Books

Quotes from Pursue The Passion

Some of my favorite quotes from Pursue The Passion

No one is going to give you what you want if you don’t go after it.

Every great thing we have in the world started with an idea.

There’s always chances. Always choices. Always opportunities.

There’s a tendency to look at your peers and compare them to yourself. Try to do the opposite.

You never know where the journey will lead if you take ownership.

Everyone’s a great general until wartime.

The risk to remain tight in the bud is greater than the risk to blossom.

If it’s fixed, break it. The more you do that, the greater stuff that can happen.

When there’s personal satisfaction on the line, it’s not a risk.

Life is for adventure.

Entrepreneurs embrace risk partly for the thrill.

The art spaces you walk into on First Fridays in Phoenix used to be crack houses. (Creativity is seeing what others don’t)

Color outside the lines.

You don’t risk much when you know why you exist in the first place.

Fallback options are overrated.

Mentally, commitment is worth it.

Dreams involve a lot of gambling. Sometimes you win and sometimes you have one little chip looking back at you.

Starting a company is like blackjack. You don’t have to win every hand, but you have to keep chips to play the game.

The more decisions are based on facts, the better your decision.

Just the facts, Jack.

Lute Olson left a lifetime contract at Iowa to go to Arizona. Security is overrated.

What’s next? Tomorrow. That’s as far as I know.

The hallmark of entrepreneurship is dealing with the little failures to get to the ultimate big win.

Failure is a hot stove. Once you touch it, you never forget how it felt.

The only thing that makes me an expert is that I’ve killed more plants than you have. – Gardener

People remember the good and lasting things more so than the disappointments and failures.

I’ve noticed that people who start their own businesses see where they are and where they want to be. They ignore the bull in the middle.

When you don’t know any better, you’re unstoppable.

Really groundbreaking ideas have a contrarian nature. That’s why no one else is doing it.

A good idea will receive more negative feedback than bad ideas because it will have a contrarian hypothesis.

Best word I’ve ever seen on the back of a wheelchair? Handicrap.

A Nobel Prize winner once told me that in every experiment, it’s 99% sweat and 1% ingenuity.

The hardest part is conjuring something up from the nothing. It’s also the most exciting part.

There are only 168 hours in seven days.

Adversity does not discriminate. Some just have more than others.

It’s easy to let go of something. because so many practical things get in the way.

The average overnight success takes 17 years.

The decision is where to concentrate your energy.

Prestige is not enough.

If you’re going to go all out, why not go all out in a way that works for you?

An expert is someone who makes higher levels of distinctions than everyone else.

Breakthroughs are accidental happenings. Breakthroughs aren’t accidental happenings.

The best things in life can’t be predicted. They just happen.

Luck – when hard work meets opportunity.

I take red lights personally.

Everyone has their own thing that will motivate them.

The memory business is a great business to be in.

There’s a lot of bullshit in every job. The key is to find a job that you love so much, you don’t mind putting up with the bullshit.

People want to be trusted to do the job they were hired to do.

Remember the first time you rode a bike by yourself? Yeah, that’s a good feeling.

There’s always a boss somewhere.

Trust leaves room for mistakes to be made and great things to happen.

People are valuable. Right?

Road signs are my favorite invention.

Put A & B together.

How many times do we actually finish what we start?

Giants of Jazz Notes

Notes of mine from the Studs Terkel book, Giants of Jazz. 

Joe Oliver: hard not to look at him as a cautionary tale.  People took his ideas and took them to places before he could.   He became contempt with situations. The one positive is that he tried to have his horn resemble the human voice, and people resonated with that resemblement. People always resonate with humanity- be it a horn, a picture, a powerpoint.  Resemble humanity.

Louis Armstrong: Never worried about the words of a song- it’s the feeling that mattered.  The tone.  Whatever he was feeling is what he did.  And the words weren’t as important as the tone they were said with. The tone.  The feeling.  And being influenced by the city.  Makes me want to move to SF.

Duke Ellington: The rhythm of life. Putting tunes to everything that happens in life.  Life is music. You just have to let out the tune.

