Here are some quotes and thoughts Larry has collected over the years, particularly early in his career. Sometimes you’ll even hear him quote them…

Quotes Larry Likes to Quote

I would rather succeed than have my own way.

— Unknown

Effective communication values the recipient over the sender.

— Neil Gordon

Priorities are easy. “Posteriorities”—what jobs not to tackle—are tough.

— Peter Drucker

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.

— William James

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

— Dan Wilson, Semisonic

Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.

— Unknown

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong

— H. L. Mencken

It’s amazing what you can accomplish in business if no one cares who gets the credit.

— Unknown

Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.

— Stephen Covey

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

— William Feather (1889–1981)

It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but…the marriage that sustains your love.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

If our lives are the sum total of the choices we’ve made, then we cannot change who we are. But with every new choice we’re given, we can change who we’re going to be.

— Quoted in The Outer Limits

Keep not your eyes on the gifts of God, but on the God of the gifts.

— Keith Green (1953–1982)

A gentleman is one who keeps his promises to those who cannot enforce them.

— Unknown

Business has only two basic functions—marketing and innovation.

— Peter Drucker

Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.

— Walter Dill Scott

Inspiration is perishable. It’s like fresh fruit or milk—it has an expiration date. If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now.

— Jason Fried

Help someone think a little more highly of themselves, and rest assured they will think very highly of you.

— Unknown

Ideas are cheap. Implementation is expensive. Execution is everything.

Anger is a wonderful sign and a terrible strategy.

— Russell Kolts

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.

— Warren Buffett

I have found there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is
impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.

— Hudson Taylor

Larry’s Favorite Quotes

People are empowered not by what they know is true, but by what they believe is possible.

— Neil Gordon

People don’t want information, they want change. Your job as a speaker is to help them believe that change is possible.

— Neil Gordon

A man without a smiling face must not open shop.

— Chinese Proverb

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

— Williams James (Quoted by Dale Carnegie)

The secret of living is to find people who will pay you money to do what you would pay to do if you had the money.

— Sarah Caldwell (1924- )

The good is always the enemy of the best.

— Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance.

— Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.

— Viktor E. Frankl

Never express yourself more clearly than you think.

— Neils Bohr

Imagination is much more important than intelligence.

— Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Good choices come from experience. Experience comes from bad choices.

— Unknown

A problem well stated is a problem half solved.

— Charles F. Kettering

Getting the right people, and the right chemistry, is more important than getting the right idea.

— Ed Catmull

Values are the nutrient-rich soil of God’s vision.

— Dan Linrud

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

— William James

Most people go to their grave with their music still inside them.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

— Unknown

Anyone who is truly successful, continuously successful, must engage in thinking time and study time with regularity. Unfortunately, most people won’t do that, and that’s why they don’t succeed.

— W. Clement Stone (1902-2002)

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

— Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

Half the harm that is done in the world is due to people who want to feel important.

— T.S. Eliot

If we treat people as they are, they will stay as they are. But if we treat them for what they might be, and might become, they will become those better selves.

— G.T. Smith

Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humor.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Love gives, then worries that it has done too little.

— Hannah Moore (1745-1833)

Originality consists in trying to be like everybody else–and failing.

— Raymond Radiguet

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.

— Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)

An honest person will receive neither money nor praise that is not due them.

— Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

— Mark Twain

Life is an attitude. Have a good one.

— Eric L. Lundgaard (1952- )

If one is too lazy to think, too vain to do a thing badly, or too cowardly to admit it, one will never attain wisdom.

— Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)

Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.

— Unknown

All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live in every experience, painful or joyous, to live in gratitude for every moment, to live abundantly.

— Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961)

Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, I have failed three times, and what happens when he says, I am a failure.

— S. I. Hayakawa

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.

— Unknown

Swing hard, in case they throw the ball where you’re swinging.

— Duke Snider

The more human beings proceed by plan, the more effectively they may be hit by accident.

— Friedrich Duerrenmatt

It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience. But a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.

— Henry David Thoreau

We blew a deadline, ticked everyone off, cost the company a bundle and we did the right thing.

— General Motors Ad

Whatever you do, do it until your eyes stare blankly. Only at that stage can you achieve success.

— Unknown Chinese Poet

Strong people always have strong weaknesses.

— Peter Drucker

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.

— Charles Schwab

By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected.

— Lawrence G. Lovasik (1913-1986)

Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

— Dwight Eisenhower

If your problem has a solution, why get angry? If it does not have a solution, why get angry?

— Chinese Proverb

Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and poor performance. Everything else requires leadership.

— Peter Drucker

Other Great Quotes

Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.

— John Maxwell

Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.

— Unknown

Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.

— Art Linkletter (1912–2010)

One whose good deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom will endure; but one whose wisdom exceeds his good deeds, his wisdom will not endure.

— Talmud

The wisest man I have ever known once said to me, "Nine out of every ten people improve on acquaintance," and I have found his words true.

— Frank Sinnerton (1884-1982)

Show me a millionaire, and I’ll show you a person who has been broke at least three times.

— Unknown

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.

