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Success Quotes – The Essentials (Volume 2)

To provide the very best learning tools for entrepreneurs throughout the country we have compiled the very best quotes by the world’s top business leaders.

Please enjoy our extensive collection of At Make Your Life Epic we believe “thoughts are things” and that a “powerful thought inspired for good and acted upon with courage and unyielding” has the power the change the entire course of human history.

“Let the good work go on. We must ever remember we are refining oil for the poor man and he must have it cheap and good.” – Ron Chernoz from “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller” (on quality, and business strategy)

“John, never lend money to your friends; it will spoil your friendships.” John D. Rockefeller (on personal development and leadership training)

“I hope you will take good care of your health, this is religious duty, and you can accomplish so much for the world if you keep well and strong.” John D. Rockefeller (on life balance and personal development, and self improvement)

“When a man has accumulated a sum of money, accumulated it within the law, the Government has no right to share in its earnings.” – John D. Rockefeller (on taxation)

10% of Americans hold 73% of the country’s wealth. – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (on investing)

“Worrying is a waste of time. Worrying gets in the way of solving problems.” – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (on management)

“We can never own property (because of property taxes) we can just control it (by renting it from the government by paying taxes).” – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (on investing)

“I can’t afford this land either, but my business can.” – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (on investing)

“Bill Gates was in his 20s when he started with $50,000 and became the richest man in the world with $90 billion. It’s a good idea that he did not ask too many people for their ideas on what they thought was possible for his life.” – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (on the growth potential of a new business, entrepreneurship)

“Time is your most precious asset.” – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (investing, business start up and entrepreneurship)

“Poor people ride the bus, because they value money more than time.” – Robert Kiyosaki from “Rich Dad’s Investor Guide” (time management)

“Later on, Rockefeller learned to camouflage his business anxiety behind a studied calm, but during these years it ws often graphically displayed. Clark remembered one daring venture when the firm wagered its entire capital on a large grain shipment to Buffalo. With foolish, atypical imprudence, Rockefeller suggested that they skip the insurance and pocket the $150.00 premium; Gardner and Clark reluctantly acquiesced. That night, a terrible storm blew across Lake Erie, and when Gardner came to the office the next morning, a frightfully pale Rockefeller paced the floor in agitation. “Let’s take out insurance right away,” he said, “We still have time – if the boat hasn’t been wrecked by now.” Gardner ran off to pay the premium. By the time he got back, Rockefeller was waving a telegram announcing the ship’s safe arrival in Buffalo. Whether unnerved by the episode or upset at having paid the unnecessary premium, Rockefeller went home ill that afternoon.” – Ron Chernoz from “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller” (entrepreneurship, risk, reward, becoming a managing partner)

“He listened closely to what people said and filed away as much information as he could, repeating valuable information to himself until it was memorized. There was humility in this eagerness to learn. As he said, “It is very important to remember what other people tell you, not so much what you yourself already know.” – Ron Chernoz from “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller” (on continued learning, entrepreneurship, personal development)

“Rockefeller succeeded because he believed in the long –term prospects of the business and never treated it as a mirage that would soon fade.” – Ron Chernoz from “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller” (on entrepreneurship traits, leadership)

 

“By the end of the war (the civil war) John D. Rockefeller had established the foundations of his personal and professional life and was set to capitalize on the extraordinary opportunities beckoning him in postwar America. From this point forward, there would be no zigzags, or squandered energy, only a single-minded focus on objectives that would make him both the wonder and terror of American business.” – Ron Chernoz from “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller” (entrepreneurship, competition)

“Weak desires bring weak results.” – Napoleon Hill (on leadership and vision)

“Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent benefit.” – Napoleon Hill (on management skills, tenacity, and universal success laws)

To grow your company explosively you must have leaders, not just efficient managers. – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on leadership)

“Teams only succeed when the players have a unified vision, no matter how much talent or potential there is.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on leadership) (CEO training)

“It almost goes without saying that the team needs diversity of skills. Can you imagine a hockey team of goalies? Or a football team of quarterbacks? It doesn’t make sense. In the same way, organizations require diverse talents to succeed, each player taking his part.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (leadership and team building)

“You should give 80% of your time and attention to your best 20% of employees. If you have one hundred customers, the top twenty will provide you with 80% of your business.” – – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on leadership) (on CEO training)

“Anything that’s not necessary for you to do personally should be delegated or eliminated.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on leadership) (on CEO training)

“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on leadership)

“The secret of our success is found in our daily agenda.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (management skills)

“As long as a person doesn’t know, what he doesn’t know, he doesn’t grow.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on management skills)

