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200 Inspiring Quotes from Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka-shing

Billionaire Li Ka-shing's Path to Success

Li Ka-shing (born June 13, 1928 in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, China) is a Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is broadly respected as one of the most powerful businessmen in Asia. His companies span telecommunications, real estate, infrastructure, ports, retailing and manufacturing, energy, and technology, among other ventures. Known as “Mr. Money” and “Superman” in Hong Kong and Asia, Li Ka-shing exemplifies China’s remarkable rise from a dilapidated communist state to a free market behemoth. One year after Deng Xiaoping commenced his transformation process in 1978, Li purchased a British firm in Hong Kong named Hutchison Whampoa. Thenceforth, his ability to generate wealth globally exploded exponentially.

  • “If you think, then you will be prepared. If you are prepared, then you will have no worries.”
  • “After the pacific war began only my father and I were in Hong Kong. Soon he developed tuberculosis and went to a public hospital.”
  • “You can believe in Fung Shui if you want, but ultimately people control their own fate. The most important thing is to improve yourself and give it your best. Then many things previously thought to be impossible will become possible.”
  • “Democracy without law and order is no democracy. We have many investments in democratic countries.”
  • “When I was young, I appeared humble but was inwardly very arrogant. Why was I arrogant? When my colleagues went to play, I went to study. We’d all had very little education. But they remained the same while I was becoming increasingly knowledgeable. We were doing similar work, but I was striving for improvement all the time. So when I went into business, I reminded myself that if I allowed myself to be arrogant, I’d fall one day. And so I named my company Cheung Kong.”
  • “I may not be very talented but I can say that I’m like a small tree that’s grown in storms and among rocks. You go to the hills and see. To uproot a little plant that’s grown among the rocks takes quite a bit of effort.”
  • “I was once an employee myself, so I know what employees want.”
  • “In 1997—First job at age 12. First business started at age 22.: I’ve worked for 58 years.”
  • “The first year, as I didn’t have much capital, I did everything by myself, including the first set of account books. I needed to go the Inland Revenue Department, and I asked my auditor if my accounts were correct, since I had no experience doing accounting. He said that it was complete and that I could take this to the government. I had no experience, but I learned by reading books on accounting. When you want to understand the balance sheet, you needed to know a little bit about accounting. I did so many things by myself, which kept my overhead low. I have made a profit every year since 1950. I have never lost a penny in any year.”
  • “I also have some strengths. First, I have a thirst for knowledge. Second, I work hard, which can compensate for some of the weaknesses. Most importantly, I know what’s right from wrong.”
  • “As for father, there’s one thing that’s remained comforting to me. One day before he died… he turned things around. Instead of saying something to me, he asked me if I had anything to say to him. Think about it and you’ll find that very sad. But with a lot of confidence, I talked to him and comforted him, saying ‘The whole of our family will have a good life.’ I promised myself that after saying those confident words to my father I must work doubly hard for a future.”
  • “You must know and understand your business like the back of your hand. Otherwise, your company would be here today, gone tomorrow.”
  • “I want to build a corporation that not only the Chinese are proud of, but that even foreigners are impressed with.”
  • “To me, intellectuals… whether they are in education or in technology, industrialists, entrepreneurs and politicians, they’re all an integral part of society.”
  • “A large US competitor of my buyer approached me and offered to pay me an extra 30 percent profit for the merchandise my buyer had ordered. He said that, with the extra profit, I could expand my factory. I said, ‘Look, I am also a businessman. I’ll make a deal with you. I will start another factory in nine months’ time, a much bigger one, and I will take your order. But this time I have already promised this buyer, and I will finish the order for him as I am his only supplier.”
  • “If you allow your partners to benefit from the deal, they always come back and want to do business with you. There will never be a shortage of opportunity.”
  • “In the competitive world today, you give more in order to get more. It’s like the Olympics. Look at the runners that come home first. The winner has won but he is just a bit faster than the first and second runners-up. If it’s a sprint it may be less than a second, just a tiny bit. You run a bit faster and win.”
  • “You need to be interested in your business. If you are interested in your business, you are bound to do well.”
  • “We believe that big family company: of ours, by the year 2000, will have increased its membership by one third locally and abroad.”
  • “The Foundation has invested in a lot of companies with good returns and they are 100 percent for charity. One of the items is almost five times bigger than the PCCW investment.”
  • “I do not get overly optimistic when the market is good, nor overly pessimistic when the market is down.”
  • “The most challenging issue raised by globalization is how we can all get along with each other in our race against time. Corporate leaders must possess far-sighted vision, detailed action plans, macro-thinking, and a global outlook. To get ahead in the race, they must also possess a deep understanding of their own organization and that of their competitors.”
  • “I’d never been particularly happy about getting honours. But after the Tribunal’s verdict the government gave me a CBE and I was particularly happy. My first thought was: on one hand I was censured for insider trading while on the other hand I was given a commendation by the government. Need one say more!”
  • “Like living and doing business, there are ups and downs.”
  • “There’s an interesting story about Richard Li. When he was a boy, a friend of mine gave him a big toy. Very big it was, big and very expensive a toy tank that boys love. Some Sunday morning we were going out to sea and Richard was very carefully wrapping up the toy with paper. I thought it strange because he was not the kind to sit quietly and work meticulously. So I asked him, ‘Richard, what are you doing? I’ve told you not to play with this toy?’ He said, ‘I’m not playing with; I’m giving it to the crew.’ He was not giving it to the captain; he was giving it to the assistant. I asked him why he was giving it to the assistant. He said that the week before the assistant had told him, ‘Richard, you’re really fortunate with a father who loves you, with such a wealthy family and with so many toys to play with. It’ll soon be my son’s birthday and I can’t afford to buy him a toy.’ When Richard had finished, I was silent for a while and then only said, ‘Wrap up the present nicely.’ Though I didn’t encourage him to do what he did, I was very pleased about what my son was doing.”
  • “A good reputation for yourself and your company is an invaluable asset not reflected in the balance sheets.”
  • “Through the years, property is of course the most profitable business. But no line of business remains forever prosperous. At a certain point, there will be market saturation or the government will have new policies. I’d always known this.”
