There are too many misconceptions that hold back great talent and ideas. They hold individuals back, the companies they could start, and deprived communities and the world of what could be. Ironically, the one thing that strings together successful entrepreneurs seems to be persistence. Vision is a close second. It has nothing to do with where you are born, how much money your parents gave you, or luck.
Persistence is without a doubt one of the patterns that I recognize from interviewing some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the DealMakers Podcast. Entrepreneurship is not a straight line and there are plenty of ups and downs.
Here are ten images that show how far today’s most celebrated entrepreneurs and businesses have come.
1) Mark Zuckerberg
He may not appear to have changed much, but here is Mark Zuckerberg back in his dorm room at the start of Facebook in 2005.
Now not only one of the wealthiest people in history, but for better or worse, easily one on the most influential as well. This photo was also once his Facebook profile picture. A great lesson that you don’t have to wait.
Throughout all the top entrepreneurs and investors I’ve interviewed on the DealMakers Podcast, many have gone to top colleges, but like Mark, have started ventures before leaving school, and have often dropped out. Don’t wait to get started.
2) Elon Musk
Pictured here with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Elon Musk certainly looks a lot different today. Like many of his peers who have gone from geek to celebrity entrepreneur, it’s clear you can do a lot for your image as you gain success and time to focus on yourself as well as your vision for the world.
Build your business, get the money, then worry about being pretty.
3) Jeff Bezos
Jeff has clearly changed his look quite a bit since this photo. He’s now rocking a much sleeker wardrobe or one of those Silicon Valley vests to complement his new, more muscular physique.
This photo almost looks like it is from a completely different time. Today’s top entrepreneurs, investors and leaders are definitely readers, but we don’t see books like this much anymore. Back then, few probably imagined his vision for Amazon was possible or would be so disruptive. Never mind disrupting and taking over so many other industries from cloud computing to whole foods.
4) Warren Buffett
Warren has seemed ageless since most of us have heard of him. Unquestionably, one of the most talented business minds of our lifetime.
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