While everyone agrees that reading books can help us learn and change our lives, more than once, I have found that a single quote has changed my life or at least the way I see things, and that’s why in today’s video, I’ll be sharing with you some of the most inspiring quotations every entrepreneur should always have in mind.
- “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
Historically, entrepreneurs are doers. Imagine you were an entrepreneur in 50 years ago. The only reason you could be qualified to have that title in the first place would be that you’ve done something, maybe a lot of things. In the past, there was no way anyone could have the title of entrepreneurship, except they were doers. Still, now, millions of people call themselves entrepreneurs on Facebook, even though most of them have never really done anything significant.
Entrepreneurship and talking are like night and day. You can’t be an entrepreneur in the month. You have to get to the field and get your hands dirty. You have to try, pursue, and do. Stop talking. Stop planning. Start doing.
2. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat, who strives valiantly, who errs and may fall again and again because there is no effort without error or shortcoming.” – Theodore Roosevelt
For many years, some of the most important relationships in my life went west. Nobody wanted to have me around, nobody wanted to associate with me. Nobody wanted to call me their brother, simply because I had failed and lost in the business world for many years.
Our culture celebrates safe people. We ridicule and neglect people who dare big things and fail, but they are the real deal. They are the ones who are alive. They are the ones who own the credit. They are the ones who will inherit the world. As an entrepreneur, you’ll one day find yourself in a messy situation. You’ll try and fail. Everyone will look at you as a failure. They will reject you and advise you to go get a job. Nothing will make sense to them out of what you’re doing, but you’re the real deal, and you must believe that.
3. “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” – John A. Shedd.
Growing up as a young adult, I discovered there was nothing else I could do with my life but entrepreneurship. I don’t know why that seemed to be the case, but nothing else seemed appealing to me, not even the highest-paid job in my country. I just wanted to build something. I just love to sell things, and nothing else would make sense to me. Till today, I see entrepreneurship as a necessary evil. Yes, it’s difficult, frustrating, especially at the beginning, and could make your life really hard. Still, if you were created for it, nothing else will be appealing to you, not even the safe jobs or anything like that.
4. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once,” – Drew Houston.
I read in a book around the year 2007 a statement that goes like, “When you start making money, you’ll wonder where the money had been all these years.” I didn’t understand that statement until nine years after when I had my first business breakthrough. Yes, it was just a single success, but things started happening so fast that the speed of light seemed slow. Listen to me, it doesn’t matter how many times you fail, all you need is a single success. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been struggling as an entrepreneur, all you need is a unique idea and a single breakthrough. After this single success, the whole world would be open to you. Suddenly, people are willing to invest in my business, suddenly I started making more money than most people in my country, and suddenly the second and third business successes came. Don’t worry about failures. All you need is a single success, and a thousand failure will not matter at all.
- “Knowledge without action is meaningless” – Abu Bakr.
A few days ago, I saw a book with someone and asked him, “I think you have other books that teach the same thing you are holding.” He answered in affirmative. Okay, if you’ve read 3-5 books about the same business, have you ever tried to do something with what you learned? The answer was NO. I simply can’t understand. Why do people read books? What is the purpose of knowledge? To make your head bigger or to allow you to make a boast to your friends? It’s useless. The purpose of knowledge is not to know, it’s to do so do.
6. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky,
In my honest opinion, ideas are grossly overrated. People tend to believe that businesses that succeed do so because the owner came up with a great business idea. Well, My Space and Facebook are about the same idea, and Google and Yahoo! had the same mission in mind. What differentiates the men from boys in the business world is not an idea but execution. A good idea is needed for a successful business, but not as much as a weapon is required for war. A good idea is probably 5-10% of the whole game, making that idea happen requires even more challenging tasks.
- “When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe.’”– Tom Preston-Werner
Today when I look back at my life and remember all the stupid things I’ve attempted and how they fail, it seems to me as though it gives me the joy to know that there was never a point in my adult life when I said to myself, “Take it easy.” My life has always been about getting out and making a fight. It has always been about daring things most people would not even consider achievable, and that has led me to burn my hands more than a few times, but guess what? Only a few people look back at there failed adventure a decade after and regret them. The real thing most people regret is how they play it safe, how they avoid pain, how they live a comfortable life because of the fear of failures.
- “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” – Reid Hoffman
Look around you, and you’ll notice something really interesting, and that is; well, birds of the same feather always hang out together. People of similar mindsets are usually friends, people of similar goals are generally friends, and even people of similar body weight are often friends. This happens so naturally that most people don’t even know its happening. Now there’s a twist to that, and that is if you really want to be something other than what you are now, the smartest move you can make is to figure out one or two people who also want to be that thing and spend time with them. You don’t even have to try or struggle, just by being around the people who are traveling to the city you love to go, you’ll gradually be on your way there
- You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
– Richard Branson
In one of my recent unpublished books, I argue that the reason our present school system is stupid is that it uses a classroom to teach children. In my opinion, the classroom is one of the foolish things about education because the human mind doesn’t learn anything by merely reciting it. We don’t learn how to walk by sitting in a classroom. We don’t learn how to speak by sitting in a classroom; you can’t learn how to cook, drive, or write by sitting in a classroom. There’s only a single way humans learn, and that is the way of doing. It’s by doing we get feedback, call mistakes, and then know how to do what we want to do better. I’ve read more than 200 books about entrepreneurship and related subject before I started out in the business world. Still, six months after I went entirely into the business world, I seemed to have learned more about entrepreneurship than what any book could have taught me. Don’t sit down and read three hundred books about a subject, read a few books, and start doing.
10. “Dear entrepreneurs, you can start a thousand businesses, launch 100 projects, and take dozens of companies public, but you only have one shot at being part of your kid’s childhood. Your kid doesn’t care about your platform, they care about your presence” – Jon Acuff
At the end of the day, most of us really want something more than money, fame, and success entrepreneurship offers. Some of us want a great marriage, some want children, and some want relationships with other humans. One great temptation of entrepreneurship is that you can easily be carried away by your job. Let’s build. Let’s sell. Let’s build even more. Almost everyone who lives their entrepreneurial life building and selling gets to the end of their lives and regret never spending enough time with the people they love most. Build and sell, but also make time for your family.