This column is about finding the things you’re passionate about, finding a way to do what you love--and then actually doing it.

And if you need it, it’s also about looking for the inspiration you need to get started. With that in mind, here are 20 of the most inspiring quotes you’ll find anywhere about getting starting and building things--from people who have actually done it.

1. Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder of Github:
“When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say, ‘Wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘Wow, I sure felt safe.’”

2. Mario Andretti, champion race car driver:
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

3. Helen Keller:
“Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

4. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks:
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”

5. Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and other bestsellers:
“Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.... If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.”

6. General Douglas MacArthur, five-star general and Medal of Honor recipient:
“There is no security on the Earth, there is only opportunity.”

7. Vidal Sassoon, British hairdresser and entrepreneur:
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

8. Coco Chanel, fashion designer and entrepreneur:
“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

9. Steve Jobs, the person whose company might well have made the device on which you’re reading this:
“Your time is precious, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

10. Jim Rohn, author and entrepreneur:
“Your income is directly related to your philosophy, not the economy.”

11. Drew Houston, co-founder of Dropbox:
“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

12. Josh James, CEO and founder of Omniture and Domo:
“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”

13. Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

14. Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur:
“Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”

15. Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr:
“So often, people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”

16. Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest:
“Don’t take too much advice. Most people who have a lot of advice to give--with a few exceptions--generalize whatever they did…. Just build things and find out if they work.”

17. Unknown:
“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”

18. Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb:
“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”

19. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken:
“I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

20. Walt Disney, perhaps you’ve seen one of his movies or visited one of his theme parks:
“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

(Want to read more, make suggestions, or even be featured in a future column? Find me on LinkedIn or Facebook, or contact me and sign up for my weekly email.)

Published on: Sep 19, 2015
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