Every morning I spend half an hour reviewing motivation videos on YouTube. These helps put me in the right frame of mind for figuring out what needs to get done, how to get those things done, and get them done in a way that makes me feel fulfilled. While this isn’t always easy – particularly when I wake up immediately craving an Old Fashioned—as was my ritual some-odd years ago–, it is doable.
However, operating that business sober is, I think, possible only because I’ve memorised six monumental quotes from some of the wisest, business-extraordinaire of our history. (There is more than six, of course. There are literally hundreds of quotes I’ve picked up over the years. But these six special nuggets have stuck with me through thick and thin.) Like it or not: quotes are our life-blood. Made all the sweeter when they’re said from people whose products (and visions) we trust.
- Andrew Carnegie
“And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.”
Say whatever you want, when it comes to the survival of the fittest, there is nothing like business to stage the proving ground of your workers to show you what they’re worth. (If you can’t trust a self-made steel tycoon worth $475M at the time of his death, who can you trust?)
- Zig Ziglar
“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”
These five principles are crucial towards understanding all the possible reasons why a customer/client will say no to you. These five basic obstacles outlined by Ziggy explain five core elements of human nature. Understand those elements, and create solutions for those elements, and you have a winning formula for your sales team.
- Jack Welch
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
There is no better way for creating, and articulating your vision in business than being clear about what you want from life. Some of these quotes about recovery provide the necessary clarity we need for remembering just how to bring that vision to life.
- B.C. Forbes
“If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.”
You know who Forbes is. Creator and owner of Forbes magazine – one of the leading magazines when it comes to business. (Next to Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc.) We have got to fuel our engines up so we set ourselves on fire more often. How often do you find yourself tired of your job (and career)? Does what you once loved doing remind you of dragging a mule around all day? Find what gives you the spark in your business and go after it. Your livelihood depends on it.
- Earl Nightingale
“Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.”
There is no one alive (that I know) who can argue with this point: making decisions quickly leads to increased productivity and profit. It is an ingrained talent being able to make on-the-fly decisions after chewing through all available information in seconds. Executives who excel at this skill rightly deserve their titles (and paycheque.)
- Steve Jobs
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
If you can’t heed Mr. Jobs advice about innovation, whose word can you follow? It is imperative, in life and business, to realise that we make mistakes. From Warren Buffett to Mahatma Gandhi. It’s those who own up to those mistakes that make a difference.
Like it or not, we have businesses to run. Otherwise, the bills don’t get paid, my employees aren’t paid, and my family starves. You and I both know that turning to substances isn’t good for business – or our livelihood. Still, the struggle to keep away from the junk is real. These legendary business owners had no choice but to accept sobriety in order to become the stuff of history.