At Bright Network, we think sharing things makes everyone’s day a little better and brighter… So, when we came across this little slideshow, featuring 20 pieces of advice from some of today’s most inspirational figures in business, the arts and beyond, we thought we'd share our five favourite quotes – both for the advice they contain and also for the successful entrepreneurs and talented individuals saying them.
Live each day as if it was your last – Steve Jobs, innovator and CEO of Apple
Addressing Stanford University’s class of 2005, Steve Jobs talked about a quote he read at 17 that had a profound effect on him. He started looking in the mirror every morning and asking: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ If the answer is ‘no’ for too many days in a row, that’s when something has to change.
Never be the smartest person in the room – Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell
Addressing the University of Texas class of 2003, Michael Dell talked about the personal as well as the professional value of a strong network. If you find you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to start inviting smarter people. You will be able to broaden your own horizons and learn from their experiences.
In professional circles, says Dell, this is called networking, in organisations it’s called team building and in life it’s called family, friends and community. As you grow as a leader, you will find the most rewarding experiences come from your relationships – both personal and professional.
Don’t stay down long – Michael Bloomberg, politician and Mayor of New York City
Bloomberg started his post-university life on Wall Street, where he spent 15 years of ‘fun times, and lots of praise from my bosses. Everybody loved me – right up until the day they fired me!’ The key lesson he learned from this? That optimism is key, especially for an individual who defines happiness as going out and trying to beat the odds. The day after getting fired, he went out and started a new company.
Be contrarian and be right – Reid Hoffman, entrepreneur and co-founder of LinkedIn
Reid Hoffman’s direct advice to the graduates of UC Berkeley School of Information was to always think creatively and boldly. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is to combine taking an individual stand and starkly avoid ‘going with the flow’… and to be right about it – have the courage of your convictions.
The combination of being contrarian and right, he says, is important because if it’s obvious to everyone where the market opportunities are, there is no gap for an innovator to do anything about it.
The people around you matter – Steve Case, businessman and CEO of AOL
On a similar note to Michael Dell’s point about surrounding yourself with the smartest people you can, Steve Case told the class of 2009 at George Mason University to remember the importance of teamwork and building good relationships with those you work with.
A fantastic tip for any bright job seeker, whatever stage of your career, Case’s advice is to look beyond job descriptions and brand names and instead focus on the teams of people you could be working with or for: ‘Indeed it has often been said that what you do is less important than who you do it with.