Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Success Quotes to Help You Achieve Your Goals

A good friend just sent me this list of success quotes that was created by Dan Waldschmidt. I like it very much and have added a few success ideas of my own…



You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.

You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.

You have to give more than you get in return right away.

You have to care more about others than they care about you.

You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.

You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.

You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.

You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.

You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.

You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.

You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.

You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.

You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.

You have try and fail and try again.

You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.

You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.

You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.

You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.

You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.

* You have to ask for help, even thought it might make you feel weak.

* You have to realize that your life will never be perfect, but it can be fantastic!

*You have to walk away from negative relationships, even if they have the same last name as you.

* You have to learn to let go of the things you can’t control, and take massive action on the things you can control.

*You have to be prepared, even if you could wing it.

*You have to tell the truth, even when others may not.

*You have to have a plan for your life, or you will end up living out someone else’s.

*You have to guard your integrity and reputation; it is all you really have.

*You have to be grateful every day, because if you can read this you should be.

You have to do the hard things.

The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.

Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.

The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.

Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.

* = from John

I look forward to seeing what YOU add to this list. And if you found value in this list you might also enjoy one of my earlier blogs: 90 Quotes That Will Change The Way You Think

****IMPORTANT: I have two NEW e-books that are just launching this week!!!  The first is Letters to a CEO – which is a compilation of the actual memos and letters I have sent to executives I have been coaching over the past few years. It has short chapters filled with my best advice on key business topics like decision making, accountability, sales, team, building, strategy, business excellence and several more. Easy to read, great ideas, a truly valuable guide. Click on the cover to learn more about this book…






The second is Strategies for Success which is my “strategic life-planning workbook.”  I have taught this at more than 90 colleges and universities across the and at companies like Merrill Lynch, Apple, Qualcomm, Allstate and many others. It is perfect for a high school senior, college student or anyone looking to create a more focused plan for their future – and it also has 11 free videos to help you go through the program successfully. This is a very powerful and potentially life-changing program. Click on the cover to learn more about this book…



Success Quotes: 51 Ways Ordinary People Reached World-Class

I recently came across this extremely powerful list of success quotes by Robin Sharma, a writer and philosopher that I deeply admire and respect. I was so impressed with this list that I sent him and note to ask if I could share it with all of you and he graciously agreed.  I believe the 51 items he has listed (except number 7 for me!) are all spot on, and I have added a few of my own at the end. I hope you find this list very useful and share it with as many people as you can!







By Robin Sharma – Author of the #1 International Bestseller “The Leader Who Had No Title

  1. Know what you want. Clarity is power. And vague goals promote vague results.
  2. Remember that every problem has a solution. Maybe you just can’t see it. Yet.
  3. In this Age of Dramatic Distraction, the performer who focuses the best wins the most.
  4. Before someone will help you, you need to help them.
  5. Become the most passionate person you know. It’ll be contagious.
  6. Know more about your craft/the work you do than anyone who has ever done the work you do…in the history of the world.
  7. Join The 5 am Club. Your most valuable hours are 5am-8am. They have the least interruptions.
  8. Devote yourself to learning something new about your field of mastery every day. Success belongs to the relentless learners. Because as you know more, you can achieve more.
  9. Remember that when you transform your fitness, you’ll transform your business.
  10. Don’t check your mobile when you’re meeting with another person. It’s rude. And rude people don’t reach world-class.
  11. Every time you do what scares you, you take back the power that you gave to the thing that scared you. And so you become more powerful.
  12. A problem is only a problem if you make the choice to see it as a problem.
  13. Stop being a victim. Your business and personal life was made by you. No one else is responsible. To make it better, make better choices. And new decisions.
  14. You can lead without a title. Don’t wait to get a position to stand for excellence, peak quality and overdelivery on every expectation.
  15. Find your own style. Be an original. Every superstar differentiated themselves from The Herd. And marched to their own drumbeat.
  16. Understand that when you play small with your success, you betray your potential. And the birthright you were born under.
  17. Eat less food and you’ll get more done.
  18. As you become more successful, stay really really hungry. Nothing fails like success. Because when you’re successful, it’s easy to stop outlearning+outOverDelivering+outthinking and outexecuting everyone around you. (Success is Beautiful. And dangerous).
  19. If you’re not overprepared, you’re underprepared.
  20. The only level of great manners to play at is “Exceedingly Polite”. In our world, this alone will make you a standout. And differentiate you in your marketplace.
  21. Remember that the moment you think you’re a Master, you lose your Mastery. And the minute you think you know everything, you know nothing.
  22. To double your results, double your level of execution.
  23. Invest in your personal and pro development. All superstars do.
  24. Get this year’s best Targets of Opportunity down onto a 1 Page Plan. Then review it every morning while the rest of the world sleeps.
  25. You don’t get lucky. You create lucky.
  26. When you push through a difficult project, you don’t get to the other side. You reach The Next Level.
  27. Smile. And remember to inform your face.
  28. Spend time in solitude every day. Your best ideas live there.
  29. Debrief on how you lived out your day every night in a journal. This will not only record your personal history, it will make you uber-clear on what you’re doing right and what needs to be improved.
  30. If your not being criticized a lot, you’re not doing very much. Ridicule is the price of ambition.
  31. Develop a monomaniacal focus on just a few things. The secret to productivity is simplicity.
  32. To get the results very few people have, be strong enough to do what very few people are willing to do.
  33. Rest. Recover. It’ll make you stronger.
  34. Buy a smaller TV and build a larger library.
  35. Remember that the bigger the goal, the stronger a person you must become to achieve that goal. So goal-achieving is a superb practice for character-building.
  36. Food fuels your body. Learning feeds your mind.
  37. Don’t ask for respect. Earn it.
  38. Finish what you start. And always end strong.
  39. Breathe.
  40. In business, don’t play to survive. Play to win.
  41. Protect your good name. It’s your best asset.
  42. Remember that words have power. Use the language of leadership versus the vocabulary of a victim.
  43. Give more than you take. The marketplace rewards generosity.
  44. Know that if it’s not messy, you’re not making progress.
  45. Be a hero to a kid.
  46. In business, aim for iconic. Go for legendary. Make history by how awesome you are at what you do.
  47. Please don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many many people are simply busy being busy.
  48. Your doubts are liars. Your fears are traitors. Stop buying the goods they are attempting to sell you.
  49. The best anti-aging remedy in the world is working really hard.
  50. World-Class performers have no plan B. Failure just isn’t an option.
  51. You have the power to change the world—one brave act and one person at a time. Please use it.

