As you celebrate the U.S.'s Independence Day today, entrepreneurs around the globe ought to similarly celebrate their freedom.
Just like our founding fathers took a massive risk to break away from British rule in 1776, entrepreneurs have sought independence from a career path controlled by others. It was a big leap that took great courage, so go ahead, give yourself a much-deserved pat on the back.
And for those who've yet to get started, here are a few encouraging words of wisdom about being independent from famous entrepreneurs:
Estee Lauder, co-founder of Est?e Lauder Companies
"I didn't get here by dreaming or thinking about it. I got here by doing it."
Bestselling-romance author Nora Roberts
"If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”
Rachael Ray, businesswoman and TV personality
“Decide what it is that you are and then stay true to that thing. My brand is based very much on how I live my day-to-day life.”
Co-founder of CanWest Global Communications Gerry Schwartz
“I enjoy the independence of single-handling a boat. I like controlling the elements, making the wind and the waves and the water work for me.”
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay cosmetics
"We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don't know where you are aiming, you don't have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, 'she cared.'"
Richard Branson, serial entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group
"I believe in benevolent dictatorship, provided I am the dictator."
Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Serial entrepreneur and real-estate mogul Donald Trump
“I wasn’t satisfied just to earn a good living. I was looking to make a statement.”
Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype
"If you want to be an entrepreneur, it's not a job, it's a lifestyle. It defines you. Forget about vacations, about going home at 6 p.m. Last thing at night you'll send emails, first thing in the morning you'll read emails, and you'll wake up in the middle of the night. But it's hugely rewarding, as you're fulfilling something for yourself."
Former CEO of United Artists and film producer Jerry Weintraub
"I learned I'm not a good executive. I'm an entrepreneur, and I'm creative. I have to go with my gut and do what I want to do."