  • “At six something I play golf… Play for an hour and a half. This period of time belongs to me alone. The rest of the time, I deal with business and work and time spent like this is not necessarily my own. This hour and a half is all mine.”
  • “It’s entrepreneurs who create and who, with marketing skills, make a nation wealthy. Their contribution to a nation is definitely not less than that of scholars, farmers and workers.”
  • “If I hadn’t been smart and bought those books it would have been better. I was only 13 then and got scared to death after reading the books. I had all the symptoms.”
  • “The hills have remained the same, as has the environment. One hundred… one thousand years from now, they will remain the same but the people now will not be there…”
  • “On working hard at 70 years of age: First, it’s a challenge. Second, I’m in charge of several listed companies and want to maximize profit for my shareholders. When you are rich, you suddenly think of doing meaningful things in life, things you can do with money. If you try to make money only when you need it, it’s very difficult.”
  • “I often think that in all these years the Chinese people have only ventured into south-east Asia and relatively few have gone to the western countries in a big way. I believe that what I’m doing can open up more investment channels for Hong Kong and China.”
  • “I am very prudent financially because of those hard times I went through. I spent nothing. I had a haircut every three months. I shaved my head like a monk.”
  • “China in the past several hundred years… since Kangxi… has been weak because not enough respect has been given to industry and trade.”
  • “When times are tough you need to ask yourself if you’re up to it. During tough times I’ve always thought I’m up to it.”
  • “Some morning I was trying to get my car key from my pocket and accidentally dropped a two dollar coin. It rolled underneath the car, if the car was moved, the coin would fall into the drain. So I squatted down to try to get the coin back, not wanting to lose it. The guard saw me doing that came up to ask me, ‘Mr Li, what’s up?’. I said I’d dropped a coin. He then gave me some help. The coin was picked up, I got two dollars back and gave him one hundred dollars. Why did I do that? If I hadn’t picked up the coin, when the car moved the coin would drop into the drain and would be lost forever. But I got it back and gave the guard one hundred dollars, which would not be lost because he would make use of it. In a word, money may be spent but never squandered.”
  • “Broaden your vision, and maintain stability while advancing forward. That is my philosophy.”
  • “If you don’t have a big heart, you will not succeed.”
  • “I rely on a system. Important issues have to be approved by Hong Kong. So things have worked fine for years. We rely on a system, checks and balances and regular meetings.”
  • “Fifty years ago, I named my company Cheung Kong Holdings after the Yangtze River that flows through China, a great river that aggregates countless streams and tributaries. These days I think about where this ‘river’ should flow.”
  • 'Li Ka-shing Hong Kong's Elusive Billionaire' by Anthony B. Chan (ISBN 0195900766) “In 1978, I returned to the mainland China: for the first time after liberation.”
  • “What am I after? As a Hong Kong citizen, I do things for myself as well as for Hong Kong. I have several principles. One: a liberal economy that allows free movement of assets and remittances that do not require official approval. Two: freedom of personal movement and I’m very insistent on this. Three: permanent resident status… and I argued about this point. What did I argue for? As long as you’ve lived a full seven years in Hong Kong, regardless of what happens afterwards… you may have emigrated and returned, you are considered the same as all Hong Kong residents and keep your permanent resident status.”
  • “A company is built on the efforts of many individuals, and not just on one person.”
  • “I was in rather good shape when the 70’s began and, observing foreign owned establishments. I found they owned very few shares but controlled great assets. If I could take over these companies, I’d be able to get their assets, and their people would also be useful as I had the idea of starting an international company. If my company had gone public without me having an idea, it wouldn’t have reached its size today.”
  • “It doesn’t matter how strong or capable you are; if you don’t have a big heart, you will not succeed.”
  • “I wasn’t lucky. I worked hard to achieve the goals I set for myself.”
  • “I have worked hard to establish my business over the past decades, and now we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Not only is my group reaping the benefits, I am also able to make greater contributions to worthy causes.”
  • “I would like to do more meaningful deeds. I don’t care how much money or how much energy it takes. I have very simple needs. With the blessings that I have received, I have no need for more wealth. But if I can do more for mankind, for our people, and for our country, I would be more than happy to do so.”
  • “Had I wanted to live in luxury, I could definitely have done so in 1960.”
  • “I had a clear intention of taking over one of these companies with underperforming assets and developing it into a multinational corporation.”
  • “Children of wealthy families grow up in a greenhouse. No matter it is a big tree or any plant, their roots are not strong. If I spoil them, they’ll have a hard life ahead. When they get a knock or run into hard times, they’ll be helpless.”
  • “My childhood days were very tough, tough that I had no one to talk to. I couldn’t have written and told my mother, could I? Absolutely not. Whatever went wrong in my life, I couldn’t tell my mother.”
  • “Despite facing this big economic crisis. I’ve found that at least two companies larger than ours to work with me on a long term investment project in Hong Kong.”
  • “If you are not honest and sincere, people will leave you sooner or later.”
  • “My father had tuberculosis, which was as devastating a disease as cancer is today. If you were rich and could afford proper care, you might have a better chance. We had no choice.”
  • “Today I can be frank. When I started my business, I almost certainly did not rely on luck. I relied on work, hard work and ability to make money.”
  • “Once you’re in sales, you will also learn what sells and what not. Use the sensitivity of detecting market sentiments as a platform for running your business and in the identification of product winners in the future.”
  • “On ‘How much of your success is due to good fortune?': I cannot deny it’s the times that create heroes.”
  • “I find solace in my heart. I think I’ve done many things that have required money, time and care for the good of other people and these things make me feel honoured and proud.”
  • “During my father’s time, our family finances were deteriorating. My uncles did not make any contribution to the family after they came back from Tokyo. I always had a fighting heart. I only had a small amount of capital when I started my own business. That’s why I am always conservative. I never forget to maintain stability while advancing, and I never forget to advance while maintaining stability. Stability and advancement must always be in balance.”
  • “The first year, I didn’t have much capital so I did everything myself. I had to keep my overhead low by learning everything about running a business, from accounting to fixing the gears of my equipment. I really started from scratch.”
