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30 Phrases Top CEOs Live By

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30 Phrases Top CEOs Say Frequently

As anyone who comes from a small, southern town knows, it is extremely easy to pick up common sayings from those around you. Someone who’s pretty full of it is “all hat, no cattle.” Your perpetually late friend is “slower than molasses in January.” Someone who has just sold a business is “living in high cotton.”

Most of these sayings come from a grandmother or crazy uncle, but they are said so much that they become ingrained in our language, mentality, and culture. Imagine if this were the case with sayings from some of the smartest people out there – the world’s top CEOs.

The following sayings might not be as full of as much character compared to some of the more colorful southern expressions, but they are great lines to shape your business practices around.

Here are 30 quotes you will hear from the top CEOs:

1. “Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”  – Michael Dell, Dell

2. “Trust your instincts.”  – Estée Lauder, Estée Lauder

3. “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”  – Walt Disney, Disney

4. “We’re not going to invest a dollar that doesn’t make sense to invest.” – Marc Lore, Jet

5. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”  – Dave Thomas, Wendy’s

6. “Your people determine your product.” – Taso Du Val, Toptal

7. “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”  – Tim Westergen, Pandora

8. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”  – Drew Houston, Dropbox

9. “The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

10. “Be simple and reliable” – Jan Koum, WhatsApp

“Always deliver more than expected.”  – Larry Page, Google

12. “Make something that meshes into your daily life.” – Eric Migicovsky, Pebble

13. “There’s an entrepreneur right now, scared to death, making excuses, saying, ‘It’s not the right time just yet.’ There’s no such thing as a good time.” – Kevin Plank, Under Armour

14. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo

15. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”  – Richard Branson, Virgin Group

16. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”  – Ray Kroc, McDonald’s

17. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”  – Tony Hsieh, Zappos

18. “Capital isn’t scarce. Vision is.” – Sam Walton, Wal-Mart

19. “Life is too short to do mediocre work and it is definitely too short to build shitty things.” – Stewart Butterfield, Slack

20. “In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks

“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”  – Donald Trump, The Trump Organization

22. “Singular focus matters.” – Jeffrey Housenbold, Shutterfly

23. “Smarter is always the answer.” – Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM

24. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”  – Steve Jobs, Apple

25. “I’m not an inventor. I just want to make things better.” – Daniel Ek, Spotify

26. “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.” – John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” – Larry Ellison, Oracle

28. “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk, SpaceX

29. “As an entrepreneur, I try to push the limits. Pedal to the metal.” – Travis Kalanick, Uber

30. “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft

 

By adopting these sayings and the mentalities behind them, you can follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest business leaders. After all, who is better to learn from than the successful people that came before you?

Hope these quotes repeat themselves in your mind! What is your favorite quote?

Lisa Froelings is a productivity consultant with over 4 years of experience in human resources working for a major retailer in the US before she decided to build her own small business. Her interests include technology, user experience as well as time management. You may connect with her on Twitter.

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25 Empowering Quotes About Diversity From Influential Leaders

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In today’s society, we are often told that diversity is a good thing. However, many don’t know what it actually means to be diverse. Diversity is the word used to describe any group of people who are different from one another and share some common ground. The definition can be broadened even further and include things like age, culture, race or ethnicity, etc., but for now, let’s stick with the basics. We live in a world where there is more than one type of person so when you talk about diversity, you’re referring to differences in attitudes and opinions as well as appearance. (more…)

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30 Most Famous Quotes of All Time to Motivate You

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It seems in the last decade or so, motivational quotes and inspirational quotes are front and center on Facebook and Instagram feeds. It’s no wonder why. They really do have that impactful kick to make you get up and do stuff!

I know for me, it was all these quotes that I kept reading that:

  • pushed me out of my comfort zone
  • gave me courage to smash goals
  • helped me believe in myself
  • soothed my broken heart sometimes
  • helped me out of rock bottom, and
  • kept me strong in times of trouble

Legends like Les Brown, Joel Brown and Tony Robbins motivated the crap out of me. I stayed strong and focused because of their powerful words. I mean, they did quote all these inspirational words to motivate us, no?

Of course they did. So I’ve searched high and low for the best and most empowering famous quotes of all time in hopes they inspire you like they did me. 

Do quotes really help?

The answer is yes and no. No they won’t work if you read them, brush them off and never feel the power of their words.

Yes they will work if you make them work for you and you want them too. Quotes are like affirmations. Many of us recant affirmations either as part of our morning routine, evening routine or just whenever we need a boost. 

When you read them and repeat them out loud and feel each and every word in every ounce of your being, they work!! Besides, I’m living proof they help. Empowering quotes have helped me out of rock bottom twice, depression a few times, and helped me smash and achieve goals. 

So yes, they work. And these most famous quotes I’ve chosen are famous for a reason. They have inspired, motivated and empowered millions of people around the world to chase their dreams, believe in themselves and never give up. 

Without further ado…

10 famous quotes on taking action and not giving up

1. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney

2. Anybody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death. ~Jen Sincero

3. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right. ~Henry Ford

4. The woman I am today would like to thank the woman I was 5 years ago for not giving up. You’re awesome. ~Iva Ursano

5. I’ll try is the battle cry of wimps. ~Tony Robbins

6. You must be the change you wish to see in the world ~Ghandi

7. If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ~Mother Teresa

8. Those who dare to fail miserably, can achieve greatly. ~John Kennedy

9. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Dalai Lama

10. I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. ~Brené Brown

10 famous quotes on life

11. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou

12. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey

13. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~Lao Tzu

14. The mind is everything. What you think you become. ~Buddha

15. Everything you do and every decision you make should be from a place of good. You should always be striving to make the world a better place. ~Les Brown

16. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West

17. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. ~Paulo Coelho

18. When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. ~Franklin D.Roosevelt

19. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. ~Napoleon Hill

20. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~George Bernard Shaw

10 famous quotes on success

21. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain

22. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney

23. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King Jr

24. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. ~Nelson Mandela

25. If you surround yourself with positive people who build you up, the sky’s the limit. ~Joel Brown

26. Tough times never last but tough people do. ~Robert H. Schuller

27. You miss 100% of the shots you never take. ~Wayne Gretzky

28. If you’re going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

29. I have not failed. I just found 10,000 that won’t work. ~Thomas A. Edison

30. Often our most rewarding dreams are staring us right in the face but for some reason we focus on how hard things are, how we are scared of the unknown and what would happen if we failed. ~Joel Brown

Write them out!

I always tell people to write that out and stick it in a place you will see it and read it everyday. That’s how quotes work. 

My favourite famous quote of all time and one you should read over and over again, Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right. Read that when self doubt creeps in. 

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7 Quotes Every High Achiever Must Remember

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Since the pandemic started, I have struggled both professionally and personally. When I am not in the mood to read a book, an article or watch a motivational video, I turn to inspirational quotes. They are usually concise, insightful and they always provide me with the instant morale boost I crave. (more…)

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40 Inspirational Quotes on Victory That Will Motivate You to Win

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Who doesn’t love to win? Victory gives a heroic feeling that allows winners to appear at the top after all of the hours of hard work, dedication and discipline. And everyone looks up to them, from the athletes we adore to the hard-working entrepreneurs we admire. (more…)

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