Bessie Smith: Make one line last a staircase.  In blues, you have your best line, your best word, and make sure everyone feels it. In business, make an idea last a staircase and keep repeating it until everyone feels it.

Fats Waller: Created 10,000 pieces of music in 38 years.  Never stopped learning, never stopped creating.  Creating something new each day is manageable if you’re creating stuff you love or are curious about.

Benny Goodman: Patience, Endurance, Talent wins.  Benny was at it for 5 years, had lots of doubt along the way, and like we see with so many who are pursuing their passion, broke through just when they had nothing left.

Count Bassie: The small things that no one notices except in the end result. “He ain’t playing nothing, but it sure sounds good.” It’s the little things that make the difference. The distinctions. It’s what’s made Count’s music great, Starbucks coffee good.  The little things.

Billie Holliday: Not being afraid to knock on doors when you know you’ve got something unique to offer.

Woody Herman: Relax, have fun, because that’s the only way to express yourself. Especially with jazz music. You can’t swing when you’re stiff.

Dizzy Gillespie: Experimentation leads to innovation- whether that experimentation is with your appearance, or your music.  Constantly experimenting teaches you new things.

Charlie Parker: Drugs and distractions shorten the amount of time and talent you spend on what you’re good at.

The success of these individuals can be attributed to the people they hang with, played with, and lived with.  Networking and location are huge determinants of success.

Johnny Coltrane: Learned through younger, lesser known musicians.  If you don’t live it, it won’t come out in your horn.

Jazz is a long link that continues to add to itself.

Talent Will Always Be Hard To Find

I read this book about Magellan and his circumvention around the world.  There was a passage about how he tried to recruit Spanish men to embark on his voyage to the Spice Islands.  I thought it supported the quote that “talent will always be hard to find,” and I thought you’d enjoy reading the passage.

“On the day before the fleet’s departure from Seville, August 9, 1519, Magellan was summoned to testify that he had made every effort to hire Spanish officers and crew members rather than foreigners.  He had, in fact, gone to great lengths to comply, and he swelled with pride as he delivered his sworn statement.

“I proclaimed [through a town crier] in this city [Seville], in squares and markets and busy places and along the river that anyone- sailors, cabin boys, caulkers, carpenters, and other officers- who wished to join the Armada should contact me, the captain, or talk to the masters of the ship.  I also mentioned the salaries stipulated by the king.  Sailers will receive 1,200 maravedis, cabin boys 800 maravedis, and pages 500 maravedis every month, and carpenters and caulkers 5 ducats every month.  None of the villagers born here wanted to join the Armada.”

And that was the truth.  Qualified sailors were rare in Seville, and qualified sailors willing to risk their lives on a voyage to the Spice Islands rarer still.

Desperate to recruit qualified crew members for the expedition, Magellan cast his net even further.  He sent his master-at-arms to Malaga with a letter from the Casa de Contractcion indicating the salaries and benefits those joining the Armada de Molucca would receive.  Other officers fanned out to popular seaports such as Cadiz in search of willing hands, but those willing to risk their lives on a voyage into the unknown proved scarce.

“I couldn’t find enough people,” Magellan explained, “so I accepted all the foreigners we needed, such as Greeks, people from Venice, Genoa, Sicily, and the University of Arizona (j/k).”

Anyways, thought it was interesting that recruiting 500 years ago was a challenge too.  Talent will always be hard to find. 

Pursuit of Happyness

The movie is constructed on a series of events that can be best described as “disturbers of harmony.” There are 134 of these sequences ranging from small (dropping a bag) to large (letter from the IRS leaves him with $21.33 in his bank account).

The positives in the movie were few and far between. To match the 134 negative events, there were about 15 positive events that happened. These events included:

• Getting one side of the rubic’s cube
• Stock broker who created a Canadian stock market app talks to him about what he does…giving inspiration to Chris to pursue a stock broker job.
• Solves the rubic’s cube
• Gets an interview
• Gets son back
• Sells a scanner
• Sells all his scanners
• Getting a meeting with Walter Ribbon.
• Most interactions with Walter Ribbon were positive, as were the interactions with the son. These were the two positive reinforcements in Chris’s life.

