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Some Potentially Life-Changing Advice From Some Of The World’s Most Successful People

It feels like everyone has an opinion to offer when it comes to being successful. Some people emphasize pursuing one’s passion, no matter the financial or career trajectory, while others emphasize pursuing financial security and career prospects over all else. While people’s opinions can vary widely on this, consider these words of advice from successful public figures who’ve “made it”, and perhaps you’ll be able to extract value from the wisdom they have to share.

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“There are no shortcuts.”

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, firmly believes that there are no shortcuts to getting what you want. He says, “Do the work and out-work, out-think, and out-sell your expectations because there aren’t any shortcuts.” Basically, whatever your dreams and expectations are, you need to dream bigger and expect more by aiming for the stars.

“Build something people love.”

Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, argues that you can’t be successful if no one likes what you have. You don’t want people just to “like” you, your products, or your ideas; you want them to love you and what you have to offer. “Like” and “love” is usually the difference between “okay” and “amazing.”

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“Embrace failure.”

It’s no secret that JK Rowling, one of the most successful authors of all time, had her first manuscript for Harry Potter rejected more than a dozen times before publication. If she could embrace what seemed like a failure at the time, so can you. Maybe your efforts will come to fruition later like Rowling’s did, and you’ll reap big benefits for sticking with it. Or, maybe your efforts won’t turn out like you thought they would, but you’ll have learned and grown from experiencing setbacks, and will be stronger when you’re faced with challenges in the future.

“Don’t run from crisis.”

Mexican business magnate, Carlos Helu, is upfront about his stance that you can’t be successful if you always run away when the going gets tough. If your boss at work is giving you a hard time, or you’re struggling to figure out what you want to do next, you have to work through those challenges and crises, and not throw in the towel just because it got to be too hard.

“The biggest risk is not taking any risks.”

Not unlike the old adage “If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting the rest of your life,” Mark Zuckerberg lives by “The biggest risk is not taking any risks.” You’ll never know if something would’ve worked out for you if you never try. Apply for that job you don’t feel qualified for, ask that cute boy out for coffee, buy that dream house with your spouse, and remember that there is no gain without some pain.

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“Exercise humility and restraint.”

One of the biggest names in business today, Warren Buffet considers personal humility and restraint to be key features to any kind of success. Whether it’s in the workplace or in home, you want to avoid making any kind of rash decision that you’ll likely regret later (like impulse buying, but with higher stakes). Taking 24 hours to sleep and think about a matter will never do more harm than good.

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“When you know better, you do better.”

TV star, Oprah Winfrey, believes that you should never settle for anything less than a big and beautiful dream. If you feel stuck, that doesn’t mean you have to remain stuck. Once you know better—about yourself, about the people you surround yourself with, or about your work—you should strive to do better.

“Never stop learning.”

Michael Bloomberg believes that success and leadership are ongoing processes to be continually learning and growing. Learning requires being an active information-seeker, but it also requires some humility, because you usually need a teacher to teach you new things.

“Never stop innovating.”

Amanicio Ortega, one of the leading figures behind the fashion brand Zara, balances the details with the bigger picture when it comes to maintaining and advancing his business. Innovation can look like a lot of different things, from innovating technologically, to seeing where trends are headed, to shaking up the traditionally droll workplace.

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“With success comes unhelpful criticism.”

CNBC star, Suze Orman, gives a nod to the classic problem of being subject to envy and criticism when people recognize your success. Humans are naturally self-centered, and have a hard time not giving in comparison when someone seems to be doing better than them. This comparison often turns into criticism and jealousy, but you shouldn’t let other people’s opinions get you down if you have a good thing going.

“It’s a small business and a long life.”

Richard Parsons from Citigroup reminds us that our concern for our work and business shouldn’t overshadow our long-term well-being and happiness. A lot can change over 30, 40, or even 50 years, and you should be prepared for a versatile and varied life. In the long run, our 9–5 jobs are a small portion of our long, potentially-filled lives.

“Work hard and pursue what you love.”

The CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, knows what it means to work hard. Notice that she isn’t just saying “pursue what you love”—she’s saying that pursuing what you love requires hard work. And you might not always end up exactly where you envisioned in the beginning, but as long as you’re pursuing what you love, with dedication and perseverance, you’re much more likely to be successful and happy.

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“All that matters is growth.”

According to Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, there’s no such thing as bad growth. And, for the most part, she isn’t wrong. Growth is happening constantly through all the ups and downs you experience. So, even when things may be frustrating and difficult, remember that you’re still growing and that you’ll be wiser and more mature a year from now and beyond.


Maureen Chiquet, the former CEO of Chanel, wants you to listen. Listen to your family, friends, coworkers, bosses, and everyone in between. Listening to others will oftentimes reveal insights that you may otherwise have missed. And even if someone doesn’t have helpful ideas, listening to other people and being open to discussion will help shape and inform your perceptions.

“Don’t be quick to give your opinions.”

Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs cautions you not to be too hasty about expressing your opinions and judgments. Maybe the person you’re disagreeing with has valuable insights, or maybe you don’t know the whole situation yet. So, whatever you do, try to be thoughtful and considerate before asserting your opinions.

“Be nice to everyone.”

Rick Goings, executive chairman of Tupperware Brands, strives to be nice to everyone. Whether it’s a company CEO, the night-time janitor, or your outlandish relative, being nice is one of the easiest and best things you can do when you interact with others. It doesn’t cost you anything, and pretty much always creates stronger and more positive relationships.


George Stephanopoulos, a prominent TV host, tells you that you need to remember to kick back and relax every now and then. Sure, you want to be successful—whatever that means to you—but you also want to be happy and laid back about things. Everyone knows that stress can have detrimental effects on your emotional and physical well-being, so remember to relax.

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“Don’t just follow your passion.”

One of the most famous tech icons, Steve Jobs, believed that you can’t just “follow your passion” and expect everything to magically happen in your favor. Maybe you love art, or maybe you love spreadsheets, but whatever passion you have probably isn’t going to make you successful if you just blindly pursue it without forethought and planning.


“Don’t take too much advice.”

Last but not least, Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest, thinks that, sometimes, you need to throw caution to the wind and not feel compelled to take everyone’s advice, because not all advice is good advice. Being prepared and mindful of what you need to succeed is great, but sometimes you need to stop thinking about things hypothetically, and just start doing them.

With all of this information to process, you’ve got a lot of takeaways to consider. By looking for common denominators between these modern-day titans, you’ll be able to extract some valuable knowledge and insight that could dramatically alter the trajectory of not only your career but your life in general.