Highway to the danger zone 😎

Oct 01, 2020 6:21 am

Do you remember what you asked for Christmas when you were 10?

In 1986, at the age of 10, I asked for a pair of Ray Ban aviator sunglasses. 

That’s because earlier that year, I watched what would become my FAVORITE movie of all time… 



I’ve probably watched the movie over 50 times and can recite every line.

But what I didn’t know the first time I watched it was what a profound impact it would have on me, and all of the life and business lessons I would learn from it.

🤫 “It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” - Maverick

‘Till next time…

Ralph Q out!

Just kidding!! 😉 I’ll break this rule just this once and share some of my favorite quotes and lessons from the movie… (although, there are times in your life and in your career where keeping what you’re working on quiet and among a tight circle is a great strategy)

“I feel the need...The need for speed!” - Maverick & Goose

Whenever I need to pump myself up, this quote gets me going… it also reminds me of the importance of being first to market. Of gaining first-mover advantage. Too many companies and initiatives fail to launch because countless hours are spent overanalyzing every minute detail. This is where building an MVP (minimum viable product) is critical. Build something quickly, launch it, test it, and keep improving it. First to market is always better than never to market or even worse, late to market!

"You need to be doing it better, and cleaner than the other guy." - Stinger

Steve Jobs once shared a story about how he used to work over the summer with his dad painting fences. His dad would instill in him the importance of making sure the inside parts of the fence were painted just as meticulously as the outside. When Steve asked his dad “Why? No one is ever going to see the inside of the fence?”, his dad replied, “but you will know.” This created a passion for perfection in Jobs that ultimately drove the team at Apple to create amazing products, both inside and outside, that most people never dreamed were possible. 

If you’re not doing it better and cleaner than your competition, you are not going to win.

"You never, never leave your wingman." - Jester

When you’re part of a team or a group, you never, ever leave them behind. No matter what. You do whatever it takes to have their back.

"A good pilot is compelled to evaluate what's happened, so he can apply what he's learned." - Viper

You learn a little from winning. You learn a lot more from your mistakes and setbacks. Take time to reflect on your work and your life. Do more of what works, stop doing what doesn’t work, and never, EVER, make the same mistakes twice. 

"Do not fire until fired upon." - Stinger

Keep your head down and do your thing... Focus on what makes you great and forget about what your competition is doing. There is no need to engage them first. But if they “fire” at you, fire back swiftly and with force - It will send a message to them and to others to not mess with you. 

"Remember, boys, no points for second place." - Viper

This one is simple… I don’t want a participation trophy!


"You may not like the guys flying with you, they may not like you. But whose side are you on?" - Iceman

Regardless of who’s on your team right now, they’re YOUR team. They’re on your side. Figure out how to make it work. 

"To be the best of the best means you make mistakes and then you go on." - Charlie

You f’d up...so what?!?!? Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career and on many occasions caused his team to lose games because of decisions he made at the last second of the game…Did he stop taking shots? NO! He’s one of the VERY best basketball players in history. People who are at the top of their fields have all made mistakes and continue to every day. It’s those very mistakes that drive them to be the very best.

“If you had to go into battle, would you want him with you?” - Viper

Choose your team wisely. If it was a matter of life or death, who do you want by your side?

“I’m gonna hit the brakes, he’ll fly right by.” - Maverick

This is one of my favorite quotes and lessons. In the movie, Maverick is in a dogfight with Viper and Viper is on his tail about to “shoot” him down. Maverick, always thinking two steps ahead, hits his brakes, Viper flies right by and Maverick turns the tables and “shoots” Viper down.

Lesson here? You always have to be thinking a couple of steps ahead and be ready to pivot at a moment's notice. So just as your competitors think they’ve got you figured out, you hit your brakes and they don’t even know what hit them!

“It just doesn't seem fair...to you I mean. But, uh, she's lost that loving feeling!” - Maverick

In this classic scene in the movie Maverick breaks out into song at a bar to court Charlie, completely risking making a fool of himself. But in the end, he gets the girl. Don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself...take the risk! Who cares what people think? You might just end up getting what you want and then some!

So, what’s your favorite movie? Has it taught you any great life lessons? Hit reply and let me know...need to add some stuff to my watch list 🍿


💡 More Thoughts, Big Ideas, & Cool Stuff

These are the things that I’m thinking about, listening to, watching, reading, discovering, or enjoying this week. Click the links and enjoy them with me.

📚 Read - Amp It Up! - It’s pretty rare to create a Billion dollar company...even more rare when you do it twice...but when someone’s done it THREE times, you want to learn as much as you can about HOW they did it. This reflection was written by Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake, a cloud database company worth over $70 billion dollars.

🌭 Read some more - 'If you raise the [price of the] effing hot dog, I will kill you' - You’ve probably had one of these hot dogs… If you have, you’ve contributed a buck-fifty to a $226.5 million dollar a year business (and that’s not even this store’s main business!)

📺 Watch - You know who’s winning the TikTok game? It’s not Khloe Kardashian… It’s the small business owners that are showing off their work day in and day out… Like this pool contractor… as of the time of writing this newsletter, this 30 second video already has over 71,000 Likes, 432 comments and over 1,100 shares! What business are you in? What do you do every day? It’s time to start sharing it on TikTok!


As always, keep coming up with ideas, dreaming big, and taking action! (It’s time to buzz the tower!)

‘Till next time...


Ralph Q out!

P.S. - Do you know anyone else who’s a TopGun freak like me? Share this with them... Just forward them this email or send them this link: http://ralphq.com/newsletter so they can sign up. You can also send them here http://ralphq.com/past-issues to read past issues.