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10 Principles of Success: Quotes to Inspire From Jim Rohn

Sean Peek
Sean Peek
business.com Contributing Writer
Updated Jul 21, 2022

Entrepreneur Jim Rohn's principles are a strong model of success to emulate.


Business professionals can learn many lessons from the powerful teachings of Jim Rohn, a respected author, motivational teacher and successful entrepreneur. His lessons are especially valuable for people in leadership roles, who grapple with the ever-changing trends and challenges of operating a company.

Studying and applying Rohn’s principles can offer clarity and a model of success for many business professionals to emulate. His wisdom will fortify you from the inside out, increase your self-confidence, and significantly improve your leadership ability and likability.

Inspiring quotes from Jim Rohn

“If you don’t sow, you don’t reap. You don’t even have a chance.”

We get back what we put out. If you are in a constant state of negativity, you will attract more of that in your life. If you can’t find a mentor or someone to assist you with getting to the next level, ask yourself what you have done for others lately. The easiest way to solve your problem is to assist someone with solving a similar situation, and yours will disappear.

“Some people have so given up on life; they’ve joined the ‘Thank God It’s Friday Club.’ How sad.”

People deplore Mondays, celebrate Hump Day and rush out to their favorite watering hole on Fridays, only to start the cycle again a few days later.

What’s stopping you from pursuing something you are passionate about? It’s time to revisit the dreams you had for yourself when you were a kid and go after them. Reinvest your TV time into causes and organizations that bring you joy. We all have a limited time on Earth, so each day is a gift to make a difference in the lives of others. [Related article: Harnessing the Power of Positive Thinking]

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are, you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Radio host and writer Earl Nightingale said, “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that.”

Do you have a vision for what you want your life to look like five years from now, personally and professionally? If not, you are sitting on the passenger side of life and someone else is doing the driving. Not having a plan can leave you feeling lost, stressed, anxious or suffering from depression because you aren’t happy about the results you are getting. Get into the driver’s seat of your life, and go the direction you desire. 

“Every day, stand guard at the door of your mind.”

Your life and the way you feel about yourself and others are based largely on your environment. We are what we eat, but we are also what we feed our brains. 

Consider turning off the TV and instead reading books that are relevant to your goals. Turn your car into a personal development university by listening to audiobooks during your commute. For every challenge you have (e.g., money, relationships, self-confidence, depression, anxiety), there is a book offering insight.

“Many people work harder on their job than they do their future.”

While seeking to get to the next level professionally, many high achievers sacrifice personal development for professional development. Developing yourself personally expands your awareness and understanding of self, so if something happens to your job, you won’t feel like your future is ruined and you’ll be more likely to move into another position with ease. 

“Spend five minutes complaining, and you’ve wasted five.”

It takes more energy to complain about a problem than it does to take action to solve it. One keeps you in a state of negativity, and the other creates positive energy. Surprisingly, most people have solutions to the problems that they complain about. If it’s your workplace, offer a suggestion to your boss and request permission to implement your recommendations. You’ll make yourself stand out among your co-workers and develop a reputation as a problem-solver. 

The use of new and improved technology methods, for example, may help your business or someone else’s business get ahead. Implementing automation can help expand your company by allowing you to focus on planning for your business’s future rather than on completing repetitive tasks that slow you down. Task management programs can help you manage your to-do lists, stay on top of emails and plan your schedule. 

Bottom LineBottom Line: Focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems will help you work through obstacles with a positive attitude.

“Some people lead such mediocre lives, they don’t know if they are winning or losing.”

Even if you are deemed successful by way of position, your life can be considered mediocre if you aren’t happy. People who proudly say they have “golden handcuffs” fit into this category. Houses, cars and other material possessions have become more important to them than living a fulfilled life. They can’t see that the house they thought would make them happy has become an anchor and is the very thing that makes them go to a job they hate, wasting precious time. Is this you? 

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

Leaders are relentless in finding solutions to challenges. This is what separates people who achieve high levels of success from those who remain stagnant. Find creative ways to solve common issues in your budget, business practices or organization, and you’ll soon find yourself moving up. 

For instance, if you’re bursting with ideas for a new business venture but find yourself strapped for cash, you can apply for grants you may be eligible for, especially if you’re female or a person of color.  

FYIFYI: Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are the main source of financial help for business owners throughout the United States. Banks, community organizations and microlenders distribute the funds, with the federal government securing a set amount.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” 

This is true for income, weight, education and other variables. Evaluate your inner circle, and know that if you want to shift your life, you need to find a new circle. Go to Meetup.com and network with new people.