The list of negatives included:
• can’t take the kid to the park because of business
• didn’t know his father
• refusal from doctor #1
• can’t pick up the kid…breaks it to wife
• wife asks him to pay taxes..he can’t
• gets a boot on the car
• refusal #2 from doctor
• car gets towed
• car has a bunch of parking tickets
• taxes when he gets home
• can’t figure out rubic’s cube
• Wife angry
• Regan’s “economic condition” speech blares on radio
• rubic’s cube
• wife’s doubt about being a stock broker…compares it to an astronaut
• 2 months behind on rent
• hippie steals machine
• 20 people get selected for the internship
• Only one person gets selected…
• Application has 3 extra lines for education…he doesn’t need 3 extra lines
• daycare is watching TV
• the need to get a birthday present
• walking into the huge, daunting financial services building
• Mr. Tresell doesn’t want to talk on his way into work
• hippie lady runs by with machine
• gets 2 scanners back..no sales
• neighbor beating rug
• Twiseel doesn’t want the cab
• Twissell says you can’t do it five times
• Twissell doesn’t pay cab fare
• Chris doesn’t have money for cab
• Chris forgets scanner as he makes a dash for it
• Cabbie chases him
• loses machine when on BART
• wife leaves him
• wife takes son
• drops bag on a sprint
• can’t find a pen to take down number
• Wayne spouts out numbers, unknowingly confusing Chris
• wife ignores him on street
• landlord needs rent
• painting
• has to pay each ticket
• put in prison
• can’t pick up kid
• can’t make job interview
• can’t zip up jacket
• partners won’t look him in the eye
• 1st in the class of…12
• 1st in the class of….20
• Internship doesn’t pay $$$
• can’t apply to a brokerage firm for the 6 months during the internship…it’s this or nothing for 6 months
• waiting for wife and kid to return from day at the park
• wife goes to NYC
• “Salesman to intern” is backwards- says wife
• reminder that mom isn’t there
• reminder that they live in a motel
• alarm clock
• hippie has time machine
• hit by a car
• called asshole by guy who hit him
• loses shoe
• faces colleagues without shoe
• faces kid without shoe
• has to get coffee for trainer
• rejected once on phone
• has to get donut for trainer
• hung up on
• bus to the daycare place
• cross town
• 22 home
• motel owner waiting on rent
• hung up on
• had to do what they did in 6 hours, when it took them 9
• hung up on
• hung up on
• has to make it to a spot in 20 minutes
• has to move the car
• jimmy the key
• parking spot gets taken
• traffic
• no money for meter
• cross traffic
• just missed Walter Ribbon
• parking ticket
• keys again
• has to write a check to pay trainer’s ticket
• doesn’t have car anymore, kid says
• why don’t you put the scanner in the car?- Walter Ribbon
• We don’t have a car. – kid
• not a chance to get Ribbon’s business
• letter from the IRS leaves him with $21.33 in the bank
• motel owner yells for rent
• Wayne won’t give him $14
• retrieved scanner is dirty
• doctor won’t meet Chris
• kid is tired
• machine won’t work for doctor
• doctor says 4x he has to go
• stuff is moved out of the hotel, leaving them homeless
• key doesn’t work
• window won’t open
• kid has fit
• leaves stuff
• wayne won’t answer the door
• kids says scanner isn’t a time machine…twice
• kid won’t close eyes
• sleeps in men’s bathroom
• someone tries to get in the bathroom 9 times…it’s the only time Chris cries.
• Where are you going? – Mr. Trissel
• How are you doing? – Mr. Trissel
• Can’t get room because shelter is for women and children only
• huge line at homeless shelter
• guy cuts in front of him
• preacher says to get out of line
• preacher says there are no more spots
• lights go out without warning
• lights go out again while fixing scanner
• has to read book standing up b/c no light
• can’t leave stuff at homeless shelter
• what’s up?- trainer
• catch the bus
• never got the #
• had to give up $5
• didn’t get a room
• slept on BART
• $8 for the bulb
• long line
• Did mom leave because of me?
• dropped the toy

Shed yourself of all the negatives in life, or overcome them, and you’ll find happiness.