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Ted Turner Quotes

Robert Edward Ted Turner

Ted Turner quotes: media mogul, philanthropist, and founder of CNN talks values, goals, innovation, success, giving back.

“You can never quit.  Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.”

“To succeed you have to be innovative.”

“If you never quit, you’re never beaten.”

“Once you decide to do something, and you’re pretty sure you’re right, then you gotta go ahead and do it.  Because if you piddle around, somebody else will beat you to it.”

“Do something.  Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

“I’ve never run into a guy who could win at the top level in anything today and didn’t have the right attitude, didn’t give it everything he had, at least while he was doing it; wasn’t prepared and didn’t have the whole program worked out.”

“When you lose small businesses, you lose big ideas.  People who own their own businesses are their own bosses.  They are independent thinkers.  They know they can’t compete by imitating the big guys; they have to innovate.  So they are less obsessed with earnings than they are with ideas.”

“Exposure to defeat is a very important thing.  Anyone who doesn’t look to get beaten is doing a disservice to himself.”

“Values and achievements are much more important than possessions.”

“Life is a game.  Money is how we keep score.”

“The biggest thing I learned from losing?  Winning’s better.”

“If you panic that’s a good way to lose.  You have to stay in control.”

“The mind is just another muscle.”

“If you treat people with dignity, respect, and friendliness… you can turn enemies into friends.  An enemy is nothing but a friend in disguise.”

“Life is like a B-movie.  You don’t want to leave in the middle of it, but you don’t want to see it again.”

“I mean, there’s no point in sittin’ around and cryin’ about spilled milk.  Gotta move on.”

“If you think you’re a second-class citizen, you are.”

“Every man sees a little of himself in Rhett Butler.”

“Be sure to set your goals so high that you can’t possibly accomplish them in one lifetime.  That way you’ll always have something ahead of you.  I made the mistake of setting my goals too low, and now I’m having a hard time coming up with new ones.”

“Struggling hard to achieve something is the most fun I get.”

“Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise.”

“My son is now an ‘entrepreneur.’  That’s what you’re called when you don’t have a job.”

“I don’t care how much adversity life threw at me.  I intended to get to the top.”

“I’m no genius.  I’m not at all; I just happen to look five or ten years ahead and think things through.”

“I just love it when people say I can’t do it, there’s nothing that makes me feel better because all my life, people have said that I wasn’t going to make it.”

“I’m a millionaire, I guess, but I’m just a normal person and I like everybody, taxi drivers, whoever you are, to call me by my first name and talk to me on a man-to-man basis.  I think the garbage collector is as important as the goddamned President.”

“When I got my statement in January, I was worth $2.2 billion.  Then I got another statement in August that said I was worth $3.2 billion.  So I figure it’s only nine months’ earnings, who cares?”

“Every few seconds it changes – up an eighth, down an eighth – it’s like playing a slot machine.  I lose $20 million, I gain $20 million.”

“Being a billionaire or being a millionaire or being broke – and I’ve been all three at one time or another – it doesn’t make that much difference.  If you’ve been bitten by the capitalism bug, or the achievement bug, you want to be the best in whatever you do.”

“I lost 80% of my wealth and then gave away over half of the rest.  So I’m a man of modest means now.  But if you budget carefully and watch your expenditures, you can get by on a couple billion dollars.”

“The more good I do, the more money has come in.  You have to learn to give.  You’re not born to give.  You’re born selfish.”

“Looking back, if I had to live my life over, there are things I would do differently, but the one thing I would not change is my charitable giving.  I’m particularly thankful for my father’s advice to set goals so high that they can’t possibly be achieved during a lifetime and to give help where help is needed most.  That inspiration keeps me energized and eager to keep working hard every day on giving back and making the world a better place for generations to come.”

“I made a lot of money.  I earned a lot of money with CNN and satellite and cable television.  And you can’t really spend large sums of money, intelligently, on buying things.  So I thought the best thing I could do was put some of that money back to work – making an investment in the future of humanity.”

“I don’t measure success in numbers, but I consider my contributions of more than $1.3 billion to various causes over the years to be one of my proudest accomplishments and the best investment I’ve ever made.  Those dollars have improved lives, saved species, fought disease, educated children, inspired change, challenged ideas, and opened minds; at the time of my death, virtually all of my wealth will have gone to charity.”

“The happiest people are those who are contributing to society.”

“There’s a fine line between being colorful and being an asshole, and I hope I’m still just colorful.”

“I had more energy at 50.  On the other hand, at 75, I’ve probably got a little more wisdom and good judgment than I had at 50 because I’ve got more experience.  But I haven’t really changed.  I’m still driven by the same philosophy.”

“I’ve got a virtually limitless supply of bullsh*t.”

“I consider myself the luckiest man in the world.  I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to achieve.”

“When our time’s up, it’s up.  All the money in the world won’t buy you one more day.”

“The word impossible does not exist for me. I’ve got a lot of signal flags in my flag bag, but there is not a white one in there.  I am going to keep fighting until the day I die – and might keep on fighting afterward.  Depends on where I am.”

“I know what I’m having ’em put on my tombstone: ‘I have nothing more to say.'”

“Over a three year period, I gave away half of what I had.  To be honest, my hands shook as I signed it away.  I knew I was taking myself out of the race to be the richest man in the world.”

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