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Being a professional in any field these days can be stressful. It is easy to be swallowed up by other people’s negativity, which is why I find it necessary, as cheesy as it may be, to keep motivated. I love reading inspirational quotes by unique people, who have accomplished great things in their lives. Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to make it in the world on your first or 30th business or if you are a business professional working in the corporate world, it is critical to stay positive to move forward. Here are some of my favorite quotes and what they mean to me.

Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. – William Faulkner.

William Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize winner. I like this quote because it means that you have to keep trying to be better. I will never be content with where I am. I will always try to be a better version of myself, this is how I will continuously grow.

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. – Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. This quote is vital to the entrepreneur as it tells you to be imaginative. It is similar to the quote above in that it tells you not to be content in who you are.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Mark Twain was an American author and humorist. Twain challenges you to question your motives and understand why you make the decisions that you do. Do not blindly follow the crowd. Make sure your choices are right for you.

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most never happened. – Mark Twain

Another quote by the great Mark Twain. Many of us live in constant fear of minuscule things. To me, I always felt like the first step was the hardest. You question yourself at every corner. What if this happens, this won’t let it happen, etc. Don’t let your fears stop you from becoming the person your potential will allow you to be.

What we fear is usually what we most need to do. – Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferris is an American author, entrepreneur, angel investor and public speaker. Here is another quote about fear. Procrastination is a killer. The sooner you get your work done I promise you that you will feel better. Pushing something off will put weight on your shoulder that you do not need.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln as 99% of you know is the 16th president of the United States of America. You only have one life so don’t let your fears hold you back. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to start a business, try it. If you want to talk to that girl/guy, go for it. I ask myself one very dramatic question when I am making big (or even small and scary) decisions. Will I regret this on my deathbed? If the answer is yes, I am going to do it.

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing. – Aristotle

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist. I love this. If you are afraid of what everyone else thinks of you, you will get nothing done. The innovators of this world did things that others thought was impossible. They won’t understand you and they will discourage you. Don’t let them get to you. Block out the haters.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. – T. E. Lawrence

Thomas Edward Lawrence was a British archaeologist, military officer, and diplomat. Everyone dreams but entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality.

I have promises to keep and many miles to go before I sleep. – Robert Frost

Robert Frost was an American poet. This quote is important for an entrepreneur, but also those in managerial roles. Promises are important. When you start a business people working for/with you are relying on you. I know that is a scary thought, but being in a leadership role means that you need to be responsible. Remember, a man/woman is only as good as his/her word.

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. – George Carlin

George Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author. I wanted to end this off on a lighter note. I know this is hard, and sometimes even I cannot resist, but try not to argue with a tool. There are times you can win someone over and there are times you cannot change the mind of someone stubborn. Pick your battles and refrain from stooping low.

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