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Entrepreneurs: Who inspires you?


(Photos of Bob Parsons of GoDaddy.com, Richard Branson of The Virgin Group, and Richard St. John of 8 Secrets to Success)

Is there an entrrepeneur who particularly inspires you? A story that keeps you going? Ana Cela Harris, owner of Cela Advisors and a repeat Business Plan Challenge judge for the FIU track, says that when she went back and looked at her own experience in starting her business, she found that listening to other entrepreneur’s stories was the most helpful to her during the most difficult times. Here is her guest post:

Ana Cela HarrisThe best business plans, and thus the best businesses, are driven by passion and conviction; not the desire to make money. And, it’s a good thing too, because it requires a lot of passion and conviction to persevere. And that’s where the stories of other entrepreneurs was the most helpful—they gave me inspiration, and the will to persevere. So, I’d like to refer other entrepreneurs to the entrepreneurs that I found inspiring. Some of their quotes still drive me.

For example, Bob Parsons, the chairman and founder of GoDaddy.com, the largest domain name registrar (who recently entered into a partnership with some private equity partners for $2.25 billion), has a blog, and a poster listing his 16 rules for success. One of my favorites is “When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think.” (Similar to, “it’s always darkest before the dawn” but his example of how close he came to quitting, and is now a huge success, is very inspiring.) His blog can be found at: www.bobparsons.me.

Another entrepreneur who is very inspiring is Richard Branson, the founder and president of The Virgin Group, which has 200 companies across 30 countries, and in the U.S. is probably best known for Virgin Atlantic airline. His blog can be found at: http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/blog. His company will even consider ideas for new companies and critique them — all they ask, of course, is a summary business plan similar to the one required in the Business Plan Challenge.

And, lastly, a website that is full of entrepreneurs and their wisdom, is TED-Ideas Worth Spreading (www.ted.com). One of my favorite videos is Richard St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success (http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html). I always remember his rule that to be successful you have to “persevere through failure and persevere through CRAP --Criticism, Rejection, Assholes, and Pressure.”

-- Ana Cela Harris

Readers, who do you find inspiring?