Most sayings don’t gain popularity because they are whimsical. They are spread virally because they are meaningful to the recipients. Below, we have gathered some relevant and inspiring sayings to help you succeed. Some of them are easily attributable to specific people, others are not.
You may know the second half of this saying. Cash is the ultimate leverage. You don’t have to prove your intentions like those on credit; just prove you can do what you want in business by paying for it.
Cash liquidity will give you extra access to deals, which will in turn allow you to pick the best projects and the best people. Mixing those people and projects with your hard work ethic and good ideas will pay off indefinitely. Unfortunately, for the cash-poor, the “rich” do in fact “get richer,” and this includes businesses like yours that produce profits and protect their cash properly.
“Cash is king.” / “The one with gold makes the rules.”
If you are competing against someone who has deeper pockets than you do, then you are at a strategic disadvantage. You have to make up for this through the aggressive methods outlined throughout this document and through other methods that you develop. You could also say that if you have the most cash to capitalize your operations, you are then the king of your industry, so long as you don’t fall down on the job.
“Numbers don’t lie.”
This is another critical precept. You must measure your operations so you can tell which of your ideas are working, or which more mature operations are still worthwhile. Knowing your numbers will also help you to make fast, rational decisions. “Numbers” generally refers to money, but the other numbers you will need to track include your web traffic, number of sales, the number of sales per employee, and so forth.
Get accurate numbers to serve as baselines for discussions at all your intra-company meetings. Using software like QuickBooks, Yield Software, Google Analytics, SalesForce.com, SugarCRM, and other modern technologies has made tracking numbers much easier compared to years when the world was less digital.
You can also measure the performance of each of your employees based on numbers. In this case, you need not worry about an employee subjectively trying to convince you of his excellence and being compensated for it.
“Time is money.”
If you can manipulate time on a daily and long-term basis, you can cause significant harm to your competitors and constantly nip away at their market share.
“You’re entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts.”
There is no reason not to research, study, and give attention to the empirical truths governing your business and industry but there are plenty of reasons why you should. The more accurate information you have about your business, the more realistic your results.
“Talk is cheap.”
Your credibility is critical in assuring your long-term success and enabling access to the right people to help you accomplish the tasks at hand. If you are always talking a big game and never delivering on your talk, your recipient will recognize it. You can’t hide. Your record will ultimately speak for itself. So don’t talk too much about the many mountains you will climb until you climb a few small ones to get warmed up.
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
If you had the choice of getting $100 now, guaranteed, or potentially getting $200 in a couple of months, what would you do? This saying suggests you should take the $100 cash, and we agree. You might not really get the $200 later, so take what you can now, and then go back for more tomorrow.
“Get it while the getting is good.”
Timing is everything. Be everywhere all the time. Be there and be aware.
“You snooze you lose.” / “Early bird gets the worm.” / “Night owl slays the poisonous snake.”
Don’t miss the opportunity to be the first in line to get the job done.
“Don’t cry over spilt milk.”
You don’t have any time to live in the past; you are moving forward too quickly. Whatever is upsetting you about what has already happened is ultimately irrelevant. You can cry all you want, but you will not gain any benefit from doing so. Take the lessons learned and move on.
“There is no such thing as easy money.”
At least we’ve never seen it (unless one was born into a fortune).
“It’s all in the details.”
If you understand and best manage all the details to optimize your business and industry, then you can beat the competition.
“Eat or be eaten.” / “Only the strong will survive.”
Businesses should attempt to adhere to a process of natural selection.
“90% of success is just showing up.” / “You’ve gotta play to win.”
Those who actually try their hardest will succeed; those who don’t are allowing extra opportunity for those with true desire.
“Change is the only constant.” / “Nothing endures but change.”
Plan on evolving.
“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
That is why we recommend garnering consensus on opinions whenever possible.
“Don’t take credit, take cash.”
Feeling proud of your accomplishments can be beneficial in moving you forward to the next level of your business. However, maintain your focus so you can move forward gracefully. Your job is to make money, not to have your ego stroked.
“Get everything in writing.”
This will protect you from vague deals that predominate among those not in writing. Failing to document deals is an inexact and risky method of working with your clients, peers, employees, and vendors, usually causing problems as time passes. If solutions to the most common business issues are decided in advance and in writing, including a means of resolving conflicts and dissolving relationships, then you could save yourself endless hours of frustration and legal fees. So make certain all of your deals and proposals are in writing!
“Live by the sword, die by the sword.” / “Play with fire and you might get burned.” / “If you ask for trouble, you’re going to get it.” / “You reap what you sow” / “Lay with dogs… get fleas.” / “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein.” / “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”
If you aren’t playing nice with the other children, they won’t play nice with you. If you bargain someone down to the wire, he will do the same to you when the opportunity presents itself. If you are unreasonably mean, then someone else will be mean to you. Karma counts in business as in the rest of life.
“If it ain’t broke, DO fix it.”
This is a similar concept to “constant incremental improvement”, “kaizen” or evolving Best Practices, and is equally critical to your success. Those who aren’t “breaking things” that ostensibly work will be undermined by the competitors who are in fact making continuous improvements. Don’t become complacent with a false sense of security when you are ahead of the pack or you will find your competitors quickly gain momentum at your expense. So “break” what you think works well and then make sure those breaks really represent noticeable improvements. That’s not to say you literally want to destroy your core processes, but merely keep looking at how you can improve them, and in some cases, literally replace them from scratch.
