Let's face it: February is one of the hardest work months out there. It's dark when you wake up, dark when you head home at the end of the day, and during that day, the weather is cold, wet, or both. A lot of people would prefer to simply curl up and hibernate until the spring comes and things get better.
But February is also a key month for small business. It's during this time that we pull together our plans for the year, fill important positions, and make connections with new clients. In short, the work we do in February could make us or break us for the rest of the year.
So how do we get motivated? These 15 quotes may help. I've organized them by business issue, so when you're facing a common problem, you'll know just what to read to pick yourself up.
So let's get started.
1. Outside forces stand between you and your goal.
Try this: "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." --Jimmy Dean
2. You know you have a solution, but others don't see it yet.
Try this: "You have power over your mind--not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." --Marcus Aurelius
3. The day isn't going as you planned.
Try this: "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." --Dolly Parton
4. Your goals seem hard to achieve.
Try this: "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." --Colin Powell
5. You're facing two ideas; one is safe and the other is a little risky.
Try this: "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." --John D. Rockefeller
6. Fears about the future are impairing your ability to lead.
Try this: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." --Alan Kay
7. A project you tried seems destined for failure.
Try this: "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." --Henry David Thoreau
8. The rest of your life seems more interesting than the work you should be doing.
Try this: "I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom. Seventy-five of us worked 20 hours every day and only slept four hours--and thrived on it." --Thomas Edison
9. You disagree with your team on a regular basis.
Try this: "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." --Darryl F. Zanuck
10. Your to-do list looks overwhelming.
Try this: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." --Mark Twain
11. You've been dominating the conversation in every meeting, and your co-workers are complaining.
Try this: "To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop." --Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
12. You feel as though you're spending too much time on the hiring process.
Try this: "When I meet successful people, I ask 100 questions as to what they attribute their success to. It is usually the same: persistence, hard work, and hiring good people." --Kiana Tom
13. Management tasks seem unimportant to you at the moment.
Try this: "Many people think of management as cutting deals and laying people off and hiring people and buying and selling companies. That's not management; that's deal making. Management is the opportunity to help people become better people. Practiced that way, it's a magnificent profession." --Clayton M. Christensen
14. Customers are complaining about your product or your business.
Try this: "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." --Bill Gates
15. One of your employees has made a colossal mistake.
Try this: "Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?" --Thomas Watson
Using Quotes Wisely
Any or all of these quotes could help you to get out of a tough spot through the first dark days of the year. Pop them into your phone, so you'll have easy access when you need a pick-me-up. Or, if you feel like going old-school, print this article out and tack up a few key points on your computer or on the bathroom mirror. Just remember to keep reading and keep learning. That's the key to ongoing success.
And if I missed any quotes you find particularly helpful, I'd love for you to share them in the comments.