You hear it all the time from famous entrepreneurs: Long before they were running multimillion-dollar companies, they were flexing their entrepreneurial skills by selling lemonade on the corner, building gadgets in their garage or hosting weekly college beer pong tournaments. It seems that behind every successful mogul is a kid who grew up knowing they were born for business.
But what exactly is it that sets entrepreneurs apart from the rest? What is it that makes certain people believe in themselves enough to take the prospect of failure head-on and have the determination to come out on top? It takes a special kind of person to set an idea in motion, riding the highs and lows from humble beginnings to ultimate success.
The entrepreneurial spirit is a gift that inspires others to become the best they can be. From passion and positivity to leadership and ambition, here are the entrepreneurs who best define the entrepreneurial spirit.
No one embodies the word "passion" quite like Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin mega-brand. Part of Branson's passion lies in his insatiable appetite for starting companies. Founded in 1970, the Virgin Group has expanded to more than 200 companies, ranging from music, publishing, mobile phones and even space travel. "Businesses are like buses," he once said. "There's always another one coming."
Jeff Bezos knows the power of positive thinking. Living by the motto that "every challenge is an opportunity," Bezos set out to create the biggest bookstore in the world with a little Internet startup called Amazon (AMZN).