Sage advice from the world’s most successful people

Who better to offer guidance and wisdom to get you through your twenties than 9 impressive professionals who have made waves in their respective industries. Check out this advice from successful people, my fellow millennials. These guys know what’s up.


1. Oprah Winfrey on success

“What I know for sure is if you want success, you can’t make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work towards being significant, and the success will naturally follow.

“Queen of All Media”, Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential women in the world and the richest African-American of the 20th century.


advice from successful people


2. Steve Jobs on failure and Silicon Valley

The penalty for failing here, for going and trying to start a company in this Valley, is non-existent. There really isn’t the penalty for failure either psychologically or economically in the sense that, if you have a good idea and you go out to start your own company, even if you fail, you’re generally considered worth more to the company you left because you’ve gained all this valuable experience, in many disciplines.”

An internationally successful IT entrepreneur, Steve Jobs is most famous for co-founding Apple Inc. and working as CEO of the company.


3. Barbara Walters on hard work

Work harder than everybody. You’re not going to get it by whining, and you’re not going to get it by shouting and you’re not going to get it by quitting. You’re going to get it by being there.”

Successful American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters was the first woman to earn the title “co-host” on a US network news program.


4. Adele on following your path

“Me and all of my friends, we all feel like we were in this weird sort of limbo phase — kind of like Tom Hanks in Castaway, at the end of the crossroads. You need to decide which road you want to go down — and although we get to take each other down the road, we don’t get to take [everybody], because we’ve got our own lives going on.”

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is a world-famous English singer who has broken several records during her wildly successful career. Adele currently holds the Billboard record for longest number 1 album by a woman.


5. Barack Obama on making progress

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

President Barack Obama was elected as the United States’ first African-American President in 2008.


advice from successful people


6. Anthony Bourdain on being on time

Show up on time. I learned this from the mentor who I call Bigfoot in Kitchen Confidential. If you didn’t show up 15 minutes exactly before your shift — if you were 13 minutes early — you lost the shift, you were sent home. The second time you were fired. It is the basis of everything. I make all my major decisions on other people based on that. Give the people you work with or deal with or have relationships with the respect to show up at the time you said you were going to. And by that I mean, every day, always and forever. Always be on time. It is a simple demonstration of discipline, good work habits, and most importantly respect for other people.

Acclaimed author, chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain is famous for his travel-cuisine shows like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.


7. Lin-Manuel Miranda on pain and inspiration

“You’re trying to avoid going through pain, or causing pain. I’m here to tell you that you’ll have to survive it if you want to be any kind of artist.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is creator and star of the Tony-winning musical Hamilton. He was also awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Award in 2015.


8. Sheryl Sandberg on passion

“Find work you love. When you believe in what you are doing, you can combine passion with contribution – and that is a true gift. Keep trying and you will find what you love to do… and once you do, you will crush it.

Named among the Time 100 most influential people back in 2012, Sheryl Sandberg is the acting COO of Facebook and wrote the best-selling book Lean In, which encourages women to pursue leadership positions in the private and public sectors.


9. Tina Fey on feminism and competition

“You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone.”

Actress, writer and producer Tina Fey is one of the English-speaking world’s most successful modern comedians. She has won many awards for her work, including 8 Emmys, and her book Bossypants topped the New York Times Best Seller List.


Feeling inspired by this advice from successful people from all walks of life? Apply now for an international internship to boost your career!




Photo 1. based on Tina Fey, by Gage Skidmore, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 2. based on President Barack Obama, by Marc Nozell, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on, by, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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