10 Questions to Andy Yang (CEO of 500px)

In this new series I ask really successful people 10 questions about their success and how they are able to motivate themselves again and again.

Andy Yang is the recent CEO of 500px. That’s a photo community founded in 2009 based in Toronto. The community has over 7 million registered users (January 2016).

Before he got the CEO of 500px he worked in technology as an investor, banker, consultant and advisor.

At this point a lot of thanks to Andy Yang for sharing his ideas with us.

When did you consider yourself a success?

I don’t.  I think success is fleeting and the definition of success is always changing for each individual.

How has your idea of success changed compared to your idea of success at the age of 20?

My idea of success is less based on accumulation of money, status, wealth, or other material things.  I now base how I measure success or progress on the positive difference and impact I make in people’s lives.

What are your success habits?

Drive for progress, grit + intellectual curiosity, and not taking myself too seriously – and no whining.

Why have you succeeded and not somebody else?

It’s all relative.  People are placed in the right place at the right time, and then its up to you to work as hard as you can while you’re in that position.

What is your favourite quote?

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubts.

Can you recommend a book you have to read?

Enders Game.

How do you push through your worst times?

Always remembering to be grateful for both the blessings – and the trials.  What is the lesson here – and learn that lesson quickly so you can move forward.

If you could go back in your career and do something differently – what would it be?

I would have become an entrepreneur very early on.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

The challenge of solving unknown problems.

For what are you most grateful?

My family and my health.




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7 Questions To Ask Yourself On The Subway

First concentrate on the present time. Try to take 10 deep breaths without mind wandering. If you don’t make it the first time don’t worry. Try again until you make it.

Then imagine an at first glance unrealistic dream idea of your life in five years.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What would I do the whole day?


Do I live together with somebody? How is this person and how does he looks like?


What are my hobbies?


Where do I live?


How does my house looks like?


How do I look like?

What will be my biggest dream in five years?


Develop a plan out of your ideas for the following week(s). What can I do to realize my dream idea of life?

Think about if you want to realize some ideas faster than in five years and how you can achieve it. Create a long-term plan to achieve your goals.

”Nothing is impossible.” (Muhammad Ali)




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10 Quotes That Can Change Your Attitude Towards Hard Work


”Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” (Thomas A. Edison)


”There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” (Beverly Sills)


”Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It’s the best part of the day.” (George Allen, Sr.)


”The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” (Vince Lombardi)


”Working hard is very important. You’re not going to get anywhere without working extremely hard.” (George Lucas)


”God sells us all things at the price of labor.” (Leonardo da Vinci)


”Work hard and be patient. The rest will follow.” (unknown)


“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” (Alan W. Watts)


”Let us realize that: the privilege to work is a gift, the power to work is a blessing, the love of work is success!” (David O. McKay)


”Happiness is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from hard work.” (Joseph Barbara)


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10 Quotes That Can Change Your Attitude Towards Money

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” (Bob Dylan)

“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.” (John Ruskin)

“It doesn’t matter about money; having it, not having it. Or having clothes, or not having them. You’re still left alone with yourself in the end.” (Billy Idol)

“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like.” (Will Rogers)

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.” (Steve Martin)

“Money can’t buy friends, but you can get a better class of enemy.” (Spike Milligan)

“Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we’ve got 24 hours each.” (Christopher Rice)

“Persist – don’t take no for an answer. If you’re happy to sit at your desk and not take any risk, you’ll be sitting at your desk for the next 20 years.” (David Rubenstein)

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” (Henry David Thoreau)

“The more you Learn, The more you earn.”  (Frank Clark)

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10 Inspirational Quotes That Can Help You To Start Your Day Fresh And Motivated (#1)

”When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” (Marcus Aurelius)

”Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” (Elbert Hubbard)

”Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.” (Yoko Ono)

”There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” (Bernard Williams)

”I get up every morning and it’s going to be a great day. You never know when it’s going to be over so I refuse to have a bad day.” (Paul Henderson)

”I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks.” (Barack Obama)

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters the most.” (Buddha)

”If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” (Lou Holtz)

”If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” (Steve Jobs)

“No matter how good or bad your life is, wake up each morning and be thankful that you still have one.” (Paul Walker)


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3 Things We Can Learn From Great Leaders (#2) – Aung San Suu Kyi

She was born 1945 in Myanmar and grew up in India as the child of a commander of the Burma Independence Army and the first female ambassador of Birma (Myanmar) in India. Her father was shot dead during a cabinet meeting when she was two years old.
She studied philosophy, politics and economy at the Oxford University in England and worked several years for the UN-secretary in New York.
At the age of 43 she returned to Myanmar because of her mother’s illness.
She experienced the fall of the military dictator Ne Win and the following bloody riots. In the same year she gave her first speech and founded the party NLD as the chairwoman. In the following years she fighted for the democratisation of Myanmar and after several groundings (altogether 15 years) she won the election 2012. She wanted to achieve her political goals in a peaceful and a non-violent way and therefore she got the Nobel Peace Prize 1991.


