.K Rowlings during the Harvard Commencement Speech.

She said, “Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, I had failed on an epic scale a mere seven years after my graduation day.

An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. My parents’ fears for me and I had for myself had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

Despite the label of being a failure, she did not relent. Even when the renowned book Harry Porter was rejected by numerous publishers, she did not give up. Here perseverance to her changing her narrative from being a failure to success. Instead of letting her failure define her, she used it to push herself to success. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Persistent and hard work

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-American actor, film producer, entrepreneur, politician, retired professional bodybuilder, three consecutive Mr Universe pro winner and eight times Mr Olumpia, achieved it all through hard work.

He said, “I went to college. I went and worked out 5 hours a day. And I was working in construction. Because in those days in bodybuilding, there was no money. I didn’t have the money for food supplements or anything.

So, I had to go to work. So, I worked in construction. I went to college and worked out in a gym. And at night, from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight, I went to acting class 4 times a week. I did all that. There was not one single minute that I wasted.”

With his goals before him, he worked his ass off. He also instilled the vision in his consciousness that when asked, he replies with I have a dream to achieve. Today, in his field, he is one of the best.


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Elon Musk – Three keys to success

During Elon Musk’s commencement speech at USC Marshall School of Business Undergraduate Commencement in 2014, he said four things motivated him to attain success. 

Firstly, he said,  “If you want to start a company, you must work super hard.” This stems from companies such as Tesla, Amazon and Alibaba, which have trillion dollars in market capitalisation, built through hard work and not sheer luck.

Secondly, “All a company is, is a group of people that have gathered together.” This is a fact every entrepreneur should remember. Without the employees, there is no company. So treat your human resources right to avoid losing some of your brilliant brains.

Thirdly, “Focus on signal over noise.” There is prone to be a celebration after attaining a particular success. Instead of focusing on the noise of celebrating a product you just launched and its success, focus on signs that can help you improve the product to be the better and the best,

Finally, Elon Musk said, “Take risks.” instead of being scared of taking a new path, just jump into it. You never can tell what you will discover.

Richard St.John – Secrets of success

The question of what leads to success prompted Richard St. John’s search for answers from successful entrepreneurs. After seven years of research and five hundred interviews with successful people, he discovered these eight secrets to success.

Of the eight, one of the points that stood out was ‘passion.’ He said, “If you do what you love, the money will come later.” The key to success is having a love for what you do. Hence, entrepreneurs should focus on it.

For example, if you create a product, make every effort to support it. Your unwavering commitment to the cause will greatly aid your long-term success.

Others are to push, serve, be the best, persist, focus, work and ideas.

Tony Robbins – Only you can define your success

Success, to Tony Robbins, is individual. This is because they have different success goals. While someone’s definition of being successful is to conquer the tech space, another is to dominate all the business industries.

He said, “I would never tell somebody else what success is. But I will say when most people pursue success, I think what they are seeking is a more outstanding quality of life. To have an extraordinary quality of life, it’s got to be life on your terms. Some people’s idea of an extraordinary life is to be a great author while some build a billion dollars company.”

So, to be successful as an entrepreneur, you first need to figure out what the definition of success means to you.


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