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Entrepreneurs: Words of Encouragement

Thursday, August 11th, 2016


I only have time for a quick note before my plane lands, but I wanted to share two quotes that have helped me keep going in rough times.

The first is something we all know from our own experience, but it always helps to hear it from “names” who have already pushed through and succeeded.

Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe. — Sumner Redstone

The second is something that every entrepreneur will swear to, although it would be nice to have summer vacation as we did while actually in school.

There is no education like adversity. –Benjamin Disraeli

Judging from these words of wisdom, I will be phenomenally well educated by the time Quarrio is a huge success.

Plane’s landing; back to work.

Quotable Quotes: Words in Use

Sunday, January 27th, 2013


Words can provide encouragement and add value—or do the opposite. Listen carefully beyond the surface of a person’s words and you will know that person’s heart and even their soul.

There is no attribution, but every manager and thinking person knows the truth of this comment, “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”

Answers aren’t always the best use of words as Naguib Mahfouz reminds us, “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”

There’s an old saying that goes “open mouth insert foot,” but Lawrence J. Peter says it far more elegantly, “Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”

Those who spend (waste?) time trying to refute the myriad of lies found in modern media would do well to remember the words of William McAdoo, “It is impossible to defeat an ignorant person in an argument.”

Listening to the politicians, pundits and corporate titans always reminds me of this old Chinese proverb, “The longer the explanation, the bigger the lie.”

And I think I’ll let the words of Jimi Hendrix round out today’s thoughts; “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Can’t say it more clearly than that.

Image credit: Jon Assink

Quotable Quotes: Dear Abby

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

The people who pay me to write do so because I have the skill of brevity. Writing is an art and artists are quick to cite those who most influenced their talent. I’m no different and Pauline Phillips, AKA Abigail Van Buren, AKA Dear Abby, who died Wednesday, was a huge influence growing up. I read her every day and her skill creating pithy, answers that said it all in very few words. Although often irreverent her answers were still empathetic and never hurtful or sarcastic. She impressed me no end and I’ve done my best to absorb it into my own style, although I’m not nearly as good at it.

A favorite I couldn’t find was in response to a 32 year old woman who wondered if it was too late to become a doctor, because it takes 10 years and she would be 43 by the time she was licensed. Abby’s response? Yes, it would take 10 years, and yes, she would be 43, however, in 10 years she would be 43 no matter what she did.

Here are some others that I was able to find.

Dear Abby: Our son married a girl when he was in the service. They were married in February and she had an 8½-pound baby girl in August. She said the baby was premature. Can an 8½-pound baby be this premature?— Wanting to Know
Dear Wanting: The baby was on time. The wedding was late. Forget it.

Dear Abby: A woman who was married for 46 years wrote a long story about how hard her husband was to live with. She asked you whether she should choose divorce or suicide. You told her divorce was preferable. Are you married to a divorce lawyer, Abby?” — Nosy ”
Dear Nosy: No. Are you married to an undertaker?”

Dear Abby: My wife sleeps in the raw. Then she showers, brushes her teeth and fixes our breakfast — still in the buff. We’re newlyweds and there are just the two of us, so I suppose there’s really nothing wrong with it. What do you think? — Ed
Dear Ed: It’s O.K. with me. But tell her to put on an apron when she’s frying bacon.

Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions? — M. J. B. in Oakland, Calif.
Dear M. J. B.: Yes. Run for a public office.

And as someone who lived with her gay friends on Nob Hill 30-odd years ago this is my all time favorite.

Dear Abby: Two men who claim to be father and adopted son just bought an old mansion across the street and fixed it up. We notice a very suspicious mixture of company coming and going at all hours — blacks, whites, Orientals, women who look like men and men who look like women. This has always been considered one of the finest sections of San Francisco, and these weirdos are giving it a bad name. How can we improve the neighborhood? — Nob Hill Residents
Dear Residents: You could move.

Finally, a short interview between Larry King and Dear Abby.

