Harvey Mackay Quotes Biography | Motivation Quotes | Inspirational Quotations

Harvey Mackay
Harvey Mackay

Harvey MacKay:

Harvey MacKay is the author of seven bestseller books including swim with the sharks without being eaten alive and beware the naked man who offers you his shirt. According to the New York Times, Harvey MacKay both books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time in 1996. Harvey MacKay is also one of world’s top leadership experts and America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers. Harvey MacKay books were translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries.

Early life and career:

Harvey MacKay was born in 1932 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Jack and Myrtle Mackay. In 1950 Mackay graduated from Central High School in Saint Paul Minnesota. Harvey MacKay got a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he also lettered in golf in 1954. In 1968, Harvey MacKay graduated from the Stanford University Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

At age 26, after becoming the top salesman for Quality Park Envelope Company, in 1959 he purchased a small, failing Envelope manufacturer with 12 employees, which has grown to a $100 million business employing over 600 people. Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company is one of the world’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

Harvey MacKay authored his first book Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive in 1988. It was on the New York Times bestsellers list and sold over 5 million copies for 54 weeks. Mackay started his public speaking career after the release of his first book.

Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You Harvey MacKay Shirt was the second book of Mackay and was published in 1990. It was number one on the New York Times bestsellers list. Toastmasters International named Mackay one of its top five speakers in the world in 1993.

Other 5 Harvey MacKay’s New York Times bestseller books are Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty (1997), We Got Fired! . . . And It’s the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Us (2009), Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door (2010), The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World (2011).

Personal life and awards of Harvey MacKay:

Harvey MacKay and his wife Carol Ann reside in the Twin Cities and Paradise Valley, Arizona. They have three children and eleven grandchildren.

  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising Award in 1982 from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

  • Minnesota Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1989

  • Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) Academy of Achievement in 1990

  • Horatio Alger award in 2004

  • University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award in 2008

Harvey Mackay Inspirational Quotations:

  • “A great accomplishment shouldn't be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward.”

  • “When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective.”

  • “A student of life considers the world a classroom.”

  • “Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful.”

  • Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.”

  • “To be a champion, you have to learn to handle stress and pressure. But if you've prepared mentally and physically, you don't have to worry.”

  • “Life isn't fair. It's true, and you still have to deal with it. Whining about it rarely levels the playing field, but learning to rise above it is the ultimate reward.”

  • “None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone's help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.”

  • “Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don't base your self-esteem on their opinions.”

  • “Your workforce is your most valuable asset. The knowledge and skills they have represent the fuel that drives the engine of business - and you can leverage that knowledge.”

  • “Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support them.”

  • “An optimist understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again.”

  • “Deadlines aren't bad. They help you organize your time. They help you set priorities. They make you get going when you might not feel like it.”

  • “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. The quality of your business is no different.”

  • “It doesn't matter whether you are pursuing success in business, sports, the arts, or life in general: The bridge between wishing and accomplishing is discipline.”

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Soft skills

  • “A smart manager will establish a culture of gratitude. Expand the appreciative attitude to suppliers, vendors, delivery people, and of course, customers.”

  • “Worrying about the past or the future isn't productive. When you start chastising yourself for past mistakes, or seeing disaster around every corner, stop and take a breath and ask yourself what you can do right now to succeed.”

  • “I believe that visualization is one of the most powerful means of achieving personal goals.”

  • “My Golden Rule of Networking is simple: Don't keep score.”

  • “Learn from the past, but don't live there. Build on what you know so that you don't repeat mistakes. Resolve to learn something new every day. Because every 24 hours, you have the opportunity to have the best day of your company's life.”

  • “Fatigue makes fools of us all. It robs you of your skills and your judgment, and it blinds you to creative solutions. It's the best-conditioned athlete, not the most talented, who generally wins when the going gets tough.”

  • “Every morning brings new potential, but if you dwell on the misfortunes of the day before, you tend to overlook tremendous opportunities.”

  • “Southwest Airlines is successful because the company understands it's a customer service company. It also happens to be an airline.”

  • “The cost of praising someone is nil - but every psychological study shows the payoff is huge.”

  • “The employees who share innovative ideas may also be the folks who have some hidden talents that would help incorporate their suggestions.”

  • “You can win more friends with your ears than with your mouth. People who feel like they're being listened to feel accepted and appreciated. They feel like they're being taken seriously and what they say really matters.”

  • “Good intentions aren't enough. People have good intentions when they set a goal to do something, but then they miss a deadline or other milestone.”

  • “You learn how to be book smart in school, but you better not forget that you also need to be street smart”

  • “Expect to make some mistakes when you try new and different approaches. Sometimes colossal failures lead to spectacular successes.”

  • “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.”

  • “Customers are the reason we open our doors every day, and keep the machines humming all night long. Customers determine what we eat, where we live, whether we stay in business.”

  • “It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice. You don't know who your top customers will be five years from now or where you will be in 10 years. You may have a fancy title, but you will always need help from the people around you.”

  • “Don't fall in love with your wit. Your cleverly turned phrase may not, as you hope, show off how much gray matter you have, especially if the phrase is at someone else's expense.”

