When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead

I didn’t know who Jerry Weintraub was before reading this book; he is a true enterpreneur, hustler (in the good sense), friend of many and simply a fastenating guy. There is a lot to be learned in this book, and plenty of inspiration for the aspiring entrepreneur or businessperson.  He took Elvis and Frank Sinatra on the road, when they were at the peaks of their careers. He worked with countless movie stars and media-moguls and was close friends with George Bush Sr. (before, during and after his presidency).

In short the book is full of entertaining anecdotes, with a healthy sprinkling of life lessons.

Recommended: YES! 

Favorite quotes:

“Every minute doing one thing is a minute not doing something else, every choice is another choice not made, another path grown over and lost.”

“Relationships are the only thing that really matters, in business and in life.”

“If there’s one piece of advice I can give to young people, to kids trying to break out of Brooklyn and Kankakee, it’s this: persist, push, hang on, keep going, never give up. When the man says no, pretend you can’t hear him. Look confused, stammer, say, “Huh?” Persistence—it’s a cliché, but it happens to work. The person who makes it is the person who keeps on going after everyone else has quit. This is more important than intelligence, pedigree, even connections. Be dogged!”

“If you want to learn, find a person who knows and study him or her.”

“Work with the best people. If you have the best writers, the best actors, and the best director and fail, okay, fine, there is even something noble in it; but if you fail with garbage, then you are left with nothing to hang your spirits on. Besides, life is too short to be spent in the company of morons.”

“All these years later, people still ask me how I was able to walk away from the concert business. You have to be willing to walk away from the most comfortable perch, precisely because it is the most comfortable.”

“The world is very small at the top, with a few thousand players running everything.”

“From Kennedy I learned that the best politicians are not different from movie stars. They charm, communicate, command. The good ones never make you feel isolated or small, as if they have something you don’t. Quite the opposite. They include you in their world, enlarge you, make you recognize the best qualities in yourself.”

“There was art on the walls, shag on the floors, Perrier in the refrigerators, no expense spared. People judge on first sight, so make those surfaces shine.”

“If you want to be seen as a major, look like a major. As a great man said, perception is reality.”

“You’ve got troubles, kid? Real troubles? Well, I tell you what. Put your troubles in a sack. Bring them to the end of the road, where you will find a lady in a store filled with sacks. She will take your sack of troubles and, in return, let you leave with any sack you want.”

“Don’t care if you get flattened a thousand times. As long as you get up that thousand-and-first time, you win.”

“I told the truth instead. I asked if I did not know. I listened when someone else was talking. I sold with joy, so my products were fun to buy. Most important, I was never afraid to fail, which meant I was never afraid to try. I was never afraid to look silly, which meant I was never threatened by a new idea. I see the road ahead, too, a stretch that bends into the undergrowth.”