Everyone has to start somewhere.
Success doesn't just happen overnight. Becoming a good leader, reaching your full potential and surpassing expectations are all key aspects of making it to the top. Sometimes, these anecdotes come in the form of a lesson personally learned by a business person, while others stem from grains of advice shared by a friend or a family member.
From the best advice they've received to their own motivational nuggets, here are some pieces of wisdom from those who have successfully climbed the corporate ladder.
—Posted by CNBC's Karissa Giuliano
Posted 25 July 2015
Updated 15 March 2016
"Warren Buffett has taught me a lot of things, but he got me thinking very early on that at some point I'd have the opportunity and responsibility to give the wealth back."
Source: 2012 interview with ABC News
Burns' most influential advice comes from her mother:
"Stuff that happens to you, please, let's talk about it for five minutes, and you can cry, and let's go through that, the healing process, but then it's kind of done. I can't hear about that two years from now."
Source: 2010 interview with The New York Times
"Every company carves its own path, and (founders) are under pressure to make their start-ups look like the last successful company everyone remembers."
Source: panel discussion at SXSW in 2012
"As a child, I can't recall a day that went by without my dad telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He said it so often, I stopped hearing it. Along with lines like "eat your vegetables, I just assumed it was one of those bromides that parents repeated endlessly to their kids. It wasn't until decades later that I fully appreciated the importance of those words and the impact they had on me."
Source: LinkedIn post in 2012
"If you're passionate about something, go for it, because people are great at what they love and when they're the happiest."
Source: The Huffington Post interview in 2011
"I think it's very important that you don't want work to be work. It has to be something that you can enjoy. And if you find that, you can build a great career and enjoy what you're doing. But I think the other thing is equally as important, and that is you need to treat every employee no different than how you want to be treated. Every person in an organization or in a store, their job is critical."
Source: Yahoo News interview in 2013
"My friend Andre said to me, 'You know, Marissa, you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself to pick the right choice, and I've got to be honest: That's not what I see here. I see a bunch of good choices, and there's the one that you pick and make great.' I think that's one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten."
Source: 2011 interview with the Social Times
When Airbnb was going through Paul Graham's Y Combinator program, the legendary programmer and start-up mentor told Chesky:
"Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like."
Source: 2013 interview with Pando Daily
Berkshire Hathaway director Thomas Murphy told him:
"Never forget, Warren, you can tell a guy to go to hell tomorrow — you don't give up the right. So just keep your mouth shut today and see if you feel the same way tomorrow."
Source: 2010 interview with Yahoo.
Correction: This slideshow has been updated to reflect the Ben Silbermann's attribution.