About self-confidence:

1. You don’t have to be full of courage and unbreakable all the time. Help others to help yourself to make the best out of your life.

”By helping others, you will learn how to help yourselves.”

“If you’re feeling helpless, help someone. ”

”I don’t think of myself as unbreakable. Perhaps I’m just rather flexible and adaptable.“

“I don’t understand why people say that I am full of courage. I feel terribly nervous.“

”Confidence-building is not something that can go on forever. If it goes on forever then it becomes counterproductive.”


About her attitude towards life:

2. See challenges as an opportunity to grow with the problem and to do the best what you can do. Consider what you can do for the world to make it a better place.

”Humor is one of the best ingredients of survival.”

”Challenges mean opportunities as well.”

”My attitude is, do as much as I can while I’m free. And if I’m arrested I’ll still do as much as I can.”

“I felt that it was my duty not to senselessly waste my time. And since I didn’t want to waste my time, I tried to accomplish as much as possible.“

“Since we live in this world, we have to do our best for this world.“


About change and peace:

3. You can change the world with your little daily actions. Don’t let fear define your life and don’t just hope for a better future. Begin with yourself and your current environment and try to be aware of every thought, word and action of yourself.

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear”

”You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.”

”The history of the world shows that peoples and societies do not have to pass through a fixed series of stages in the course of development.“

“I think by now I have made it fairly clear that I am not very happy with the word hope. I don’t believe in people just hoping.“

“Every thought, every word, and every action that adds to the positive and the wholesome is a contribution to peace. Each and every one of us is capable of making such a contribution.”



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Motivational Boost #12: 10 Great Motivational Quotes About Problems

”Problems are like washing machines. they twist us, spin us and knock us around but in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before.” (unknown)

”If your life has no problems, you’re not really living it.” (Ryan Higa)

”If your problem in life is as big as a ship, never forget that your blessings are as wide as the ocean.” (unknown)

”Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” (Robert H. Schuller)

”The best way out is always through.”  (Robert Frost)

”A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” (Duke Ellington)

“Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.” (Anthony Robbins)

”Never cry because you have mountains of problem in your hands to solve. Always smile because each problems will someday resolve.”  (Santhosh Kalwar)

”Problems only exist in the human mind.” (Anthony de Mello)

”’What’s your problem?’ ‘I don’t have problems. I solve them.’”  (John M. Cusick, Girl Parts)

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Success Stories #6: About Henry Ford’s Attitude Towards Life

He was born 1863 in Michigan in a farmer family as the oldest of six children.
Ford always had special manual skills. After he worked for several companies as a machine operator and a chief engineer he decided to found the Detroit Automobile Company together with some investors. Three years later they had to register insolvency but Ford didn’t allow himself to misled. Just one year later he founded the Ford Motor Company together with eleven other investors.
This company was incredibly successful and made Ford to one of the richest men on earth.


About failures and learning:

”Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

”The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

”Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”


About success and the right attitude towards life:

”Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

”Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

”There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”

”If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” (for example Ford also said once: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”)

”You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.”

”To do more for the world than the world does for you – that is success.”

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.”

“I cannot discover that anyone knows enough to say definitely what is and what is not possible.”


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Motivational Boost #11: 10 Great Motivational Quotes About Patience

”Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” (Saadi)

”Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” (Napoleon Hill)

”Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” (Joyce Meyer)

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” (David G. Allen)

”Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.” (unknown)

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” (Molière)

“Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention.” (Paulo Coelho)

“Everything comes to those who wait.” (unknown)

”No great thing is created suddenly.” (Epictetus)

”With love and patience, nothing is impossible.” (Daisaku Ikeda)


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How To Be Calm And Happy: Advice By Buddhist Teachers #9 (Suzuki Shunryū)

He was born as the son of a Japanese Zen-Master 1905. When he was 30 years old he received the permission to teach students. During the second world war he was the leader of a pacifistic community in Japan. 1958 he moved to San Francisco to lead a Japanese Soto community. After just a short time his number of american supporters grew constantly (inter alia Steve Jobs) and so he decided to stay in the USA.

He founded two Zen centres in America and is known for making Zen Buddhism popular in the USA. Suzuki Shunryū died 1971 in San Francisco.


Here are some of my favourite quotes of him about happiness, mindfulness and death:

”The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.”

”You are perfect as you are and there is always room for improvement.”

”Leave your front door and your back door open.  Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”

”Things are always changing, so nothing can be yours.”

”When we do not expect anything we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment of time.”

”Wherever you go you will find your teacher, as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.”

”When you do not realize that you are one with the river, or one with the universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact, we have no fear of death anymore.”

”So for a period of time each day, try to sit, without moving, without expecting anything, as if you were in your last moment. Moment after moment you feel your last instant. In each inhalation and each exhalation there are countless instants of time. Your intention is to live in each instant.”

”Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.”

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