Lessons from Successful Branding Entrepreneurs

This post was inspired by several articles that I have read about being successful. I’m always fascinated by well know successful people and how they have acquired their success. There are more millionaires and billionaires now than ever before in the history of America. The creation of the internet plays a big role in this. The internet has opened a market for almost everything. For the first time ever a consumer can see an advertisement, make a purchase and have it delivered to their house without ever speaking to anyone or leaving the comfort of their own home. While many people on Forbes 400 2013 list of Billionaires have made most of their money in conjunction with the internet there are many business men and women who have used the internet simply as a tool to further their already thriving businesses. Recently I came across some very impressive people whose names we know well and are still relevant in the world of business. They are all Successful Branding Entrepreneurs.


Trust in your gut feeling. There is a voice in all of us that propels us to work hard, focus and to finish but not just finish, succeed. It is this voice that drives the entrepreneur in all of us. One well known entrepreneur and innovator is Mark Zuckerberg. Mark is the founder and creator of Facebook, a social media company that has almost 1 billion users worldwide.

It was in a college dorm room at Harvard where he and some friends created a social media page for his college which would later became the template for Facebook. Many people told him it would never work and now he is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. It took Mark’s belief in his self along with the belief in his idea to encourage him to forge ahead with his creation. So innovative that there is almost no one in the world who doesn’t know what Facebook is, it would not be in existence if it wasn’t for imagination, perseverance and belief in his own capabilities.

Facebook’s reach crosses oceans and is an advertiser’s playground. Facebook now works in conjunction with its advertisers by allowing users to “like” anything from shampoo to movies and collects the data in order to later distribute it to its investors and advertisers. Long gone are the days of having to wait until your quarterly profit reports come in to see how your consumers are responding to a product. Now feedback is almost instant and constant, giving businesses a more acute customer base to advertise to.

Facebook is a powerful way to connect the receivers of ad specialty gifts to each other and back to the giving company. What I mean by this is that social media is a tool that brings aids marketing through promotional products by expanding it further by motivating people who receive your promo gifts to connect with you online.


Motivation and Mentors.
Media titian, mogul, marketing genius and a brand all by herself, Oprah Winfrey wanted to be a teacher and views her media outlets as classrooms where she can reach the world. She has often said that it was her mission to encourage, teach and empower people to follow their dreams. Oprah is someone who also believes in paying it forward and in 2002 she launched Oprah’s favorite things, a show she would host once a year and giveaway the things she liked best that year. Oprah is no stranger to the concept of giveaways. From cakes and pies to cars, it was this show once a year that helped launch businesses such as Spanx and inventions such as Amazon’s Kindle. Oprah has repeatedly used her star power to market many products and is influential all over the world. Most notably she used her influence to help aid in the election of President Barack Obama along with the other entrepreneurs on this list. Finding what motivates and drives you to succeed is as important as knowing what product you are going to market, knowing is always half the battle. Motivation in conjunction with a mentor may be just what your business needs to reach the next level of success. Someone who has already found success in business and can help guide you, mentor will be able to steer you in the right direction helping you to avoid little mistakes that they have already learned from.


Enjoy Life.
Although hard work is the key to any success, we must not become so successful that we forget to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Warren Buffett has often been referred to as a financial genius but is known to take time out of his busy work schedule to enjoy lives little pleasures. In an article written in Time magazine, a friend of Buffett’s noted that he and other influential business men were stood up by the financier because he promised his Grandchildren that he would take them to Dairy Queen. Leave it to Buffett to make money even when he is not in the office, his company is also the current owner of the Dairy Queen Franchise.

Often as we strive for success we may forget to stop and smell the roses. It is important to make personal time as important as when you are on the clock, even if you have to schedule the personal time in as a meeting that you will only be having with yourself. Self refection and evaluation are two important things that every entrepreneur should not loose site of.

Also read: Alternative Fundraising Ideas Inspired by Buffet

Steve Jobs

Failure, not an option.
Many business men and women often have more than one business venture but how many actually leave the company they founded, invest in other companies and then go back to their first company? Steve Jobs did just that. Launching what would later be known as the most lucrative computer company in the world, Steve Jobs became co-founder of Apple in the late 1970’s. In 1985 he resigned as CEO of Apple computers and decided to start a new hardware and software company named NeXT. Jobs also purchased a company that would later be known as Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar went on to produce movies that we know and love such as Toy Story and The Incredibles and it’s merger to Disney in 2006 made Jobs the largest shareholder of Disney. There was not as much success with NeXT which was eventually acquired by Apple in 1997. The acquisition did not stop Jobs from being an innovator instead it propelled him forward  and in 1997 he also returned to Apple as the CEO later to unveil such inventions as the Iphone and Ipad. What if Jobs let the failure of NeXT stifle the success he later had with Apple? His story of success shows us just what perseverance can accomplish.

