Sam Altman

Sam Altman quotes on success

American entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger. Former president of Y Combinator.

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If you are successful, it’s almost always because some people went out of their way to help you. You have a moral obligation to pay it forward.


Having the self-belief that you will be able to figure things out as you go along is critical to success at anything hard. Get started and trust yourself. No one has all the answers at the beginning.


The home run theory of careers: What matters is eventually hitting a home run, and the way to do that is training hard and a lot of at-bats. You only have to be right once, and it's ok to be wrong a lot of times. Be bold. Move fast. Work hard. Ignore haters. Keep swinging.


Let yourself occasionally get a little screwed in exchange for not having to live with your guard up all the time. It’s worth it.


How things get done in the world: Relentless focus Self-confidence Personal connections Effective leadership (communication, management, vision, and evangelism)


Annual goals are hard. Try monthly ones! Not so daunting and 12x the feeling of accomplishment. Amazing what you can get done in 12 small pieces.


long-term thinking is a competitive advantage because almost no one does it


Learn to say yes when an amazing opportunity presents itself, even if you're not 100% sure how to do it. You can learn along the way.


The most impressive people I know spent their time with their head down getting shit done for a long, long time.


If you consistently do something today instead of scheduling a meeting for next week, your career is likely to be far more impactful than most.


Make your identity about your strengths, not your weaknesses.


One of the worst lies the world tells you: "You have to be patient and pay your dues". Not true. Always strive for better now.


Even fewer people are willing/able to actually execute on plans. People who have a bold vision, specific plans, and execution ability can make magic happen.


productivity tips: work hard on stuff that matters. don't work on stuff that doesn't matter. (most people screw up the second part.)


The best founders are always very responsive. I used to wonder why. It indicates decisiveness, focus, intensity, ability to get stuff done.


The least effective people always seem to care the most about credentials.


I'm not sure if it's cause or effect that young founders who get a lot of press before succeeding tend to fail, but wise to avoid.


people talk too much about the lessons they learn from failure. those are often dangerous. much better to learn from success.


People fall into the camp of talkers or doers. Learning to quickly differentiate is an important key to success.


Followup: neither hard work nor a great idea alone will make you successful. Only hard work on the right thing counts.


The mental distraction of worry and indecision is so bad. The most effective people I know are great at avoiding.


Specific ambition, combined with relentless execution, is extremely powerful. Non-specific ambition leads to a lot of energy and random movement but no forward progress.

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