Succeeding in business (or life for that matter) is never easy, for any number of reasons. Most of us often find ourselves in situations where we are not really quite sure what to do and how to approach this new situation. Luckily, there have been quite a few figures in the history of business that can teach us all a number of very important lessons.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford was not the best person that has ever lived, to say the least. The man who created an empire with his cars and his business savvy was a notorious Nazi-supporter and an anti-Semite of the highest order. That aside, he was definitely one of the most successful American businessmen of all time, in large part thanks to his dedication to every little detail, something that everyone would benefit from. Just imagine the will-power and the attention to detail needed to perfect the assembly line. By applying such dedication and attention, you will soon become much more successful than you ever were.

Warren Buffett

No list of business magnates would be complete without Warren Buffett who is generally considered to be the most successful investor of the 20th century. A lesson that freelancers can learn from Mr. Buffett is that patience and going slow is often the right way to go. He is famed for investing in strong and low-risk investments that make money over time, as well as for staying with stocks when many bail on them. As a freelancer, you can gain a ton by being patient.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a business leader whose moves and statements could have easily backfired, making him just another one of those “geniuses” with crackpot ideas that go nowhere. One thing that prevented this from happening is his ability to convince others that his ideas are feasible and almost necessary. This is a fantastic lesson for people who often get bogged down in their projects, not realizing that their “audience” is long lost and absolutely uninterested in what they have to say.

Tim Sykes

Timothy Sykes is a world-famous penny stock investor who made millions investing in this market while still in college. Since then, he has made even more money by blogging and helping others get into penny stocks. In short, he diversified and saw an opportunity to take his success to another level by sharing his knowledge. Many people get stuck in their routine, becoming content and complacent when they could have easily branched out and achieved success in some other way.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson is a smart guy who knows business. He seems unable to make a mistake, as all (or at least most of) his projects have been successful over the decades. The thing Branson does the best, however, is personal branding. He relishes in being the face of his company and he knows that modern world is all about catchphrases, logos and pizzazz. Business people should learn something from Sir Branson. They should understand that their brand needs to be built from the very start.

Oprah Winfrey

The Oprah Winfrey success story is perhaps among the most spectacular and inspiring ever, taking her from poverty to becoming one of the most important and influential figures in the United States and the rest of the world. And while there is plenty that anyone can learn from Oprah, the most important thing to take from her story is the passion. Without passion, there can be no real success.