Advice from the Top: 10 Quotes on Failure and Success

Mentorship is an important part of personal development. We take our headline from those who have more experience and success than us and through emulating them, discover our own best ways of working. In modern offices, face-to-face mentorship can be hard to come by, but thanks to the Internet, you have access to the wealth of human experience like never before. Even the most productive, successful people go through periods where they feel directionless, but it’s always good to get advice from those a little further along the road.

So, here are ten pieces of great advice on success, failure and progress…

“Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people, or find a different room.”Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc.

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”J.K. Rowling

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.”Warren Buffett

“Most people see taking risks as opening themselves up to unnecessary, maybe even dangerous chances. But the truth is, avoiding risks won’t keep you safe, nor will it guarantee a smooth ride at work or in life.”Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines

”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein

“My mother always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me. A setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group

To me, failure means not trying; failure isn’t the outcome. If I have to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I didn’t try that because I was scared’, that is failure.”Sara Blakely

“Surround yourself with great people, try hard things, say no to distractions and remember to care for yourself. Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationships is.”Evan Williams – Founder of Blogger & Twitter

“I always knew that there was a chance of failure in all my endeavours. But I felt that they were important enough that I had to try, even if I thought the probability of success was less than 50%. Try to get together a group of people to do something useful. This may seem like an obvious thing, but often people will organise into a company that doesn’t produce anything useful.”Elon Musk – Founder Of PayPal, Tesla Motors & SpaceX

Carrie M. King

Carrie M. King

Carrie M. King is the Editor of the Journal by Jobspotting. Hailing originally from smack-bang in the middle of Ireland, she moved to Berlin in 2014 to join the gang at Jobspotting. Carrie previously worked in journalism and literature. If you want to share thoughts or ideas, get in touch: