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32 Quotes That Helped Me Become An Awesome Entrepreneur

32 Quotes That Helped Me Become An Awesome Entrepreneur

I don’t like cheesy, vague advice. I like specifics that really challenge my thinking about a situation. Often, just changing the prism you look through can offer the perspective you needed all along. Words can be that prism.

Growing a business often entails a series of small actions, such as growing your social media communities or cold calling. However, it’s meaningless without a vision behind it and the directions to accomplish it. You must simultaneously consider the pieces and the whole, like a jigsaw. This is how you become an awesome entrepreneur.

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Having been an entrepreneur for years (and currently on my third startup), I’ve built up a collection of strong quotes that keep me inspired and keep me on track. In sharing them with you, I hope these quotes may help you start the new year with laser focus on your business.

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These quotes will help your entrepreneurial efforts when you start losing focus or come up against the proverbial brick wall.

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  1. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting with the first one.” -Mark Twain
  2. “Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs.” -Vaclav Havel
  3. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now.” -John Wooden
  4. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” -Nolan Bushnell
  5. “People seldom do things to the best of their ability. They do things to the best of their willingness.” -Anon.
  6. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” -Simon Sinek
  7. “People think that what a business does is make money. But money is just the intermediate stage—just a shorthand—for whatever people want. What most businesses really do is make wealth. They do something people want.” -Paul Graham
  8. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” -Warren Tracy
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    • “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea.” -David Belasco
    • “Do something today that your future self will be thankful for” -Anon.
    • “If you want money, provide value. It really is that simple” -Anon.
    • “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates
    • “Build what the world wants, not what you think it wants” -Denis Duvauchelle
    • “You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” -Alvin Toffer
    • “It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out. It’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” -Robert Service
    • “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” -Anon.
    • “We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.” -Herbert Marshall McLuhan
    • “Facebook and Twitter aren’t the real problems in the office. The real problems are what I like to call the M&Ms, the Managers and the Meetings.”-Jason Fried
    • “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.” -Peter F. Drucker
    • “Recessions are great because they unlock the best people.” -Aaron Patzer
    • “Life does not mean coming to office, going home and sleep. There is more to a life. You need time to socialize, exercise and relax. Don’t make your life meaningless. A person who sits in the office until late is not a hardworking person. He is a fool who does not know how to manage work within the stipulated time. Besides, he is a loser who does not have a personal or social life.” -Always Leave The Office On Time
    • “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie
    • “Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.” -Seth Godin
    • “Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.” –Anon.
    • “The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.” -Rosabeth Moss Kanter
    • “Finished crap can be edited. Unfinished greatness languishes forever. The only bad writing is the thing you didn’t write!” -Margarita Gakis
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      • “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently” -Steve Jobs
      • “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”-David Ogilvy
      • “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” -Calvin Coolidge
      • “Geniuses think productively, not reproductively. When confronted with a problem, they ask “How many different ways can I look at it?”, “How can I rethink the way I see it?”, and “How many different ways can I solve it?” instead of “What have I been taught by someone else on how to solve this?” -Michael Michalko
      • “Big innovation lives right on the edge of ridiculous ideas.” -Brendan Boyle

      And to finish…

      become-an-awesome-entrepreneur

        – Betsy Cañas Garmon

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        Last Updated on April 9, 2020

        5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

        5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

        It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

        The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

        With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

        5 Types of Leadership Styles

        I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

        The Democratic Style

        The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

        The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

          The Autocratic Style

          The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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          The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

          While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

            The Transformational Style

            Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

            Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

            Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

              The Transactional Style

              Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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              The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

              The Laissez-Faire Style

              The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

              In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

              Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

              You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

              Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

              The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

              Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

              I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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              In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

              What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

              Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

              1. Context Matters

              Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

              2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

              When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

              As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

              “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

              The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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              As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

              When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

              The Way Forward

              To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

              As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

              “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

              The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

              If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

              Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

              Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

              More Leadership Tips

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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