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

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Jack Loechner

    Jun 12, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Here’s my favorite, Lisa

    “Innovation without Execution is Hallucination”

    … author unknown

  2. TH

    Mar 29, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    My favorite? Definitely this one: “Singular focus matters.” – Jeffrey Housenbold, Shutterfly

    Focus is everything.

  3. Maxe Axelsson

    Nov 8, 2015 at 9:44 pm

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

  4. JuVan Langford

    Nov 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    This is an incredible list of inspiration CEO’s and the best one hands down is# 28. “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk, SpaceX

    This blew me away because I am actually living this RIGHT NOW! Thanks Lisa!

  5. akash

    Oct 31, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Great list !!! Really inspiring.

  6. Ernie A

    Oct 26, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Great List! Wisdom from many of the greats, including Rockefeller! 😉

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Quotes

6 Inspiring Quotes From Lucille Ball That Will Motivate You to Stand Out and Reach for the Stars

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Image Credit: Getty Images

The original “Queen of Comedy” Lucille “Lucy” Ball, continues to be an icon of fiery sass and humor for every generation. Her timeless comedic talent still sets the standard for those desiring to follow in her celebrated entertainment footsteps.

Here are six inspiring quotes from her that will motivate you to stand out from the crowd and never give up on your dreams:

1. “One of the things I learned the hard way, was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”

In business and our personal lives, we are bombarded daily by outward criticism and inward self-doubt. In order to realise the success we strive for and attain the goals we hope to achieve, it’s important to practice a strong positive outlook.

Although Ball was known for being an inherently shy girl, when she was 15 years old, she convinced her mom to allow her to attend New York Drama School. The administrator of the school, unable to see the talent hidden behind the shyness, wrote to her mother telling her not to “waste her money and the school’s time with this shy, awkward young lady.”

Refusing to be deterred by the shortsighted criticism, Ball dug in her heels, overcame her shyness, and went on to become the talented comedic actress and icon we know and love today. Just imagine how unfortunate it would have been if she had taken the negative criticism to heart and decided to give up her passion.

2. “Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work—and realising what is opportunity and what isn’t.”

Today, we are very much conditioned to expect instant gratification in all areas of life. It’s important to remember, however, that true personal and professional success is achieved through tenacity and hard work. Very seldom does “luck” play a substantial role in building a solid and promising future.

Few people may realise that beyond the laughter and crazy shenanigans that Ball is so well known for, she was a trailblazing businesswoman who mapped out her professional path and keenly took advantage of opportunities that came her way.

Behind the scenes, she was co-creator, owner, and partner of Desilu Productions with her husband, Desi Arnaz. I Love Lucy was the first real sitcom developed by a husband and wife team, and under Desilu Studios, the show pioneered the multi-camera shot and filmed in front of a live audience—something no one else was doing at the time.

Being a female owner of a film production company in the 1960s was unprecedented. But, Ball didn’t stop there. Instead, she would eventually buy out Desi and become the first female CEO of a major television and movie production company. Her hard work and perseverance created a legacy to last for generations.

3. “I’d rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven’t.”

Regrets are a fact of life both personally and professionally. However, most of us would probably admit that we learned some valuable things about ourselves from past mistakes and mishaps. Most would agree that our biggest regrets are related to the opportunities and experiences that we didn’t seize when we had the chance.

Ball’s career in the entertainment world was full of various ups and downs that included many B movies and lackluster performances. However, she continued to forge ahead learning from each and every experience. She was forty years old when she finally hit her stride and began her journey with I Love Lucy. Ball didn’t let the fact that Hollywood considered her to be “old” to stop her from fulfilling her dreams.

Instead of letting the long road of disappointments and closed doors discourage her, Ball refused to give up and found a way to create her own destiny and achieve the success that she had worked so hard for.

4. “I dyed my hair this crazy red to bid for attention. It has become a trademark, and I’ve got to keep it this way.”

We live in a culture where most of us just want to fit in. There is a pressure to conform to a set of expectations in both our professional and personal lives. However, it’s often when we take a risk to set ourselves apart, that doors of opportunities and experiences open for us.

For example, Ball’s natural hair colour was a light to medium brown with reddish tones. Early in her career, she bleached it blonde in hopes of being able to compete with the plethora of bombshell blondes of the era. She eventually realised, however, she needed to stand out, not blend in!