From John

52. You become what you focus on and like the people you spend time with.

53. When values are clear, decisions are easy.

54. The minute you stop expecting life to be simple, fair and easy…it becomes simple, fair and easy.

55. The true measure of your life will not be in money, fame, or power – but in how much you loved others and how much they loved you.

56. Embrace an abundance mentality. Help as many other people as possible get what they want and you will get everything you want.

57. The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of the questions you ask…to others and to yourself. Quality questions lead to quality answers.

58. The three watchwords of excellence:  Focus – Discipline – Action.

59. Just remember – you are not right, there are many, many ways to look at every situation and your way is not the only way.

60. Life is short, very short, do not waste time on the trivial… live in the moment and invest in yourself for the future.








What would you like to add to the list?

If you enjoyed this post you will likely find GREAT value in my post:

90 Quotes That Will Change The Way You Think!


It Is All About Perspective

John Spence on Perspective






As most of you who read my blog know, I read a lot… an average of 100 or more business books a year and a good number of books on other topics as well.  I also read fast, I can typically get through a 250 page book in just a few hours.  So it is significant when I get to a 157-page book that takes me literally weeks to get through because there’s so much great information.  This is how it has been reading “The Stoic Art of Living,” an absolutely amazing book written my very good friend and philosopher, Tom Morris.  As an example, it took me a good 10 days just to get past the first paragraph because it stopped me in my tracks and made me think and rethink what he was saying.  Let me quote the specific lines that captured me:

“If you live long enough and pay attention to what you see, you may come to understand one of the deepest truths about life: Inner resilience is the secret to outer results in this world.  Challenging times demand inner strength and a spirit that will not be defeated.  And, as a philosopher, I’ve come to understand that nearly all the times we live in are in some sense challenging. 

When things are really bad, it’s hard to keep your faith.  When things are very good, it’s tough to keep your head.  In tragedy, it’s difficult to be hopeful.  In triumph, it’s hard to be humble.  In either case, maintaining a proper perspective on life is the challenge. And in those occasionally long stretches of time when things seem to be not either great or terrible, it’s often tough to remember and prepare for the amazing extremes that life can hold.”

Perspective…gaining and applying perspective in life is so very crucial.

Let me give you an example:  On August 24th, 1992, I lived in Miami when hurricane Andrew came through.  My house was down on Biscayne Bay just a few hundred feet from the water’s edge.  The storm surge from the hurricane filled my home with more than 11 feet of water and destroyed everything I owned.  I lost all my photographs, paintings, wine collection, boat, furniture, TV, stereo – the only thing I escaped with was a bag of clothes and cooler with some food and water.  For 13 weeks I lived out of my truck and in an abandoned apartment sleeping on a mattress on the floor surrounded by broken glass, fiberglass and dead cockroaches.  And it is one of the greatest things that has ever happen to me…because now I know… it is all just STUFF.

When you wake up one morning and everything you own is gone, and you have no way to get it back right away, you have to learn a new perspective about “stuff.” Now don’t get me wrong, I love nice things, I enjoy beautiful paintings and family photos, and I surely love good wine…but if I found out today that my house burned to the ground, as long as my wife and my dog were fine, it’s no big deal at all – it’s just stuff.  So although hurricane Andrew was traumatic, challenging and very, very difficult, it was also an incredible lesson in perspective that has literally changed that way I look at my life.

Which brings me to one last, but extremely important point: you are the one that creates your own perspective.  You create the lens through which you see the entire world and all the things that happen to you.  You can choose a perspective of happiness, joy, adventure, excitement and love…or you can choose a perspective of pain, misery, unfairness, and pessimism.

Just remember this: the choice is always yours and yours alone!