— Elmer G. Leterman (1898-1982)

Poverty says that a child must die so that you can live as you wish.

— Mother Theresa

Nothing is quite so annoying as to have someone go right on talking when you’re interrupting.

— Unknown

A leader is someone who can take a group of people to a place they don’t think they can go.

— Bob Eaton

Implementing the second-best idea now is a better strategy than doing the best idea a week from now. It’s a bigger risk to delay making decisions than to make marginal ones.

— Charles O’Reilly

The primary responsibility of a leader is to define reality.

— Max DePree

A great sailor can sail even with a torn canvas.

— Seneca

The life of the creative man is lead, directed, and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.

— Saul Steinberg

People who know the same things are not long the best company for each other.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I will be brief. Not nearly so brief as Salvador Dali, who gave the world’s shortest speech. He said I will be so brief I have already finished, and he sat down.

— Edward O. Wilson

The value of information is inversely proportional to its probability.

— Unknown

There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.

— G.K.Chesterton

Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can recalled and perhaps remedied.

— Pearl S. Buck

All liberality should have frugality for its basis and support.

— Richard Steele (1672–1729)

Daydreaming is its own reward. Without its daydreams, the self is apt to shrink down to the size and shape of the estimation of others.

— Michael Pollan

Beware of looking back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something you have never been.

— Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.

— Mary Crowley

Praise to a human being represents what sunlight, water, and soil are to a plant—the climate in which one grows best.

— Earl Nightingale (1921-1989)

When wealth is centralized, the people are dispersed. When wealth is distributed, the people are brought together.

— Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

Being very rich, as far as I am concerned, is having a margin. The margin is being able to give.

— May Sarton (1912-1995)

The theoretician’s prayer: ‘Dear Lord, forgive me the sin of arrogance, and Lord, by arrogance I mean the following…’

— Leon Lederman

The real tragedy of life is not in being limited to one talent, but in the failure to use that one talent.

— Edgar W. Work

It takes a pretty evenly balanced man to be as strong in prosperity as in adversity.

— Unknown

When a friend speaks to me, whatever he says is interesting.

— Jean Renoir

Popularity is a form of success that’s seldom worth the things we had to do to obtain it.

— Unknown

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

— William James

Money will buy a fine dog, but only love will make him wag his tail.

— Irish Proverb

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.

— Henry Kissinger

Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent.

— Dionysius

I color outside the lines because there’s a lot more room there.

— Hank Ketcham

When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.

— Unknown Child

If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to lead a life which they have imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

— Henry David Thoreau

Good deeds speak for themselves. The tongue only interrupts their eloquence.

— Unknown

Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness—happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes, when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.

— Adela Rogers St. Johns (1894-1988)

Are you worried about pressure? I look at it this way: Pressure is having to do something you are not totally prepared to do.

— Harvey B. Mackay

It’s easier to find someone with people skills and teach them technical skills, than to find someone with technical skills and teach them people skills.

— Jim Beach

A smile is the whisper of laughter.

— Unknown

You never step in the same river twice.

— Heraclitus

The biggest reason for success in entrepreneurship is not brilliance. It’s not creative genius. It’s the simple ability to not quit when things are really bad.

— Leila Janah

Success consists of going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

— Attributed to Winston Churchill

There are times in our lives when we have to realize that our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it. And by doing that, we can change the future.

— Eleanor Brown

I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.

— Hudson Taylor

The two essential parts to science are data and theory. Put simply, it is scientific to collect data about the world, to build theories to explain the data, and then to test these theories against further data. Whether data come before theory, or theory comes before data, is irrelevant. It only matters that both are present.

— Keith Punch

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

— Haruki Murakami

An entrepreneur is someone who specializes in doing things that they didn’t know they couldn’t do.

— Sam Zell (1941-2023)

I never met anyone, or heard of anyone, or read of anyone who was successful who was a pessimist. You have to be positive, or you’ll never get anywhere.

— William O’Neal (1933-2023)

Tips for Thriving

Here’s miscellaneous advice Larry has received or discovered over the years:

It’s better to be clear than clever.

— Scott Cady

Share the credit. Take the blame.

— Colin Powell

Smile when you say no.

If someone looks good, tell them.

Tell your mom the good things that happen to you.

Write down your goals. Even if you never look at the paper again, there is power in writing them down.

— Earl Nightingale

Send thank you notes. People never get enough personal mail.

Communicate with passion, with a smile on your face.

Be quick to apologize with words. Be quicker to apologize with your heart.

Have your next goal in mind long before you reach your current one. The joy is in the journey, not the destination

— Earl Nightingale

Never put anything in writing that you don’t want the whole world to read.

— Larry’s Mom

When you’re in an uncomfortable situation, throw your shoulders back, hold your head high, and keep your mouth shut.

Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

— Unknown

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.

Here’s the secret of success: Work hard doing the next right thing.

Do or do not. There is no try.

— Yoda

Don’t tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done.

— James Ling

Ideas are cheap; execution is everything.

Entropy is an eternal enemy.

The original list started in 1995