  • “In 1956, when I was in the plastics business, my first order was for a three to six month production. I calculated a profit of 20 percent. My competitors were making 100 percent profit.”
  • “What his father Yun-jing Li told him on his deathbed: You must have the strength of character. Then you can rise as tall as the sky.”
  • “Regardless of when I go to bed, I get up at the same time every morning. At 5:59am I get up when the alarm clock rings because I want to listen to the news on the radio. This is how a day begins.”
  • “On a customer cancelling an order: I said, there were plenty of buyers for the goods and I didn’t need him to compensate me for my losses. I also said that if another business opportunity arose, we could build an even better relationship. I’d forgotten the whole thing when something strange happened one day. I’d just started doing plastic flowers… about 1956-57 it was. Unexpectedly a foreigner came looking for me. He said a certain company had introduced him. That company had said that mine was Hong Kong’s top plastic flowers factory, a factory commanding a huge area. I was dumbfounded because my factory was not huge it was in fact small. But later his American client ordered a lot of things from me. Placing at one time all the orders for six months. I later discovered the man of that trading company knew this foreigner. The foreigner was a senior executive of another trading company. He had told the foreigner about me, saying that I was completely trustworthy to deal with. He had said all the good things about me. I believe everything good that could have been said had been said. The moral of this is: something that seems to be a loss can often turn out to be a gain.”
  • “When his children were very small: I took them to squatters’ areas and took them on tram and bus rides although I already had a chauffeur and a car.”
  • Spiritual peace and comfort… are very important to me. I only have a desire to do more meaningful deeds.”
  • “On Hasbro asking ‘What was that?’ when riots were taking place in the city: It was a bomb. But we are still working, so you should give us a medal instead of rushing us for the order.”
  • “As people seek to improve their living environment, there will be continuous demand for residential property. Investment in real estate market should have reasonable prospects in the long run.”
  • “I took jobs, not matter how lowly they were. At any rate what could a 14-15 year old boy do? But I did my best at work and at increasing my knowledge.”
  • “All my senior staff know I demand efficiency. Before a meeting, the other side know what’s going on and I know what they’ve done. Everybody is well prepared and no time should be wasted.”
  • “I loathe the social scene; I don’t like cultivating relationships, and I’m too emotional. These are all weaknesses in doing business.”
  • “The future may be made up of many factors but where it truly lies is in the hearts and minds of men. Your dedication should not be confined for your own gain, but unleashes your passion for our beloved country as well as for the integrity and humanity of mankind.”
  • “We must get on well as partners.”
  • “My thinking in 1979 was buying this foreign company gave me the advantage of paying one dollar for two to three dollars’ worth, even more profitable than investing in property.”
  • “Your life is meaningful if you can honestly say that you have done your best to do some good.”
  • “The most important enjoyment for me is to work hard and to make more profit.”
  • “Before the Asian financial crisis stuck, the signs of a bubble economy were already glaring.”
  • “It’s very important to devote yourself to work.”
  • “You have to prepare for the worst-case scenario. If nobody buys your property, can you support your debt? For 56 years, especially after we went public, Cheung Kong has never had any financial problems.”
  • “This was actually a more difficult job, but the prospects were better. I was confident about the bright prospects of the plastics industry and I told my boss that I would like to start my own business. I already knew a lot about the plastics business, including the technology, the market and sales.”
  • “If you are good to people, they will be good to you.”
  • 'Li Ka-shing No Accidental Success' by Li Yongning (ISBN 751134352X)Successful managers should also have a keen eye for talent. They not only select people who are smarter than themselves, but also avoid picking corporate superstars whose reputation precedes them.”
  • “So soon after my company went public, I began looking for investment opportunities overseas.”
  • “When Victor and Richard were still students, I brought them to one of our meetings. They just sat there. My purpose was not to teach them to do business. It was to let them know doing business was not that simple and that it took a lot of work, meetings and the help of many people to get a job done.”
  • “During the time China and Britain were having talks in 1982 and 1983, the stock market and the property market were in the doldrums. I remember using only one to two hundred million dollars to get four berths at Container Terminal 6. Later Terminal 7 cost me over four billion. My decision was to press ahead with expansion in the worst of times. That really was the cornerstone of HIT.”
  • “Businessmen must move with the times…the correlation between knowledge and business as the key to success is closer than ever.”
  • “If we rush into things and get emotional, usually it will lead to unexpected mistakes.”
  • “To be a successful manager, attitude and ability are equally important ingredients. A leader inspires others to greatness. A boss dominates his subordinates and makes them feel small.”
  • “I remember in 1938 I’d just begun high school when Japanese planes bombed Chiuchow. A year afterwards our family moved to Hong Kong.”
  • “In a small business – a family business you’ve got to do everything personally. But when the company is big, you need to give your staff a sense of belonging and make them feel at ease. That’s vital.”
  • “In 1997 on the university he founded: Education is different from business; I will never be discouraged. In business, I can bring to an end something that is dissatisfying and has no future, but I will not do this to Shantou University. Friends and colleagues said to me, ‘Mr Li, for a while, you were the only one caring about the university. You put in the most time and the most care; you were the most anxious.’ By way of encouraging him, I said, ‘If the university were destroyed by a bomb tomorrow or demolished by an accident. I would have it rebuilt.'”
  • “The Yangtze River doesn’t pick and choose its tributaries. Waters from small streams and springs are just pulled over. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any Yangtze, would there?”
  • “His promise to his dying father at age 13: The whole of our family will have a good life.”
  • “The art of good management lies in the capacity to accept change, and the ability to meld new and traditional thinking.”
  • “In Chinese we have a saying: If you want to be successful, whatever your business or position, you need to accept different opinions and different people.”
  • “I think education is the most important thing to a nation. Without good education, whatever equipment or plans you have mean nothing.”
  • “1967 gave me a chance to make a lot of money. But it wasn’t an astronomical figure… no, it wasn’t.”
  • “Investing in Husky Oil: What I learnt from the Husky experience was: management has to be perfect! The management was really a bit slack at the beginning.”

