10 inspirational quotes from leading entrepreneurs

Why Successful Entrepreneurs Have to Think Two Steps Ahead
Why Successful Entrepreneurs Have to Think Two Steps Ahead

When the world's leading entrepreneurs gathering in Seattle, it's easy to pick up important advice from them.

Paul Freed, an Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) member in Seattle, is co-founder of Herd Freed Hartz, a leading executive search and recruiting strategy consulting firm. We asked him about the recent iConic conference in Seattle and what inspired him most.

During my time at iConic: Seattle, it was easy to learn from wildly successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Over the course of the day, I got the opportunity to hear from these influential speakers - here are the ten best things I heard.

1. "Provide uniquely attractive opportunities for other people and you'll do well."- Greg Glassman; CEO and founder of CrossFit

I've been going to CrossFit the last couple years and noticed everyone seems happy and has stayed around for a reason. Greg shared he started out just wanting to create a company he'd want to work for as a trainer and has kept that philosophy with his 13,000 affiliates today. Greg also said "Health = Fitness + Luck." Funny, but so true.

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2. "If you are upset about something - do something about it. Expect resistance, as you are doing something new and not everyone will get it."- Danae Ringlemann; Co-founder of Indiegogo

Crowd funding wasn't started as business revolution, but to just solve a problem Danae saw first-hand. Great people and ideas unfairly lacked a way to get direct funding, as only a few banks held all the keys. Doing something new will not be welcomed by everyone who likes the status quo.

3. "The commute time is the same for those making $75,000 over the last 10 years. Commute time has doubled for those making less than $75,000 over the last 10 years."- Spencer Rascoff; CEO of Zillow

Spencer shared many great business insights and how employee loyalty is much better in Seattle than the Bay Area. I'm a Zillow fan, but this comment struck me most because of the negative impact on commute times due to the hot Seattle job market.

4. "The notable and patriotic thing you can do is to start a business and hire people."

5. "Execution matters more than passion and opportunity."

6. "My investment portfolio female CEOs have consistently had better results. They seem to do better at time management, realistic goal setting and risk management better. Guys have a way of setting crazy goals."- Kevin O'Leary; CEO of O'Leary Funds & Shark Tank member

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Okay - Kevin got three of my favorite quotes from the day and was the most entertaining. He spoke his mind without much filter, which means he inspires you, offends you and then speaks profound business truth. If you are going to pitch Kevin, get your idea out quickly, show you have a credible team and really know your numbers.

7. "Even in a recession, people still eat out in a great location - like my restaurants by the water."- Tilman Fertitta; CEO of Landry's

Tilman owns 500+ restaurants worth $3 billion+, ranging from Bubba Gump to Morton's Steakhouse. He focused on how great operators are great when times are bad. He encouraged us to always think of the worst case scenario and make the cuts ahead of time - then you will survive.

8. "Why buy a car you only use 5% of the time?"- Robin Chase; Founder of Zipcar

It's hard to imagine a world without Airbnb, Uber and Wikipedia. With this new sharing economy, you can defy the law of physics by scaling faster with excess capacity, tap exponential learning, and the benefits of shared open assets versus problems of open assets. Robin's talk made me wonder if the concept of "employee" and "contractor" will blur even more in the future.

9. "Don't go into the selling business (one time mindset); go into the reorder business."- John Paul Dejora; Founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems & Patron

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John's inspirational story of going from being homeless to selling his new hair products door-to-door, to owning global empire, demonstrated his business grit. Creating a new category of ultra-premium tequila was unheard of - but Patron now owns 80% of that market worldwide.

10. "Take measured risk and fail quickly. Get up and keep going. Stop looking around - nobody cares if you failed."- Robert Herjavec; CEO of Herjavec Group & Shark Tank member

Robert ended the day with the most inspiring talk; his career started when he, a Croatian immigrant, landed a computer job without any experience. He worked for free for six months while waiting tables until he figured things out. Robert is proof that nice guys can still finish first.

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