The same opportunity for success is out there for any entrepreneurs taking. With businesses being opened every day the internet is not the only place for new business but it does open doors that were once closed to startup businesses.

Lessons we learn from Steve Jobs directly relate to advertising business through business gifts by exploring new ideas in innovation and design. At Garrett Specialties we strive to provide the best in these areas. As one of the first promo companies on the internet we are inspired by these great people.

Have you used the internet to enhance or start your business? What are some or the steps you have taken on your road to success?

61 thoughts on “Lessons from Successful Branding Entrepreneurs

  1. What a beautiful post filled with inspiration. I had the honor of being at the Apple World Wide conference when it was announced that Steve Jobs was returning as CEO. It was a supercharged meeting I’ll never forget!

    These inspirational entrepreneurs pave the way for all of us and I love the skill set and character traits you highlight for each one. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and love the challenge of creating something with meaning and influence. I’m new to the internet world from a business perspective but have found it to be an unbelievably powerful place to conduct business… In defining my brand I have found that speaking from a place of truth and integrity have been my best business tools.

    • Valerie- I can only image what it was like to be at that conference. I started by business on the internet in the early 90’s when no one was selling promotional products, and the rest is history. The internet is a powerful place to conduct business. And yes be honest and true to yourself and it will show who you are and what your brand represents.
      Arleen recently posted…Lessons from Successful Branding Entrepreneurs My Profile

  2. What a great post Arlene. Capturing the essence of each of these powerful people’s unique offering. It would be easy to consider their success nothing more than luck, but luck doesn’t make you stick to your guns the way they have. I think it’s smarter to look at what they have in common, which is their confidence in themselves.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…What Do Work Nightmares Tell Us?My Profile

  3. Great Post, Arleen 🙂

    We can all learn a lot from these people – learn to dream on, learn that our mistakes doesn’t matter – we will eventually succeed, as long as we are dedicated (And willing to learn from our mistakes).

    Trying to please everyone is not going to work; People will discourage us from achieving our dreams. They will tell us that our dreams are too big – like they did to Mark Zuckerberg. But, look at FB. Did any of those guys ever imagine that FB would grow into the largest Social media network in the world? We must gain the strength and strive on. Because, people aren’t always right 😀

    Thanks for sharing these lessons, Arleen 🙂 Appreciate it!

  4. Excellent reminders Arleen and one thing else I have notice about some of these people and others is they work hard but also smart. That can be by getting help from others which Zuckerberg did with an early investor. I do like Warren Buffets thing about taking time out. I recently saw an interview with him, his son and grandson and they spent a lot of the interview laughing with each other.
    Susan Oakes recently posted…Get New Customers. Simplify The Customer Journey.My Profile

  5. Failure is definitely an integral part of success. All of the successful mentors and people we have networked with have had to overcome some pretty serious setbacks to get where they are in life. Without out those epic failures they wouldn’t have ever had the tools or the know how to resiliently bounce back and re-brand themselves. Inspiring read.
    Chris & Angela Tieland to Thailand recently posted…Khao Soi – Northern Thai Curry Noodles | ข้าวซอยMy Profile

  6. Arleen you have absolutely zeroed in on genuine successful branding. My favorite is Jobs. When I was a sales manager I met him and shook hands – before Apple really took off. Actually, it was the year the Mac was birthed. I know I know, yes, that IS why he is my favorite in your list.!

    The thing I like about your choices is – it is void of celebrities, and the kind who came up on someone’s coattails. Your choices are just regular people, like most of us!