Image credit: CNN

Quotable Quotes: More Aphorisms

Sunday, January 6th, 2013


I love aphorisms and last summer I shared some with you. It was fun to do, so I thought I’d do it again. For those of you who don’t know, aphorisms are a bit of accepted wisdom or observations recognized by the general population as being true. The previous examples were ones I grew up with; today I share more modern ones.

War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who’s left. The world would be a better place if its so-called leaders would get this through their thick skulls.

When everything’s coming your way—you’re in the wrong lane. Notice it says ‘coming’ not ‘going’. When everything’s going your way buy some champagne, grab your friends and celebrate.

Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job. The same thing applies to every other animal including human.

The last three are my favorites; the first two are a clever nod to the digital world and the last, to my mind, says it all.

The E-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail. Just ask the USPS.

Home is where you hang your @ Well, I said they were clever.

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege. No kidding. You can find 535 without even trying—435 in the House and another 100 in the Senate.

Flickr image credit: Luke Razzell

Quotable Quotes: Change for 2013

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hakeechang/6615677063/At the start of 2012 we considered the futility of New Year resolutions; this year I thought we’d look at change, since any resolution requires it.

According to Francis Bacon, “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”

Arnold Bennett said, “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”

Anatole France elaborated on that thought, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

That said, it is still wise to heed the words of Ellen Glasgow, “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”

Maya Angelou captured the idea of what to change in a nutshell when she said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

Wise words and very true, but as Leo Tolstoy points out, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Change is a necessary part of growth, but I disagree with what Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” No matter how much or how often you change you will never be perfect.

One more very important point—share your changes; as Lillian Hellman reminds us, “People change and forget to tell each other.”

In ending, and since the New Year is almost upon us, let me propose a toast, “Here’s to positive change in 2013.

Flickr image credit: Hakee Chang

Quotable Quotes: Info for Better Living

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

‘Tis the season to reflect and consider better motivation and actions, so I thought I’d share some good info for you to add to whatever you’re cooking up.

This great advice was a tweet from Drake.

Live without pretending
Love without depending
Listen without defending
Speak without offending

(Hat tip to Dmitry Vergeles, CEO, Solveig Multimedia for sharing the quote.)

There’s way too much ‘I’ in the world today; most everything improves when you replace ‘I’ with ‘we’, as shown in this anonymous meme shows.

When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we’
Even ‘illness’ becomes ‘wellness’

During a conversation, someone asked me why I thought the term ‘friend’ had lost its meaning. I responded that today’s definition didn’t match what I called friends. They said “what’s the difference?” Here is what I said.

Friends who have time vs. friends who make time.
Friends who click to like vs. friends who act to like.
Friends who share vs. friends who care.

www.flickr.com/photos/adulau/2990656711/Finally, in case you’re wondering what I did about last night’s burn, I put crushed, raw onion on it (number 7 at My Home Remedies:) and it was immediately fine. I also added more onion on a light bit of cotton, wrapped it with plastic wrap and put a piece of Scotch tape around it. I wrote Saturday’s blog and it stayed on all night. No pain, no problems since.

How about that.

Image credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy

Quotable Quotes: Shopping

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charliebrewer/67838081/Shopping may not be exactly the kind of subject matter you expect when you visit, but you have to admit it’s timely.

Although not everybody loves it, “I hate shopping. If I need something, even a pair of socks, my assistant has to get them for me. I hate shopping!” The quote is anonymous, but it could be my sister, except she doesn’t have an assistant.

Shopping serves many purposes.

Tammy Faye Bakker, she of the four-inch false eyelashes, thinks shopping is therapeutic, “I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.”

I’ve seen many comparisons of shopping and sex, but Adrienne Gusoff’s is one of the funniest, “Shopping is better than sex. If you’re not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like.”

Shopping is different for women and men as pointed out by Elayne Boosler, “When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.”

