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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Steve Case

Co-Founder, America Online

We had just lived through -- earlier, in the 1980s -- the costs and the tragedy really of kind of going out on your own, but the Apple alliance blowing up kind of forced us, and that's actually when we renamed that service. Instead of AppleLink we called it America Online. We said, "We have to create our own name. We have to create our own brand. Even though it's hard, even though it's expensive, even though it's risky, we've got to figure out a way to be successful on our own two feet. We can no longer just piggy back on other people's efforts." So, again that was a crisis. Everybody, myself included, was very nervous about walking away from the strategy of private label partnerships that was working and setting out on our own and taking more risks, but we felt like we had to do it, and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us. Because then it really propelled us, because we had the flexibility to do exactly what we wanted without getting permission, and we were able to really drive AOL into a position of great prominence.
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Dale Chihuly

Master Glass Artist

Dale Chihuly: I've been lucky to have very few doubts. There were many times in my career when I could've pulled back. I always put all of my resources into my career, and I was never afraid of going into debt for that. I somehow felt that I could always get out of debt. I used to borrow a lot of money -- I mean a lot of money for me at the time -- from the bank to do something about my work, but I always paid it back, so the bank would always loan me more money. When I could afford to quit teaching, I did immediately. Not that I didn't like to teach, but I taught long enough, and then I could concentrate more on my work. When I could buy a bigger building, a bigger studio, I would do that. Always, of course, I never the bank always owned everything. Still does. So I was never afraid, very few doubts about That's not meaning to say that I don't think about the fact that things could go wrong financially, but if they do, they do. But I don't dwell on that.
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Tom Clancy

Best-Selling Author

Tom Clancy: You've got to believe in what you're doing. The people I write about -- soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, cops, special agents of the FBI, field officers for the CIA -- are very often people who are in the business of risking their lives for other people whom they do not know. And the fact of the matter is that a person does not risk his life very often for things in which he or she does not believe. You do not risk death for money very often. You do not risk death for things in which you do not believe very often. The reason you put it on the line is because you think you're making the world a better place for having done so. Probably the most useful people in the world are the romantics, the people with the mindset of a poet, who see the world the way they wish it to be and try to make it so. If you examine people who have the Medal of Honor, you will find very often that what drove them was not courage as we understand it, but rage. They simply would not accept things as they were, and did everything in their power to change it. Probably the people I most admire in the world are the docs and the nurses who take care of critically ill children. That probably requires more courage than anything I have ever encountered. I have had the privilege of meeting seven people with the Medal of Honor and those are pretty special fellows. But not one of them did something that required more than a few hours of great, courageous effort. I know docs who've been treating critically ill children for 20 years. And they're not just risking their lives, they're risking their souls. They're risking their faith in God, their sanity, to do what they do. And yet they press on, because they have a very precise sense of mission. Their mission is to keep children alive. They enter into this employment in the knowledge that very often they will fail. Despite which, they press on. That's passion. That's believing in what you are doing. That's knowing that what you are doing is important. That even if you just save the life of one child, you've done something worth doing.
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Tom Clancy

Best-Selling Author

Tom Clancy: The only way to avoid risk is not to do anything. And that method of avoiding risk also carries a price that you are avoiding success as well. Attempting to succeed necessarily means risking failure, and all too many people do not do that, because they're afraid to fail. Well, failure is nothing to be afraid of. Not taking the chance, not trying, not going after your dream, that's something to be afraid of. There is one thing in life that scares the hell out of me, and that's turning 65 and looking in the mirror and telling myself, "You should have done that when you had the chance, but you didn't have the guts to try." And that's something I'm really afraid of, as a result of which I do lots of foolish things, because probably the only real failure a person can know is the failure to try. Why be afraid of failing? Because even when you fail you're trying to do something. There's a great quote from Teddy Roosevelt, " the poor unhappy souls who will know neither victory nor defeat " because they never tried. I don't want to be one of those.
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Tom Clancy

Best-Selling Author

Tom Clancy: I got closely involved with a kid who died of cancer on August the first of this year. He was eight years old. I got to know him in about March or April of 1990, and he died August first of 1991. We got to be real close. He was my friend in a way that's kind of hard to express. I went down to Disney World when Make A Wish sent him to Disney World. I went down for four days to be his tour guide. And I saw him in the hospital during the last American Academy meeting in New York. I went over to see him at Sloan Kettering. And I was there when they buried him. I wish I'd gotten involved sooner with kids like that. Because, although it does hurt a great deal when you lose them -- and it was probably the most painful experience of my life -- the rewards you get for knowing them, for having fun with them, and for trying to brighten their lives, is probably the best thing I've ever known in my life.
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