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11 Inspirational Quotes for Start-ups and Small Business from Author Jim Collins

Jim Collins Startup QuotesJim Collins is best known as a best-selling author and keynote speaker, but his success in these areas can be attributed to the knowledge and expertise he’s amassed over his nearly 20 years as a business consultant. He holds degrees in business administration and mathematical sciences from Stanford University and has spent his career working with the senior executives and CEOs of over a hundred companies. His latest research focuses on the habits and successes of some of the fastest growing start-ups and companies in the country. He has done the work to analyze findings, identify patterns, and shed light on the common practices amid these companies.

 “Make a contribution. Will someone’s life be better because you were here? Life is about people, so be of service, and be useful.”

“Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.”

“Building a great company is not a function of circumstance, but conscious choice and discipline.”

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

“The best leaders we’ve studied—men or women—distinguish themselves first and foremost by their ‘Level 5’ ambition: being fiercely ambitious for a cause or company larger than themselves, channeling ego into that larger goal, infused with the will to do whatever it takes to make good on that ambition.”

“Those who [are] really effective make use of not just a ‘to-do’ list but a ‘stop-doing’ list. I set up a time almost every day where I turn off my cell phone and do not get [online]. It’s a pocket of quietude. I also leave white space on my calendar, roughly three days every two weeks. Nothing can be scheduled during white-space time. I try to create bubbles of tranquil time for hard thinking.”

“Gravity does not care if you didn’t get enough sleep—you’ve got to be on your game. El Capitan [a perilous rock formation in Yosemite National Park] is unforgiving, and gravity is unforgiving.”

“Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step.”

“Profit is like oxygen, food, water, and blood for the body; they are not the point of life, but without them, there is no life.”

“A great company will have many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”

“Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.”

 – Jim Collins, Author, Teacher, Consultant

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