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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


Jeff Bezos

Founder and CEO, Amazon.com

In 1998 and 1999 you could raise $60 million for an Internet idea without a business plan with a single phone call. It was a very different era, but back in 1995 it was very difficult to raise money. And, by the way, it wasn't more difficult than it had been for the previous 20 years to raise money, it just was sort of normally hard. It's supposed to be hard to raise a million dollars. So, with a lot of hard work we raised that million dollars from about 20 different angel investors who invested about $50,000 each, and that was the original money that really funded Amazon.com.
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Jeff Bezos

Founder and CEO, Amazon.com

Once you are looking at the odds in a realistic way -- it's very important for entrepreneurs to be realistic -- and so if you believe on that first day while you're writing the business plan that there's a 70 percent chance that the whole thing will fail, then that kind of relieves the pressure of self-doubt. It's sort of like, I don't have any doubt about whether we're going to fail. That's the likely outcome. It just is, and to pretend that it's not will lead you to do strange and unnatural things. So, what you do with those early investment dollars -- if you have $300,000 and then you have a million dollars -- what you do with those early precious capital resources is you go about systematically trying to eliminate risk. So, you pick whatever you think the biggest problems are, and you try to eliminate them one at a time. That's how small companies get a little bit bigger, and then a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, until finally, at a certain stage, you reach a transition where the company has more control over its future destiny.
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Benazir Bhutto

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto: In life there are challenges, but I think leadership is very much predicated on the capacity to absorb defeat and overcome it. Now, after having been in politics for more than two decades, I have come to the strong conclusion that the difference between somebody who succeeds and somebody who fails is the ability to absorb a setback. Because on the road to success there will be setbacks, and there are those who give up, and those who say that, "No, we are going to go on." So it's that capacity to absorb a failure.
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Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

Keith Black: There is, I think, an innate drive in humankind to create, to develop something new, to build on what we already know as a body of knowledge. The second is that there is something very spiritual. There is something very special about healing, about helping someone in need that's sick and trying to make them whole, to help their families. That's what's special about being a physician. And what's special about being a physician scientist is that you take that to one additional level, and that we know now that there are some diseases that we cannot cure, so we're limited. We know that we can only go so far with current technology to help our patients and help our families. So when we run up against our limitation, the drive in the researcher in me is to say, "We can do better. The next patient that I see is not going to die from this cancer. We're going to have them live a longer and better life." And that's the drive, to find the technologies to cure the diseases that are killing my patients.
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Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

I think one of the hopes that we all have is that the world will recognize us for what our talents are, and you work hard and you do a good job and that's it. Unfortunately, as we all know, there's politics. There are people with different political agendas that are not necessarily motivated by the same moral sort of drives that you might have. I mean, people do things not necessarily for the best interest of patients, or for humanity. They may do it for the best interest of themselves, so we have to deal with those political obstacles, which can divert a lot of time and energy. That can be annoying sometimes, because as you say, it's hard enough trying to find a cure for cancer, and have to step back and say, "Wait a minute. What is this political agenda here?" And have to be wise enough to circumnavigate those to achieve your objective.
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Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

When you run up against an obstacle, to do what I call the principle of tai chi. You know, karate takes a force and it opposes with a force, but in most obstacles that you run up against, you're outgunned and you're outnumbered, so you're not going to overcome it with force. One of the smartest things that you can do is to take that force and turn it back against itself, which is what tai chi does. And to enjoy what you do, because if you're not having fun at it you're going to get tired real quick. But if you do what you enjoy, and if you're disciplined, if you find mentors, if you use your head when you come up against an obstacle, and find a way to overcome that obstacle and to keep moving forward -- or to move around and move forward -- you'll get to where you want to go.
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