“Work in your areas of your greatest strengths.” (Clay example: Creativity through writing, design, Training, & Motivating) – (on CEO training)

“The higher the level of leadership people want to reach, the greater the sacrifices they will have to make?” – (on leadership)

“The most stable companies have strong leaders at every level of the organization. The only way to develop such widespread leadership is to make developing leaders a part of your culture. That is a strong part of Coca-Cola’s legacy.” – (on CEO training)

“Everyone has the potential, but it isn’t accomplished overnight. It requires perseverance.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on self improvement and leadership)

“The truth is that nearly anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. That is the LAW OF NAVIGATION…If the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is liable to sink the ship.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (leadership and vision)

“No question about it, alot of my attitude towards money stems from growing up during a pretty hardscrabble time in our country’s history: the Great Depression.” – Sam Walton on Personal Development

“Why do I drive a truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?” – Sam Walton on Personal Development and Practicality

“Wal-Mart became Wal-Mart by ordinary people joined together to accomplish extraordinary things.” – Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart (on vision)

“Dad never had the kind of ambition or confidence to build much of a business on his own, and he didn’t believe in taking on debt.” Sam Walton on the traits that make a great leader.

“It never occurred to me that I might lose; to me, it was almost as if I had a right to win. Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Sam Walton on leadership and personal development

“I don’t know what causes a person to be ambitious, but it is a fact that I have been overblessed with drive and ambition from the time I hit the ground.” – Sam Walton on traits that make a great leader

“It turned out there was alot to learn about running a store. And, of course, what really drove Sam was that competition across the street – John Dunham over at the Sterling Store. Sam was always over there checking on John. Always. Looking at his prices, looking at his displays, looking at what was going on. He was always looking for a way to do a better job. I don’t remember the details, but I remember some kind of panty-price-war they got into. Later on, long after we left Newport, and John had retired, we would seem him and he would laugh about Sam always being in his store. But I’m sure it aggravate him quite a bit early on. John had never had good competition before Sam.” Helen Walton (Sam’s Wife):

“That Newport store was really the beginning of where Walmart is today. We did everything. We would wash windows, sweep floors, trim windows. We did all the stockroom work checked the freight in. Everything it took to run a store. We had to keep expenses to a minimum. That is where it started, year ago. Our money was made by controlling expenses. That, and Sam always being ingeniious. He never stopped trying to do something different. One thing, though I never forgave him for making me clean out that damned ice cream machine…” – Bud Walton (Sam Walton’s Brother)

“I guess Mr. Walton just had a personality that drew people in. He would yell at you from a block away, you know. He would just yell at everybody he saw, and that’s the reason so many liked him and did business in his store. It was like he brought in business by his being so friendly.” (on role of managing partner) – INEZ THREET, CLERK, WALTON’S FIVE & DIME, BENTONVILLE

“Of course I needed somebody to run my new store, and I didn’t have much money, so I did something that I would do for the rest of my run in the retail business without any shame or embarrassment whatsoever: nose around other people’s stores searching for good talent. That’s when I made my first real hire, the first manager, Willard Walker.” – Sam Walton of Human Resources, Hiring and finding good people (on role of managing partner):

“In the years to come, that lure of partnership helped us attract a lot of good managers, but I don’t believe that we ever had one who bought more stock than Willard. And of course he feels pretty good about it today.” – Sam Walton (on human resources, hiring, early history of Wal-Mart) – SAM WALTON ON WILLARD WALKER:

“Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First he gets up everyday bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever know. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.” (qualities of great leaders) – DAVID GLASS (CURRENT CEO OF WALMART) ON SAM WALTON:

“Nobody wanted to gamble on that first Wal-Mart. I think Bud put in 3 percent, and Don Whitaker – whom I had hired to manage the store from TG&Y store out in Abilene, Texas, and I had to put up 95 percent of the dollars. Helen and I had to sign all the notes along with me, and her statement allowed us to borrow more than I could alone. We pledges houses and property, everything we had.. But in those days we were always borrowed to the hilt. We were about to go into the discount business for real now. And from the time those doggone Wal-Marts opened until almost today, it has been a little challenging.” – Sam Walton (on risk and rewards, founding Wal-Mart, CEO training, leadership training).

