When former First Lady Barbara Bush penned her autobiography, her editor placed limits on the frequency with which she could use the words “close friend,” “wonderful” (once per page) and “precious” (once per chapter). She was widely known for her loving nature, her positive outlook on life and her sharp wit. “Not bad to have had a life that was filled with wonderful people and happenings, precious family, and many close friends,” she pointedly wrote on the first page of her memoir.
In honor of Bush’s passing on Tuesday at age 92, here are some of her most enduring pieces of wisdom — and a few trademark zingers — about literacy, love and life.
“Love brings a tear. Friends bring a tear. A smile, sweetness, even a kind word brings a tear. In a life of privilege there are lots of tears.” (From her autobiography, 1994)
“Whether you are talking about education, career or service, you are talking about life … and life really must have joy. It’s supposed to be fun!” (From her Wellesley College commencement address, 1990)
“You have two choices in life: You can like what you do, or you can dislike it. I have chosen to like it.” (From the Barbara Pierce Bush online memorial)
“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” (From the George H.W. Bush Library Center)
“Believe in something larger than yourself… Get involved in some of the big ideas of our time. I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society.” (From her Wellesley College commencement address, 1990)
“The home is the child’s first school, the parent is the child’s first teacher, and reading is the child’s first subject.” (From the Barbara Pierce Bush online memorial)
“One of the many things we have learned in all our travels is that it’s the people who count… Most people everywhere are interesting, and if you can’t find a friend, then maybe there is something wrong with you.” (From her autobiography, 1994)
On George H.W. Bush:
“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.” (From the Barbara Pierce Bush online memorial)
“One of the reasons I made the most important decision of my life … to marry George Bush … is because he made me laugh. It’s true, sometimes we’ve laughed through our tears … but that shared laughter has been one of our strongest bonds.” (From her Wellesley College commencement address, 1990)
“Once, when George and I were visiting after we were married, Mother asked him not to go to the bathroom at night because he woke her up when he flushed the toilet. George, already inventive at 21 years of age, went out the window!” (From her autobiography, 1994)
“He is my hero.” (From her autobiography, 1994)
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Hayden Field
I sat down with entrepreneur David Schloss to learn just that. David Schloss’ expertise is Facebook advertising. But in 2014, at age 25, he nearly became completely irrelevant. It had been a tough year. Things weren’t clicking. On Halloween that year, David had zero dollars in his bank account. He was only 72 hours away from either coming up with his rent payment or getting kicked out. His car was two weeks away from getting impounded. It felt like walls were closing in. His business was crumbling. In this period of confusion, anxiety, self-doubt, and worry, David was a single decision away from committing “career suicide,” and going back to a 9-to-5 day job.
Thankfully, for David, he turned things around. He didn’t go back to being an employee. Instead, he navigated through the tough time and today is the proud owner of a successful and thriving company. What changed? How did this one entrepreneur break through? How did he get up from his rock bottom? Here are four keys entrepreneurs can use to make it through the tough time, get on track, and rise up in business and life.
1. Let yourself be vulnerable.
Sometimes we hit walls. We struggle. Sometimes we lose. Too often as entrepreneurs, we hide those struggles. The problem is, if you don’t let yourself be real and vulnerable when you’re struggling, you will actually hold yourself back from progressing through the tough time.
In David’s period of uncertainty, being vulnerable proved to be a powerful key in his turnaround. David had hundreds of business friends on Facebook. Realizing he needed help, David reached out to every last one of them for advice and guidance. Two things happened. First, he discovered that he wasn’t alone — many other entrepreneurs had gone through similar things. That helped him develop confidence that he could get through it too. Second, they gave him actionable advice to get on the right track.
Had David stayed “closed up,” he wouldn’t have had the support he needed from others to help him move forward. When you’re in a tough spot, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sharing the struggle is the bravest thing you can do. Being vulnerable isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.
2. Develop a vision.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to create?”
It’s difficult to know if you’re progressing when you don’t know where you’re going. Stephen Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, writes about beginning with the end in mind. Know where you want to end up at the beginning of the trip. Reverse engineer what you want to do and where you want to go. That will become your North Star guiding your direction.
David developed a vision for the future he wanted to create. He used the advice from his colleagues to help him get super clear on his vision and direction. It’s that vision got him get out of bed in the morning and motivated his work.
Vision is critical. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?
