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Steve Madden Quotes

Steve MaddenSteve Madden quotes: honest and humble reflections by the shoe mogul.

“I know what I’m in the business for, and know what lane my creativity rides in. Time and tough life lessons can do that to you; but those lessons don’t mean much if you let them change you instead of strengthen what you already believe in.”

Hard work comes first; you cannot have success without that grit and determination. However, you cannot ignore how important luck is; it has definitely played a role in my success.”

“Work-life balance doesn’t mean anything to me. Everything is one. Life and work are one to me. Any entrepreneur would tell you that.”

“Try to finish an idea. See if you can finish it and not leave it open. That sort of helps going into the next day. I’ve heard John Lennon talk about that, actually. He always tried to finish a song and that always resonated with me.”

“Run your business within your means. Do what you can do and only do what you can do. And keep going. If it was 100 pairs of shoes that I could afford to make, I stayed in that. I never was a big borrower.”

“The worst piece of advice I ever got was [to] borrow money. The advice that ‘money is so cheap, why not put a little debt on your balance sheet?’ That’s bad advice for an entrepreneur.”

“You have to take care of the fundamentals—like putting food on the table, paying your bills—before anything else. A big lesson is you should pay your bills. Always pay your bills and on time. And you should try to keep your word. I think most people try to keep their word, but there’s a lot of gray areas.”

“My father has influenced me the most when it comes to how I approach my work. He influenced me with his prioritization. I suppose that has stayed with me. There are people that don’t have a good sense of priorities when it comes to business, and they don’t usually win. That was the big thing I got from my dad, ‘first things first.'”

“You need to define yourself in the marketplace.”

“Growing is an important part of the business, but more important than that is to get better.”

“There are a lot of people who get support from a thriving business.”

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

“You must have smart people who are talented and have different perspectives around you.”

“Team building is crucial. Focussing on the team is crucial for a healthy, successful company.”

“Do what you love; listen to your team, even if you disagree and it kills you; and, brush your teeth every morning and night.”

“I like meeting people. Listening to people talk.”

“I have Attention Deficit Disorder. I find what’s helpful to me is a rabbit’s foot of some sort that you can hold on to that kind of keeps you grounded. Some kind of good luck charm. I try to keep that on me wherever I go. I’m smart enough to know that trinket is not bringing me luck but there’s something grounding about having it. Like, I’ve got this, and I’m okay. I recommend that to people who have trouble focusing.”

“I’m a New York story.”

“I am guilty of stupidity, arrogance, and greed.”

“People are afraid because I’m candid. They’re always worried I’m going to get into trouble.”

“What’s a trip that changed me? My trip to a federal correctional facility. That was a trip that changed me. Getting out of prison took my career to another level.”

“You have to be a little contrite to get redemption.”

“I’ve been making shoes my whole life. So much of design is context.”

“I’m clearly passionate about it. There’s a lot of responsibility to keep delivering this kind of stuff, delivering this trend stuff. There’s a lot of people I’m responsible for, customers who rely on it, so I kind of take that pretty seriously. Like it’s not about me, it’s a big responsibility here to deliver.”

“I think it’s pointless to create a shoe for the sake of art. I don’t want my shoes in museums. I want people wearing them.”

“My strengths as a businessman lie in the design and sale of women’s shoes, and I have never been comfortable with complicated or technical legal or business documents.”

“My story has been so quintessentially American, building a company, and then losing it a bit, and coming back. You know when it happens to you it’s not as remarkable. I suppose if I were to look at myself, I suppose it would be.”

“My pores were always open and I got inspiration from everything around me.”

“I am very competitive.”

“As a founder of a very large company, how do you value the company and the success of the company, over one’s ego? That’s the struggle. You’ve got to put the company first. My question now is how can I add value now? Some of the things I did to get us here don’t work anymore, because we’re a huge corporation. So I have to figure out what I’m going to do and find people who do those things better than me. That’s what’s next.”

“I have been in the field working with my birds for 36 years and I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see or learn something new.”

“The artist in me cries out for design. I’m inspired by a lot of art. All different kinds of art. Music and painting, things like that are very creatively inspiring to me.”

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

“The world keeps turning and I think our girl is not the same girl. She’s older now, she’s doing different stuff. She’s more serious about her life.”

“What inspires me is what I see people wearing on the streets of the world from New York to London and beyond. I get my ideas and inspiration from pounding the pavement all over the world. Today, fashion is dictated by individual style. To me, the fashion of the future is anything that a young guy or girl feels good wearing as long as it’s put together in the right way.”

“That excites me the most is seeing the shoes being worn. Many times I’ve stopped people and said, ‘Where did you get that f*cking shoe?’ And they go, ‘Steve Madden.’ But so yeah, getting paid is a big deal. The whole idea. The Silicon Valley guys really get that. They’re like these geeks—they’re very focused on their tech geeky sh*t and the stock market. These two very opposite sort of things. They’re doing their thing and all that, but they’re really focused on getting paid. I put the shoes first and the money second, but you have to have both, and you can’t exist without profit, it’s very important.”

“There’s a lot of guys everybody think is great, they go crazy, but they don’t make no money. You have to do both. And that’s what Ralph Lauren does so well, and that’s what Tommy Hilfiger does so well, and that’s what Marc Jacobs does so well. They’re brilliant, all three of those guys, just f*cking brilliant. So I’ve always been sort of interested in art and commerce, you know, together.”

“I have all the money I could want now. It’s not so much the actual money, it’s winning that motivates me. It’s being better than my competition. But it is money in the sense that that’s the language, that’s the scorecard that we use. I guess you could say I have money, but I don’t really have a lot of extravagances either. There’s something about making a great shoe, having somebody wear it, and then getting paid. There’s nothing better than creating something and getting paid.”

“Yes, I was hardworking and talented, but I was a lucky guy. And it may not have been enough if I didn’t have luck.”

“I don’t regret too much. It may sound like an overstatement, but if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a moment, even the time I spent in prison thinking my life was over. Whether it’s a shoe or a life, without each piece carefully stitched together, the final product will never be the same.”

“I want to do what I do and be good at it. I’ve tried it. I’m very sort of a democratic guy.”

“It’s great now. I’m having a lot of fun. I’m having more fun now, actually. I feel physically, mentally, and spiritually in the best shape of my life. It’s the best I’ve ever felt.”

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.