Business Leaders Who Stepped Up Their Game and Inspired SMEs


Many business leaders were once just like you: starting out with small businesses thinking they could never reach the top. But these business thinkers managed to step up, branch out, and turn their businesses into the largely successful one it is today.

So for the small business owners who are currently struggling and are having a difficult time overcoming the odds of keeping a small business afloat in our current economy, don’t lose hope. And for those who are looking for inspiration, here are the top three business leaders who can inspire you. Follow them on social media to continue getting some tips.

1. Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s online personality isn’t one you’d expect from the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors with a net worth of $14.2 billion. But with the way he inspires his own employees to think big, we can’t judge the way he handles himself. And his drive to use his business to create a sustainable future is truly inspiring.

Musk understands the importance of motivated employees, advising others that “Your title makes you a manager, but your people make you a leader.” So take a page from Musk’s book and instill a sense of purpose and drive in your employees. But help them maximize what they have to perform their best at their job.

2. Jeff Bezos

Now the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos would not be where he is today if he did not have the mind to innovate and develop Amazon to the global e-commerce platform it is now. When Amazon launched in 1995, it was simply an online website that sold books and was only supposed to compete with Barnes & Noble. When the business grew in 1997, however, he began to expand its products outside of books, and here we are today.

If you are selling a product or service, you should know that sooner or later, your sales may take a dip because of many reasons. It’s your job as a business owner to constantly innovate your business and find ways to stay relevant in the market. By expanding Amazon’s offerings and turning it into a marketplace available to the whole world, look how far Bezos’ innovation has gotten him.

Business Leaders

3. Brian Chesky

The co-founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky was a former industrial design student with no prior business experience when he, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk launched their startup app Airbnb. It took years for Airbnb to take off, but at its peak, it was estimated to be worth $31 billion.

Chesky was open about a poor judgment call he almost made when the app was launched, saying he insisted that the home listings should not include photos. Looking back, he realized how fast the app would have failed had he made the wrong choice.

Successful business leaders are also humans; they’re vulnerable to making mistakes. If Chesky can admit to almost making what could have been a $31 billion mistake, smaller business owners can own up to their own bad judgment calls as well. After all, it doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make, but your ability to bounce back from it.

Plenty of other leaders can inspire you in different ways. From Seah Moon Ming of Singapore and how he handles public service through transportation, to Jack Ma of China in perceiving your competitors. Taking the time to learn and listen to these leaders can help you pick up a thing or two about running your business properly.

Before they reached high levels of success, business leaders started small. Being a small business owner is not easy, but by persevering and learning a thing or two from those who were once in your shoes, you can build your business into something much bigger and more successful.


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