≡ Menu

J. Christopher Burch Quotes

J Christopher BurchJ. Christopher Burch quotes: wise words from the Tory Burch cofounder.

“I invest in people who are passionate.”

“What do I look for in entrepreneurs? Heart. People who can’t sleep, who have a lot of curiosity, people who aren’t arrogant, who have new ideas that are disruptive. I try to stay away from things that everyone is running to.”

“In a new hire, I ask about their family, where they grew up, what their best friend is like. I want to find out who they are as human beings, what kind of kindness they have, what excites them in life, what energizes them, how they relate to their last job, how they think about the future. I judge their speaking skills, the way they dress, look, feel. They have to be really passionate.”

“Pairing creative and business talent—certain people have both. Creativity is tied to business. Think of disruption, gross margin, think about offering customers great stuff.”

“I think entrepreneurs have a great opportunity to think of how to make things more understandable, simple and beautiful.”

“Entrepreneurs got to be curious. And you can’t live in your own world. You can’t live on that layer.”

“How do you bring ideas to life? It starts with people. You have to have good people with a passion to execute. I believe that if something really has the potential to succeed, it can be done quickly.”

“My advice is always to listen.”

“We live in a day where 70% of college kids think they can start their own business. What people need to do is be realistic. Yes, a large part of people can start their own agenda, but they’ve got to know what they do well and what they don’t. It’s a rare, rare, rare find, like finding a green tortoise that lives in the desert that there’s only one of in the world, where people can do all things.”

“As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to think about the fact that you are a very limited human. So, it’s that idea where you’ve got to go ten deep, you’ve got to go deep on the creativity, you’ve got to go deep on the knowledge, and you’ve got to talk to people that are older, not younger. ‘We’re the next Uber,’ or the next things. There is no next Uber. The real next Uber is how do we as a group of people think way out of the box?”

“Start a business that’s not a business. Think of things. Why, why are there so many people that are going into fashion and going into things? Because millennials and people have a tendency to think through their own perspective. They don’t think of the perspective from the supply chain or the perspective of other things.”

“I think, and what everyone should think, it’s not what we’re good at, it’s what we’re bad at. And by the way, you don’t work at things you’re bad at. Another big mistake. You hire and find people that are great at things you don’t do.”

“Don’t work at what you’re bad at, hire it.”

“Knowing is half the battle. Explaining it is the other half.”

“I like to think every human has amazing skills and qualities, but we’re living in a world where friends and everything are influencing their decisions about where they need to go and people today have to really look like who they are.”

“Take risks. It’s not exactly a strategy but it’s almost unavoidable if you want to be groundbreaking. I’ve taken many risks, and had my share of failures, but they have gotten me to where I am today, and I am happy.”

“I’ve had thousands of failures. I go through a period of mourning, then reflection, then understanding. I take full credit for my failures. That clarity allows me to move forward and to keep creating and investing.”

“I think shoppers are looking for newness and creativity.”

“Generally I’m wide open to people; I love helping them in any way I possibly can. But for me to invest, a business has to have a lot of creative scale; it has to be unique.”

“I started my first company out of college, selling door-to-door on college campuses and I had this brainy idea that I was going to sell sweaters door-to-door on college campuses to preppie girls and I was going to expand the network all through the country. My first real entrepreneurial thing was in prep school, I was getting the New York Times at a wholesale level and selling it. So I had like seven or eight businesses in college. I spent very little time learning and a lot of time doing.”

“I grew up reading Richie Rich because he’s kind of like my hero. Some people have a hero in Steve Jobs. But my comic book figure Richie Rich was great because look, he had a gold pool, he had a ton of money, he could do whatever he wanted. I’d read my Richie Rich comics as a kid, I’d go, ‘I’m going to be Richie Rich someday.'”

“My Dad was my mentor. I really admired my father. He was an independent business guy, he was awesome. And I always respected him. Instead of having a regular summer job, we’d go to the plant that made blacktop and take our car and fill it with blacktop and then go around to neighbors and do their driveway over for them. So, we were always trying to find ways to make money without that nine-to-five job.”

“What was the worst job I ever had and what did I learn from it? I won’t say it was the worst job but at 13 years old my father put me to work at a construction company so that I would learn the basics of construction and appreciate hard labor.”

“The base was, one, to work hard and, two, was to do things that made you more money than the $4 an hour, $3 an hour back then. When I got to college and I was a terrible, terrible student. So I go to this New England prep school, my parents never even let me come home for Thanksgiving because I’m not sure they wanted me home. So I’d be there all alone, I’d reflect and I’d try to find ways to make a lot of money.”

“Money meant a lot to me growing up. What it could buy? It wasn’t that I would buy it, it’s what it could buy. So I’ll never forget, I was a tennis player and a great athlete, not a great athlete, I was a good athlete in college and so I’d think about—I remember that first time I made like $4,000. I was like, I could buy a tennis court with that. So it was the idea of visualizing what you could do, but not doing.”

“Right now in my life I’m really driven by curiosity. I never look back. I could care less about what I did. I care about what I’m going to do. What I care about is my sphere of impacting younger people, working with great entrepreneurs, helping them build an amazing career, and trying to make them not make the stupid god-damned mistakes that they all do today, because they’re layered thin.”

“I am a curious person by nature and I am always studying the world around me. I often notice how products and services can be improved upon. After my own success in apparel as a young adult, I decided to put my knowledge and resources to use and help other entrepreneurs with great ideas. That eventually led to my company today, Burch Creative Capital. We match ideas with funding to bring extraordinary possibilities to the world.”

“My job requires me to constantly be in the mind of the consumer. So I use gadgets more than software. I especially use my iPad frequently to listen to podcasts and audio books.”

“Is there luck? Tremendous luck, because I grew up in an environment with really good taste, where I understood fashion and design and what quality was and what quality wasn’t. Tremendous tenacity, not giving up, very important. And not letting anyone in the f*cking world tell you you can’t do it, and never giving up. I think it’s… I’m really lucky that I’m a pretty good investor because I go to the childhood of the person, I ask all about how they grew up and whatever they do. I just want to know who they are, what’s that tenacity?”

“I would never suggest anyone to stay at a company more than six or seven years. We grow as individuals and the world is moving so fast. Typically, I’ll always sell a piece of each of my companies along the way.”

“I would suggest not starting a business with a family member. I think the best business can be with friends. I think you should never have a business with three partners because you’re doomed, and you’ve got to make sure that you respect them at every level and that there’s some way that you can get out of the relationship if it doesn’t work.”

“I have no regrets, but I would borrow from Thoreau and tell my younger self, ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.'”

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.