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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


Ray Dalio

Hedge Fund Master

It's the embracing of reality. "What is the reality?" including, "What mistakes?" and "What weaknesses?" so that I can learn from those mistakes, or learn how to deal with those weaknesses, in order to be successful. So yes. That's embedded, those are the ground rules. You know the ground rules. That's how to have an "idea meritocracy." In other words, if you want to have a real idea meritocracy that doesn't have any barriers to it, we'll go wherever truth leads us. That's what we do, and that's very powerful. That's where the success comes from. We've had radical success, and that's where it's come from, because it also allows independent thinking. Right? I need independent thinking, because if you're going make a position in the markets, it can't be with the consensus, and you don't know if you're going to be right or wrong. So you have to test it. It's very powerful, and it's also so silly not to do that, because of these ego barriers. Why wouldn't you have those conversations? It's not logical not to.
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Olivia de Havilland

Legendary Leading Lady

A man presented himself in uniform, a Major, and he introduced himself. He said, "I'm Major Richardson, and I am in charge of the psychiatric ward here. I was in charge at Bellevue, previous to my Army service, in New York City. I have a theory. It's an experiment I would like you to agree to, that if you visited my patients, your visit would do some good. Would you agree?" And I said, "Well, of course, I would." He said, "I have to have the post surgeon, the head of the hospital's, approval first, and I will come back and meet you between wards to let you know if I have received it." Well, he met me between wards, and he said, "I've got the permission. So, at the end of your day -- I've read your orders, I know exactly what time and at what ward you will finish. I will come and get you," or "I'll send for you. You have nothing to worry about. I will have two very sturdy orderlies to protect you." Well, I hadn't worried before then, but I certainly began at that moment to worry. To protect?
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Michael Dell

Founder & Chairman, Dell Inc.

I kind of moved into a larger apartment that had really high ceilings so I could kind of stack things up and managed to conceal it from them for quite some time. And then I basically came to an arrangement with my parents. I said, "Look, I really want to go do this, and I know you don't want me to go do it, but I've checked with the University of Texas, and the way it works at UT is that you could take a semester off and you can come back." And so I said, "We'll, we'll agree to this. I'll take the semester off -- the fall of '84 semester -- and I'll go and do this. If it doesn't work out, I'll go back to school, and if it does I'll just keep doing it." And so they agreed. If they hadn't agreed, I probably would've done it anyway to be honest with you. So in May of '84, I incorporated the company and off we go.
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Michael Dell

Founder & Chairman, Dell Inc.

They would kind of hear from their friends, "Oh, Michael's doing so great. His business is going really well." And they were like, "What are you talking about? He's supposed to be in college." They had a couple of kind of surprise visits. They would just kind of show up, you know, like, "Where are your books?" "Oh, they're at the library." I'd sort of have good answers for things, and they couldn't quite figure it all out. But eventually they kind of figured out, "Wait a second. There's too many computer parts around here." It was a bit hard to disguise what was going on. So that's when we had this talk.
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Michael Dell

Founder & Chairman, Dell Inc.

Michael Dell: I think you have to be able to experiment and make mistakes. I find the question a bit perplexing, in a sense that if you really don't know what it means to be an entrepreneur, maybe you aren't one. So I think there's a bit of self-initiative and self-starter that is an incredibly important part of entrepreneurship. I mean, no one can tell you how to do it. You have to sort of have an instinctual feeling, or an idea about something. And you've got to be passionate about it. I think people that look for great ideas to make money aren't nearly as successful as those who say, "Okay, what do I really love to do? What am I excited about? What do I know something about? What's kind of interesting and compelling?"
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