Li Ka-shing Biography

  • “Magazines like using my pictures on their overs hoping to increase circulation. All this to me is hard to bear… a form of pressure.”
  • “Money may be spent but never squandered.”
  • “The character ‘Tzar’ was chosen in accordance with our family decree.”
  • “Before, I used 99% of our time together to teach them His children: principles of life. Now we talk about business sometimes… one third of the time for business, and the other two thirds still for principles of life.”
  • “The media neglected one thing. Why did Hong Kong Bank sell their shares to me? Their biggest consideration was whoever bought the shares should be able to manage and lead the company towards better development.”
  • “Life is short.”
  • “I was very careful. I had no debt (actually, I was not qualified for a bank loan at the time), but I knew my company’s finances like the back of my hand, and I could answer any question that anybody asked.”
  • “On philanthropy: I will continue to do the same and more, not out of a sense of duty but because it is a maxim by which I choose to live my life.”
  • “When you think that life is but a short journey, you’ll hope to make the most of the time when you’re still able to work, to sow good seeds in the world. This is worth doing.”
  • “At the start of the 90’s my decision was that we had to develop overseas; otherwise the future of the company would be limited, because our business had run into considerable snags.”
  • “Educated people are vital.”
  • “A company needs a good infrastructure, good organization, and good people. If everyone works in concert, then you can succeed.”
  • “War broke out when I was ten, I was constantly on the move. First to make a living and later for my career. In this life of mine, I think if I make up for what I lost in my youth… like education and medical health if I can make some contribution in such areas as long as I’m up to it… I would like to do more.”
  • “The first year, as I didn’t have much capital, I did everything myself, which kept my overhead low.”
  • “My father died of tuberculosis when we could not afford medical care. I know the feeling of helplessness and loneliness.”
  • “Set your goals high; make friends with different kinds of people; enjoy simple pleasures. Stand on high ground; sit on level ground; walk on expansive ground.”
  • “In 1958: I firmly believed that property would be one of the best businesses in the future. I could see that the supply of land in Hong Kong was limited, whereas population was unlimited.”
  • “First of all, I am an optimist. When you study hard and work hard, your knowledge grows, and it gives you confidence. The more you know, the more confidence you gain. When I was 10 years old, I lost my schooling, but I still had plenty of hope to return to school.”
  • “The most important thing is to build the best reputation.”
  • “Social progress requires courage, hard work and perseverance; more importantly, they know that a fair and equitable society is built on trust and integrity.”
  • “I lived and breathed plastic flowers for ten years, and all day long all I could think of was how to make them look more life-like and how to be more creative.”
  • “My life differs from the lives of most people in that I didn’t have a childhood.”
  • “There are things that might bring in a lot of money but I wouldn’t do. A person has to be able to look beyond money. As long as we can keep our dignity, life becomes more meaningful.”
  • “I was facing life for the first time. I was 12 years old, but I felt like a 20 year old. I knew then what life was.”
  • 'Asian Godfathers Money and Power' by Joe Studwell (ISBN 0802143911) “I was already keeping an eye on the political developments within china, and I also had a firm grasp on economics, industry, management and the latest development and productions of the plastics industry. Not many people in Hong Kong at that time were aware of the potential. It was still quite new.”
  • “Our work is certainly challenging, but we are not under any pressure except for the pressure to outperform.”
  • “On being up to it: Because I’m hard working, frugal, steadfast, willing to learn and to build a credible name.”
  • “Knowledge changes fate.”
  • “I wake up every day just before 6:00 am and exercise and play golf for an hour and a half. I insist on reading before I go to bed at night. I am still energetic during the day. Your energy comes from being interested in your work.”
  • “Times were really tough in the beginning. When I started my business in 1950, I only had HK$50,000, so I was in a tight spot financially. I already had some work experience, but I had an advantage in competing with other companies. I was willing to learn the latest industry trends.”
  • “In 1997: I will not because of Oriental Plaza, lose interest or faith in investing in China.”
  • “The fruit that you eat will never taste as beautiful as the fruit that I ate during the turmoil of war. You will never cherish it as much as I do.”
  • “On publicly being censured for ‘insider trading.': Even now I still think that was a farce. First, none of the directors did any personal trading of the stocks in question. I made a statement in the press and I won’t be breaking any law by repeating it now. What happened was that I signed a transaction agreement with Mr Wang Guang-ying. He was buying our property and that should be good news. Our colleagues responsible for investment had sold the stocks two or three days before. Cancellation of a deal was bad news, but he had chosen to buy the stocks before the cancellation. You see the point? If one wants to make money, one should work the other way round. How could that be considered insider trading?”
  • “In 1967, I was as emotionally challenged as others were. Wow… the situation… it was threatening. Then in the night I had it all thought out, down to a simple theory. If China wanted to take back Hong Kong it didn’t have to resort to such measures. So I went against market sentiments and used my idle cash to buy a lot of property.”
  • “Despite my achievements, I can still remember poverty. I told my children and grandchildren that ‘The fruit that you eat will never taste as beautiful as the fruit that I ate during the turmoil of war. You will never cherish it as much as I do.'”
  • “The four days when Hong Kong stopped trading, I wasn’t in Hong Kong, I was in Canada.”
  • “Reputation is the key to success. You have to be loyal to your customers.”
  • “I needed to save every penny…I needed to be strong, and needed to find some way to secure a future. That’s why I am always conservative. I never forget to maintain stability while advancing, and I never forget to advance while maintaining stability.”
  • “The more you know, the more prepared you will be when opportunity knocks. If you are lazy and wile your time away, you would not know how to take advantage of opportunities even if they stared you in the face.”
  • “On New Year’s Day, the boss announced that the bonus that year would be based on sales. At the end of the year, my sales figure was seven times higher than the second best. If they paid my bonus based on my sales, my bonus would have been higher than the general manager’s. The other salesmen were already jealous. So I said to my boss, “Just pay me the same as the second best salesman; it would make everyone happy.” As a result, I became a manager when I was 17 going on 18.”
  • “Knowledge is not a guarantee of a life of riches but it does open the door to more opportunities. And recognizing more opportunities is really the best that you can expect.”
  • “Hong Kong people are realistic, diligent, flexible and innovative. If we can, like in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, go about our business with the same fighting spirit, I have great faith in Hong Kong people. After all, through thick and thin this is our home.”
  • “A liberal society has to be founded not only on law and order but also on: a prosperous economy.”
  • “I bought secondhand books whenever I had spare money and absorbed them before trading them in for more books. Even today I read before going to bed every night.”
  • “Short economic lulls don’t worry me. My only concern now is there’ve been changes in social harmony, policy and structure.”
  • “Frankly I was very hurt, absolutely hurt. It caused great repercussions in our company. At the peak of our heated debate about moving base, I said something after which no one dared speak anymore. I said, ‘If it is moving base you want, please tell me whether you are able to move Li Ka-shing, this chairman. If you are unable to do it, say no more about moving.'”
  • “The burden of poverty and this bitter taste of helplessness and isolation sort of branded on my heart forever the questions that still drive me. Is it possible to reshape one’s destiny? Is it possible to minimize challenges through lessening complexities? And is it possible to enhance chances for success through meticulous planning?”
  • “We cannot afford to have instability in Hong Kong.”
  • “While other people learned, I grabbed… grabbed knowledge.”
  • “We in Hong Kong were apprehensive… fearing that people would say our terminals were becoming too dominant, there was this constant apprehension. Although the Government did not openly say we were getting too big, we could feel it… feel there were people saying we were getting too big. In those circumstances, in order to maximize returns for our shareholders, overseas development was the only choice.”
  • “A good system is of great importance.”
  • “After seventeen, I knew I’d have a good chance of starting my own business, because I knew I’d been right in my beliefs.”
  • “In so many years, the site of Shantou University changed from desolate land to a campus of several million square feet. I believe this will go on and will not disappear with time. Equally meaningful things, big or small, I will never stop doing.”
  • “I should make more money and use it when opportunity arises. Only making money like this has any meaning.”
  • “The potential is endless and inexhaustible.”
