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For most entrepreneurs out there, we all have this gravitational pull toward those “successful” entrepreneurs who have been able to show themselves as having “made it”. Whether we like their business or product or service, we look at them with a measure of admiration and respect.


Inc. magazine interviwed 11 of the magnificent entreprenuerial minds who proved themselves successful today. Here is the question each person was asked:

“What is the single most important thing you have learned?”

Do fewer things
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams

Maximize collisions and accelerate serendipity
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Choose consciously where to play
Roger L. Martin, Dean

Use failure as a stepping stone
Huffington Post Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington

Leadership is a team sport – let others lead
Wharton professor Michael Useem

Slow down, scale patiently
Union Square Hospitality Group founder Danny Meyer

Make steady, daily progress
Harvard professor Teresa M. Amabile

Refuse to play the zero-sum game
Evernote founder Phil Libin

See the big picture and look for win-win with all stakeholders
Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey

There is a skill-luck continuum – keep your mind open to other possibilities
Legg Mason Michael Mauboussin

Maintain a culture of innovation
3Com founder Bob Metcalfe

You may not agree with all of the responses, but I trust you are given a glimpse into some of the collective wisdom of those who have worked elements of success in their businesses.