Choose Thinking: A Blog by Dan Gilbert

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

- Rudyard Kipling

December 3, 2012

27 Things I've Learned in 27 Years

For Quicken Loans’ 25th anniversary in 2010, I shared “25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years” with you here on my blog. Two years have passed and I have since revisited my list of lessons about business and life.

Today, I present to you a new and improved list, filled with things I’ve learned over the past 27 years.


-Dan G.


Don’t get distracted by people who want you to review the receipts for the paint brushes. Your job is to paint.


Building anything great is messy.


The one who tells you there is food on your face is your friend.


The price of knowing is often way too high.


Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. (Thanks Albert E.!)


Spreadsheets are for measuring the past, not the future. Remember, 57.392% of statistics are made up on the spot.


The more you give, the more you get. It’s as simple as that.


Winning on the hard stuff does not make the easy stuff easy.


It’s not so frickin’ funny when it’s you, is it?


There is no better joy than helping people around you go to levels higher than they ever thought they could.


Working longer hours does not automatically make you more successful. Working smarter does.


People who are constantly negative, pessimistic and cynical are not spewing their venom towards you or your ideas. They are talking about themselves. Never forget that.


The little things DO matter. Especially to people.


Think big, huge, large, enormous, immense, jumbo, walloping, gigantic, king sized, mammoth, massive, thundering. You have to think anyway… so why not?


Try to please everyone all of the time, and you will end up pleasing no one most of the time.


Be curious.


Any ounce of energy you spend regretting mistakes you made in the past is taking away energy you need from doing things right in the present.


Nothing great and long-lasting is built overnight, but you MUST take the first step NOW.


Appreciate everything.


Light yourself on “fire,” and many people will join your mission.


I never learned anything talking.


Thinking (going deep) about problems, challenges, new ways of doing things and creativity is one of THE hardest things you will ever do. It also will bring you the finest results.


There is always a way to turn a problem into an opportunity. Find it.


Some people WILL NEVER get it. Get them out of your team, club, house, life, etc… and both of you will be happier.


If you believe tomorrow will be even more exciting than today, then you have discovered what passion really means.


Nothing clarifies like clarity.


When you love what you do, there is no such thing as “work.”

Posted by: in Business & Entrepreneurship | Comments (6)


  • Comment by Carlie Smith — December 3, 2012 @ 7:50 pm:

    Thank you for sharing these, it is funny how complicated we can make things, reading these makes one stop and focus on what matters and has impact.

  • Comment by benji rosenzweig — December 5, 2012 @ 12:00 am:

    These are great. Thank you for sharing… Your entire organization works with the same passion and enthusiasm you do!

  • Comment by Amy Darian — January 2, 2014 @ 9:15 am:

    Excellent list.

  • Comment by Jen — March 13, 2014 @ 12:46 pm:

    The above is so simple, but yet so TRUE. I really appreciate you writing the above. My life is so screwed up by all the negativity that I have allowed to come into my life. Today is the start of my change. With all of my heart, I will whole heartedly try to live by the what you listed and make the change that I so want and desire. Once again, thanks for the information 🙂

  • Comment by Susan Cargill — March 13, 2014 @ 3:50 pm:

    #23 “Things that count ……” should be attributed to Edwards W. Deming.
    This is a great list to be shared in many areas.
    Thanks, SWC

  • Comment by Kris A — November 23, 2014 @ 7:19 pm:

    I read Forbes today (which brought me here) and the words of inspiration spoken to Dan have re-ignited myself with his explanation “I was always trying to get people to fix things that are wrong. Now it was ‘How do I make things that are going good go better?’ ” or No.5

    Thank you and I believe this time, thinking about how the new hires and employees see things I will be better at creating the perfect program and opportunity to help others!

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