  • “Simply speaking, you are the commander in chief, the head of a group of armies. You can never be better with a machine gun than a machine gunner or better than a gunner at operating a cannon. But as commander, you don’t do these things. Your job is mapping out strategy. So good organization is very important.”
  • “Anytime I say ‘yes’ to someone, it is a contract.”
  • “When the buyer came to Hong Kong he humoured me and said that he thought I would be bankrupt by now. He said, ‘Why didn’t you take the extra profit from my competitor?’ I said, ‘I already promised you.’ He said, ‘but at least you could have told me and requested a price increase.’ I said, ‘Next time, I will increase the price.'”
  • “Some people are learned and I should learn from them…”
  • “Husky has a staff of 1500. Two of the people I’ve place here have worked for me for over 20 years and one had been with me for over 10 years. The people originally working here will gradually become our own people.”
  • “Why did the Yangtze become a long river? It’s because it can accept smaller rivers and become big.”
  • “We are approaching a new age of synthesis. Knowledge cannot be merely a degree or a skill… it demands a broader vision, capabilities in critical thinking and logical deduction without which we cannot have constructive progress.”
  • “On calling his foundation ‘Third Child': I was tossing and turning one night. The next day, when I was having dinner with my family, I told them that I have a third child. They fell silent. They were shocked and thought that I had finally lost it. Actually it was an epiphany. If I had a third child, wouldn’t I want to build a solid foundation for his future? By treating my private foundation as my third son, I could allocate more assets to it and enable it to benefit more people.”
  • “Very naturally anybody in the world can become one of your nucleus group.”
  • “I made a lot of money in 1957 and 1958 and was very happy. But does having money mean real happiness? I was beginning to wonder and felt the answer was ‘not necessarily’. Later I had the conundrum thought out. I should make more money and use it when opportunity arises. Only making money like this has any meaning.”
  • “America owes 80% of it’s economic growth today to new inventions.”
  • 'The New Elite' by Jim Taylor, Doug Harrison (ISBN 0814400485) “On being asked in 2002 ‘Do you still wear a $50 Citizen or Seiko watch? Is it always set eight minutes fast?… Do you still live in the same house you have lived in for 20 years?': Except for the fact that my watch clocks a full 20 minutes ahead, your facts are basically correct. My standard of living has remained at about the same level as when my business first began to take off in 1957, perhaps even more modest.”
  • “I will never be satisfied, like the Olympics.”
  • “But how many times have you heard that Cheung Kong’s finances were in trouble over the last fifty years? Never; the reason is, we are always prepared for the worst. That is my policy.”
  • “In the constantly changing world today, you should strive for knowledge innovation and strength and, with a sound foundation, seek advancement.”
  • “The secret of management is simply identifying and making use of talent. But you must in principle make them feel they belong and like you first.”
  • “The more you know, the more confidence you gain.”
  • “During the day I worked in the office to bring in business to sell. After office hours I worked in the factory to see that the orders were taken care of and we’d give good delivery.”
  • “On Hutchison Whampoa: I didn’t care how things might look from the outside. I wanted genuine control.”
  • “I bought land with my own cash. If somebody invites me to be a partner, and I take only 15% to 20% as a minority stakeholder, they would perhaps get a loan from the bank. But I had no personal debt. At that time, when Cheung Kong went public in 1972, the company had almost no debt. Even if the company had to borrow from the bank, we would have alternative arrangements, such as buying government bonds equivalent to the bank loan amount, to ensure that we can readily cash out at anytime. The interest income would continue to accumulate, while interest expense on the loan would be repaid monthly. So you see; our corporate finance is very conservative and prudent.”
  • “Because he had TB (Tuberculosis), I went to get some old books… books about treating TB and taking care of TB patients.”
  • “Doing business may be tough, but I am willing to learn, to innovate, and to work hard, which are the reasons why my business can continue to grow. We focus on our core competencies while looking for new areas for expansion. New businesses sometimes fail, and sometimes succeed. But the ones that succeed can be very profitable. This has been my experience. Setbacks and difficulties are ways to build character.”
  • “In the past years, when the stock market, the property market and the general economy were in the doldrums, we increased our investments. One of the reasons was that we are always prepared. We don’t get carried away when times are good and don’t get too pessimistic when times are bad.”
  • “It takes a cool head to do business, as does playing golf. Even if you’ve teed off badly, as long as you keep your composure, stick to your plan, you may not lose the hole.”
  • “As a leader, one should spend more time than others planning for the future.”
  • “Sound economic fundamentals coupled with a number of positive factors have partially offset the psychological impact of rising interest rates in Hong Kong.”
  • “Well, I have my own definition for the term “retirement”. Life was extremely hard when I was young; today working without the burden of pressure to me is the same as the luxury of retirement. These few years, our Group has embarked on some new projects and is in exciting times. We plan all our projects meticulously. Our work is certainly challenging, but we are not under any pressure except for the pressure to outperform.”
  • “Be prepared for rainy days. No matter how well you’re doing, you’ve got to be prepared.”
  • “People were working eight hours a day, but I worked sixteen hours… It was really full, non-stop work.”
  • “Businesspeople in general shouldn’t have an overly narrow view of their industry, rather they: need a 360-degree perspective and to look at everything from all possible angles.”
  • “Vision is perhaps our greatest strength… it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.”
  • “Some people only know how to complain, hoping you will help to solve their problems. Frankly, if they are fully prepared, they make the best suggestions.”
  • “I long for a frugal life. In general, frugal people have more time. This attitude has not affected my business, but has actually helped me to achieve the best results and returns for my shareholders.”
  • “It is the man who goes to the table to ask and squeeze for the last nickel who is never happy. Do you know why? It is because that person leaves the table, typically getting the nickel, but then hates himself for not asking for two nickels. As a result, he is never happy.”
  • “You give more in order to get more.”
  • “Buying land is not like buying antique. It is not the only deal available.”
  • “In 1997: We now have eighty container berths in the world, which last year meant an 11% control of the international market. All being well, in 2000 or 2001, the percentage will go up to 15%.”
  • “Our principal policy is never to take financial risk.”
  • “You can’t succeed on charisma alone.”
  • “All my senior staff get along very well with me. That’s gratifying.”
  • “I personally hope to lessen my business workload in the coming years, but I will not be idle.”
  • “We are living in a dynamic age with multiple ideas and beliefs of correctness; this world is not deterministic and not still.”
  • “I have set boundaries for myself. There are certain business I won’t get into…This is my principle and I will stick to it.”
  • “If you have done your best to make meaningful contributions, when it is time for you to go, all you will feel is a little tired, just like when the sun sets you need to take a rest. I just hope that I lead a full life.”
  • “Information and communications technology unlocks the value of time, allowing and enabling multi-tasking, multi-channels, multi-this and multi-that.”
  • “I remember reading a treatise by Sima Qian. He says to trade is to fill the needs of the people.”
  • “Without the money for new books I bought old ones, textbooks used by teachers for high school. I only had a dictionary and the books and I studied on my own. When I was done with the books, I exchanged them for more old books. In the circumstances then, I was working for a future.”
  • “In the Han Dynasty, Xiang Yu was very brave and won many battles, but in the end he failed. Treat people with sincerity and build a good organization. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how famous or how capable you are.”
  • “From the business point of view, if one had invested in China in the 80’s, one would have had better conditions and returns than today. Why didn’t I invest then? I was afraid people might say Li had come to exploit. That wouldn’t have been worth it.”
  • “I have always enjoyed a simple lifestyle. I have very modest needs in terms of material comfort.”
  • “Though a universal formula for success is difficult to come by, caution signs for failure are posted everywhere. Establishing a structure that serves to minimize failure will prove to be a shortcut to success.”
  • “I often think back on the past few decades. Almost every time Hong Kong was in a lull and people had lost confidence, I made investments, large investments; particularly from 1983 to 85, when public confidence was down and the economy was I bad shape. I made heavy investment, totalling over 10 billion dollars. The government, past or present has never given me one iota of privilege.”
  • “Since many seem to be interested and concerned, I am happy to report that I am in good shape, and can rise to the opportunities and challenges of our times, and I embrace each project with enthusiasm. I also spend a lot of my time on education and medical care initiatives. This is a passion that I will never grow tired of. In fact, I consider it a lifelong endeavor.”

