Explore popular quotes and sayings by an American businessman Chris Gardner.
Christopher Paul Gardner is an American businessman and motivational speaker. During the early 1980s, Gardner struggled with homelessness while raising a toddler son. He became a stockbroker and eventually founded his own brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co in 1987. In 2006, Gardner sold his minority stake in the firm and published a memoir. That book was made into the motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith.
My first ambition in life, I made up my mind I was going to become Miles Davis. I studied music, music theory. I played trumpet for nine years. One day, my mother explained, 'You can't be Miles Davis. There's one, and he's got that job.'
Nine times out of 10, extenuating circumstances aside, I believe that people are where they are by some kind of choice on their part. You need to acknowledge that, 'Hey, I'm here because I steered my horse in this direction.'
If you're lucky enough to have a permanent position, don't feel entitled. Companies value longtime employees' institutional memory, but to be irreplaceable, you must stay invested. Take the initiative and assume new responsibilities.
The hardest thing that I had to do every day as a working single parent was child care, to have to leave my child with people that I did not know and hope everything was OK, that was the most painful part of every day.
Fortunately, our digital age has created some wonderful tools for finding employers and showing your strengths. But when it comes to discovering or keeping a job, nothing beats good old-fashioned face time and up-to-date skills.
I chose to embrace the spirit of my mother, who, though she had too many of her own dreams denied, deferred, and destroyed, she still instilled in me, her child, that I could have dreams and that I did have a responsibility and the power.
Most of us have heard the saying, 'Cleanliness is next to godliness.' That's a sentiment I value, but another virtue has inspired me to revise that saying. As far as I'm concerned, what's next to godliness is resourcefulness.
Your skills may not be anything out of the ordinary, but you can do miraculous things with what you've got. Maybe it's your parenting skills, or your compassion. It may be your curiosity, your imagination or unique style of fashion. Even if it seems to be no big deal, the lesson here is we all have unique abilities and talents.
I initially moved to San Francisco to become a research associate for one of the top young heart surgeons in the country. Everything that I learned in that position is that skills, talent, and expertise are transferable.
You want be young and have fun, that's great. But while you're having fun, someone you don't see is studying and preparing. You might end up working for that person. No one wants to hear that! But I try to tell young people: You want to be the one signing the front of the check, not the back.
Probably the hardest question I get asked is, 'How do I choose between passion and practicality?' I can't answer that. I had to do both. I was passionate about pursuing a career in financial services. But I was also passionate about feeding my child.
I've been talking to a lot of young people, especially here in America. I let them know that the people who they're competing with for opportunities live all over the place. They're probably not in your city, state, or country; they are hungry, and they are grinding! Some of the things that a lot of us take for granted, these people don't.
I also often hear people say that the deck is stacked against them because of racism, sexism, or other oppressive 'isms.' But once you let go of the blame and excuses, you'll see that you can alter your position on your own.
When I was a kid, we played a jump rope game called double Dutch - where you had to jump over two ropes swinging in opposite directions. Picking just the right moment to jump in was a practiced art form.