Paul Orfalea Quotes

Paul Orfalea

Paul Orfalea quotes: the Kinko’s king on overcoming his learning disabilities, the funny way he came up with the company name, the importance of having supportive parents, and more.

“You can either complain or look for opportunity in every problem.  I prefer opportunity.”

“If you’re going to enjoy the picnic that life really is, you’d better learn to like yourself, not despite your flaws and so-called deficits, but because of them.”

“Be helpful, be useful, bring something to the party.  Don’t just network because you need something; network because you have something to give.  If you join a board, work your ass off.  Do the homework.”

“Keep making it better.”

“Take risks.”

“See the success around you.  Trust people.”

Be yourself, and you’ll find the people who are looking for you.”

“Create your own rules.  Remove obstacles.”

“Cultivate your intuition.  Look at your business.”

“Be curious.  See what isn’t there.”

“Get a good night’s sleep.”

“My motto has always been that anybody can do it better than me.”

“The people in the front lines are my customers.  I need to keep them happy.  And, the best way to take care of your customers is to take care of your workers.”

“Make your customers comfortable and they will give you their lives.”

“Take an accounting class.  Be ‘on’ your business instead of ‘in’ your business.  See the future, empathize with the customer, and remove obstacles.”

“You’ve got to be out in the world, looking for obstacles to remove and new opportunities to exploit.  The world doesn’t stand still.  Why would you?  So get out and see things for yourself.  With practice, you’ll learn to see new opportunities everywhere you look.”

“Accountants are in the past, managers are in the present, and leaders are in the future.”

“As a manager or owner, it is your job to understand where you are headed, to motivate your workers, and to balance your checkbook.  It’s really simple.  And business has a great way of screwing that up.”

“Managers need to have good people skills more than good technical skills.”

“I think there are two kinds of people, and I think that you’ve got to be true to yourself.  You need to decide if you feel more comfortable working with tasks, and being self-fulfilled that way, or if you like the idea of working with people.  If you want to work with people, it’s going to be frustrating sometimes.  It’s an art to deal with people, where working with ‘things’ can be a science.  When you move into management, I think you’ve got to evolve from science to art.  And to say that there’s no art in business is absolutely ludicrous.  To motivate people is art, not science.”

“What we can do to make you happier in any area?  I believe to be happy in life you have to have three things in balance: work, love, and play.”

“What makes America great is in our imagination, not in memorization.  We are not a memorization-fixated culture.  We can’t compete with the Chinese and Japanese in memorization.  Where we have been competitive is in creativity.”

“Whenever I felt down, whenever I started wondering what homeless shelter I would die in, my mother would buck me up by telling me: you know, Paul, the A students work for the B students, the C students run the companies, and the D students dedicate the buildings.”

“The goal of management is to remove obstacles.”

“Kids that are allegedly better students are in an elitist class in first and second grade and then they go to their high schools, they go to their universities and the normal dumb sh*ts like me are down at the bottom.  These people go to elitist schools and they replicate their elitist thoughts in the corporations.”

“If you go on vacation for one week, you’ll come back to two weeks of work.  If you go on vacation for two weeks, you’ll come back to four weeks of work.  If you go on vacation for three weeks, people seem to figure it out for themselves.”

“I had supportive parents and that made all the difference.  I was a sensitive kid.  I could have easily fallen through the cracks.”

“With ADD, you’re curious.  Your eyes believe what they see.  Your ears believe what others say.  I learned to trust my eyes.”

“If you have the right perspective on life and on your children, you’ll say, ‘So what?’ about their grades.  Grades aren’t what’s important.  Are your kids developing trusting relationships?  Are they curious?”

“When tearful parents come up to me to talk about their child’s ‘learning disorder,’ I ask them, ‘Oh you mean his learning opportunity?'”

“I was trained from an early age to look for opportunity.”

“There were two types of support very important to my success: one was the support I got from my parents, and the other was the support I provided to my friends.”

“My parents never lost faith in me.  They knew I wasn’t dumb or lazy.  They tried everything to help me succeed in school and in life.  With the special schools and tutors and counselors, dad joked that they paid $50 dollars for every word I learned to read.  They stuck with me and I think that’s a big reason I never gave up.”

“I was never shy about telling people how happy I was to have them with me.  Of course we all depend on other people; I think my struggles taught me not to take them for granted.”

“All my life I knew I would have a big business.  That’s what I wanted from the time I was in second grade; there was never a doubt in my mind.”

“The ‘dark side’ of the Kinko’s story is that the company was built, at least in part, on emotional extremes, most of them my own.”

“Building an entirely new sort of business from a single Xerox copy machine gave me the life the world seemed determined to deny me when I was younger.”

“It was an easy business.  How did I get the idea?  I used to have a roadside vegetable stand and my inventory would always rot.  My dad made women’s clothing, and he had all this inventory to worry about.  So I thought, this inventory thing is bad news.  I don’t want anything to do with it.  With a Xerox machine, I can dial a button and what comes out the end I can sell.  It’s actually a simple business really.”

“I called it Kinko’s because of my nickname – because I had this really kinky hair.  If you think about it, the first thing a baby learns is ‘googoo, gaga,’ and if you think of good businesses like Kodak, Xerox, Google, people remember consonants – which was why Kinko’s was a good name.  But really I had this big head of curly hair and before being called ‘Kinko’ I was ‘Pube Head.’  So I thought Kinko’s was better than ‘Pubo’s.'”

“Kinko’s is the soup kitchen for the technologically disadvantaged.”

“The key to Kinko’s success was its ethos, its spirit.  Success never hinged on a certain type of copying technology or a particular financial gambit; rather, it grew from creation of an environment where employees enjoyed coming to work, stayed happy and motivated, and genuinely wanted to help the customers get what they needed.”

“We’re going too quickly and we’ve got to relax.  We’ve got to have a loving relationship.  People need to know how to come home at night and enjoy their children.  We all need time for our souls to catch up to our bodies.”

“There’s no point in bragging in the good times.  Your friends don’t need to hear it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.”

“One day I’d like to go to the moon and look at the planet earth and say, ‘€˜Wow, there’s part of my portfolio.'”

“Happy wife, happy life.”

“Work, love, and play.”

Also good are Bill Gates quotes.

About the author: Your mom’s hairdresser’s stepson’s third favorite writer. Net worth: $11 million. Told me to tell you to watch this video.