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Top 100 Inspirational Quotations to Inspire Every Entrepreneur’s Success

Entrepreneurs, above all the ones who seem to live by their own rulebook, fascinate the world. We applaud their assertiveness in pursuing opportunity and clandestinely esteem their ability to take risks and go after whatever they want, an ability that most of us don’t seem possess. The ability to understand and see opportunity is critical for success as entrepreneurs.

In general the qualities that are evident in successful entrepreneurs are:

  • Discipline and control
  • Confidence and conviction
  • Open-mindedness
  • Initiative and drive
  • Creativity and ingenuity
  • Determination and sense of purpose
  • Strong people skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • Passion and enthusiasm

Favorite Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Below are a hundred of my favorite inspirational quotes by successful entrepreneurs and businessmen to inspire your endeavors as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs.

  1. Bill Gates: “If you give people tools, [and they use] their natural ability and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected.”
  2. George P. Shultz: “He who walks in the middle of the road gets hit from both sides.”
  3. Chester Barnard: “The responsibility of the executive is (1) to create and maintain a sense of purpose and moral code for the organization; (2) to establish systems of formal and informal communication; and (3) to ensure the willingness of people to cooperate.”
  4. 'The World on Time: The 11 Management Principles That Made FedEx an Overnight Sensation' by James C Wetherbe (ISBN 1888232064) J. Irwin Miller: “It is ridiculous ever to forget that you and your business are each implanted in the society of the moment…. We cannot ignore the world of our time. We had better understand it.”
  5. David Rockefeller: “One cannot expect to coast along and rise automatically to the top, no matter what friends you may have in the company. There may have been a time when, in large corporations, a person could rise simply because he had a stock interest or because he had friends in top management. That’s not true today. Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.”
  6. Martha Stewart: “I love the challenge of starting at zero every day and seeing how much I can accomplish.”
  7. Marshall Field: “Beware of a misfit occupation… . Consider carefully your natural bent, hether for business or a profession.”
  8. Michael Jordan: “You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”
  9. Andrew Grove: “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
  10. E. W. Scripps: “Do good to your friend to keep him, and to your enemy to make him your friend.”
  11. Robert E. Hannegan: “Ideals are the incentive payment of practical men. The opportunity to strive for them is the currency that has enriched America through the centuries.”
  12. 'Steve Jobs' by Walter Isaacson (ISBN 1451648545) Philip Caldwell: “Why kick the man downstream who can’t put the parts together because the parts really weren’t designed properly?”
  13. Rudy Giuliani: “Life needs penalties and rewards for people. You can’t control people with only penalties. You have to think how to create rewards.”
  14. Edward Francis Hutton: “If business is going to continue to sell through the decades, it must also promote an understanding of what made those products possible, what is necessary to a free market, and what our free market means to the individual liberty of each of us, to be certain that the freedoms under which this nation was born and brought to this point shall endure in the future … for America is the product of our freedoms.”
  15. Grover Whalen: “There is plenty of law at the end of a nightstick.”
  16. John J. McCloy: “Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.”
  17. P. T. Barnum: “Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done.”
  18. William Mather: “Knowledge that puffs up the possessor’s mind is ever more of a pernicious kind.”
  19. Howard Schultz: “People want to be part of something larger than themselves. They want to be part of something they’re really proud of, that they’ll fight for, sacrifice for, that they trust.”
  20. 'The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon' by Brad Stone (ISBN 0316219266) Hiroaki Aoki: “There are so many people with all kinds of lucky things happening to them and they don’t know how to use it.”
  21. Charles M. Schwab: “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”
  22. George W. Bush: “Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.”
  23. Charles E. Wilson: “The thing that contributes to anyone’s reaching the goal he wants is simple wanting that goal badly enough.”
  24. Chauncey Depew: “The enjoyment of life would be instantly gone if you removed the possibility of doing something.”
  25. Charles F. Kettering: “The opportunities of man are limited only by his imagination. But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer.”
  26. Bill Veeck: “I do not think that winning is the most important thing. I think winning is the only thing.”
  27. Anne M. Mulcahy: “It’s sometimes hard to make choices about where you invest; it’s equally hard to make choices about where you don’t invest and what you eliminate.”
  28. 'Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way' by Richard Branson (ISBN 0307720748) David Sarnoff: “The great menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency.”
  29. Ray Kroc: “It’s easy to have principles when you’re rich. The important thing is to have principles when you’re poor.”
  30. Erastus Wiman: “Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much. It pleases him who gives and receives and thus, like mercy, is twice blessed.”
  31. N. R. Narayana Murthy: “You become a star not because of your title; you become a star because you are adding star value to the company.”
  32. Roger Babson: “Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.”
  33. Barry Goldwater: “To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable.”
  34. Jack Welch: “Getting every employee’s mind into the game is a huge part of what a CEO job is all about. Taking everyone’s best ideas and transferring them to others is the secret. There’s nothing more important.”
  35. Kirk Kerkorian: “I just lucked into things. I used to think that if I made $50,000 I’d be the happiest guy in the world.”
  36. 'Sam Walton: Made In America' by Sam Walton (ISBN 0553562835) Russell Simmons: “I don’t believe that people create their own visions. Rather, I believe that visions are actually God’s way of communicating with us.”
  37. Ted Turner: “I’ve never run into a guy who could win at the top level in anything today and didn’t have the right attitude, didn’t give it everything he had, at least while he was doing it; wasn’t prepared and didn’t have the whole program worked out.”
  38. J. Willard Marriott: “It’s the little things that make the big things possible. Only close attention to the fine details of any operation makes the operation first class.”
  39. H. L. Hunt: “Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”
  40. Steve Jobs: “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.”
  41. Thomas Brassey: “Abstinence from enjoyment is the only source of capital.”
  42. William E. Simon: “Freedom is strangely ephemeral. It is something like breathing; one only becomes acutely aware of its importance when one is choking.”
  43. Henry J. Kaiser: “Live daringly, boldly, fearlessly. Taste the relish to be found in competition — in having put forth the best within you”
  44. 'Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry' by Michael Dell and Catherine Fredman (ISBN 0060845724) Richard DeVos: “The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.”
  45. Harvey Samuel Firestone: “Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.”
  46. Michael Dell: “Ignore the people who tell you it won’t work, and hire people who embrace your vision.”
  47. Steven Spielberg: “People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”
  48. Sam Walton: “Nothing else can quite substitute for a few wellchosen, welltimed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
  49. Owen D. Young: “We wake up to find the whole world building competitive trade barriers, just as we found it a few years ago building competitive armaments. We are trying to reduce armaments to preserve the world’s solvency. We shall have to reduce competitive trade barriers to preserve the world’s sanity. As between the two, trade barriers are more destructive than armaments and more threatening to the peace of the world.”
