When you're coping with the countless stresses of running a business, you have to take your motivation where you can find it. Maybe you visualize your goals, read daily affirmations or find meaning in cat calendars (hey, I don't judge!). Many small business owners have a favorite quote or two that helps them get through a tough day. But some of us out there -- like me, for starters -- suffer from something I like to think of as IQA: Inspirational-Quote Anxiety (IQA).
"The best way to predict the future is to create it." (Peter Drucker)
"To win without risk is to triumph without glory." (Corneille)
"When you cease to dream you cease to live." (Malcolm Forbes)
These are all great. They also feel about a million percent unrelated to the actual daily grind of working for myself. No wonder I tend to gravitate to the downers:
"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." (Thomas Edison)
"It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure." (Bill Gates)
And here's one I particularly love:
"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." (Winston Churchill)
Apparently, I find the drudgery and struggle of others to be incredibly inspiring. If Edison and Gates and Churchill can have sucky days then I'm in excellent company, right? My personal favorite on the list is this one:
"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." (Napoleon Hill)
The fact is, many of us who work for ourselves are doing so for totally non-quoteworthy reasons: financial considerations, near-to-hand opportunities, flexible schedules and the like. Most of us will not change the world, just our small corner of it. We do think big, just maybe not Richard Branson-big. We do our very best with what we've got, every single day. I find that to be incredibly inspiring.
What's your favorite inspirational quote and why?
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I'm a web writer and social media specialist with more than 20 years in online publishing - a good chunk of which has been spent writing about business, entrepreneurship, and the scrappy innovators who took a chance and totally went for it. I've also been a small-business owner, publishing a popular local website geared toward kids and families (I'm a mom of two myself). I love stories about people who have found a way to play to their strengths and maybe uncover a few new ones in an effort to make a contribution and a difference.