Every entrepreneur should always be following what is happening in business/communications very closely. This includes following other entrepreneurs to get advice, inspirational, lessons, and more. There are wise entrepreneurs that have been in the business for a long time that every professional should follow. These people have been where you have been and where you are going. They are here to help. These people happen to be sharks as well. They invest in different businesses on ABC's "Shark Tank" and offer amazing advice for other entrepreneurs.
Branson was born in England and ended up dropping out of school at the age of 16. This lead to his first entrepreneur venture was Virgin Records, a music label. His first signing artist was Mike Oldfield, having his first single "Tubular Bells" staying on the UK Charts for 247 weeks. This help lead Branson's label sign artists such as the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, the Rolling Stones, and Genesis making Virgin Records one of the top record labels in the world.
Branson decided he wanted to expand his brand by having different sectors. This included Virgin Airlines and Virgin Megastores which he eventually had to sell. This didn't stop him. He created the Virgin Group then eventually created different sectors in space and cruises.
Branson now has a net worth of about $5.1 billion. This man has been through it all and offers great advice to other entrepreneurs.
Barbara Corcoran, a New Jersey native, started her professional career with tons of odd jobs. She decided that she wanted to start a business of her own. She got a $1000 loan from a boyfriend and started a real estate business called "The Corcoran Group". She turned that $1000 into billions. She sold her business and became a prominent figure in the real estate and business industry.
The Pittsburgh born entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, always had the spirit of a businessman. He started selling garbage bags door to door at the age of 12 to save money. After college, he became really interested in technology. He started his own consulting business, MicroSolutions. He ended up selling the company for 6 million dollars. He then created AudioNet that was renamed Broadcast.net which was then sold to Yahoo! for 6 billion dollars. In 2000 he bought the NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks.
Daymond John started his entrepreneur journey when he was in school. He would customize pencils by putting students' names on them. He would charge a fee for that service. In high school he would pass out flyers in his home city of Queens for only $2 an hour. He struggled in high school due to have dyslexia.
After he graduated he began waiting tables at Red Lobster in the 1990s. His mom was concerned about him and asked him what he truly wanted to do. He said he wanted to design apparel. His mother then taught him how to sew. He began sewing his own hats and earned $800 from that. His mom ended up taking out a mortgage on her house to fund her son's business. This is how FUBU was born.
In 6 years the business raised $350 million. Now the brand has over $6 million in global sales.
You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and recently wrote a book titled "Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life". He discusses how old-fashioned hard work is the backbone of every business. He gives tips to entrepreneurs on how to rise to the top.
Lori Greiner always had that inventor/entrepreneur spirit. Her first invention was a jewelry box that could hold more than a 100 earrings. She ended up generating $500 million with her patent of that box. Since then she has 120 patents, 600 products, and always is still working on more. She is known as the "Queen of QVC". She has her own segment on the popular shopping network called "Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner".
Kevin O'Leary, better known as Mr.Wonderful, got his first entrepreneur start with his company Softkey Software Products Inc. It was won of the fastest growing companies in Canada. The company ended up buying the Learning Company and took the name. In 1999 the company was sold to the toy maker Mattel for about $3 billion.
O'Leary ended up living the company and created O'Leary Funds which he sold in 2016.
This shark was born in Zbjeg, Croatia and ended up having to flee the country to Canada with his parents. At this time he spoke no English. They only had $20 to their name and had to live in a basement.
Herjavec's first jobs were being a newspaper delivery man and a waiter. After graduating from college, he dabbled in retail, television, and even a collection agent. In 1990 he launched his own internet security company called BRAK Systems. In 10 years his company became the largest internet company in Canada. He ended up selling his company to AT&T for $30.2 million. He took a job at RAMP Networks and built the business to be sold to Nokia for $225 million. He decided to retire for a few years to spend time with his children.
He then founded the internet security company The Herjavec Group. This business was getting millions of dollars every year. This lead him to appear on Shark Tank and even Dancing With The Stars.
These "Sharks" are some of the top entrepreneurs in the country and are always giving advice to fellow entrepreneurs. You can be in the game for 30 years or just starting to make your product, these guys will help guide the way. The give you the hard advice that no one else will.
Source: Business Insider, LoriGreiner.com, robertherjavec.com, daymondjohn.com, barbaracorcoran.com