  50. Richard Branson: “Everyone needs something to aim for. You can call it a challenge, or you can call it a goal. It is what makes us human. It was challenges that took us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars”
  51. Colleen Barrett: “When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers.”
  52. 'Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul' by Howard Schultz, Joanne Gordon (ISBN B00AZ8DKWM) John D. Rockefeller: “The person who starts out simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed; you must have a larger ambition. There is no mystery in business success. If you do each day’s task successfully, and stay faithfully within these natural operations of commercial laws which I talk so much about, and keep your head clear, you will come out all right.”
  53. William S. Knudsen: “The young man who has the combination of the learning of books with the learning which comes of doing things with the hands need not worry about getting along in the world today, or at any time.”
  54. J. P. Morgan: “The wise man bridges the gap by laying out the path by means of which he can get from where he is to where he wants to go.”
  55. Lewis H. Brown: “We cannot possibly reconcile the principle of democracy, which means co-operation, with the principle of governmental omniscience under which everyone waits for an order before doing anything. That way lies loss of freedom, and dictatorship.”
  56. John W. Snyder: “It took thrift and savings, together with tremendous character and vision, to make our nation what it is today. And it will take thrift and savings, together with constant ingenuity and stamina, to conserve our remaining resources to enable us to continue to be a great nation.”
  57. Mary Kay Ash: “Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out. The greatest pollution problem we face today is negativity. Eliminate the negative attitude and believe you can do anything. Replace ‘if I can, I hope, maybe’ with ‘I can, I will, I must.'”
  58. Charles H. Percy: “In our democracy we must have a partnership of labor, of business and of government.”
  59. Clarence Francis: “You can buy people’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm … you cannot buy loyalty … you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You must earn these.”
  60. 'How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It' by Mark Cuban (ISBN 1626810915) Warren G. Harding: “The success of our popular government rests wholly upon the correct interpretation of the deliberate, intelligent, dependable popular will of America.”
  61. Stephen Girard: “If I thought I was going to die tomorrow, I should nevertheless plant a tree today.”
  62. John H. Johnson: “I believe the greater the handicap, the greater the triumph.”
  63. Donald Trump: “Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.”
  64. Allen Klein: “In every job, relationship, or life situation there is inevitably some turbulence. Learn to laugh at it. It is part of what you do and who you are.”
  65. E. R. Squibb: “Adam and Eve ate the first vitamins, including the package.”
  66. W. Clement Stone: “Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.”
  67. Oprah Winfrey: “What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.”
  68. 'Oprah: A Biography' by Kitty Kelley (ISBN 0307394875) Max Ehrmann: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
  69. David Sarnoff: “Work and live to serve others, to leave the world a little better than you found it and garner for yourself as much peace of mind as you can. This is happiness.”
  70. Aristotle Onassis: “The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.”
  71. Priscilla Presley: “Being considered beautiful at a young age sends confusing signals. You think people only like you because of your beauty.”
  72. Lloyd Blankfein: “If you’re on a beach and a tsunami hits, you’ll drown whether you’re a small child or an Olympic swimmer. Some things will go bad no matter how good you are.”
  73. Michael Bloomberg: “I think if you look at people, whether in business or government, who haven’t had any moral compass, who’ve just changed to say whatever they thought the popular thing was, in the end they’re losers.”
  74. Edward Filene: “Why shouldn’t the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them.”
  75. John Hancock: “The more people who own little businesses of their own, the safer our country will be, and the better off its cities and towns; for the people who have a stake in their country and their community are its best citizens.”
  76. 'A Better India: A Better World' by NR Narayana Murthy (ISBN 067008283X) Lee Iacocca: “The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.”
  77. Paul G. Hoffman: “With intelligence and humility and dedication as our ammunition, we can wage the peace throughout the world with a strength beyond armies, destroying nothing except hate and greed and distrust.”
  78. David Packard: “You shouldn’t gloat about anything you’ve done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do.”
  79. Walter Hoving: “A rather important contemporary problem: too many unintelligent intellectuals.”
  80. Soichiro Honda: “Many people dream of success. To me success can only be achieved through repeated failures and introspections. In fact, success represents 1% of your work that results from the 99% that is called failure.”
  81. J. W. Marriott, Jr.: “Motivate them, train them, care about them, and make winners out of them… they’ll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they’ll come back.”
  82. Jeffrey Immelt: “The most important thing I’ve learned since becoming CEO is context. It’s how your company fits in with the world and how you respond to it.”
  83. Thomas J. Watson: “The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.”
  84. 'Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald's' by Ray Kroc (ISBN 0312929870) Anil Ambani: “Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will-power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind.”
  85. Alfred E. Perlman: “After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.”
  86. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.: “Giving is the secret of a healthy life. Not necessarily money, but whatever a person has of encouragement, sympathy and understanding.”
  87. Stan Randall: “The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form.”
  88. Katharine Graham: “To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?”
  89. E. H. Harriman: “Every man should make up his mind that if he expects to succeed, he must give an honest return for the other man’s dollar.”
  90. Leo Burnett: “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”
  91. John Joseph Bernet: “Men are more important than tools. If you don’t believe so, put a good tool into the hands of a poor workman.”
  92. 'Nuts!' by Kevin Freiberg, Jackie Freiberg (ISBN 0767901843) Dhirubhai Ambani: “Think big, think fast, think ahead. Ideas are noone’s monopoly.”
  93. M. Russell Ballard: “Attitude is an important part of the foundation upon which we build a productive life. A good attitude produces good results, a fair attitude poor results, a poor attitude poor results. We each shape our own life, and the shape of it is determined largely by our attitude.”
  94. Frank Lane: “Time is money, especially when you are talking to a lawyer or buying a commercial.”
  95. Peter Schutz: “Three people were at work on a construction site. All were doing the same job, but when each was asked what the job was, the answers varied. “Breaking rocks,” the first replied. “Earning my living,” the second said. “Helping to build a cathedral,” said the third.”
  96. Henry Ford: “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward.”
  97. Warren Buffett: “We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow’s obligations. When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night’s sleep for the chance of extra profits.”
  98. George L. Brown: “Life is too short to be unhappy in business. If business were not a part of the joy of living, we might almost say that we have no right to live, because it is a pretty poor man who cannot get into the line for which he is fitted.”
  99. James Cash Penney: “The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.”
  100. Roberto Goizueta: “The moment avoiding failure becomes your motivation, you’re down the path of inactivity. You stumble only if you’re moving.”

