Tilman J. Fertitta


“You might think you know what you’re are doing, but I’m going to show you what you don’t know.”

“Be plappy.”

“Build in a few hours or days in your schedule for what-ifs. If I tell somebody I’m going to deliver something on this day, I’m damn well going to deliver it. I’m going to make that customer feel special.”

“Why is it so easy to say no when you can say yes?”

“There are no spare customers.”

“The biggest issue that small businesses face involves working capital, because they have to pay for everything upfront.”

“When things are bad, eat the weak and grow your business.”

“Never put your lifestyle ahead of the growth of your business.”

“Know your numbers.”

“I struggle to put gas in my car. I wouldn’t even know how to change the oil. But you can bring in a business that I’ve never seen before, and I can tell you in three or four minutes if it’s a good business, what the numbers are, and what that business is worth.”

“Never become partners with someone who has the same skill set as you.”

“You’re trying to run a marathon, and you haven’t even shown me you can crawl.”

“Be the bull.”

“Consultants can consult you out of business.”

“Don’t show a head in the bed if it’s not there.”

“People who ask questions are often the smartest in the room because they have the humility to ask about what they don’t know.”

“Don’t ever think that your position is too high to teach others. Because I still teach every single day.”

“Every day is a learning day for me too. Somebody does something in a day that makes me a little bit smarter than I was when the day began, because I’m not always talking. I’m also listening.”

“By anticipating change, you don’t just change with the times- you change the times themselves.”

“One of the things about being a good leader is hiring people who are stronger than you, and if you hire people who are stronger than you, they’ll never take your job. They’ll help you keep your job.”

“You’re not out of business until you don’t have the last dollar to go out and buy product to make, until somebody comes and padlocks your door, or you can’t make payroll.”

“When things are good, we forget that things are going to be bad again.”

“Change, change, change.”

“Take the word “No” out of your damn vocabulary.”

“It’s free to be nice”