Six time Grammy Award-winning American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer Billy Joel is the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. And, he’s #1 with a bullet on the entrepreneurial charts when it comes to the simple wisdom of doing what you want in life:
“You can get what you want or you can just get old.”
Validation of Kafka’s passionate pursuit of and commitment to writing comes from the fact that few of his works were published during his lifetime and those that were, such as Contemplation and A Country Doctor, received little public attention. His motivation came from a deep, authentic calling not unlike that felt by entrepreneurs for whom his advice is on the mark:
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
American entrepreneur Tony Hsieh is the epitome of success. After co-founding Internet advertising network LinkExchange and selling it to Microsoft for a cool $265 million, he led online shoe and clothing giant Zappos to household name recognition and financial success.
Yet, Tony Hsieh’s advice to entrepreneurs puts the passion horse before the revenue cart: “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels and films, Neil Gaiman’s gift for words fills the pages of such outstanding works as The Sandman, American Gods, Coraline and The Graveyard Book. He has won such recognition as the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker awards and is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.
His profound wisdom that has meaning for every entrepreneur is this: “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
The fact that Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet could arguably be the tongue-in-cheek reason for his meteoric rise as a writer, entrepreneur, publisher, humorist and lecturer. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. Mark Twain’s simple observation demonstrates his profound insight into the quest of the entrepreneur:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Born into slavery, American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the underground railroad.
Harriet Tubman’s passionate message is a mantra for every entrepreneur that feels a calling deep within his or her soul to pursue that which is most important:
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
You, me, all of us…we share the ability to dream as big as we want to and to go in the direction our heart beckons us. “There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”-Nelson Mandela
"You've had such a varied and impressive career. It's awesome to read about your adventures and reinventions and how you're now helping others do the same," branding expert Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You, Stand Out and Entrepreneurial You