When life gets tough, we all turn to a favorite quote for perspective and inspiration. Here are 11 memorable quotes to inspire and guide your next level of success.
1. Wish for more.
During my third year playing in the NFL for the New England Patriots, I suffered a torn groin during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After my third season-ending injury, I started to wish things were different. Then I read Jim Rohn’s quote: “Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.” It transformed my mindset.
When life “happens,” we can choose to be the victim or the victor. We can run from failures or use them to catapult our dreams to successes. As an entrepreneur, you’re faced with changing landscapes daily, both wanted and unwanted. Your mindset and your passion for improving every day through consistent action and execution separate mediocracy from excellence.
At my current firm, M2Jets, we aim to embody excellence and have created a culture where we live by the mantra, “Without Exception.”
2. Don’t stop believing.
I first heard this about 40 years ago, and it’s my daily mantra: “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass!” by Paul J. Meyer.
I wake up every day with a positive outlook on something new and exciting. I imagine it vividly, with the amazing desire to achieve it and the certainty that I will get it. Then, I spend my day enthusiastically acting upon achieving it.
This is where many people fall short: They don’t put a plan of action into place. By doing all these things, whatever you want will come to pass.
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance…. You’ve got to have an idea or a problem or a wrong that you want to right, that you’re passionate about; otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.”
I heard this Steve Jobs quote five years ago after burning through seed capital and deciding to pivot to an idea that I loved. I moved to San Francisco, having to sleep in my car to afford rent.
It took two years of struggling, bootstrapping and determination to get traction with Instapage, which is now a 125-person company with over eight figures in annual recurring revenue. We’re growing fast and still haven’t taken traditional funding due to our financial efficiency.
It certainly wasn’t easy, but I heeded Jobs’ advice and persevered. Never give up, and you’ll surpass those who do.
4. Set the trend.
I love and live by Winston Churchill’s mantra: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
We all have successes and failures in life. What matters is how we continue to grow after each success and improve ourselves after each failure.
It takes courage and determination to pick yourself up after a setback. But knowing that you’ll overcome your obstacles through self-belief is key. You never want to get comfortable. When you do, you’re no longer growing and winning.
In the hyper-competitive beauty industry, it’s important not only to keep up with trends, but set them. For me, it’s all about developing innovative products that keep me one step ahead of the competition. I celebrate my success with a cautious mindset, knowing that I better have three or four other “winning” ideas, or my competition will.
5. Be humble.
When Star Trek didn’t win as many awards as some thought it should, Leonard Nimoy, the actor who originally played Spock, called to comfort me for not getting an Academy Award!
In response, I quoted Cato, an elder Roman statesman: “I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue, than why I have one.” Being humble is the best way to brag.
— Roberto Orci, Hollywood producer and screenwriter whose movies and TV shows have grossed over $5 billion worldwide
6. Look for the small stuff.
W. Clement Stone said, “Big doors swing on little hinges.” In life, everyone wants to do big things. But big things are comprised of doing many little things.
For example, if you want a 10 percent performance increase, it’s easier to find 2 percent here, 3 percent there, 1 percent in that direction and 4 percent elsewhere.
The imagery of looking at a door, and seeing the significance of the two hinges that swing it, is awesome to me.
7. Hone your skills.
My favorite quote by far is, “Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills,” by Jim Rohn. We can’t grow or get rich without challenge. The key is to understand the challenge, then acquire the skills to overcome it.
I was 25 and broke when I started watching Jim Rohn on YouTube. I started correcting the errors of my past and substituted them with simple philosophical quotes, like those in this article. I took the pennies in my pocket and became a multimillionaire by age 27.
I put this particular quote into action anytime I am faced with a problem or challenge, keeping in mind that only by acquiring more skills can I overcome it and create a profit.
8. Capitalize off your shortcomings.
I grew up on the myth that it was a pure miracle that David beat Goliath. But in the book David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell says, “Just because your competition is bigger than you, doesn’t make them more powerful.” In the true historical account of the battle, the reason David beat Goliath is no miracle at all.
To triumph, we need to question our visible shortcomings constantly so they can become our greatest strengths. For significant growth, we must change the rules.
9. Clear your head.
Charlie Chaplin said, “We think too much and feel too little.” In situations where a solution seems farfetched, thinking my way to a solution usually doesn’t work.
I take time away to relax, get in touch with my feelings on a deep level and ask myself, “What would the best solution feel like and look like?” Then, I work my way back to the present from that state.
Even if I don’t get the solution right away, I’m able to clear my head with this simple process.
—Nafisé Nina Hodjat, founder and managing attorney of The SLS Firm
10. The vision pulls you.
One of my favorite quotes is by Steve Jobs: “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” This is so true and I call it “positive passion.”
From my experience, when you’re working on a positive passion project, you get into a zone that naturally eliminates overthinking. Obstacles are removed because you’re organically thinking outside the box, driving beyond your own limited capacity and expanding your brainpower.
When in this zone, I’m able to magnetize the right people at the right time to assist me in achieving my goals. Remember, to be a visionary, you have to be your own inspiration.
11. No excuses, only outcomes.
Former GE executive Jack Welch said: “A sagging economy was no excuse for not making one’s profit commitments. Outcomes, after all, are what matter.”
This quote keeps me focused on the end results and my team going in the same direction. It also reminds me to change the understanding from the budget being an “expense” to a “control-and-measure process.”
Turning all parts of your company into profit generators that are measured and controlled alters your perspective.
—Jay Georgi, founder of Nadvia and operations/management/profits-retention coach
The Oracles is an invitation-only brain trust comprising the world’s leading entrepreneurs who share their top advice and success strategies to help others grow their business, live a better life, and achieve success faster.