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Words of wisdom from over the years


“As most people know, my father was in law enforcement when I was a young child and my parents later owned a security-guard business, and I worked for them as a security guard. One of their best pieces of general advice was to always live life in a way that doesn’t inhibit future success. They told me, ‘Start now, mija, by leading your life in a way that you won’t regret later on.’ This advice is even more important today, where anything you put on the Internet stays there forever.”

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez


“Never go into debt to support a lifestyle that’s beyond your means.”

Albuquerque Mayor

Richard J. Berry


“I remember my dad telling me of the only sure way to double my money: Fold it in half and put it back in your pocket!”

Doug Brown,

University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management dean


“If you keep an eye on the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves. Most people think the employees have to please the boss, but to be successful, the boss has to please the employees. If you make a profit, share it equally with everyone, including the janitor. Remember the person who is your enemy today might be your friend tomorrow. Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully, no matter what it costs you. Remember, the turtle only progresses with his (or her) neck out. Put skid chains on your tongue, always say less than you think.”

Former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish


“The best advice came from a guy with a third-grade education who made (and lost) three fortunes. First, you will never go broke taking a profit on a deal, and, second, the guy in a deal in a hurry is the only guy that needs it. So don’t ever be afraid to take a profit rather than trying to get the last nickel out of a transaction, and never go into a deal where you have to be in a hurry; it will always cost you money.”

Paul Silverman,

CEO of Geltmore LLC


“If you think a situation cannot possibly get worse, it can and it will. So always be prepared.”

Terri Cole, Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce president


“First thing I was advised by friends is don’t get caught up in the system. That is, don’t fall for the myth that happiness is owning a new car with payments, a nice house with mortgage payments, health insurance designed to make you think you’re fine as long as you pay when all you gotta do is take care of yourself, don’t have to buy new clothes when second-hand stores offer great clothes for pennies on the dollar, don’t get caught up, sucked up, chain-sawed and sushi-diced to bits trying to appear successful or win approval. If you can just figure it out early that the whole capitalist system is rigged to make you think the more you have the better off you are, the advice I was given, then you’ll be happy and prosperous and pretty much get what you want in life. That is, don’t believe a thing you’re told in school or in the media (except newspapers, they’re the best we’ve got), and you’ll do fine.”

Jimmy Santiago Baca, poet


“Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal. I was in a negotiation with some business partners and I was really liking the deal, but we were not coming to terms. My friend told me to never fall in love with a deal (because you) end up negotiating against yourself, or paying too much. He ended by saying there are plenty of deals around, so be patient. So we walked away. I should have walked away more often!”

Garrey Carruthers,

former New Mexico governor and dean of the New Mexico State University College of Business

“Failure is an option. If you don’t take risks, you will never rise above the average and be successful.”

John Chavez, president,

New Mexico Angels


“The best advice I ever received was that the most satisfying work was work that was worth doing, even if it was hard or seemingly insurmountable. And that through such work, you would find meaning for your own life and have the potential to make a significant contribution. That has certainly been true for me; the UNM Cancer Center and my own cancer-focused research has been that for me.”

Cheryl L. Willman,

UNM Cancer Center CEO


“The best professional advice I ever received was to learn all aspects of your business far beyond the field you happen to be working in. Whether you work in marketing or customer service or engineering, you’ll be more effective if you understand your company’s business from top to bottom.”

Pat Vincent-Collawn,

PNM Resources president


“My mother told me to go to college!”

Bill Miera,

Fiore Industries CEO


“The best advice I’ve ever received for business or in any aspect of our lives: Tell the truth and never give up.”

Annette Gardiner,

New Mexico Gas Co. president


“My life mentor was also my best friend, business partner, soulmate and husband, Rick. He was a natural teacher, in words and actions, but one of his greatest lessons was about the value of persistence. He always said, ‘The more difficult it is, the more important it is. Keep doing what needs to be done, not what you would rather do.’”

Deborah Johnson,

Riester agency executive director


“The best advice I ever got was from my parents, who were both migrant workers. They told me and all of my 10 brothers and sisters that we needed to get an education and go to college so that we wouldn’t have to work so hard in the fields like they did. That advice made me eager to do well in school so that I could get scholarships. I got some and I eventually graduated from college and law school. It’s not a stock market tip but getting an education is still a worthy and lasting investment.”

Katherine Gorospe,

Laguna Development Corp. chief of government relations and general counsel


“Give and share with others and God will give back to you in many ways.”

N. Darnell Smith,

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church pastor and NAACP Albuquerque chapter president


“An old friend once told me to bet with your wallet, not with your heart. That’s great financial advice, but really hard to follow.”

Stan E. Hubbard,

ReelzChannel CEO


“I was a first-generation student who knew that education was going to give me a chance for a different kind of life. However, I was quickly seduced by the opportunity for school loans. A local banker who had known my family for years learned from my parents I was using student loans to attend school and asked me to come visit. She took a long time explaining how much I would actually have to pay back and how long it would take me to accomplish that goal. She also provided me other opportunities, even helping me find a part-time job. That one-on-one and very caring approach gave me a careful way to view student loans. It also made me a strong proponent of financial literacy programs for students.”

Katharine Winograd,

Central New Mexico Community College president


“When things get hairy, be sure to go slow.”

David Richard Jones,

University of New Mexico professor emeritus and Vortex Theatre board member


“The best financial advice I’ve been given was from my grandfather, Colonel William Salman, my mom, Dr. Frances Koenig, and my husband, Craig Trojahn, which is keep family first in your priorities. Make choices in spending, saving and contributing that benefit your family’s well-being. In doing that you can support all your passions: education, philanthropy, meaningful work and a fun, thriving future.”

Lynn Trojahn, vice president of advancement for Accion New Mexico-Arizona-Colorado


“Be honest, be ethical and be unflappable.”

Heather Balas,

New Mexico First president


“You often can change employee behaviors, but you never can change the person. It actually often is lonely at the top, but the view is terrific and nothing falls on you as long as there are no pigeons; there are always pigeons. If you need an expert, try to become an expert. If something looks too good to be true, you can probably sell it to someone else (confided to me by a former mortgage executive). And finally: If someone comes up with a really cool idea, do not sit on it, do it, do it now, and do it well.”

John R. Rice,

Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Santa Fe CEO


“Don’t believe everything you think.”

Jim Folkman,

Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico executive vice president


“Plan for the best, but expect the worst. In working with entrepreneurs and startups, it is important, and even critical, to maintain a positive outlook, but optimism doesn’t make success on its own. You have to be realistic about what’s ahead, but not lose sight of why you are doing what you do.”

Thomas J. Stephenson,

Verge Fund co-founder


“The best advice I have ever received was from my father. He was an immigrant from Greece, having come to the United States when he was 14 during a time of great hardship in Greece when many men and boys left to get jobs abroad to support families back in the old country. It can be summed up in one word: persevere. In spite of the hardships, difficulties, disappointments in business and your personal life, it is important to carry on. The feeling of accomplishment is so much more meaningful when the task was difficult, and the skills learned stay with you forever.”

Cynthia Reinhart,

KPMG LLP managing partner



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