3. Create an action plan.
Vision is where you’re going, action is what gets you there. You’ve heard “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” While that’s true, there’s an important distinction to be made — your plan must be based on “action” instead of based on “results.”
In my first book, Fish Out of Water, I explain how successful “sharks” focus on what’s inside their control, vs. outside their control. While the result is not always directly within your control, action is.
David got clear on where he wanted to go, then made a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly plan of action of how he was going to get there. To him, success wasn’t based on the amount of money he made; it was based on the actions he took to make that money. He believed that if he took the right actions, results would come as a byproduct of those actions — and they did.
Decide what you want, then focus on the thing you can control to get there. Focus on action.
It’s no surprise that things don’t always go the way we planned. Persistence is a decision to keep moving towards the vision no matter the hiccups along the way. It’s not just doing “what it takes.” It’s doing “whatever it takes.” It’s falling down, and getting up again anyway. Life is like a chess game. You create a plan and a strategy, but how you win will not be the exact way you planned. Why? There are many unknown variables. It’s continuing to take the action, and not turning back.
Things didn’t abruptly become sunshine and roses while David was in the day-to-day grind, but he persisted no matter what. That’s why he is where he is today. Planning is what gets you moving, persistence is what keeps you going.
Entrepreneurship is an exciting adventure and a fulfilling journey, not just a satisfying destination. It’s not just about where we are going, but who we become throughout the process. David began to realize he wasn’t even the same person anymore. He was changing. It was like he was a butterfly now and, while he didn’t know it at the time, the low point was his metamorphosis.
As I talked about in a recent podcast interview, often times it’s the struggle that turns us into a great entrepreneur. So just remember, when you’re in a tough spot as an entrepreneur, it only means you’re being reborn into the new you. The exciting question is, what will your metamorphosis look like?
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Calvin Wayman
No matter who you are, life changes — whether it be a new city or job, marriage, a child — can be seriously overwhelming. When Michelle Kennedy had her son Finn, she found her world transformed. Kennedy shared her insights about why you need failure to get clarity and how channeling your passion helps you build up an inner resolve to go to bat for your business when it truly counts.
Kennedy saw the online dating industry grow and change over the past few years as general counsel and then deputy CEO of Badoo and then as an advisor and member of Bumble’s board. She understood how to connect people, but throughout her pregnancy and as a new mom, she felt isolated.
Kennedy wanted to build a network of other moms, a support system who she could call for help, advice or just an afternoon out. It occurred to her that she had all the tools she needed at her disposal to do just that, not only for her, but for other women in her position.
“On those long days it felt obvious — why don’t I just use the algorithms that we use in dating to help me find that network?” Kennedy told Entrepreneur. That initial frustration turned into a promising idea and platform: Peanut.
Since it launched in September 2016, Kennedy and her team have grown the business to 170,000 users and counting, who are generating more than 100,000 swipes per day. More than 15 million profiles have been viewed and 700,000 messages have been sent.
Interview edited for brevity and clarity.
What advice do you have for someone who is going to take the leap and start their own business?
You have to have the thickest skin. Like a rhino. And even if you think these things aren’t going to knock you and hurt, they do. So you have to kind of be resilient enough to be prepared for that. That’s what I wish I would have known. I think building a business is all consuming. You are absolutely living and breathing it. You don’t sleep because you’re thinking about it. It consumes you. And that means that if someone does something that is unsupportive, that seems magnified because it’s so important. We sometimes forget that there is an emotional cost, and it’s OK to talk about that. It doesn’t make you less of an entrepreneur. It doesn’t make you softer or less effective or any of those things. It means that it is just another factor that I think perhaps we don’t talk about.
Building a successful business is hard. That’s why most people look for short-cuts and quick fixes to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, success doesn’t come from cutting corners. Indeed, in any endeavor, it’s the overcoming challenges and achieving what you set out to do that makes the success so sweet.
The truth is, there is no “secret” to building a successful home business. What it takes is:
Depending on your level of confidence, it might be better to suggest you have faith over belief.
For many home based entrepreneurs who struggle or fail, the thing that gets in their way of success is themselves. Because they don’t believe they can achieve success, they don’t do the tasks that need to be done or if they do, they don’t do them with the right attitude and amount of oomph.