“I’m a pretty conservative guy. But for some reason in business, I have always been pretty driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where we’ve been. On the one hand, in the community, I really am an establishment kind of guy; on the other hand, in the marketplace, I have always been a maverick who enjoys shaking things up and creating a little anarchy. And sometimes the establishments made me mad…” – Sam Walton (on CEO training)

“In fact, when I look at it today, I realize that so much of what we did in the beginning was really poorly done. But we managed to sell our merchandise as low as we possibly could, and that kept us right-side-up for the first 10 years – that and consistently improving sales in these smaller markets by buildling up our relationship with the customers. The ideas was simple: when customers thought of Wal-Mart, they should think of low prices and satisfaction guaranteed.” – Sam Walton (on marketing for managing partners)

“Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity. The things that we were forced to learn and do, because we started out underfinanced and undercapitalized in these remote small communities, contributed mightily to the way we’ve grown as a company. Had we been capitalized, or had we been the offshoot of a large corporation the way I wanted to be, we might not ever have tried…” – Sam Walton (on managing partner)

“As kids, we all worked for the company in one way or another. I got to work behind the candy counter or run the popcorn stand when I was five years old. The business was part of life, and it was always included in the dinner conversation. We learned a lot about the debt it took to open new stores, and I worried about it. I remember confiding to my girlfriend one time – crying and saying, “I don’t know what we’re going to do. My daddy owes so much, and he won’t quit opening.” – Alice Walton on Walton family lifes (Sam Walton’s daughter)

“I kept saying, Sam, we’re making a good living. Why go out why expand so much more? The stores are getting farther and farther away. After the seventeenth store, though, I realized there wasn’t going to any stopping it.” – Helen Walton (on CEO, leadership and motivation)

“Without the computer, Sam Walton could not have done what he’s done. HE could not have built it. He’s done a lot of other things right too, but he could have done it without the computer,. It would have been possible.” – ABE MARKS (on Sam Walton and computers, and standardization and CEO training)

“Mike suggested that we might want to turn our stockholders’ meetings into an event, and we went along with him.” – Sam Walton (on CEO MOTIVATION and leadership)

“If I had to single out one element in my life that has made difference for me, it would be a passion to compete.” – Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart (on qualties leaders)

“Sam hired me in 1970 as district manager in charge of new store openings. He had eighteen Wal-Marts and some variety stores doing about $31 million a year. I moved my family, and as the van was unloading the furniture into our rented house, they called from the office and said, “Can you get set up this new store in Missouri?” My wife, who had three babies and a moving van to deal with, helped me find some clothes, and I left. I didn’t see her again for two weeks. Then there was a managers’ meeting so I didn’t see her for two more weeks. It would be safe to say that in those days we all worked a minimum of 16 hours a day.” – Jack Shewmaker, former president and COO of Wal-Mart

“He has always been like this. His mind works ten times faster than everybody’s else’s. I mean he just gets going and stays two or three jumps ahead, and he’s quick to go with what’s on his mind. If he gets something in his mind that needs to be done – regardless of what else might have been planned – the new idea takes priority, and it has to be done now. Everybody has their angenda already scheduled, and then bang! He just calls a meeting on something.” (on CEO leadership and management with speed) – LORETTA BOSS PARKER, PERSONAL SECRETARY FOR 25 YEARS

“Excepting for reading my numbers on Saturday morning and going to our regular meetings, I don’t have much of a routine for anything else. I always carry my little tape recorder on trips, to record ideas that come up in my conversations with the associates. I usually have my yellow legal pad with me, with a list of ten or fifteen things we need to be working on as a company. My list drives the executives around here crazy, but it’s probably one of my more important contributions.” – Sam Walton (management)

“If you take someone who lacks the experience and the know-how but has the real desire and the willingness to work his tail off to get the job done, he’ll make up for what he lacks. And that proved true nine times out of ten. It was one way we were able to grow so fast.” – Sam Walton (on human resources and hiring)

“Satisfied, loyal and repeat customers are at the heart of Walmart’s spectacular profit margins, and those customers are loyal to us because our associates treat them better than salespeople in other stores do. So, in the whole Wal-Mart scheme of things, the most important contact ever made is between the associated in the store and the customer.

I didn’t catch on to that idea for quite a while. In fact, the biggest single regret in my whole business career is that we didn’t include our associates in the initial, managers-only profit-sharing plan when we took the company public in 1970. But there was nobody around preaching that philosophy in those days, and I guess I was just too worried about my own debt, and in too big a hurry to get somewhere fast. Today, some of our company’s critics would like everybody to believe we started our profit-sharing program and other benefits merely as away to stave off union organizing.” – Sam Walton (on human resources, CEO vision and training)

“When we had seventy-five stores in Arkansas, seventy-five in Missouri, eighty in Oklahoma, whatever, people knew who we were, and everybody except the merchants who weren’t discounting looked forward to our coming to their town.” – Sam Walton (on competition, growth)

“We modeled our employee stock ownership plan after Sam’s, and it worked well for us.” – Bernie Marcus, Chairmand and Cofounder of Home Depot (on CEO training and profit sharing and vision)

“As it happened, we did extraordinarily well with our Newport Wal-Mart, and it wasn’t too long before the old Ben Franklin store I had run on Front Street had to close its doors. You can’t say we ran that guy – the landlord’s son – out of business. His customers were the ones who shut him down. They voted with their feet.

