From time-to-time, we all need some uplifting words of advice from those who travel down the same tough roads as we do. Here are some people who started businesses and organizations from nothing and some of their advice for others making the same journey.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."
"My paternal grandmother, Mrs. Annie Henderson, gave me advice that I have used for 65 years. She said, 'If the world puts you on a road you do not like, if you look ahead and do not want that destination which is being offered and you look behind and you do not want to return to you place of departure, step off the road. Build yourself a new path.'"
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish."
"The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly."
"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it."
"As you're building your new business, it can be so easy to neglect the other (important) aspects of your life. Don't just create a formal business plan (unless you want investors), but create a useable life and business plan. Take the time to identify your core values, priorities, goals, and action plan for your life and business. It's absolutely possible to have a successful business and live a life you love!"
"Don't neglect your marriage and family relationships! As Zig Zigler said, 'You can't consider yourself a success in the biz if your home life is in shambles!"
“Surround yourself with great mentors. They help when you reach a plateau in your business cycle and can shave years off your business development and growth through advising from their mistakes and successes.”
Successful & Failure
"Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality."
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
"I was set free because my greatest fear was realized. Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all, in which case you fail by default."
"A wise teacher from India shared this insight: The elephant keeps walking as the dogs keep barking… The sad fact is that we all have to navigate our way around the dogs in our career: external critics, competitors, horrible bosses, or colleagues who undermine. Based on my experience, I would advise you to prepare for the yapping to increase along with your success."
“Do the work. Out-work. Out-think. Out-sell your expectations. There are no shortcuts.”
“Do fewer things, better.”
"Let excellence be your brand… When you are excellent, you become unforgettable. Doing the right thing, even when nobody knows you're doing the right thing will always bring the right thing to you."
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”