The Greatest Commencement Speeches in History: Entrepreneur Tory Burch at Babson College

The Greatest Commencement Speeches in History is a weekly column that compiles the most memorable speeches in history with the goal to emphasize on the power of public speaking, to illustrate its importance, impact, and necessity to master.

Today we focus on one very inspirational commencement address delivered by the famous fashion designer, entrepreneur, and founder of a billion-dollar company Tory Burch at Babson College, the “only school that has focused its curriculum on entrepreneurship for the past 35 years”.

Here are the most important outtakes from the 2014 undergraduate commencement speech she gave in front of her “fellow entrepreneurs”:

“The path you’ve embarked on is truly exciting, but it can also be challenging.

Here’s what Babson has taught you: Being an entrepreneur isn’t just a job title, and it isn’t just about starting a company. It’s a state of mind.

It’s about seeing connections others can’t, seizing opportunities others won’t, and forging new directions that others haven’t.

It’s about being entrepreneurial wherever you are and in whatever you do.

It’s about having the courage to give in to passion for an idea that makes your heart race.

If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.”

“Here is what I’ve learned: We may live in an age of instant messaging, instant gratification, and Instagram, but there is no way to short circuit the path to success. It takes hard work, tenacity and patience.

There are many things you can do overnight. You can write a decent paper. You can put the finishing touches on a runway show. I hear you can even have a pretty good time at Roger’s Pub.

But there is no such thing as an overnight success.

“It’s a myth that glosses over what being an entrepreneur is all about. As Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter, put it: “Timing, perseverance, and 10 years of really hard work will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

The good news is that if you’re willing to pursue your passion, put in the hard work, and believe in yourself, you will succeed.”

“From the beginning, one of the reasons I wanted to start a company was to start a foundation. Social responsibility was always part of the business plan. This was not always viewed as a positive—some people told me never to mention the word social responsibility and business in the same sentence. That only made me more determined.”

“Today, it has been ten years since we launched and in many ways I feel like we’re just beginning, but I never could have gotten here overnight.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from my parents is to think of negativity as noise. Believe in yourself and what you’re doing.

Remember: if the most unique ideas were obvious to everyone, there wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. The one thing that every entrepreneurial journey has in common is that there are many, many steps on the road to success.”

Cover photo credit: YouTube

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