In a past interview, Ball is quoted stating, “Not being a beauty, I hated any part in a picture which depended on beauty. I resented work where looks were that important. There are so many glamour girls that I felt it was silly for me to try to compete with them.”

Dyeing her natural brown hair the colour red was one of the greatest risks Ball took early in her career, but it became one of the late comedian’s most beautiful physical features that helped her stand out and succeed in Hollywood. She shared, “I had to learn to concentrate on developing my personality—to have an individual approach. The way you feel about yourself has a lot to do with the impression you make.”

5. “The more things you do, the more you can do.”

We should never stop striving to learn new skills and grow in knowledge. Taking the steps to constantly evolve in our understanding of our professional and personal life—as well as the world around us—helps build a firm foundation for our present and future.

Ball was a true pioneer for the women of her time. She was not afraid to tackle new things or learn more about the production and business side of her career even though she was encroaching on a man’s world at the time. She knew that any knowledge she gained about the entertainment business would help ensure her future success.

For example, behind the scenes, Ball was an integral part of the business operations of Desilu Productions. She was one of the final voices in all decisions made regarding the show and the production company. And it didn’t stop there. In front of the camera, she portrayed a determined woman diligently trying to work outside of the home in various careers while still tackling the responsibilities of being a housewife and a mother. To put it simply, she just wasn’t scared to try something new.

It’s important to not let fear of failure, or the unknown, deter us from taking chances to break the mould and step out of our comfort zone. The possibilities for growth, success, and achievement are endless.

6. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

It’s quite profound how much we can learn from the fortitude and spunk exuded from Lucille Ball, the “Queen of Comedy.” As we’ve seen through these quotes, Ball refused to let others dictate who she would become or what she would achieve. Instead, she had a firm grasp on her own self-worth and was determined to forge ahead to fulfill her dreams.

She demonstrated that self-confidence and inner strength are vital to professional and personal success—a lesson that we would all be wise to remember.

Which one of the above Lucille Ball quotes was your favorite and why? Share your thoughts with us below!

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30 Inspirational Quotes by Michelle Obama That Will Lift Everyone Up

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Image Credit: Crown Publishing

Michelle Obama, wife of former United States President, Barack Obama, an American lawyer and writer, a former First Lady of the United States of America, a mom, an author and a style icon. In the eight amazing years that she served as the First Lady of the United States of America, she managed to become an inspiration for women all across the globe.

She has always spoken and worked towards equal rights for women, education for girls and healthy living. She is the proper definition of the modern-day revolutionary woman. Over the last couple of years, she has been encouraging people everywhere with her incredible words of wisdom and motivation. Every single person – young or old, is sure to take inspiration and motivation from her words.

Here are 30 quotes spoken by Michelle Obama:

1. “When they go low, we go high.”

2. “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

3. “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.”

4. “The only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

5. “Being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline. We need to start focusing on what matters – on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves.”

6. “As women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for each other. As women, we must stand up for justice for all.”

7. “No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are BEAUTIFUL.”

8. “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody says distract you from your goals.”

9. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half of its citizens.”

10. “You don’t have to say anything to the haters. You don’t have to acknowledge them at all. You just wake up every morning and be the best you can be. And that tends to shut them up.”

11. “Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed.”

12.Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.”

13. “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.”

14. “Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.”

15. “Choose people who lift you up.”

16. “The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.”

17. “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”

18. “Just do what works for you because there will always be someone who thinks differently.”

19. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.”

20. “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar.”

21. “Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. Trust your instincts, good relationships feel good, they feel right, they don’t hurt.”

22. “The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.”

23. “Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”

24. “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”

25. “Changing the big picture takes time… and the best thing to do is focus on the things that we can make in our lives. If we’re doing all that – that becomes the collage of real change.”

26. “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”

27. “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”

28. “You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”

29. “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”

30. “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”

What is your favorite quote from Michelle Obama? Comment Below!

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90 Success Quotes You Should Have Tattooed On Your Body!

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Today we have 90 of the Beefiest Success & Motivation Quotes you should have tattooed on your body. (more…)

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42 Les Brown Quotes That Will Intensify Your Motivation

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35 Les Brown Quotes That Will Intensify Your Motivation

As a motivational speaker, author and politician, Les Brown has risen to international prominence by delivering a high energy message which tells people how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness. (more…)

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