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 9 seasons of Harvey, and those around him, kicking ass.
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.
In Summary, the Top 11 BEST Harvey Specter Quotes:
- “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)
- “People respond to how we’re dressed.” – Season 1 Episode 1 (Pilot)
- “Sometimes when someone pulls a gun on you, instead of bullets, it’s full of blanks” – Season 1 Episode 2 (Errors and Omissions)
- “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)
- “When your back is against the wall, break the goddamn thing down.” – Season 2 Episode 16 (War)
- “Winners don’t make excuses.” – Season 1 Episode 7 (Play the Man)
- “I don’t get lucky. I make my own luck.” – Season 3 Episode 15 (Know When to Fold Em’)
- “I don’t have dreams, I have goals.” – Season 3 Episode 6 (The Other Time)
- “People hear what they want to hear” – Season 1 Episode 6 (Tricks of the Trade)
- “Loyalty is a two-way street” – Season 3 Episode 1 (The Arrangement)
- “That’s the difference between us, you want to lose small, I want to win big.” – Season 2 Episode 5 (Break Point)
Harvey Specter Quotes Explained
“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, 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 taken seriously and respected; your first impression acts as an anchor, as the rest of a person’s response to you will be based off of it.
You should strive to deliver the best version of yourself possible to those who you are meeting for the first time.
It is simple.
If you are seen as competent, reliable and in control, people 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 that people treat you based on your appearance.
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.
But Harvey doesn’t just maintain this when he’s in the office. He understand we’re judged wherever we are, and uses his casual style to further cement his position of competency.
Because of this, I would highly encourage you to develop a sense of style, if you haven’t already.
“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.
From social media braggers, to salesmen bringing out the ‘my girlfriend loves it’ card, there is great potential for there to be little to no weight behind someones words, despite the pressure they may be putting onto you; it could all be a ruse.
“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 addicted to 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 properly 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.
Until something is completely dead and clearly not working, give it your attention, and make it work.
This is one of the best Harvey Specter quotes for those suffering from motivation problems.
“When your back is against the wall, break the goddamn thing down.” – Season 2 Episode 16 (War)
This quote can be interpreted several ways.
On one hand, Harvey is saying that when you’re under pressure and feel like you’re out of options, you have to do what has to be done, even if you don’t like it.
To add to this, the quote can also mean that, if something you’re doing isn’t working, perhaps you have to take things to the next level.
For example, if your blog isn’t doing as well as you would have hoped, try everything you possibly can to change that – break the wall down with force.
This is especially true if others have succeeded at what you are trying to achieve.
“Winners don’t make excuses.” – Season 1 Episode 7 (Play the Man)
You can’t blame others for 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’)
Harvey consistently does what some people consider ‘lucky’: win.
But Harvey’s success isn’t down to luck, and other people putting him in a good positions – it is a result of him engineering himself into enviable situations using his success mentality, and putting the work in to getting what he wants.
He makes his own luck.
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, and that success won’t find him while he is passively living away.
This Harvey Specter quote highlights the importance of proactivity, and possessing a mental state that attracts success.
“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.
This Harvey Specter quote tells us that, 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)
With this quote, you could really substitute anything in place of ‘loyalty’.
It is simply saying that, when you put the work into a relationship, you will usually get something back from it.
On top of this, it is reinforcing the idea of ‘treat others how you wish to be treated’.
This idea can be applied to most relationships. If you put lots of work into a certain subject at school, then your teacher will be more likely help you master it.
But, he is putting emphasis on the idea that everyone has to put in the work – it’s a two-way street.
“That’s the difference between us, you want to lose small, I want to win big.” – Season 2 Episode 5 (Break Point)
This Harvey Specter quote solidifies the idea that Harvey has a different mindset from other people.
He has an abundance mindset.
An abundance mindset is part of being successful, as it governs how you see the world, and how you will make choices.
You believe that can achieve what you want, and there is enough time, resource, and potential for you to do x and achieve y.
This is compared to a scarcity ‘if only’ mindset, which focuses on defeat, and not being able to achieve things due to lack of resource or potential.
Harvey wants to win big because his abundant mindset believes he can, whereas his opponent wants to cut losses because their scarcity mindset believes they can’t win big.
#12 (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 – Harvey Specter Quotes to Live By
Harvey Specter quotes are a thing of legend.
Therefore, it is no doubt that these living philosophies are responsible for him being regarded as ‘New York’s Best Closer’.
But they’re not the only thing that sets him apart.
It’s his whole aura of swagger and confidence, as is demonstrated in this video:
If you follow and internalise the 10 Harvey Specter quotes listed above, you will be on your way to success.