Some business advice changes all the time, but there’s also some advice that’s relevant and useful no matter what year it is, or what business you’re in.
In honor of the new year, we’ve compiled a quick list of 10 bits of wisdom that are as timeless and useful now as they were years ago.
1 — Push through your limitations
“The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.”
— Thomas Edison
Business is scary. It can be new, difficult, frustrating, and many other things — but if you push through those limitations and do the things that are hard you might see the best of what business can be: rewarding, lucrative, challenging, and fun.
Pushing yourself can be hard, but it’s worth it in the end.
2 — Never stop improving
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
— Jack Welch
The world changes, and things are always moving forward. In order to keep up, it’s critical to always learn and always improve.
In business, the companies who are most successful are the ones who keep learning, keep improving, and keep adapting.
3 — Action is more important than talk
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”
— Walt Disney
We’ve all heard the cliche before, actions speak louder than words; but it has real truth in business. Action is what matters, not talk, or ideas, or even how much money you have. If business success is what you want, than you need to take action.
4 — Success takes hard work
“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”
— Albert Einstein
Doing well in business requires effort. A lot of effort.
Those who achieve the most are often the ones who are the most passionate, and most determined to reach their goals — because they devote themselves to the cause and put in the effort that others cant. It takes time, but with focus and hard work you’ll almost always do well.
5 — Hard work brings happiness (and success)
“Satisfaction does not come with achievement, but with effort. Full effort is full victory.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
Even the best intentions and efforts don’t always lead to where you thought, but that’s okay, because it isn’t the goal that counts. The act of giving yourself to a cause, and working with your full ability, is what will bring real satisfaction.
And if you put in your whole effort, you’re still much more likely to get what you want, too.
6 — Don’t be afraid of failure
“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.”
— Sumner Redstone
Being afraid of doing something wrong is human nature, but it’s not in your best interest. Failing is one of the best ways to learn, and is often one of the only ways to become truly successful.
Fail early, fail often, and don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes.
7 — Strive to provide something great
“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”
— Steve Jobs
Perhaps the most important piece of advice in business is to create something that is great and valuable. If you can provide your customers with a great product or a great service, chances are they’ll come back for more and tell their friends too.
Learn to understand your customers, learn what they really need, and then do your best to provide them with that. Even when all else fails, providing an awesome product will usually lead to success.
What’s your advice?
We’ve only covered a small fraction of the timeless business advice, there’s a lot more out there that we either didn’t find or didn’t have time to include.
What do you think is the most important thing to know in business?
What has been the biggest help in your situation?