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” The truth is, when you don’t believe, you don’t have the muscle to work and overcome. Instead, challenges and set-backs are used as proof that you can’t do it. On the other hand, people who have belief keep striving regardless of the obstacles and eventually reach success. Belief is fuel that will help you stay the course.
Have a Vision
Vision serves two-fold. First, it gives you a mark to strive for. It’s difficult to reach a goal if you don’t know what it is. What does success in home business look like to you? Second, it provides motivation.
Fear may be the biggest dream killer of them all. Fear keeps people in their comfort zone, where it may be safe, but it’s not where success lives.
Fear keeps you from taking action or believing your action will have results. It is scary to set a course in the unknown. Will your efforts work? What will people say? Will people like your product or service? Will you be able to make money? Because these questions can’t be answered, it’s daunting to forge forward simply with grit and belief. That’s when resistance and procrastination set in. But no one ever achieved success without courage to step into the unknown.
Success doesn’t happen without action. Winning the lottery might make you rich, but it doesn’t make you a success. And when you consider that most lottery winners blow their money and end up poor again, easy riches don’t build the skills and character needed to retain it. Action not only moves you toward your goal, but through it you learn what works and what doesn’t, you develop tenacity and persistence, and you build character.
Surround Yourself With Quality People
Just because you’re building a home business, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Starting and growing a business is hard work, and sometimes an encouraging word goes a long way to keeping you motivated. Coaches and mentors can be very helpful in giving you the skills and support you need. Mastermind groups can also provide emotional support, as well as feedback and tips to help you build your business.
Having a vision for your business is a great way to develop focus. The trick is to not get distracted by shiny object syndrome. Shiny objects appear to be helpful initially. They’re the brand new marketing system or get-rich-fast program. Ultimately, they take away your focus, and waste time and money. When you develop your vision, you also create a path to achieving it. Stay focused on your plan and don’t let yourself get sidetracked by shiny objects.
Get Back Up
More than anything, success in home business, or any goal, is the ability to keep striving for success in the face of set-backs and failure. It doesn’t matter what business you decide to start, you’ll experience problems and challenges.
Many people bump into an obstacle or don’t achieve the results they want fast enough and view these challenges as stop signs. But successful people view them as problems that need to be learned from and overcome. Study any successful person you admire and you’ll discover he or she endured obstacles and failures. Instead of giving up, they got back up, dusted themselves off, and got working again.
Originally posted on the balance by Leslie Truex
When business as usual isn’t cutting it, you might consider turning your company’s strategy on its head. Or, perhaps, find someone else who can help you do it.
That’s the premise of Moneyball, a film based on the 2003 Michael Lewis book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game about the Oakland Athletics baseball team. After several seasons of painful losses, the team’s general manager, Billy Beane, adopted a radical, statistics-driven approach to building a competitive baseball team under an ownership that underinvested in the franchise.
The film made its U.S. premiere this weekend.
As Major League Baseball nears the end of its regular season and starts looking to the playoffs, here are three business lessons small-business owners can learn from the true story behind the film:
1. Make change when it’s needed
After a painful loss in the 2001 playoffs and then losing three top players to larger-market teams which were ponying up millions of dollars to acquire the best players, Beane — played in the film by Brad Pitt — decides that drastic changes need to be made. He turns to a young Yale economics graduate who believed players should be valued by their on-base percentage (how often a batter reaches base) rather than the traditional method of relying on scouts’ experience and intuition.
Not only did this new way of doing business enable the A’s to acquire run-producing players, it allowed them to do so at a lower cost because those players were largely undervalued by other ball clubs. “We are card counters at the blackjack table and we’re going to turn the tables on the casino,” Beane says in the film.
2. Stand by your decisions
Beane’s unconventional methodology was ridiculed by baseball critics. It also wasn’t greeted warmly within the A’s organization, with player manager Art Howe and several coaches among his early detractors. But Beane didn’t budge. He fired at least one top scout who refused to adopt the team’s new recruiting plan.
Beane also worked to get the rest of the team and staff on board. He explained the process and spent weeks teaching and encouraging players to perform to or beyond expectations.
3. Set realistic goals
Even though winning the World Series championship would have been an amazing accomplishment for the A’s, Beane says in the film his main priority was to demonstrate the value of the team’s new methods, to “change the game.”
In the 2002 season, the A’s reached the playoffs but lost in the first round to the Minnesota Twins. However, the team set an American League record for winning 20 consecutive games during the regular season.
