Harvey Mackay: Career Advice From the Masters

I get a weekly email from Harvey Mackay. I thought I would share this one that I found in my inbox (it’s from January):

Napoleon Hill, one of my favorite authors, devoted twenty years of his life to study what made people successful. His mentor, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, helped Hill by giving him introductions to some of the most successful people in business, including Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Schwab, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Clarence Darrow and many others.

What Hill discovered is that all these individuals realized the importance of surrounding themselves with people smarter than themselves.

I couldn’t agree more. All of us together are a lot smarter than any one of us. Which leads to some of the best career advice I can give you: Networking is a skill you must develop.

If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I’ve met over a lifetime, I’d say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts. A network replaces the weakness of the individual with the strength of your network. You don’t have to know everything as long as you know the people who do.

A network can enrich your life. It can help you help others. A network improves your job security. If you build a network, you will have a bridge to wherever you want to go. So if you are ever up the proverbial creek, if you have a network, you always have a paddle.

Just remember, the more you exercise your networking muscles, the stronger they get and the easier networking becomes.

What other career advice can you benefit from?

You can’t forget the most important five-letter word in business – TRUST. How about integrity, reputation and treating everyone with respect? I might add that you have to continue your education, because you should be in school all your life. I’ve written extensively about all these topics, and will continue to hammer them home because they are the difference between a job and a successful career.

And because I follow my own advice and continually study the brilliant thoughts of others, I thought I’d share words of wisdom from some of the world’s most successful people:

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.: “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc.: “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.”

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels: “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.”

Carlos Slim Helu, telecommunications magnate who is considered the world’s richest person: “I don’t want to live thinking about how I’ll be remembered.”

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

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook: “If we want to have the biggest impact, the best way to do this is to make sure we always focus on solving the most important problems.”

Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines: “Most people see taking risks as opening themselves up to unnecessary,

Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group: “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.”

Mackay’s Moral: They say a word to the wise is sufficient, but I say a word from the wise is a gift!

Harvey Mackay is one of my favorite authors. You can check out Harvey Mackay’s Amazon page*. My favorite book of his is Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need*.

*Affliliate Link

Harvey Mackay’s Favorite Morals

I’m a subscriber to Harvey Mackay’s weekly newsletter (you can subscribe for free here.) This week’s newsletter contained 42 of Harvey’s favorite morals. I thought they were worth sharing with you.

My favorites are #s 1, 8, 23, 24, 37, 39, 40, and 41 (the ones in bold are my favorites of my favorites).

Reading this list is humbling because there’s a few of these that I don’t practice. For example, even though I listed 40. Helping someone up won’t pull you down. as one of my favorites, it’s one that I have a problem practicing. I’m sure it’s due to my hyper-competitive nature.

Read through the list. Which ones are your favorites?

1. A foot in the door is worth two on the desk.

2. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the mastery of it.

3. Negativity makes a person look at the land of milk and honey and see only calories and cholesterol.

4. The greatest undeveloped territory in the world lies under your hat.

5. You’re never old enough to stop learning.

6. You don’t have to shout to get your point across if you use the right words.

7. A person without a sense of humor is like a car without shock absorbers—jolted by every pothole in the road.

8. The more you exercise your networking muscles, the stronger they get.

9. Live—and work—like your mother is watching.

10. The person who is everywhere is nowhere.

11. People like to do business with people they like.

12. Money can buy a lot of things except common sense, which is free.

13. Love your competitors. They are the only ones who make you as good as you can be.

14. In business, you should walk your talk … and know when to talk before you walk.

15. If you want to be remembered for all the wrong reasons, say something stupid.

16. Don’t just mark time; use time to make your mark.

17. Getting an idea should be like sitting down on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.

18. The hotter things get, the more important it is to keep your cool.

19. Entrepreneurs are people who take the cold water thrown on their idea, heat it with enthusiasm, make steam and push ahead.

20. Technology should improve your life, not become your life.

21. Arrogance is believing that you are so high up you don’t need an ear to the ground.

22. The difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right and doing it exactly right.

23. Control yourself: Remember, anger is just one letter short of danger.

24. Keep an open mind. Your first job may not be your dream job, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

25. If you want a place in the sun, you’ve got to expect a few blisters.

26. Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

27. Remember the 10 most powerful two-letter words in the English language—If it is to be, it is up to me.

28. What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others lasts forever.

29. Positive thinking turns obstacles into opportunities.

30. Smart people spell service, “serve us.”

31. All the world’s a stage, and most of us need more rehearsals.

32. It’s easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent.

33. You can’t count your days, but you can make your days count.

34. Rough water is no place to check to see if you packed your life preserver.

35. Stress often gives a little thing a big shadow.

36. If you want to get a leg up, learn how to use effective body language.

37. If you don’t speak up, prepare to put up.

38. Creativity has no script; it is inspired ad-libbing.

39. The most powerful single thing you can do to influence others is to smile at them.

40. Helping someone up won’t pull you down.

41. How people play the game shows something of their character. How they lose shows all of it.

42. The wise person isn’t the one who makes the fewest mistakes. It’s the one who learns the most from them.