10 Inspiring Things Entrepreneurs Learned as Employees

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Whether positive or negative, some words just ring true.

Question: What is the most motivational thing a boss has ever said to you and why?

“You’re Only as Good as Your Rolodex”

“This simple sentence changed my outlook on business coming out of college. No one cared about my GPA, test scores or diploma — they cared about my hustle, connections and what I could get done. I’ve realized cultivating and maintaining your rolodex is just as important as balancing your checkbook or paying off credit cards. The ability to make one call to get something done is priceless.” – By KIM KAUPE (ZinePak)

“You’re Not Dreaming Big Enough”

“My previous boss at Inova Health System, Knox Singleton (who is now my co-founder at The Global Good Fund), told me that I wasn’t dreaming big enough. This was rare advice to receive as a young entrepreneur, as many people will say you’re thinking too big. The individuals (like Knox) who encouraged me to dream big helped me achieve things I didn’t realize I was capable of at the outset.” – By CARRIE RICH  (The Global Good Fund)

“You Don’t Listen Well”

“I never liked taking orders, so after being told that I don’t listen well, that motivated me to be my own boss. Never looked back!” – By CHARLES MOSCOE  (eFin)

“You Know How to Sell”

“All great business revolves around great sales. If you can sell, then you can be rich. It is that simple. When my boss told me that I was great at sales, I began to focus all of my efforts on becoming the best that I could be at selling things. My expertise in sales is what has driven the success of all of my startups, from the incubation phase to the exit. Inevitably it all comes back to sales.” – By TIMOTHY SCHMIDT  (SearchEngineOptimizationexpert.com)

“Think Inside the Box”

“The most motivational thing I heard from a boss was actually negative feedback, which really helped me. I was told I couldn’t succeed at the organization because I was thinking out of the box too much. This was exactly what I needed to hear in order to move forward to entrepreneurial ventures.” – By SIMON CASUTO  (eLearning Mind)

“Life Starts Outside Your Comfort Zone”

“The best thing my boss (who was also my mentor) ever told me was that life starts outside my comfort zone. She always took time to help me understand that personal and professional growth occurs when you are doing things beyond your comfort zone. In addition, she gave me opportunities that pushed me to my limits and the encouragement to push past them.” – By ANDREW THOMAS  (SkyBell Video Doorbell)

“It’s Not What Happens, but Your Attitude About What Happens, That Really Counts”

“One of my early bosses pointed out to me that nothing and no one has the power to control your state of mind but you. When something bad happens, you have a choice about how to react. Will you let negative circumstances ravage you, or will you try to move on and make the best of the situation? The lesson has really stuck with me.” – By ALEXANDRA LEVIT (Inspiration at Work) 

“Put Your Family First”

“Doesn’t matter how far you go in this life, if you aren’t there for your kids and family, none of it will be worth it. At the time I heard this advice, I was working late and missing out on my family’s life. I changed my habits. I now wake up early and leave work by 5:30 every day. My life is 10x better now, especially at home!” – By JOHN RAMPTON (Due)

“Never Assume Anything”

“I’m motivated by people that like to challenge me in a positive way. In line with that theme, a boss once told me to never assume anything and to always ask the right questions and focus on clear communication. Don’t ever assume something is going to happen or that it is understood when you try to communicate it; make sure it is clear and the decision has been fully evaluated.” – By ANDY KARUZA (brandbuddee) 

“Don’t Take No for an Answer”

“My boss several years back at a wealth management firm told me to never take ‘no’ for an answer and that every client could be closed. This advice has stuck with me to this day and it’s something I always keep in the back of my mind.” – By JOSH WEISS (Bluegala)