This morning I woke up early. Like really early. The kind of awesome early when (if you have kids) you can relish the time it takes to brew a hot cup of coffee, sit down at the computer and be to your own thoughts. I took some time to meditate and then I sat down to write down my goals and objectives for 2015. I don’t always do this, but this year, I hope to add clarity to my vision for 2015. I found myself seeking inspiration online. As I started to dig around I realized that I tend to gravitate toward certain quotes that help me stay motivated, inspired and focused throughout the year. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. I hope you find inspiration in these quotes and that they help you find your own clarity of vision to ensure a prosperous, healthy and fulfilling new year. I always feel that careful planning always works better than bombastic resolutions. **HIGH FIVE**
1. A man should never neglect his family for business. – Walt Disney
This one resonates deeply with me. As a father of two amazing little girls and an entrepreneur, finding that work/life balance is difficult, but I always put my family first.
2. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. –Thomas Edison
This one keeps me going. There have been some very dark moments in this journey. When you realize that there have been great men that have faced similar, and more often than not – greater adversity it helps to stay focused on the prize.
3. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. – Steve Jobs
I’ve found that as an entrepreneur you need to keep failing. Failing often works. It hurts, but if you do this, recover and learn you will continually grow. Thanks Steve.
4. I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. – Donald Trump
The Donald can be a polarizing character, but I love this quote. I’ve been able to see the biggest success in my career by reaching and reverse engineering the answer. It’s a terrifying process, but once you think big and execute you’ve exercised that muscle, and you will be able to do it again, and again and again.
5. The only way around is through. – Robert Frost
This quote makes me laugh at the memory of my dog growing up. She had an electric collar that would limit her to only our yard. When she would see a rabbit run outside that line, she would keep going, head down and take the shock from the collar to enjoy the chase. I guess that says it all – put your head down, and keep pushing forward. If the prize is really worth it, you’ll endure any pain to get there.
6. Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them more. – Oscar Wilde
This is probably the most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my professional career. I know it’s petty, and I know it’s small of me, but I wrestle with it. Hell, I’m human and I have revenge fantasies just like the next guy – but you have to let it go.
7. Your time is precious, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. – Steve Jobs
My brother and I are very different. He’s a lawyer and I’m not. For a long time I thought I had to work in a profession like law to be taken seriously and have fulfillment in my life. I’ll be 40 in February and I’m fully 100% comfortable in my own skin. Living your own life on your own terms is the only way to find your flow.
8. The NBA is never just a business. It’s always business. It’s always personal. All good businesses are personal. The best businesses are very personal. – Mark Cuban
This one is so on point that I want to high five Mr. Cuban. For those who say “it’s just business” haven’t experienced the pain of being let go from a job and having to explain that to your wife and children. They’ve probably never felt the sting of rejection in sales either. It’s all personal, and it’s all business. One in the same.
9. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss
I think Dr. Seuss can stand on his own without my commentary.
10. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison
I see this everyday. E-v-e-r-y day. I don’t know if it’s because I allow myself to be available or because I’m a ridiculously good listener, but people love to tell me how hard it is to do …whatever it is they say they’re passionate about. I always call BS. Hard work is the only way to get what you want. There are no short cuts. None. Get to work, and please stop complaining. Your Grandfather would be embarrassed.
11. Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid – Einstein
I liken this quote to EQ vs. IQ. I believe that we’re going through a mindfulness transformation in our business lives. I think the world is ready for different types of geniuses. Those who can intuit certain things and are less analytical. I think the lesson for me as an employer has been to identify the strengths of my employees and allow them to excel without boxing them in.
12. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
Just like Dr. Seus, I think I’ll shut up here.
13. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. – Bill Gates
Businesses love to tell me how social media is a bad idea for their business. They explain that they tried social media and they only saw complaints. I enjoy calling BS here. Since when did businesses become so precious about hearing complaints? Who’s to say that you won’t gain amazing insights into holes in your business through an unhappy customer experience? I’ve lost clients before, and I can tell you unequivocally that I’ve learned something positive from each experience. Keep your eyes and ears open as they head out the door, and make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.
14. The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. – Lilly Tomlin
I hate the rat race. I really hated it when I was in it. I didn’t leave by choice. I strongly recommend that if you have a need and a desire to become an entrepreneur that you keep your day job, but take every effort to leave said rat race. On my worst days as an entrepreneur I can always land on the idea that this is my dream I’m sweating for, not someone elses.
15. If you’re going through hell, keep going – Winston Churchill
Keep going has been the key to my success. Just keep going. Man, I love Churchill.
16. Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential – Winston Churchill
I may not be the smartest guy in the room, but I’ll out hustle you every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
17. Who seeks shall find. – Sophocles
I love this one, and find that it’s inspired me to create a different kind of summit than my agency has produced in the past. In the past 2 year’s we’ve create 3 nationally recognized events for digital marketers. Lately I’ve been experiencing a renaissance in the way I approach business, money, meditation, and my life. Spring boarding on the energy I’m feeling currently in Tech and Marketing circles by those who embrace mindful business practices, I purchased the URL Seeker Summit and will produce an even in the very near future that will encompass meditation, mindful business, yoga and the like. For all “seekers.” Seekers of higher power. Seekers of knowledge. Seekers of something more in their life
18. Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. –Kyle Chandler
When I was 10 I took tennis lessons. The instructor explained to the group that he also coached boxing. At the conclusion of my first tennis lesson he asked that I take boxing. I like to beat down doors. I recommend you beat down a few doors this year. It’s cathartic.
19. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius
Keep. Moving. Forward.
20. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas A. Edison
I think you can see a pattern here in my philosophy on business and life. As long as you are clear in your vision and in line with your “why”…all you need to do is not give up, keep moving and great things will happen.
Please share your favorite quote below or tweet it to me @chrisdessi