Chip Wilson is a Canadian billionaire businessman and philanthropist, who has founded several retail apparel companies and is widely credited with the creation of ‘athleisure’ as a retail category.
He is perhaps best known for being the founder of Lululemon Athletica, the yoga-inspired technical athletic apparel company he started in 1998 which- today- has over 15,000 employees and a market capitalization of close to $30billion.
We've put together an incredible collection of Chip Wilson quotes to read.
Here they are:
List of Inspiring Chip Wilson Quotes
“I had no idea, but I realized that probably 30 to 40% of my brainpower was taken up with the questions that I couldn’t answer – because I had no direction. When I got clear on exactly where I wanted to go, and set the goals to get there, my mind calmed down.”
“The definition of integrity is doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. It’s recognizing that what you say and how you say it determines your effectiveness in life and also determines the type of people you end up surrounding yourself with – because people surround themselves with like people.”
“Always have goals. Get up in the morning and know what your goals are. Write down your short- and long-term goals four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next one, five and 10 years. Goal-setting triggers your subconscious computer.”
“Mediocrity is doing an ‘okay job,’ having a relationship that ‘works,’ being just ‘a little’ overweight, or having a job that ‘pays the bills.’ Most people live in a state of mediocrity. Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is the top.”
“Our bags are visual reminders for ourselves to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity. We all have a John Galt inside of us, cheering us on. How are we going to live lives we love?”
“One of my philosophies is I could be right or I could be successful. I could have my ego around being the CEO or the head guy, but I knew that wouldn’t serve me. So really, a big part of success is sometimes just getting out of the way once the base has been set.”
“Everything from pricing to quality of product to the salespeople has to revolve around who the target market is and how they relate to the brand.”
“Listen to what people want and need to make their life better. No amount of customer research is a substitute for being there.”
“I don’t think in quantitative terms over a short period of time. I think of the big picture over a long period of time. Every decision that’s made is for a 100-year period. So there’s no short-term.”
“People typically really underestimate what you can achieve in 10 years.”
“People love to help. I don’t have to be insecure and know it all.”
“My own children have worked in the family business since the age of five with no pay. Working young is excellent training for life.”
“The single easiest way to spread wealth around the world is to have poor countries pull themselves out of poverty.”
“I’d go into the bathroom, pee, close my eyes, and try to find a mental black dot. Then I’d float through that black dot for almost 60 seconds and be in nothing. I’d come out of the bathroom thinking how perfect I felt.”
“My mother liked to sew, so I got to see how patterns and fabrics and clothing were put together. I was an athlete, but I found clothing not working for athletics. Lots of rashes, lots of bad seams, lots of poorly made clothing with no stretch to it. In time, I designed technical athletic fabrics. Then I discovered yoga in Vancouver and became an enthusiastic practitioner.”
“How Lululemon came into being – ‘the pill’ immediately transformed the sex lives of anyone under the age of 40, particularly teenagers. Women’s lives changed immediately. Men’s lives didn’t change however and they continued to search for a stay-at-home wife like their mothers. Men did not know how to relate to the new female. Thus came the era of divorces.”
“With divorce and publicity around equality, women in the 1970s/80s found themselves operating as ‘power women.’ The media convinced women that they could win at home and be a man’s equal in the business world. The 1980s gave way to ‘power women’ dressing like men in boardroom attire with big shoulder pads. They went to three martini lunches and smoked because this is what their ‘successful’ fathers did in the business world.”
“Super Girl’s ‘utopia’ is to be a ‘fit 32-year-old with an amazing career and spectacular health.’ She was traveling for business and pleasure, owned her own condo, and had a cat. She was fashionable and could afford quality. At 32, she was positioned to get married and have children if she chose to and to work full-time, part-time, or not at all. Anything was possible.”
“Ultimately, Lululemon was formed because female education levels, breast cancer, yoga/athletics and the desire to dress feminine came together all at one time. Lululemon saw the opportunity to make the best technologically advanced components for the Super Girl market.”
“I’m credited with founding ‘athleisure,’ a fashion trend in which clothing designed for exercise is worn outside the gym. But I strongly dislike the term. I prefer ‘street-nic,’ a term I came up with in the 1990s to describe the intersection between streetwear and technical apparel. To me, athleisure denotes a non-athletic, smoking, Diet Coke-drinking woman in a New Jersey shopping mall wearing an unflattering pink velour tracksuit. Too much leisure, too little athletics.”
“Like other tech startups, we are in a constant pursuit of learning, improving and adjusting our strategy.”
“I took a small yoga company from Vancouver, and inspired a team of people to dream big.”
“I’m proud of Lululemon’s success, but it’s now a company that doesn’t take risks.”
“I think the fashion people lost the market. We’re not wearing baggy clothing. We’re not wearing suits and ties. We’re wearing clothing that’s a little bit tighter.”
“‘They don’t work for some women’s bodies.’ With those words and that soundbite, I was ruined. From the Bloomberg moment on, nothing would be the same. My comments were the antithesis of everything I stood for, and of everything the women of Lululemon and I had built. The ramifications for the company, for my family, and for everyone involved were catastrophic. I made a mistake, and I was going to pay heavily for it.”
“I’m sad for the people at Lululemon who I care so much about that have really had to face the brunt of my actions. I take responsibility for all that has occurred and the impact it has had on you. I’m sorry to have put you all through this.”
“The bar for what is great has been reset to a level of mediocrity, but we can raise it once again. Good is the enemy of great.”
“I left the Board of Lululemon, the company I founded in 1998. Although I no longer sit on Lululemon’s Board, I remain the company’s largest shareholder.”
“By stepping away from Lululemon I will now have more opportunity to work with my wife and son as they grow their new business.”
“Who are you guys? I just made a sh*tload of money off you!”
“I have 1,000 techniques on how to set up a retail store, and I love to do it.”
“Friends are more important than money. I love people and I’m out for everyone to be successful.”
“Achieving billionaire status is something many entrepreneurs can only dream of, but after joining the 10-digit club it isn’t really that different for me than before. It changed my life not a bit, because I would do exactly what I’m doing now for no money. Money is not what drives or motivates me. An entrepreneur has to be able to work the 18, 19 hours a day – not for the money but because there’s an idea there and you want to see if the world wants that idea too.”
“There’s not much difference between having probably $20 million and being a billionaire quite frankly.”
“In the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”
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