Favourite quote collections from successful entrepreneurs

Here is a collection of quotes from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders.  I have found them to be inspirational and I hope you do too.  Also please subscribe to this feed for updates as I add more quotes to the collection.  I have blogged about some of my favourites on this site as well – see my other posts.


1- From Sir Richard Branson – My Top 10 quotes on dreams

The story of Virgin is a story of big dreams. The odds have been stacked against us along the way, but by not limiting ourselves to what have been told to be true, we have been able to make the impossible possible.

We should all dream, and encourage others to do so too. Dreaming is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. On that note, here are my top 10 quotes on dreams…


2- Wherever you go, there you are.  Attributed to Mark Twain (not definite)

3- You do not know the answer until you ask the question!Attributed to Mark Twain (not definite)

4- “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

5- “You become what you think about.” – Napoleon Hill

6- “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” – Sigmund Freud

7- “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

8- “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

9-“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

10-“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

11- Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. Dale Carnegie-

12-“A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller.” – Paul Klee

13-“I want to know God’s thoughts… the rest are details.” Albert Einstein

14-“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” – Bob Ross

15-“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” – Emile Zola

16-“My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.” – Marcel Proust

17-“Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.” Simone Well

18-“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

19- “Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.” Simone Well

20-“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

21- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi-

22- “May you live every day of your life.” – Jonathan Swift

23- “The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. Benjamin Disraeli

24- “One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.” ~Sophocles

25- “Action expresses priorities.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

26- “You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” – Edwin Louis Cole

27- Take the letters that make up the word LISTEN and rearrange them so that they spell out SILENT.- Dr. Wayne Dyer

28-“To do nothing is often my most profitable way.” – Virginia Woolf

29- “Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin –

30 – “Words without experience are meaningless.” – Vladimir Nabokov –

31 – “The artist is always beginning.” – Ezra Pound

32- It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” – Thomas Jefferson

33- “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ― Rumi

34- “Next to love friendship, in my opinion, is the most valuable thing life has to offer.” – Henry Miller

35- “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

36- “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” ― Madonna

37- “Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” ― Janis Joplin

38- “If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” ― Katharine Hepburn

39- “Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.” – Annie Dillard 

40- “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King 

41- “Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures.” – Joseph Campbell 

My recommended articles on remote working

Here are some good articles I have found that articulate the benefits of remote working.  Bookmark or subscribe to this page for more updates!

1- From TeamGantt on Pros for remote working

People will often ask us if we have an office or when we plan to get one.  Our immediate response is that we have no plans to get an office for TeamGantt.  The reason is that we wouldn’t get anything done!  Ok, maybe we would get some things done, but we wouldn’t be nearly as productive as we are now. – See more at: http://teamgantt.com/blog/2014/08/05/the-1-reason-that-we-work-remotely-at-teamgantt/#sthash.neHYHKMf.dpuf

The #1 Reason that We Work Remotely at TeamGantt


2  From:  http://www.commitstrip.com/en/2015/07/page/5/




Brain Craze versus Mindfulness

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The obvious becomes less obvious with time, distractions and distance!  Memories do change. People shift consciously and unconsciously.

Different people at the same meeting can remember discussions and decisions differently.  This can lead to stress and strife. People head out with good intentions but may not end up marching to a unified tune unless reminded what that tune is. You might not remember what you think it is. This is a good reason to make note of things and keep those note somewhere nicely filed and accessible.  In project world this would require a good RAID log stored in a central repository.

Try and live by the ideal of “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I wonder how much time is spent searching for misplaced items? I am not saying a everyone must have a pristine space as everyone has a personal style. Just have your own sense of “place”. I am sure some things will occasionally be misplaced but if you practice being mindful of where you want to put things and discipline yourself to that, I am sure you will free up hours of your life and reduce stress.

If the space around you is cleaner, more mapped and more organized your mind will be too

You might not remember where you put it, or exactly what was said by whom when, but you will have a better chance of finding it by practicing the art of mindfulness.

Popp- Chapter 18 – Say what you mean and mean what you say

In my journey I have found that you are your word.

People will stop believing you if you do not deliver what you say you will.  This is similar to the old fable “The little boy who cried wolf”.  In that story, the little boy kept crying out that there was a wolf… and there was not.  When he cried out that there was a wolf… and there was, no one believed him and things did not turn out well.

When you say something, make sure your actions and deeds match up.

Things may change along the way causing you to veer from what you originally said.  If you communicate the change of course you will still maintain your integrity and credibility.

Once you lose your credibility, it is almost impossible to fully regain it.

Watch what you say and make sure it lines up with what you do.


PoPP – Chapter 16 – Let’s talk about it


In my travels, I have observed disintegration in our phone etiquette.

Top observations of poor phone etiquette:

1- Multi-tasking is a myth and definitely poor etiquette for a phone conversation. People can tell if you are doing something else while talking to them. While on the phone you have choices:

  1. Best: Give whomever you are chatting with your full attention.
  2. Good: Let someone know that this is not a good time to chat and call them back.
  3. OK: If you need to divert your attention for a moment, let whomever you are talking on the phone with know that and give them the option of waiting for you or conversing at another time.

muti tasking

2- When you are on the phone talking to one person, do not have a side conversation with another person.  This dilutes both conversations and can also be very confusing. If someone comes into the room where you are holding your phone conversation you can:

  1. Best: Tell the person who has come into your space that you will talk to them later
  2. Good: Tell the person you are on the phone with that you will call them back later
  3. OK: Give the person you are on the phone with the option of waiting a moment


3- Hands free etiquette is important.  When having a phone conversation people will be unaware of others in near you who may overhear your conversation. Hand free technology can make for a bad connection and a lot of background noise as well.