  • “Humility is becoming a lost art, but it's not difficult to practice. It means that you realize that others have been involved in your success.”

  • “You don't need a big close, as many sales reps believe. You risk losing your customer when you save all the good stuff for the end. Keep the customer actively involved throughout your presentation, and watch your results improve.”

  • “As you schedule individual tasks, give yourself a cushion. Mark the due date a few days ahead of the actual deadline so you have time to deal with changes or last-minute emergencies.”

  • “Pay attention to those employees who respectfully ask why. They are demonstrating an interest in their jobs and exhibiting a curiosity that could eventually translate into leadership ability.”

  • “The life of a startup is full of ups and downs, an emotional roller coaster ride that you can't quite imagine if you've spent your whole career in a corporation.”

  • “You do not get what you want. You get what you negotiate.”

Harvey Mackay

  • “If you find yourself plagued by a recurrent worry, train yourself to think of something else. Your conscious mind can concentrate on only one thought at a time, and driving the negativity away will free you up to move forward again.”

  • “To me, job titles don't matter. Everyone is in sales. It's the only way we stay in business.”

  • “The sooner you accept the fact that you will have both successes and failures, the easier it will be to get your business and personal life headed in the right direction.”

  • “When you have a dream that you can't let go of, trust your instincts and pursue it. But remember: Real dreams take work, They take patience, and sometimes they require you to dig down very deep. Be sure you're willing to do that.”

  • “Amateurs wait for inspiration. The real pros get up and go to work.”

  • “If you believe, as I do, that your employees truly are your most valuable asset, you will do whatever you can to help them do their jobs as well as possible.”

  • “Direct your energy toward achieving a goal, and tackle the problems with an emphasis on edging closer to a successful result.”

  • “Exploring how you could make a bad situation worse can sometimes tell you what not to do.”

  • “In a climate of tight budgets, reduced workforces and stiff competition, internal training can be a great substitute for costly offsite workshops and conferences.”

  • “Never forget, the real secret of giving advice is this: Once you've given it, don't concern yourself with whether it is followed or not, and refrain from saying 'I told you so.'”

  • “If you want people to know how much you care, show them how much you remember. Learn their names and use them often. It's an important skill to develop.”

  • “I've known entrepreneurs who were not great salespeople, or didn't know how to code, or were not particularly charismatic leaders. But I don't know of any entrepreneurs who have achieved any level of success without persistence and determination.”

  • “You can't buy a good reputation; you must earn it.”

  • “Remember you're not entitled to anything. You have to earn your success every day, and you will make mistakes like everyone else.”

  • “I've learned that people will seldom let you down if they understand that your destiny is in their hands, and vice versa.”

  • “There is a time to provide advice and offer an opinion, and there is a time not to. Don't be too quick to offer unsolicited advice. It certainly will not endear you to people.”

  • “Delegating doesn't mean passing off work you don't enjoy, but letting your employees stretch their skills and judgment.”

Harvey Mackay

  • “Give your subconscious a chance to work by turning your brain off from time to time. Don't focus on work or solving problems constantly.”

  • “Just because an employee does things differently doesn't mean he or she won't do the job right or as well. If you establish expectations of the goal and the standards to follow, then methodology shouldn't be an issue.”

  • “Pale ink is better than the most retentive memory.”

  • “In a litigation-happy society, clear agreements often prevent small disagreements from becoming big ones.”

  • “No business can stay in business without customers. How you treat - or mistreat - them determines how long your doors stay open.”

  • “By getting your customers to agree with you in small steps along the way, you have a better chance of reaching agreement when it's time to do business.”

  • “Too often, sales reps simply regurgitate their presentations and expect to land the sale. It doesn't work.”

  • “When an employee asks why the company does things a certain way, and you can explain the logical reason, then the employee knows what she's doing is valid.”

  • “Ego stops you from getting things done and getting people to work with you. That's why I firmly believe that ego and success are not compatible.”

  • “I have ten marathons under my belt, including four New York races and one Boston.”

  • “The service leaders hire one out of 50 applicants, sometimes one out of 100, but they're very, very careful. You can't afford not to be extremely choosy when you hire.”

  • “When advice is freely given, the receiver is free to use it as he or she sees fit.”

  • “There is no shame in taking pride in achievements or position. But nobody gets to the top alone.”

  • “Like it or not, life is a series of competitions. You may be competing for a grade, a spot on a team, a job, or the largest account in town. The higher your self-esteem is, the better you get along with yourself, with others, and the more you'll accomplish.”

  • “It's only lonely at the top if you forget all the people you met along the way and fail to acknowledge their contributions to your success.”

  • “Pessimism doesn't grow your business or even maintain the status quo. The pessimists on your staff make the job harder for everyone around them. They make difficulties out of opportunities.”

  • “By my count, more business leaders have failed and derailed because of arrogance than any other character flaw.”

  • “No one ever wants to see his or her name linked to anything bad. Conscience is like a baby. It has to go to sleep before you can.”

  • “The annals of business are filled with stories of companies that thought they had it made and could milk their enterprises without having to bother about improving their products or services. It's amazing how fast they found their markets disappearing.”


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