“Knowledge is power.”
The essence of business knowledge is learning how to obtain and utilize the right information and data at the right time and know how to apply it appropriately. Being loaded with actionable business knowledge is likely to make you wealthy after it has been applied with years of hard work. Being wealthy and wise is often considered “powerful.” Therefore, knowledge is power.
“Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish.”
Saving money is a good idea as long as you are not obsessed with it and you aren’t making bad decisions as a result. If you are fortunate, you may have saved money in your bank, in bonds, home equity, stocks, and so on. You need to decide what portion of that savings can be reinvested and when to look for higher yield investments that have a greater risk profile. You might be able to prove after testing and studying that you can spend a penny on your business to make a dollar. Or you can spend a penny to make five pennies. In either case, you should invest more, and therefore, deplete some of your savings which can be saved again later on.
“Two heads are better than one.”
When you follow this logic, you recognize that consensus is good. But even so, the team leader/president must prevail whenever consensus isn’t readily attainable. There is never time for bickering or not making clear, assertive decisions.
“Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”
If you’ve messed up, it doesn’t mean you are permanently damaged goods. So recover quickly and move on, like you would if you spilled milk.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Most obstacles can be surmounted.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Persistence pays. Giving up easily doesn’t give the process a fair chance, which means you aren’t giving yourself or your skills a fair chance.
“To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Similarly, every barber thinks you need a haircut, every car dealer thinks you need a car, and every PR agent thinks you need an expensive PR campaign. Don’t buy the hammer’s approach unless it fits within your own architectural design.
“Dress for success. Dress to impress.”
The idea of doing a “meet and greet” sales call with professional clothing, nice grooming, and a charming personality is a tried and true method to increase the percentage of prospective deals that will successfully close. It costs relatively little compared to what it might deliver and there really is no downside.
“Stuff flows upstream.”
Delegating is good in theory, but inevitably, the boss needs to take responsibility for everything that happens within the company, just like the President does within the U.S.
“Pick low hanging fruit first.”
Maybe there will be enough low hanging fruit (easily accessible and otherwise beneficial transactions) where you need not risk the expense of going higher up the tree, thereby expending less resources for equivalent results.
“Beggars can’t be choosers.”
You can’t effectively attempt to use leverage until you have actually earned true leverage. In the beginning, take what you can get by using your best judgment.
“All that glitters is not gold.”
Pick your deals carefully. People are constantly wooing you into some sort of deal or another, and it’s not always in your best interest just because it is in theirs. Don’t let the charming personalities fool you. Do the math and pay attention.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
Be respectful of each dollar.
“It takes money to make money.”
Leverage, leverage, leverage.
“We make our own luck,”
and therefore, our own success.
“Know your enemy,”
hopefully, better than they know you.
“All business is personal.”
People can’t help their sensitivities concerning money or interpersonal communications.
“A rising tide raises all ships.”
Mix your Best Practices with an industry on the rise.
“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
What you save can be used for additional opportunities.
“Money can’t buy me love.”
If you are focused on money for money’s sake, you may not be fulfilled, even if you win. Using money for charity should be fulfilling, as should a life filled with love.
“Rules are made to be broken,”
but laws are meant to be kept.
“If it was fun, you wouldn’t get paid for it.”
That’s why it’s called work.
“Cut your losses,”
and move on to other opportunities.
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get you.”
You may be overly sensitive in protecting your market position; maybe there is a good reason. Many aggressive competitors really are after you.
“There is no ‘i’ in team.”
You can be most effective with an optimized team.
“It’s the little things that kill.”
You can assume that all your serious competitors will have the broad challenges of your industry already under control like yourself. All value beyond these basics is in detail and innovation.
“If you are a big tree, I am a small axe, ready to cut you down.”
Small axes come with extra confidence, like you.
“Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”
Most of what you have to express about your business offerings can be done in a few minutes of condensed sound bites.
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
You want to be greased all the time if you are serious about your business.
“A little kindness goes a long way.”
In the future, you will likely reacquaint yourself with those who you currently work with in one capacity or another. People you think you are working with on one-time deals may show up over and over in the same or an unrelated venue.
“That which you are seeking is causing you to seek.”
Instead of seeking, you can be content with what you already have or work for others (i.e., don’t make millions).
“Don’t shoot the messenger.”
The truth is not always pleasant, but it will always help you along. So don’t look only at the bad news being delivered. Instead, think about how that knowledge can help you create good news in the future.
“Buy low, sell high.”
You know this one already!
“Punish the act, not the actor,”
and do it right after an infraction to be clear.
“Nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
Conversely, confidence pays big time.
Sayings to Forget
“The one with the most toys when he dies wins.”
This one couldn’t be further from the truth. If you skipped tangible meaning in your life in favor of toys, then you have made a mistake. Go back to square one and pay attention.
“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.”
This is not true in business. Business may be played just like a game, but the winners are paid with real money, and people tend to be very serious in that regard.
“Nice guys finish last.”
This is a tricky one. This saying usually does not apply since being amiable is more likely to pay off; although, sometimes playing tough is required.
Quotes with Credit
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
“Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out; we’d want to get involved.” (Bill Gates)
“Our favorite holding period is forever.” (Warren Buffet)
“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.” (Oprah Winfrey)
“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” (Oprah Winfrey)
“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” (Donald Trump)
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” (Jack Welch)
“No pressure, no diamonds.” (Mary Case)
“I believe I can win!” (Michelle Wie)