“Some people don’t do well because they major in the minor things.”

The Pareto principle,, also called the 80/20 rule, has a wide application – 20% of your efforts create 80% of your results. Also, 80% of your efforts create 20% of your results. Are you spending the majority of your time creating minimal results? Evaluate what constitutes your 20%, and concentrate your efforts on what gets you the best return. 

Many entrepreneurs are so overwhelmed with daily business duties that they often don’t make time to plan for the future. Unfortunately, this forces them to work harder and longer as well. Coordinating when to strategize and budget accordingly will prevent you from experiencing a lack of funds for retirement, or even bankruptcy.   

Bottom LineBottom line: Making a game plan for your business will prevent you from having to work harder in the long term, thereby setting you up for success in the future. Meet with a financial planning professional to prepare for unexpected expenses so you can save both time and money starting now.

How Jim Rohn found success

Born on a farm in the famed potato state of Idaho in 1930, writer, entrepreneur and speaker Jim Rohn was raised with a “work hard” mentality that would eventually transform him from rags to riches, all thanks to his mindset, wisdom and monumental work in personal development.

His famous “Idaho Farm Boy Makes It to Beverly Hills” speech, delivered at a Rotary Club in Beverly Hills, California, skyrocketed his speaking career, presenting him with dozens of paid opportunities. His personal advisor, Earl Shoaff, taught Rohn to put his self-growth before his occupation, to depend on his philosophy rather than the economy, and to change from within to reinvigorate his life.

Inspiring millions of people with this logic through his books, videos and audiotapes, Rohn enabled people to grasp hold of their dreams and bolster their self-confidence to reach their full potential. Business owners can follow in his footsteps by focusing on their inner selves and putting their personal growth before their professions.

More inspiring entrepreneurs

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant born into a poor family, worked in factories as a child and went to bed hungry, but his life improved when his family moved to Pennsylvania. Starting from the bottom, he worked his way up to superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. Then, with grit and ambition, he started a slew of his own companies, including the prominent Carnegie Steel. He also invested in lucrative car companies and oil reserves. Believing that “the man who dies rich dies disgraced,” he became one of the largest donors to libraries and schools across America.

Madam C.J. Walker

Branded as the first African American millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, originally Sarah Breedlove, was born in 1867 and was the first in her family to be born free. Observing common hair problems within her community, she started her own business geared toward African American locks. With her determination, critical thinking abilities and shrewd business practices, she found entrepreneurial success and satisfied both her customers and her pockets with her efforts.

Henry Ford

Michigan-born Henry Ford grew up with money but understood hard work. After spending time as an apprentice at the Detroit Dry Dock Co., Ford pitched his business idea for the first automobile to Thomas Edison in 1891. Highly impressed, Edison allowed Ford to build two prototypes in his warehouse. Shortly thereafter, Ford established the Detroit Automobile Co., which didn’t last. After that, the Cadillac Motor Car Co. was established, but that also failed. Finally, on Ford’s third attempt, he built the Ford Motor Co., which was worth $136 billion in sales in 2021. If there’s anything to learn from Ford, it’s to use failure as a stepping stone to success.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey endured many hardships from an early age. She grew up impoverished, suffered sexual abuse at age 9, became a teenage mother and then lost her child when she was 14. But Oprah had gained a fresh outlook on life before starring on her first show in 1983. She established a multimedia company called Harpo Studios five years later and then the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011. Her net worth is currently $2.6 billion. She could have given up and remained paralyzed by her pain, but instead, she stood as an example to let adversity serve as motivation to reach new heights.

Hans Christian Andersen

Writer Hans Christian Andersen, most famous for his fairy tales, is an example of someone who developed inner strength and resilience after enduring poverty, foul treatment and bullying for many years as a child. Though suffering may have plagued him in his early years, he found happiness and success later in life. The director of the Royal Danish Theater helped Andersen through school after seeing his potential. After graduation, Andersen published his famous fairy tales. His stories even inspired many Disney classics.

Christy Rutherford contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.

Image Credit:

NanoStockk / Getty Images

Sean Peek
Sean Peek
business.com Contributing Writer
Sean Peek has written more than 100 B2B-focused articles on various subjects including business technology, marketing and business finance. In addition to researching trends, reviewing products and writing articles that help small business owners, Sean runs a content marketing agency that creates high-quality editorial content for both B2B and B2C businesses.