Two years later — following the A’s statistics-driven approach to player acquisition — the Boston Red Sox won its first World Series championship in 86 years. The team won the title again in 2007.
So far, Beane and the A’s are still hunting for a championship season.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Jason Fell. Although its an end-of-September post from 2011, the lessons are still very relevant today – especially as I sit back and watch the Cleveland Indians break this American League record.
Mentors. They’ve been there, done that and have seen it all. Yet, a woeful number of entrepreneurs start their careers without one. In an age where instant gratification is glorified, it’s unsurprising that many entrepreneurs and young founders do not seek out a mentor as hard as they try to find a co-founder.
While arguments abound on why entrepreneurs do not need mentors but should only follow their own instincts and gut feelings, most successful tech titans have founders who had mentors. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs. Jobs was mentored by Mike Markkula — an early investor and executive at Apple. And Eric Schmidt mentored Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.
Like most startup founders, I didn’t start with a mentor. I got into the industry and had to look up to someone who is well known in the field. This is not as effective as working hard to get a mentor to guide you while you run your business — but it’s better than nothing. Having been in business for more than seven years, I’ve realized the importance of having a business mentor.
Here are seven reasons having a mentor is important.
1. Gain experience not shared in books.
Experience is a very expensive asset — yet it’s crucial to business success. There’s only so much about a person’s experience you can gain from books. It’s an unstated truth that most authors do not feel comfortable revealing everything about themselves in books. Some personal experiences may be too intimate to be shared, yet how they dealt with it can help an inexperienced entrepreneur’s career.
Mentorship is one guaranteed way to gain experience from others.
2. You’re more likely to succeed with a mentor.
Research and surveys prove that having a mentor is important to success. In a 2013 executive coaching survey, 80 percent of CEOs said they received some form of mentorship. In another research by Sage, 93 percent of startups admit that mentorship is instrumental to success.
Your chances of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentor. The valuable connections, timely advice, occasional checks — together with the spiritual and moral guidance you will gain from having a mentor — will literarily leapfrog you to success.
3. Network opportunities.
Aside the fact that investors trust startups who are recommended by their friends, a successful mentor has an unlimited network of people who can benefit your career. Since they are already invested in your success, it only makes sense for them to let you tap into their network of people when the need arises.
This is an opportunity you cannot tap into if you do not have a mentor.
4. A mentor gives you reassurance.
It has been proven by research that a quality mentorship has a powerful positive effect on young entrepreneurs. Having someone who practically guides you and shares your worries with you — often placating your fears with their years of experience — keeps you reassured that you’ll be successful.
Self-confidence is very important to success as entrepreneurs. A 2014 Telegraph report revealed that having a high self-confidence contributes significantly to career success — more so than talent and competence. Mentors have the capacity to help young founders tap into their self-confidence and see every challenge as an opportunity.
5. A mentor will help you stay in business longer.
When you imagine the number of businesses that fail, you’d wish a lot of business owners had mentors. According to SBA, 30 percent of new businesses may not survive past the first 24 months, and 50 percent of those may not make it past five years. However, 70 percent of mentored businesses survive longer than 5 years.
6. A mentor will help you develop stronger EQ.
Does maturity bring about a higher EQ in entrepreneurs? Emotional intelligence is crucial to entrepreneurial success. When a young entrepreneur has a more mature and successful mentor who advises them, they are likely to have greater control over their emotions.
We all know that a quick way to make a business fail is to mix it with emotions or make crucial decisions based on emotional feelings. Situations like this can be curbed as mentors will help show you how to react in given instances.
A story on Business Insider reveals how Schmidt worked with then inexperienced Page to manage the affairs of running a fledgling startup. An inexperienced CEO often makes decisions based on emotions, but one with a mentor like Schmidt is able to overcome critical hurdles by making smart decisive judgments.
Enduring the consequences of failure on your own can set you back and impact your productivity. In hard times, having a mentor will help you keep your head high. Young entrepreneurs often deal with depression when they are unable to meet their goals and expectations. The impact of depression on entrepreneurs is often underreported. But entrepreneurs without mentors bear the brunt the most.
A mentor who has experienced the highs and lows of running a business is in the perfect position to give positive and soothing words of advice to you when things refuse to go your way. And not only do they have the right words to share, they would also have ideas to help you navigate your way to success.
Originally posted on entrepreneur.com by Sheila Eugenio