27 Lessons from 27 Years

Dan Gilbert is a busy guy.  He’s the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, the largest online mortgage company in the world.  He’s the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, owner of two casinos in Ohio, and primary investor in over 60 other companies.  He is leading a massive charge to revitalize Detroit, and has purchased millions of square feet of office space in my hometown.  He’s a deeply committed philanthropist, who has pledged to give away half his wealth to charity (along with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet).  He’s an incredible leader, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and even part-time radio host.  He’s also my long-time business partner, mentor, and friend.

Dan recently shared the “27 things I’ve learned in 27 years of business.”  As an inspiration to so many, I wanted to share his powerful lessons with you.  Enjoy!

27: Don’t get distracted by people who want you to review the receipts for the paintbrushes. Your job is to paint.

26: Building anything great is messy.

25: The one who tells you there is food on your face is your friend.

24: The price of knowing is often way too high.

23: Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. (Thanks Albert E.!)

22: Spreadsheets are for measuring the past, not the future. Remember, 57.392% of statistics are made up on the spot.

21: The more you give, the more you get. It’s as simple as that.

20: Winning on the hard stuff does not make the easy stuff easy.

19: It’s not so frickin’ funny when it’s you, is it?

18: There is no better joy than helping people around you go to levels higher than they ever thought they could.

17: Working longer hours does not automatically make you more successful. Working smarter does.

16: People who are constantly negative, pessimistic and cynical are not spewing their venom towards you or your ideas. They are talking about themselves. Never forget that.

15: The little things DO matter. Especially to people.

14: Think big, huge, large, enormous, immense, jumbo, walloping, gigantic, king sized, mammoth, massive, thundering. You have to think anyway… so why not?

13: Try to please everyone all of the time, and you will end up pleasing no one most of the time.

12: Be curious.

11: Any ounce of energy you spend regretting mistakes you made in the past is taking away energy you need from doing things right in the present.

10: Nothing great and long-lasting is built overnight, but you MUST take the first step NOW.

9: Appreciate everything.

8: Light yourself on “fire,” and many people will join your mission.

7: I never learned anything talking.

6: Thinking (going deep) about problems, challenges, new ways of doing things and creativity is one of THE hardest things you will ever do. It also will bring you the finest results.

5: There is always a way to turn a problem into an opportunity. Find it.

4: Some people WILL NEVER get it. Get them out of your team, club, house, life, etc… and both of you will be happier.

3: If you believe tomorrow will be even more exciting than today, then you have discovered what passion really means.

2: Nothing clarifies like clarity.

1: When you love what you do, there is no such thing as “work.”