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Tilman Fertitta Quotes

Tilman Fertitta CNBC

Tilman Fertitta quotes: Tilmanisms no business should be without.

“Keep punching.”

“See the opportunity, seize the opportunity.”

“Be the bull.”

“People throw in the towel because they don’t know how to fight.  You’d be surprised how much fight you have in you if you just do it.”

“Know your numbers.”

“You can’t treat everybody the same.  I treat everybody differently depending on how I’ve evaluated that person.  And if you do it that way in business, you’re going to be a lot more successful.”

“I always ask candidates two things: ‘How many times have you been fired?’ and, ‘Do you watch your clock when it’s time to go?  Do you look at your phone?  Do you look at your watch?'”

“There are no spare customers.”

“Treat every single customer like they’re the only one.  Without customers, you’ll cease to exist.”

“Be plappy.”  [Meaning, play happy.  Anytime you’re working, project a happy mood, even when life sucks a big one.]

“Never become partners with someone who has the same skill set as you.”

“Take the word no out of your damn vocabulary.”

“As much as you need to know your operations, if you don’t understand the finance side and how to do the business, you’re never going to be successful.  So you might be the best operator or visionary, but if you don’t understand the finance side… [Put it this way] I’m successful because I know the finance side, but I also know operations; it’s not an accident.”

“Don’t show a head in the bed if it’s not there.”

“People who ask questions are often the smartest in the room because they have the humility to ask about what they don’t know.”

“Why is it so easy to say no when you can say yes?”

“You’re trying to run a marathon, and you haven’t even shown me you can crawl.”

“The biggest issue that small businesses face involves working capital, because they have to pay for everything upfront.”

“When you’re public, you’re at the mercy of the markets.  You can be doing extremely well, but if the markets are in the tank or your industry is in the tank, you don’t get rewarded for it.”

“By anticipating change, you don’t just change with the times – you change the times themselves.”

“I’m there for my friends.  And I’d like to think… I’m there for my employees.”

“Don’t ever think that your position is too high to teach others.  Because I still teach every single day.”

“I struggle to put gas in my car.  I wouldn’t even know how to change the oil.  But you can bring in a business that I’ve never seen before, and I can tell you in three or four minutes if it’s a good business, what the numbers are, and what that business is worth.”

“You might think you know what you’re doing, but I’m going to show you what you don’t know.”

“I know how to finance something.  It’s easier today because, as you’re more successful, everybody wants to do deals with you.  But even in the beginning, when I took Landry’s public, I owned 100% of it.  I never had investors or anything.  I was just always able to find a way to do it.”

“It’s okay to admit that you don’t have all the answers.  It’s not okay to be just okay with it.”

“One of the things about being a good leader is hiring people who are stronger than you, and if you hire people who are stronger than you, they’ll never take your job.  They’ll help you keep your job.”

“It’s free to be nice.”

“Build in a few hours or days – in your schedule – for what-ifs.  If I tell somebody I’m going to deliver something on this day, I’m damn well going to deliver it.  I’m going to make that customer feel special.”

“When things are bad, eat the weak and grow your business.”

“Every day is a learning day for me too.  Somebody does something in a day that makes me a little bit smarter than I was when the day began, because I’m not always talking.  I’m also listening.”

“Never put your lifestyle ahead of the growth of your business.”

“When you have to stay late, you stay late, and when you don’t have to stay late, you go home.  But, you do whatever it takes to get the job done that day.”

“The biggest thing I want to see is that people have the drive to succeed.  If they can ‘take it or leave it,’ I don’t do business with them.  I enjoy mentoring.  I like people who want to learn.”

Consultants can consult you out of business.”

“We don’t use consultants at Landry’s.  We’re our own consultants.”

“I can’t draw a stick person.  I can’t play a musical instrument.  But I’ve always had a knack for making money.”

“Follow the 95/5 Rule: everyone does about 95% of what is right, but what is the 5% they’re slacking on?”

“Everybody wants to be led.  Except for me.  I want to lead.”

“You can put the greatest seafood restaurant next to an average steak house in an urban area, and that steak house will do more business than the seafood place.  If you go to the water, you can put an average seafood place next to the greatest steak house, and people are going to eat seafood.”

“If you don’t change and mix things up, you’re going to get run over.  One of the things we preach is ‘change, change, change.’  To be a great leader, you must anticipate and be open to change.  Because change is going to happen whether your business is ready for it or not.”

“You’ve got to stay strong to be strong in tough times.”

“When things are good, we forget that things are going to be bad again.”

“You’re not out of business until you don’t have the last dollar to go out and buy product to make, until somebody comes and padlocks your door, or you can’t make payroll.”

“There’s a paddle for everyone’s ass.  And you never know when it’s coming.”

“If you aren’t listening, you are missing out.”

“Shut up and listen!”

Related: Mark Cuban quotes.

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