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David Geffen Quotes

David Lawrence Geffen

David Geffen quotes: on being really rich, gay, and winning despite being “dumb” and getting canned from a dozen jobs.

“If you really believe it – go for it.”

“I’ve always thought that each person invented himself for whatever reasons, for whatever circumstances, through whatever he has gone through, that we are each a figment of our own imagination.  And some people have a greater ability to imagine than others.”

“If you have big dreams then go after big markets.  See what the big markets are right now and see where the gaps are.  Fill in those gaps and you’ll find success if you try hard work.”

“Sometimes life’s rules don’t make sense.  If you ever find that to be the case or if you see something being done just because it’s ‘always been that way,’ see it as an opportunity.  An opportunity to go your own way.”

“Contrary to popular belief, businesspeople are very risk averse.  They like low-risk, high-reward opportunities.”

“I don’t think the failure of companies is they don’t have money.  It’s that they don’t have a vision.  They don’t have enough talented people.  And I think that’s always the story.”

“I trusted people around me.  That’s not easy to do.  Many entrepreneurs want complete control, but that approach just can’t work.  Not at scale.”

“People who are fools don’t get successful, and they don’t get to be successful if they are worried about their popularity.”

“I don’t think people get to be successful without ambition.  I don’t think people get to be successful unless they have very strong egos.”

“You have an idea of the way you think it is, and it’s not that way at all, it’s something else.”

“Generally speaking I stick my head in when people ask for an opinion.”

“The opportunity for an entrepreneur to start a company from scratch today is abysmal.”

“Broke is a Hollywood term!”

Happy is harder than money.  Anybody who thinks money will make you happy hasn’t got money.”

“To be able to live and work in the United States is a privilege.”

“I don’t agree that the best giving is anonymous.  We should be examples to our friends and communities.  I should be an example to young, gay kids.  It’s not like people are really anonymous anyway.”

“I intend to give every nickel of my money away, while I’m alive.”

“Your life isn’t made up of people who aren’t in it.”

“I could not get up in front of an audience of 6,000 people put together by AIDS Project Los Angeles, where so many people are infected with HIV and are dealing with this very, very serious issue of AIDS, and not acknowledge that I was a gay man.  I just couldn’t do it.  My hesitation in the past is strictly that I think these are private matters.  But I, unfortunately, am not a private person.  I have become, by virtue of my success and other things, a public person.”

“There are a great many gay people in the entertainment business, and I think that generally speaking, this business is more compassionate and more accepting than maybe any other industry except fashion in the United States.  On the other hand, you know there is a thing called fear, and people have a lot of fear.  And sometimes their fear is not necessarily rational.”

“I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to serve in the military, but if people who happen to be gay want to serve their country they should have the right to do so.”

“One thing AIDS does is make you realize the future is an illusion.  All you have is right now.  And you aren’t alive five years from now, you aren’t alive 10 years from now, you aren’t alive 30 years from now.  You’re just alive today.  And to start living your life for the future is dumb.  There is no future.”

“Not only did I know that I wasn’t one of the smart kids in the class, but so did everyone else.  There was no word dyslexia when I was a kid.  You were just dumb.”

“As a child I wanted to earn a thousand dollars a week, have an apartment on Ocean Parkway and drive a Cadillac convertible.”

“I thought I’d be a success even back in the mailroom at William Morris.  It was just inconceivable to me I couldn’t win it all.”

“I have no talent except for being able to enjoy and recognize it in others.”

“I quickly figured out that the one ability I’d better have is to create relationships.”

“I never thought that I would have a career in show business.  I just needed a job.  I must have had a dozen jobs and I got fired from all of them.  Before being hired as an usher at the CBS Theater, I didn’t even know there was a show business!”

“I think that the goal, first and foremost, has to be to make a successful movie.  Otherwise you go out of business.”

“I think music becomes a more important part of peoples’ lives with each generation.  With portable carriers of music, it’s underscoring everybody’s life for a larger portion of the day.  It’s underscoring their lives on the streets, in their cars, when they’re jogging, when they’re walking, when they’re screwing, and so I would say that the prognosis for the music business is very good.”

“I never went to business school.  I was just bumbling through a lot of my life.  I was like the guy behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz.”

“My mother taught me to love my work.  I learned everything about business from her.”

“I’m Billy the Kid, the fastest draw.  It’s not arrogance.  It’s the truth.”

“I buy my clothes at J.Crew online.  I’m a very casual guy.”

Steven Spielberg and I have tremendous amounts of money.”

“We’re not motivated to make more money.  We all have too much already.  We want to do good work.”

“There are many ‘extraordinary actors and directors,’ but very few ‘extraordinary writers or stories.’  I think that films are so expensive that people want to have what they hope will be a sure thing.”

“I would say I’m less driven than I used to be, because I can’t find a reason for being driven anymore.  I mean, I don’t want to make any more money.  That’s not my goal.  It has been a goal of mine for a long time to be successful and to make money but it isn’t now.  And frankly, I make money anyway so it doesn’t matter.”

“When people ask me who are you a fan of, I say, ‘Warren Buffett.’  I’m a Warren Buffett fan.”

“My greatest fear is getting bored.”

“It’s very easy for me to thank everyone for the incredible contribution they’ve made to my life.”

“I intend to be me.  Whatever that is.”

“My life is a success – I am a happy man.”

Cory Johnson: likes curvy women, comedy, music, ‘n’ money. His net worth is $11 million. Here’s how he did it.