    What a fabulous read. Thanks.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Publisher And Author: Book MarketingMy Profile

  7. Were it not for my blog, I never would have started freelance editing. Granted, I still have a long way to go. The rise of self-publishing motivated me to start writing again, but I never envisioned people would seek me out to help them improve their own projects.
    Jeri recently posted…Author Interview: Jon JeffersonMy Profile

  8. Arleen — inspiring post. As an entrepreneur you’ve got to understand that it’s not always an upward trajectory. There will be bumps in the road and outright failures. The most successful entrepreneurs also know when it’s time to give up on an idea if it’s not working. That is a very important lesson. Just trying harder isn’t always the answer. Maybe it’s your business model or a field that is already saturated. We need to understand that giving up doesn’t always equate to failure.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…LinkedIn Most Used and Most Effective B2B Content Marketing StrategyMy Profile

  9. Thanks for sharing these inspirational examples Arleen. The Internet has certainly changed the way people do business. I actually researched and purchased my dryer from a local store who made it incredibly easy to buy from them. 10 years ago, I would not have dreamed of doing this but why not? (Now, if only I could come up with the next Facebook. 🙂 )
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…Social Media Tools, Google Ads and WordPress Themes #FridayFindsMy Profile

  10. Hi Arleen

    I love this post as I too love studying successful people. You have chosen 4 of my favorite stories.

    Did you watch the movie The Social Network? I am not sure how true it was but how Facebook started was amazing. I think too it is an example of something that grew and became so much more than it’s original intention very quickly.

    I have also just finished readying Steve Jobs biography. It is an amazing story and the guy was clearly a genius.

    And of course Oprah and Warren Buffett are also great successes.

    Awesome post Arleen.

    Sue Price recently posted…Who Is Empower Network For?My Profile

  11. What a great post on successful people!

    Don’t know any of them but, with the exception of Steve Jobs, I have read their biographies. The one that by gets the best branding in the those books is Warren Buffett.

    Regardless of that, they all succeeded and we should learn from them and get inspired.
    Catarina recently posted…How can foreign businesses succeed in China?My Profile

  12. Arleen,
    I just love the people you have chosen as a fine example of success. It’s funny how most people think success and money comes easy to those who have made so much money.
    I like to read of their journey of how the got to where they are now. Nothing happens overnight as we know. There is no magic! It is hard work, persistence, and never giving up that brings success to people.
    I was on a webinar with one of the top “gurus” in marketing. Now making millions, he stressed that he lost so many times on his journey. But with patience and persistence, he is now a leader in his field. Now emphasizing to others that money does not come overnight.
    Many thanks,
    donna merrill recently posted…Blog Like A SuperstarMy Profile

    • Donna- It goes along with Theodore Roosevelt said. “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
      Arleen recently posted…Lessons from Successful Branding Entrepreneurs My Profile

  13. Hey Arleen,

    Well you definitely picked these few that are very well known and are pretty much household names. I have always been so impressed by people who have gone after their dreams and achieved it.

    I’ll have to say that Oprah’s story inspires me the most mainly because I watched her show everyday while it was on and the struggles that she personally went through made me understand her desire and knowledge at such a young age that she would be something special. To never waver from that and to go on to be so much of a icon to us all. That was the most inspiring for me.

    Of course there are so many people that we aren’t as familiar with and aren’t as well known but have probably just as much money as these popular faces here. I think the true test is just believing in your vision and never letting anyone stand in your way.

    Okay then, I guess I better get going then right! 🙂 Thanks Arleen for sharing this with us.

    Adrienne recently posted…22 Ways To Create Compelling ContentMy Profile

  14. Steps I have taken on my road to success include starting a blog and getting to know others, like you! Guest posting a few times and being active on social media are other steps. I’m still in the process, but have accomplished a lot in the past year, so I’m proud of what’s been done so far.

    All good things take time, though. 🙂

    Or so I’m told!
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…A Special Featured Friday, Featuring Author Donna Jean McDunn, and A BOOK GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  15. Hi Arleen,

    Really an inspiring article for budding entrepreneurs, one thing we need to stress is keep going against the storm. Entrepreneurship is not at all an easy task cos its not like the 9 to 5 job where you get paid from the first month onward. Entrepreneurs won’t taste profits for few months unlike the job holders. Steve, Warren Buffer, Mark, Oprah are successful people because they had the trait to do some things which others might not have thought of. I like Jeff Bezos of Amazon who keeps on investing on as many business as possible and he has been one of the top entrepreneur who has been catching the trends.

    As you have mentioned in the article Failure is never the end, it is failure that reminds us of how sweet the success is.

    Nice Article…
    vijesh recently posted…7 deadly mistakes to avoid when choosing your domain nameMy Profile

Comments are closed.