Inspirational Biz Tips from Mark Twain

A series of Business Tips from Mark TwainMark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “The Great American Novel”.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
~Mark Twain

Mark Twain is probably one of the most famous authors of our time, but who thinks of him as an entrepreneur or business man?  Obviously, his talents go beyond his ability to spin a story!

I love the irony in his quote:  All you need is ignorance and confidence!  Ignorance, as he calls it, can be interpreted as that unknowing curiosity that drives us to go forward and learn all we can, unafraid.

And, of course, confidence is the hidden desire that tells us we can succeed, even when others would laugh at our ideas!!

Maybe we should strive to be more ignorant and confident and see where it takes us!

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
~Mark Twain

 Interesting perspective when you consider that, typically, we equate courage with fearlessness.

But, according to Mark Twain, courage has more to do with the mastery of fear in our lives – not with the absence of fear.

This reminds me a bit of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy explains to the cowardly lion that he shows a tremendous amount of courage in the face of extreme challenges.  Thus, he had courage!

How many times in our lives do we face an issue head on and keep going despite the stumbling blocks that may appear before us?

Do you remember a time when you pushed on, past the fear, and became courageous in your life?  Good memories, huh?!

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A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
~ Mark TwainQuotable Mark Twain

Have you tried to work on a project or idea without your own approval?

I know — it sounds crazy — but how many of us have tried to move forward on a task when our heart just wasn’t in it?  Not easy, is it!!

As creatives, passion is the biggest driving force in our lives.

My passion is teaching, training and/or consulting (which also made me a successful sales representative).  So I comfortably approve of myself when working in those areas.

How about you?  Do you approve of the job, or the project, or the creation you are working on now?  If not, maybe it is time to try something different!

Just a thought …..

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Inspirational Biz Tips from Joyce Brothers

A series of Business Tips from Joyce Brothers:

Joyce Diane Brothers (October 20, 1927 – May 13, 2013) was an American psychologist, television personality and columnist, who wrote a daily newspaper advice column from 1960 to 2013. In 1955, she became the only woman ever to win the top prize on the American game show The $64,000 Question, answering questions on the topic of boxing, which was suggested as a stunt by the show’s producers. In 1958, she presented a television show on which she dispensed psychological advice, pioneering the field. She wrote a column for Good Housekeeping for almost forty years and became, according to The Washington Post, the “face of American psychology”

A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.
~Joyce Brothers

I grew up in the ’50s and 60s watching Dr. Joyce Brothers on TV.  She was a phenomenal lady who possessed some great wisdom.
Even during an age when women was not always treated equally, she believed in the importance of a strong, positive self-image and it’s affect on a person’s level of success.
Along with Joyce, do you promote a strong self-image in yourself and your children?  Confidence like this can take a person a long way towards success in their field.

I practice this principle by practicing positive self affirmations, like:

  • I am successful
  • I am prosperous
  • I am the best I can be
Try it and see if it helps you.
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Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.
~Joyce Brothers

I hope you always think of yourself as a success!

When we dwell on positive thoughts, we subconscious work towards making those thoughts real.  Kind of like when we set goals that we review regularly.

My husband and I have taken this a step further, at times, and started doing the things that we see successful people do, like keeping lots of cash in our wallets.  Small gesture, but makes you feel very different when you know you have lots of cash on hand.  (Having lots of plastic just doesn’t have the same effect!)

I want you to go forth today, knowing you are successful in your business and life.  You will be surprised how much you day can change with this simple attitude adjustment.

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Dr. Joyce BrothersListening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
~Joyce Brothers

Good listening is such a great skill to develop!

As a sales person during a large part of my life, I learned how to listen to what was being said by my customers.

Lots of times, what they said was just the tip of the feelings or needs of my buyers.  By listening, I was able to glean the real issue or problem and offer a product solution for these folks.

The same is true for your customers.

Next time you exhibit in a show or visit a retail buyer … listen to what they are saying to see if you can offer them a solution to fill their wants and needs.
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Inspirational Biz Tip from Oprah Winfrey

A series of Business Tips from Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”,she has been ranked the richest African-American, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is currently North America’s first and only multi-billionaire black person.

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
~Oprah Winfrey

Do you follow Oprah’s lead and celebrate your life?

When we praise and celebrate the little things in life, bigger things come our way.  Don’t you think that Oprah is a perfect example of that concept?

If you were not aware of Oprah’s past, she grew up in poor rural Mississippi by a single teenage mother.  Do you think she dreamed that she would ever become as famous as she is today?

Maybe not, but I do bet she learned at a young age to celebrate all the things in her life — which grew to where she is today!!

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Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
~Oprah Winfrey

Remember when you were a little person and you thought you could get away with getting into the cookie jar or other such childish escapades.  After all, if nobody saw you do it, it wouldn’t matter.

