Start-up Tips: Simple Things We Can Learn from John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller is probably not a name that you associate with startups or small businesses, but there are many lessons that we can take from his success. Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil Company and (adjusted for inflation) is the richest man in history. His pioneering business practices and his vision have made an irreversible impact in the business world and the world of philanthropy. The following startup tips are based on the wise words of John D. Rockefeller and can apply to anyone starting a business.


Start-up Tips: Find The Right People

“A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.”

Be smart about the people with whom you go into business with. Friendships are destroyed every day because of business decisions and many bad business decisions are made to preserve interpersonal relationships. Before going into business with friends or family you should ask yourself whether or not it is worth it to move forward at the risk of the relationship.

Start-up Tips: Find Your Passion

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”

The pursuit of money is not a good reason to start your own business. The greatest asset that an entrepreneur can have is a passion for the work that he or she is doing. Rockefeller famously said, “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.” In other words, don’t go into business with the goal of simply making money. Your business should be a tool to allow you to continue to do what you truly enjoy.

Start-up Tips: Persevere

“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

One of the most important things that someone with a startup can possess is perseverance. Despite all of your market research and your comprehensive business plan, your business is going to encounter some adversity. Rockefeller’s philosophy on perseverance was crucial to his success and a similar mindset can help you overcome the hurdles that your small business will face.

It is clear that the words of John D. Rockefeller still apply to the entrepreneurial endeavors of today. We hope you keep these startup tips in mind as you open a new office or move forward with your business.