Words to Live By


I speak in public quite often and always find it useful, when trying to drive a point home, to use a quote from someone famous or insightful that captures the essence of the point I am trying to make. Sometimes these quotations come from professional athletes, authors, philosophers or just ordinary people who happened to express an insightful slant on an interesting topic. Quotations from business leaders, or people who have been active in business, are among my favorites. Some of these are from people who have absolutely nothing to do with business but have said things that are very insightful and thought provoking.

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Today I wanted to share with you some of my very favorite quotes about business and success. I hope you enjoy them and that they provide some food for thought.

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” Ray Goforth

“Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.” Peter Drucker

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Anonymous

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” Zig Ziglar

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” Theodore Isaac Rubin

“All progress takes place outside of the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Ralph Nader

“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed the more they want to succeed, and the more they want to find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone’s failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Tony Robbins 

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you were doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer 

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” Unknown

“Many of life‘s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” Estée Lauder

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vidal Sassoon

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” Unknown

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” Herman Melville

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” Steve Jobs

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” Michael LeBoeuf

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: double your rate of failure. You were thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” Thomas J. Watson

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston S. Churchill

“Onward and upward!” C.S. Lewis and Tony Malkin

Robert Knakal is the chairman of New York investment sales for Cushman & Wakefield.