I think men should learn to eat or go shopping, but as Cynthia Nelms so wisely says, “If men liked shopping, they’d call it research.”  That’s OK, research beats war any day.

Then there is Usher, who is either more introspective or more honest than most men, “I was so nervous…I just had to go shopping”

And with just nine more shopping days nervous is what a lot of you probably are, so go shopping.

Image credit: Charlie Brewer

Quotable Quotes: Actionable Actions

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5683575389/December is a time when many people think about what they should have done, what they did and what they could do better. That said, here are some suggestions that may resonate with you.

Let’s start with George Will’s attitude, which is the not only the best, but the first and most important thing to remember about people, “It’s extraordinary how extraodinary the ordinary person is.”

According to Richard L. Evans,  “Children will not remember you for the material things you provided, but for the feeling that you cherished them.” I say that is equally true for every person you will ever meet, so cherish everyone, until they prove unworthy (instead of the opposite).

Live by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

And as you do so remember also the words of Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Live by the proverb “A good listener is a silent flatterer.”

Follow the advice of Dee Hock, “Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”

And above all embrace the words of Rumi, “Be a lamp, a lifeboat or a ladder.” Better yet, be all three—as needed.

Flickr image credit: Sean MacEntee

Quotable Quotes: Zig Ziglar

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Zig Ziglar, for 40 years one of the best know motivational speakers, died last week. He left behind thousands of inspired people and, based on the value and profusion of his sound bites, there will be thousands more in the future. Here are a few of my favorites and you can find many more here.

If you want to live a happy successful life, the first thing you need to grasp is, “Every choice you make has an end result.”

You need to make your choice based on who you are and what you know at that moment then “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

It’s also true that, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.” Keep in mind that too much oxygen isn’t necessarily beneficial.

Everybody’s heard that success is the result of hard work, but I like Ziglar’s way of saying it best, “Success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.”

A good dose of optimism is always useful and, again, Ziglar provides a better definition than most, “An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with him.”

What I really get a kick out of are how apropos his comments on marriage are when applied to management.

For example, “Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side,” so would the different departments and teams in most companies.

And if you want a few telling words on how to manage the persons on your team, consider changing the fifth word in this comment, “If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag”

Finally, considering we just finished with a really nasty election (at all levels); I couldn’t resist these two gems.

The first seems to fit all the ideologues that ran for office, “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.”

And the second seems to fit a larger percentage of the population each year, “A narrow mind and a fat head invariably come on the same person”

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Quotable Quotes: Thanksgiving 2012

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tostie14/66655595/Thanksgiving posts are early this year because I’m planning to take the holiday off—all four days. I can’t wait. It’s not that I’m going anywhere, actually I plan to spend those four days doing stuff that I’ve put off for months and in a few cases years. If I manage to stay on plan I will really have something to celebrate come November 26.

Today’s quotes fall in two categories; the first is dedicated to those who serve on Wall Street and kindred souls who frequently forget what they have in their effort to have more; the second is just plain fun.

Just so there’s no mistake, I’m referring to the group what fits Horace’s comment, “Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon outlined the attitude perfectly when he said, “You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”

Robert Flatt seconds that in his comment, “Thanksgiving like contentment is a learned attribute. The person who hasn’t learned to be content…lives with the delusion he deserves more or something better.”

Forward these quotes to anyone you know heading down that path; I doubt they will recognize themselves, but one can always hope.

Now for some fun.

Erma Bombeck provides the real reason for the name ‘Thanksgiving’ (I always wondered, but never knew for sure.) “What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”

If you remember your school lessons they always show Indians bringing food to the first Thanksgiving, but Dylan Brody’s insight shows why it’s a good idea to listen to your elders, “You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner there was one wise, old Native American woman saying, “Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they’ll never leave.”

And Irv Kupcine reminds us of the true nature of the-glass-is-half-full people, “An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.”

And on that note I’ll leave with a Thanksgiving rhyme from our old friend Anonymous,

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!

Flickr image credit: Kevin Tostado

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