EntrepreneurshipLeadershipThoughts

For the longest time, I used to think that motivational and inspirational quotes were neither motivating nor inspiring.  

Super-successful people sitting around being super-successful throwing out poetic and pithy advice. How could any of these people understand the challenges and frustrations I was going through? It all seemed a bit condescending.

Then something happened. I became an entrepreneur. I did a lot of reading – business books, magazines, blogs. And I discovered that these people who I thought could never relate to my journey had already taken it. Their advice was borne of their experiences. It was wise and sincere and, dare I say, motivational.

As I began working on my business, I surrounded myself with motivational quotes. I taped them onto the walls of my bedroom when I was beginning my business. These days, in order to motivate my team, I have them displayed up and down the halls of our two offices in Charleston. I switch them out periodically so they don’t recede to the background, and include quotes suggested by team members that mean something special to them. I print them in different fonts on brightly hued backgrounds to catch people’s attention.

 

I’ve come to believe that listening to other people’s wisdom is the wisest thing you can do.

 

Beyond inspiration, having these quotes around reminds us of one thing: we don’t know everything. And if taking advice from someone who has ‘been there, done that’ will make this adventure easier and more successful, then by all means, bring it on!

So, without further ado, let me share some of my favorite quotes.

Leadership:

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

—General Dwight Eisenhower

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”
—Ralph Nader

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
—John C. Maxwell

“Hire character. Train skill.”
—Peter Schutz

Customer Service:

“There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
—Sam Walton

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
—Bill Gates

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
—Warren Buffett

“The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.”
—Shiv Singh

Success and Failure:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
—Charles Darwin

“Build something 100 people love, not something one million people kind of like.”
—Brian Chesky

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
—Anonymous

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
—Farrah Gray

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
—Anonymous

Finally one quote I love that applies to all manner of business and life:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
—Mary Anne Radmacher

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