The illustrious Harvey Specter didn’t get to his position by accident.
His driven personality and sense of style made sure of it.
As the main protagonist of the hit USA network show Suits, we have received 8 seasons of Harvey and those around him kicking ass.
This high volume of material has allowed the creator Aaron Korsh to explore the character of Harvey and what has allowed him to grow such a reputation for himself.
Given the task of mentoring Mike Ross in the early seasons, Harvey shares some of his most valuable philosophies.
These are the principles that have allowed him to rake in immeasurable success in all areas of life.
In this article, I will outline 10 of Havey Specter’s best quotes, and explain what you can take away from them.
Unlike all other Harvey Specter quote lists out there, these quotes are verified and have not been misattributed.
#1 HARVEY SPECTER QUOTE
“When I got here, I dominated. They thought I worked 100 hours a day. Now, no matter what time I get in, no one questions my ability to get the job done. Get it through your head, first impressions last. If you start behind the eight ball, you’ll never get in front.” – Season 1 Episode 3 (Inside Track)
If you take just one of these Harvey Specter quotes on board, please make it this one.
Here, he emphasises the importance of making a great first impression.
If you don’t, ‘you’ll never get in front’, that is, be successful and be taken seriously.
This isn’t necessarily true, but is certainly catchier than ‘If you start behind the eight ball, it will be very difficult to get in front.’
You should strive to deliver the best version of yourself possible to those who you are meeting for the first time.
Your first impression acts as an anchor, as the rest of your interactions with them will be based off of it.
It is simple.
If they see you as competent, reliable and in control, they will treat you as such.
“People respond to how we’re dressed.” – Season 1 Episode 1 (Pilot)
You should always keep this Harvey Specter quote in mind, as, despite what you might want to believe, it is an immutable fact, and a reason why you may want to develop a sense of style.
It ties nicely into the previous quote, and gives us an indication on how exactly to nail a first impression.
Your clothing is an indicator, and sends signals to those around you.
Combining with your posture, grooming, voice tonality and how you communicate, it will give those meeting you a synopsis of what you’re about.
If you’re well put together physically, this strongly connotes success, and does a lot of the talking for you.
“Sometimes when someone pulls a gun on you, instead of bullets, it’s full of blanks” – Season 1 Episode 2 (Errors and Omissions)
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation whereby someone is threatening you, this Harvey Specter quote reminds you that there is always the option to call their bluff.
Whether it be in a friendly game of poker, or a heated dispute at work, remember that some people will try anything to get ahead.
It is your job to not be fazed by it, and think rationally about the situation.
This also applies to other areas of life.
If someone on social media is bragging about ‘how good their life is’ through extravagant posts, or a salesman is bringing out the ‘my girlfriend loves it’ card, there is great potential for there to be little to no weight behind their words, despite the pressure it is putting onto you.
“This is what addicts do. The second they start making progress, they screw up. Because deep down they think it’s just a matter of time until they fail. They’d rather fall from the third floor than the penthouse.” – Season 1 Episode 5 (Bail Out)
Although referencing Mike’s love of the good stuff, some people are addicts of failure.
No one wants to fail, but most people do… again and again.
There is nothing wrong with this.
With every failure, you become a step closer to success.
However, some are discouraged by previous defeats and let it control them, supercharging the impulse to jump ship before an idea has run its course.
They don’t believe in themselves to be able to carry an idea through, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You can be successful.
You just need to try, and try again.
Until something is completely dry and clearly not working, give it your attention and make it work.
#5 HARVEY SPECTER QUOTE
“When your back is against the wall, break the goddamn thing down.” – Season 2 Episode 16 (War)
If something you’re doing isn’t working, perhaps you’re not trying hard enough.
This is especially true if others have succeeded at what you are trying to achieve.
In contrast, if you have had limited success which has plateaued, don’t give up.
This Harvey Specter quote tells you to break the wall down, and make the success that you have had an even bigger one.
“Winners don’t make excuses.” – Season 1 Episode 7 (Play the Man)
You can’t blame others for any of your failures.
Winners take responsibility, and know that they are the master of their fate.
If something is going wrong, they do something about it.
“I don’t get lucky. I make my own luck.” – Season 3 Episode 15 (Know When to Fold Em’)
Habit one in the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen R Covey is ‘Be Proactive’.
Harvey knows that he isn’t entitled to anything he wants.
Luck will not bring him success while he is sitting there and passively living away.
Therefore, he makes his own luck.
This one of the Harvey Specter quotes confirms that he is proactive in seeking out what he wants, and manoeuvres himself into situations where he can get closer to it.
“I don’t have dreams, I have goals.” Season 3 Episode 6 – (The Other Time)
Habit two in the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is ‘Start With the End in Mind’.
Harvey doesn’t have dreams.
He is confident enough in himself to know that he is capable of achieving anything.
Harvey has goals – he starts with the end in mind.
Only when you know what you truly want can you formulate a plan for getting there.
Combine this with that fact that he is proactive, and you have the basic principles of success.
He knows what he wants, and he is actively seeking to make it happen.
“People hear what they want to hear” – Season 1 Episode 6 (Tricks of the Trade)
You can use this Specter quote in so many ways.
In the episode, Harvey tells a client that he never doubted them for a second.
He then confesses to Mike that he in fact doubted her for days.
But he didn’t lie to anyone.
If you’re a bad lair, like being straightforward, but want to be tactful, try dropping a carefully worded truth where the person hears what they want to.
“Loyalty is a two-way street” – Season 3 Episode 1 (The Arrangement)
This one of the Harvey Specter quotes states that, to produce loyalty, and thus a strong, meaningful and powerful connection, everyone has to put in the work.
In business, you can’t expect a loyal and hard working team when you treat them badly and exploit them for all of their productivity.
Everyone has to be on the same page.
When this occurs, loyalty is exchanged both ways, and you can work in powerful synergy.
#11 (BONUS HARVEY SPECTER QUOTE)
“His food might suck, but he makes a mean bullshit pie.” – Season 2 Episode 15 (Normandy)
There’s not really anything meaningful behind this one.
I just find it funny.
Conclusion – 10 Harvey Specter Quotes to Live By
Harvey Specter quotes are a thing of legend.
Even though he is devilishly handsome, it is no doubt his personality and determination that allows him to claim his spot as ‘New York’s Best Closer’.
If you follow and internalise the 10 Harvey Specter quotes listed above, you will be on your way to success.