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Times & Trends: Good First Steps for 2017

Jan. 19, 2017
This advice from some famous folks may help you get your year off to a good start.

January 2017. A fresh start, or a month of broken resolutions? A clean slate with new challenges or another lap around the same old block? Who among us hasn’t wrestled with these questions?

When I need inspiration to get myself motivated, I often read quotations from famous people to see what secrets they have shared about their success. Over the past year or so, Electrical Wholesaling’s editors have published many of these quotes in the weekly EW Update e-mail newsletter. With the start of a new year upon us, I thought it would be a good time to gather some of these quotations in one place so we can all learn from them.


 “We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.”

— Benjamin Disraeli, British politician

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

—Warren Buffett, Business exec

“The happiest and most fulfilled people I’ve known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest.”

— John Glenn, Astronaut

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou, Poet

“There are two kinds of worries. Those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.”

— Duke Ellington, Legendary jazz composer and musician

“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”

— Bob Feller, Hall of Fame pitcher


“I don’t count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. That’s what makes you a champion.”

—Muhammad Ali, Boxer & philosopher

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

—Thomas Jefferson, President

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

— Thomas Edison, Inventor

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.”

— Bruce Lee, Martial artist


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  

— Benjamin Franklin, Philosopher

“A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”

—B.F. Skinner, Psychologist


“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

— Theodore Roosevelt, President

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant.”

—Jim Rohn, Business philosopher


“There is only one boss — the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

— Sam Walton, WalMart founder

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

— Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”

—Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple