I've learnt a lot from failure. It was something that I was scared of, but it's been the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Not being successful in my coaching career more than once was really important. Failing at things I thought I'd be good at and haven't been. Failure is something to always be striving for in a positive way, because otherwise you're mediocre.
John Kirwanfounder and board chair, Sir John Kirwan Foundation, co-founder Mentemia

The idea is only 1% of success in terms of entrepreneurship. It’s the actual doing and the turning of the wheel and making something happen and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone that is the 99% that matters most.
Cecilia Robinson, co-founder and co-CEO, Tend Health

I don't really get a great deal of reward from buying stuff. Sure, I have things that are nice and can make life more convenient, but really, I get fuelled by the competition side of business: working out how to crack something, building the team to work on it, and being proved right. For me, that’s exhilarating.
Nick Mowbray, co-founder and director, Zuru Toy Company and Zuru Edge

My cancer diagnosis taught me that every day you are alive, it’s a bloody blessing. Be proud of the things that you do while you are here. While you have the ball, run, and run hard.
Kiri Allan, cabinet minister and East Coast MP

I like to be on when I'm on, and really off when I'm off. I’ve never drunk in my life, I've never done any drugs, I have a pretty hard-line attitude in certain areas. It’s important if you are pushing yourself hard that you make sure you have really clear balance, and a consistent routine.
Jamie Beaton, co-founder and CEO, Crimson Education

There are so many people who think that to be the boss they have to be the person with all the ideas and answers — and they kill the businesses they are in. Get your own ego out of the way.
Naomi Ballantyne, managing director, Partners Life

You mustn’t confuse purpose and passion. I'm passionate about Manchester United and chocolate biscuits. But purpose is something different: it’s a problem in the world worth solving. If you are lucky enough to connect to something like that, it will be a multiplier in terms of the quality of work you do and the satisfaction you take from that work.
Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO, Allbirds

My best advice comes with a caveat. Everyone has their own truth in their life, in that what might work for me won’t necessarily work for you. So always take people's advice with a grain of salt. Instead, focus on the facts. If you keep doing that, everything else will work out.
Shama Sukul Lee, founder and CEO, Sunfed

I have probably missed out on being a billionaire four times. I was in the right place at the right time but didn’t do anything about it. Rod Drury saw me after I sold Orcon and said he had a great idea for an accounting company and asked if wanted to invest. I could have owned one third of Xero for about $1 million.
Seeby Woodhouse, managing director and founder, Voyager Internet

I have learnt more from my failures than my successes. TV took probably too much of my time when my children were young, but I hope I have made up for that now. They say I have.
Julie Christie, chief executive, NHNZ Worldwide