  1. Best: Let people know you are hands free and if there is someone else in the room or nearby.
  2. Good: Give the person on the other end of a hands free phone conversation the choice to wait for another time when the conversation can be held one to one and in private.
  3. OK: If someone else is nearby who can overhear your conversation, identify that person.
  4. Even better: Don’t use hands free and consider getting a head set.


4- When attending a social event with others, it is poor etiquette to have your cell phone out and text or answer calls.  If there is an emergency and you must respond to the call or text you can:

  1. Good: Excuse yourself and step out or away for a minute
  2. OK: If you must stay at the table, apologize and let you companion(s) know this is an urgent call you have to take
  3. Best- leave your Blackberry or cell off

movies on phone

5- For safety’s sake DO NOT talk/ or text while driving

Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)


Building Strong Business Relationships

Here are some tips to help you build strong Business Relationships-  Team, Customer, Peer, Management

1- Strong Relationships go a long way.

How do you build those?  Make some effort to get to know your customers, teams, managers, peers personally.  This will take time but will definitely pay off in the end.  Always be truthful. If you become known gets as truthful and caring, when you need to deliver bad news it will be more accepted. When you are asking for a bit more, people will be more willing to give.

2- Use Good Will Deposits.

There are times when opportunities will arise to under promise and over deliver.  There are times when there you will be able to help your client behind the scenes or open doors that a peer may need.  Whenever you do something like this , you are making a “good will deposit”.  You can also make withdrawals.  As long as you have a credit, when you have to make a withdrawal, it is a lot more successful  (and vice versa).

3- Be fair

Make sure you understand both sides of the story.  You can demonstrate this through active listening. taking accurate minutes to you meetings, taking the time for a one on one call or meeting.  People have different preferred styles of communication.  As you get to know your teams, match your communications up to their style so that they can “hear, see, feel” your message.  As the conveyor of the message, it is up to you to ensure the message is heard.

4- Be clear

Be clear about what it is that is required or needed.  If composing a message in an email, ask for what you need up front.  Keep communications short. Stay away from acronyms,sayings, technical terms or corporate culture terms that are used as norms, unless you define them.

5- Be transparent

If you are having issues delivering what you said you would, be honest.  Things happen and not everything goes according to plan.  Your customer, teams, peers, managers will be better able to relate if they know what is going on behind the scenes.  There are times you may not want to choose to air items that might embarrass your company or cannot share some inner corporate challenges, but share as much as you can.

6- Be empathetic/ compassionate

Try and understand what is driving your teams.  They have goals they have to meet and bosses they need to please. As a service provider, we are here to help each team member, customer, peer, manager  be successful.

7- Remember people have things going on in their personal lives as well.

Make notes on your clients, refer to those notes.  Pay attention to the personal information and cues teams give you.  Some people will openly share, others will be more guarded.  When your customer/ peer/ team member or manager  shifts gears, that may have a personal issue that contributes to how they react.  Do not take their reactions  personally.

8- Be humble

Make sure you take the time to acknowledge the contribution of others.  Do not take all the credit for success for yourself. I have found it also is appreciated when you take the share  praise for a key contributor with their managers.

9- Get back to your customer  when you say you will.

Whether or not you have a complete answer for them,   even if it is not what they want to hear from you  or even if you need to defer again for a complete response, respond when you say you will.

10- Apologize when you have missed the mark

If you personally miss a deadline, apologize.  When your team misses a deadline, apologize. Pointing fingers, blaming others is not what anyone wants to hear when something is off course. As professional managers we just need to get things back on track as fast as possible.

Remember , as a project manager or customer service manager you take the blame and the team gets the glory!


Developing and Working with International Teams – Ten Tips

There can be hurdles developing and working with International teams.  Here are some tips to help you.

1- Do not assume your team members have the same sense of humour that your do. Sometimes what you find amusing may offend someone else.  What your language, some cultures can be offended with your “norm”. Think about the expressions you use and what they may mean to someone else. Try and use up straight, clear language and leave out the nuances and entendres … at least until you get to know your team.

2- Do not assume that your team members understand or relate to your analogies.  We have all been raised with certain stories that are used to illustrate and augment what we are saying.  Not everyone can relate to them as they were not raised in the same culture.  Do not take language short cuts by using analogies.  Speak/ writ it out to keep things as clear as possible and to try and keep everyone on the same page.

3- Do not assume your team members know the same acronyms.  Acronyms change from country to country, industry to industry, company to company.  Spell / speak them out until you establish acronyms that your whole team understand.

4- Different nationalities will have different accents, analogies and more.  Do not hesitate to ask for clarification for yourself and overall for the rest of your team.

5- Speak slowly and enunciate.  Ask your team members to do the same.  Minimize back ground noise and ask your team members to do the same.  When holding a meeting ask your team to stay focused and not try to multi-task. This will save everyone form missing key messages and repetition!

6- Use tools such as virtual rooms , prepare agendas in advance so your teams can follow along visually and not just rely on verbal communications.

7- All meetings need minutes.  Send them out promptly. Clearly indicate the action items and who they are assigned to. Set deadlines for delivery of those actions. Highlight any overdue items.

8 – Be aware and sensitive to different time zones, holidays, cultural observations.  If you are respectful of what is important to your team members, they will usually reciprocate.

9- Take some one on one time to get to know each member.  This will help you to understand their strengths and weaknesses and overall build a stronger team. When your team member does something exception, take the time to acknowledge that!  That can go a long way.

10- No matter where a team member is from, some will get along better than others, some will not get along at all.  Remember this is about delivery, service and quality.   Take the time  to remind your teams of  the common end goal of delivering what you were brought together to do.