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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 17, 2019

        10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

        10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

        What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

        Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

        They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

        1. Communication Skills

        Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

        To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

        Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

        Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

        After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

        2. Flexibility

        Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

        Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

        Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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        Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

        3. Being a Team Player

        Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

        What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

        This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

        Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

        4. Positive Mental Attitude

        There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

        Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

        Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

        It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

        Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

        5. A Strong Work Ethic

        People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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        If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

        Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

        • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
        • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
        • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
        • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

        For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

        6. Public Speaking

        Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

        Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

        If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

        For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

        Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

        7. Integrity

        From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

        • Always doing what you say you will do
        • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

        …even when no one is around to check up on you.

        There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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        Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

        8. Managing Your Time

        Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

        A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

        Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

        Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

        These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

        9. Assertiveness

        In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

        • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
        • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
        • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
        • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

        Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

        How do you use this information for yourself?

        It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

        Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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        How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

        10. Creative Thinking

        LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

        Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

        How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

        Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

        These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

        You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

        What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

        Final Thoughts

        The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

        So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

        The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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        Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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