Of course, many of us that tried that didn’t realize that mom and dad have been around a bit longer than us and knew more about what we do then we realize!!

So, we grow up understanding that real integrity is more important than short term gain or ‘what we can get away with’ for the moment.

People are smarter than we think and they know real integrity — even if we can fool them for the moment.

Assure yourself a good night sleep by doing what is right — even if no one is watching!!

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Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.
~Oprah Winfrey

Okay, in fairness to the gentlemen reading this, “Think like a king!”

Oprah is talking about overcoming fear and stepping out into our greatest good.

If you look at the statics concerning the most affluent business people, they often went or were bankrupt at some time in their life.  Rather than wallow in their failures, they pick themselves up and learn from their mistakes.

I have heard once that the best definition of mistakes is “missing the mark”.  We all miss the mark from time to time.  What is important is what we do with and after the mistake!

Personally, I have learned more from my mistakes than I ever have learned from my successes!  How about you?

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Inspirational Biz Tips from Carl Jung

A series of Business Tips from Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy and religious studies. As a notable research scientist based at the famous Burghölzli hospital, under Eugen Bleuler, he came to the attention of the Viennese founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. … Jung was also an artist, craftsman and builder as well as a prolific writer. Many of his works were not published until after his death and some are still awaiting publication.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
~Carl Jung

I love this:  Your vision is within your own heart!!

Think on that for a minute …. There is no outside force — whether it is human or spiritual — that can create or express your vision.

What a freeing thought!  No longer do we need to rely on the right person or right circumstances to create our vision.  It is right inside ourselves all the time.

So, dream on …. for when you dream, you start to formula your vision within that will guide you in living out that dream.

And you don’t need to be sleeping for this to occur!!

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The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
~ Carl Jung

According to Jung, creativity does not come from the intellect.  How interesting!

Personally, I have always thought that creativity is a God-given talent that is manifest through us by Spirit, the Universe, or the Force that is bigger and greater than ourselves.

I also believe that each one of us is blessed with a talent or gift that we need to share with the world.  Depression and unrest in our souls, in my opinion, comes from not using or sharing our specific gift(s).

This is why I send out these emails to creative folks:  I encourage you to find and use your gifts.  And, if in the process, the sale of your creation generates an income or special lifestyle, then you are truly blessed!

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Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.
~ Carl Jung

Is it encouraging to know that no one is without trouble of some kind?

I guess the quote itself, reassured us, when we have struggles in life, that we are not alone in our struggles.

Trouble in any form is part of life.  We have all been there; all experienced it.

But the difference, in my opinion, is how we respond to it.  If we can rise above it and see what lessons we can learn from the chaos in our lives, we are richer and more functional people.

What do you think?  Has diversity made a positive impact on your life?

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Inspirational Biz Tips from Steve Jobs

A series of Business Tips from Steve JobsSteve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011, was an American entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, and industrial designer. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Apple Inc.; CEO and majority shareholder of Pixar; a member of The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar; and founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are widely recognized as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.(Wikipedia)

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
~Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is someone near and dear to my heart, in part, because we grew up in the same city and attended the same schools (although he was a few years behind me).

Having grown up in the Bay area (now referred to as Silicon Valley), I watched and understood his drive to do better things with his life.  We all grew up during the era and environment where excellence was expected.  Most of my classmates entered the University of California system out of high school and went on to excel in their particular fields.

Of course, not many of us were as famous or as inventive as Steve Jobs and his business partners.  But as long as we continue to be a yardstick of quality, we succeeded in life.

Thanks Steve for showing us all what it is like to be excellent!!

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Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
— Steve Jobs

Statistics show that a large percentage of people dislike their job.  How incredibly sad!!  But this is probably one of the reasons why many folks become entrepreneurs running their own business(es).

But whether you work for someone or you are running your own business, if you don’t love what you do, you probably won’t do great work, like Steve says.

I left my job in 1999 because my new boss was not interested in doing what worked to sell products (I was a manager in a retail chain) as much as he was interested in throwing his weight around.  A job I love — where I created a great environment for customers and personnel — turned into drudgery for me.  It was not long after that I quit and became partners in a new venture with my husband.

I decided not to settle.  And as time went on with my business, I continued to follow my heart to where I am now!

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You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
~Steve Jobs

I found this quote to be very intriguing:  Look backwards to connect to your future?

After much thought, I agree that what we do today frames our future.  So having said that, we can’t see what our future holds without seeing what we did in the past.

For example, if we focus on a goal and work in that direction, our future will blossom around that goal.  But if we wander around aimlessly, our future will be a jumbled mess!

Your gut, destiny, life or karma …. we do ‘reap what we sow’.  So then, if we sow productivity, we will reap the rewards of being productive.

Really, can’t get any plainer than that!!

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