Recommended Reading: Biographies and Ideas for Entrepreneurs

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Inspiring Quotations about Prison from Nelson Mandela from his Autobiography

Nelson Mandela's Prison in Robben Island

In the winter of 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island, off the coast from Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. It was here in a prison that Mandela would spend eighteen of his twenty-seven years of prison sentence before he would be freed just prior to the fall of apartheid in South Africa.

The racist regime in South Africa cramped Nelson Mandela to a small cell. The ground was his bed. He had a bucket for a toilet and he was forced to do harsh labor in a quarry.

Contact with friends, family, and well-wishers was limited: Mandela was allowed one visitor a year for thirty minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months.

Despite the trying times, Robben Island became the crucible which transformed him. Out of his intellect, charm, and decorous disobedience, Mandela in due course bent the most atrocious of prison officials to his will, took up to command his jailed comrades and developed into the master of his prison.

Eventually in the late 1980s, the South African President FW de Klerk and the African National Congress (ANC) initiated large-scale political reforms by relaxing apartheid laws and revoking the ban on black rights party. Nelson Mandela was freed on 11-Feb-1990. He emerged from the jail as a mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.

Inspiring Quotations from Nelson Mandela from his Autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”

'Long Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela (ISBN 0030565812) Here are seven inspiring quotations from ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Nelson Mandela‘s autobiography, which was recently made into a biopic with an inspiring performance from British actor, producer, and musician Idris Elba.

  • “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”
  • “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”
  • “Prison itself is a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is above all a test of one’s commitment.”
  • “I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man.”
  • “It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
  • “When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.”
  • “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

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16 Inspiring Quotes from Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom”

Nelson Mandela

'Long Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela (ISBN 0030565812) Nelson Mandela is celebrated around the world for his personal struggle against apartheid, a system devised by the National Party controlled by the minority white in South Africa to oppress the black majority. He led the decades-long struggle to replace the apartheid regime with a multi-racial democracy and advocated for reconciliation in spite of being imprisoned for 27 years.

After becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994, Mandela was the driving force behind the peaceful transition of one of the most racist societies in modern times to a nonviolent and democratic society where acceptance reigns and there were no recriminations. He was one of the world’s most respected political leaders of his time.

Nelson Mandela shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last white President of South Africa, “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”

Here are sixteen inspiring quotations from ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, autobiography of Nelson Mandela, which was recently made into a biopic with an inspiring performance from British actor, producer, and musician Idris Elba.

  • “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
  • “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
  • “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
  • “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
  • “A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”
  • “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
  • 'Long Walk to Freedom' by Nelson Mandela (ISBN 0030565812) “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
  • “You may succeed in delaying, but never in preventing the transition of South Africa to a democracy.”
  • “The authorities liked to say that we received a balanced diet; it was indeed balanced—between the unpalatable and the inedible.”
  • “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
  • “A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
  • “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
  • “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
  • “Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”
  • “There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
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