Quite a few smaller stores have gone out of business during the time of Wal-Mart’s growth. Some people have tried to turn it into this big controversy, sort of a “Save the Small-Town Merchants” deal, like they were whales or whooping cranes of something that has the right to be protected…

If you become a large-scale success it’s Katie bar the door. Suddenly, you make a very convenient villian because everybody seems to love shooting at who’s on top.” – Sam Walton (on competition)

“It’s absolutely a necessary and inevitable evolution in retailing (of Wal-Mart putting small stores out of business), as inevitable as the replacement of the buggy by the car, and the dissappearance of the buggy whip makers. The small stores (and DJs) were destined to dissappear, at least in the numbers they once existed., because the whole thing is driven by customers, who are free to choose where to shop.” – Sam Walton (on competition)

“They (the competition) need to avoid coming at us head-on, and do their own thing better than we do ours. It doesn’t make any sense to try to underprice Wal-Mart (DJC) on something like toothpaste (DJ Prices). That’s not what the customer is looking to a small store for anyway. Most independents are best off, I think, doing what I prided myself on doing for many years as a storekeeper, getting out on the floor and meeting everyone of the customers. Let them know how much you appreciate them, and ring that cash register yourself. That little personal touch is so important for an independent merchant because no matter how hard Wal-Mart tries to duplicate – and we try awfully hard – we can’t really do it.” – Sam Walton (on competition)

“Job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.” – Sam Walton (on competition)

“Sam phoned to tell me he was going to start a wholesale club. It was no surprise. He is notorious for looking at what everybody else does, taking the best of it, and then making it better.” – Sol Price Founder of Price Club & Fed-Mart (on competition and CEO TRAINING)

“We decided that instead of avoiding our competitors, or waiting for them to come to us, we would meet them head-on. It was one of the smartest strategic decisions we ever made. In fact, if our story doesn’t prove anything else about the free market system, it erases any doubt that spirited competition is good for business – not just for customers, but the companies which have to compete with one another too. Our competitors have honed and sharpened us to an edge we wouldn’t have with out them. We wouldn’t be nearly as good as we are today without Kmart, and I think they would admit we’ve made them a better retailer. One reason Sears fell so far off the pace is that they wouldn’t admit for the longest time that Wal-Mart and Kmart were their real competition. They ignored both of us, and we both blew right by them.” – Sam Walton (on competition)

“We got so much better so quickly it was hard to believe. We totally stood Kmart off in those small towns of ours. Almost from the beginning, they weren’t very successful at taking our customers away in Jeff City and Poplar Bluff. Once Kmart arrived, we worked even harder at pleasing our customers, and they stayed loyal. This gave us a great surge of confidence in ourselves. But at that time our sales were 5 percent of Kmart’s. (through competition) Wal-Mart has lowered the gross margin in retailing from around 35 percent in the early 60s to only 22 percent today.” – Sam Walton (on competition)

“I came over from Wal-Mart to help set up Sam’s. Since we were patterned after PRICE CLUBS, sometimes we copied them without exactly knowing what we were doing. We were bringing a West Coast idea to the Midwest, and we didn’t know how it would be received. I remember one idea that didn’t transfer too well. Price Club had a huge stack of wine in front of its stores. We bought the same amound for our stores in the Midwest and we learned the hard way that Midwesterners aren’t exactly wine drinkers.” (on competition) RON LOVELESS, RETIRED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF WAL-MART:

“I think it’s fair to say that our distribution system today is the envy certainly of everyone in our industry, and in alot of others as well…We’ve spend almost $700 million builing up the current computer and satellite systems we have….You can’t generate sales unless you have the product there when the customer wants it.The math is pretty simple: if we both sell the same goods for the same price at retail, we’ll earn 2.5 percent more profit than they will right there.” – Sam Walton (on competition and gaining a competitive edge).

“Not long ago somebody showed me an article written for a local magazine in 1960. IT was called “Success Story of the Year,” and it described how we had built up an empire of nine variety stores. Then it quoted me as saying that we probably wouldn’t grow much more because I believed in personally supervising the nine-store group, and I thought any more stores would be “unwieldy” to manager without additional supervisors. So what the heck happened? How did we ever get to be the largest retailer in the world with a philosophy like that?”

