Life as a CEO boxes you in. If forces you to give away too much of yourself. When I say behind the desk, I couldn’t disconnect from the job, no matter how hard I tried. Not until I pulled the plug did I realize how much of myself I had invested in the business and how much of it was invested in me.

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Given my lack of formal education, the one factor that has contributed the most to my development as a CEO is that I’m not a quitter when faced with a challenge. I simply refuse to back down.

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I firmly believe that when you put people first, good things will happen.

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Most entrepreneurs get stuck because they never learn to think like an owner. When you only think as a CEO or manager you always think of the business first. As a result, you become a slave to it. I learned early in my career that my business should serve my life, not run it, and that has made a huge difference in how my career has unfolded.

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Part of our strategic plan calls for having fun, and I think that has to be an essential component of work, no matter what you do.

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One thing I’ve learned is that a company’s vision has to be kept vivid and be renewed.

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I’ll always be an entrepreneur, starting new things, building new companies, but the feeling of freedom, the freedom to choose what you want to do and who you do it for and with, is probably the nicest part of it.

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You don’t get any second opportunities with your family. You get second chances in the business, but you don’t realize it while you’re in the middle of putting out all the fires.

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I’ve tried to avoid making decisions that I didn’t believe in my gut were the right thing to do – morally, financially, emotionally, or whatever.

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I’ve walked away from business that I felt wasn’t right or might hurt me financially and served relationships that had the potential for more harm than good. To a large extent, I think my ability to trust my gut, to instinctively know what is right and good and true, has helped me get to where…

I attribute most of my success to surrounding myself with top-notch people.

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I’ve never backed away from making the tough decisions, even when it’s meant going against the grain.