I really believed that I said then, and I still do. But we figured out a way to grow, and stay profitable, and there was no logical place to stop. The way I approached managing the business, I always tried to maintain a sense of hands-on, personal supervision – usually flying around to take a look at our stores on a regular basis. But from the very beginning, even on my paper routes in college, I have also been a delegator, trying to hire the best possible people to manage the stores. That’s been the case since back in Newport….We’re big now. We’re really big. That’s not something I like to focus on. I always wanted to be the best retailer in the world, not necessarily the biggest…(being big poses opportunities), but being big also poses big dangers. It has ruined many a fine company – including some giant retailers – who started out strong and got bloated or out of touch or were slow to react to the needs of their customers. Here’s the point: the biggest Wal-Mart gets, the more essential it is that we think small. Because that is exactly how we have become a big corporation.” – Sam Walton (on the importance of focus on quality for managing partners, and leadership, CEO training and vision)

“If you had to boil down the Wal-Mart system to one single idea, it would porbably be communication, because it is one of the real keys to our success…Communicate, Communicate, Communicate” – Sam Walton (managing partner training and management)

“The bigger we get as a company, the more important it becomes for us to shift responsibility and authority toward the front lines, toward the department manager who’s stocking the shelves and talking to the customer. When we were much smaller, I probably wasn’t as quick to catch on to this idea as I do should have been. But as an avid student of management theory, back in the mid-seventies I started reading the work of W. Edwards Deming, the famous statistician who taught so much to the Japanese about improving their productivity and competitiveness.” – Sam Walton (on CEO Training)

“Any time a company grows as fast as Wal-Mart has, pockets of duplication are going to build up, and there will be areas of the business which we may no longer need. No boss or employee really likes to dwell on such matters; it’s only human nature not to want to have your job, or the jobs of the people who work for you, eliminated. But it is absolutely the responsibility of a company’s top management to be thinking about this issue all the time – to ensure the sound future for the overall company.” – Sam Walton (on CEO Training and efficiency)

“Too often, that solution is nothing more than adding another layer. What you should be doing is going to the source of the problem to fix it, and sometimes that requires shooting the culprit,” – Sam Walton (on human relations)

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller (on CEO training)

“Listen to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front lines the ones who actually talk to the customer – are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there. You’d better find out what they know. This really is what total quantity is all about. To push responsibility down in your organization, and to force good ideas to bubble within it, you must listen to what your associates are telling you.” – Sam Walton (on leadership and management)

“A smart, motivational good manager can work what some outsiders call Wal-Mart magic with folks everywhere. It make take more time. You may have to sift through more people, and you may have to become more skilled with your hiring practices. But I truly believe that people anywhere will eventually respond to the same sorts of motivational techniques we use, if they are treated right and are given the opportunities to be properly trained. If you are good to people, and fair with them, and demanding of them, they will eventually decide you’re on their side.” – Sam Walton (on human resources, hiring and growth)

“I think our main real estate effort should be directed at getting out in front of expansion and letting the population build out to us.” – Sam Walton on Realestate

“I remember one time I didn’t want to spend any money on motels so we all slept in sleeping bags on the floor of one of our guys’ houses. His furniture hadn’t gotten there yet.” – Sam Walton (ceo training on thrift)

“You can’t get too much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.” – Jerry West from – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on self improvement and management)

“People naturally follow those stronger than themselves.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on leadership)

“Our minds were freewheeling. We rushed to get things done.” – Sam Walton (on managing with speed)

“My role has been to pick good people and give them the maximum authority and responsibility.” – Sam Walton (on team building)

“Never forget that people are your greatest asset.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on management)

“Who you are, is who you attract.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (On Leadership)

“Good leaders know that one secret to success is to staff their weaknesses.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on Leadership and vision)

“If you think your people are negative, then you had better check your attitude. Who you are is who you attract. This is the LAW of Magnetism.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on management training)

“You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion. The heawrt comes before the head…To lead yourself use your head; to lead others use your heart.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on motivation and leadership)

“To connect with people in a group, connect with them as individuals.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on public speaking)

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

“When the leader has done the work to connect with his people, you can see it in the way the organization functions. The vision of the leader becomes the aspiration of the people. The impact is incredible” – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (on public speaking)

For additional information on how to apply these best-practices and success principles in your own personal life contact Make Your Life Epic to be connected with the nation’s top business coach and “U.S. Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year,” Clay Clark at 918-851-6920.