Taking inspiration from books new and old

In order to be a great writer, you need to be a great reader. Anyone who takes writing seriously knows this. It doesn’t mean you need to read 1,000 books a year, or you need to read literary novels or epic poetry–but it does mean you need to read a lot. For many business leaders, books about business are their standard fare–and we here at Mandel Marketing are no strangers to that genre either.

In this article, we’re looking at a few inspirational quotes we found from tomes–some new, some old.

#1: Change is scary.

From Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman (2011):

Change is scary. You’re not alone in feeling anxious about jeopardizing what you already have. But despite these worries, it’s time for a shift in thinking. You need to change from believing that you are your company and letting it become its own entity. With the right vision, structure, and people in place, your company can evolve and realize its full potential. To be truly ready for this change, you must be willing to embrace the following four fundamental beliefs:

  • You must build and maintain a true leadership team.
  • Hitting the ceiling is inevitable.
  • You can only run your business on one operating system.
  • You must be open-minded, growth-oriented, and vulnerable.

In this one paragraph, Wickman synthesizes down, and offers a prescription for something that holds back a lot of entrepreneurs and small-business folks who are looking to get to the next level: fear.

#2: Let the dream happen.

This quote comes courtesy of the novelist Joyce Carol Oates, who provided some writing instruction for the little-known and much-forgotten old tome, Maybe You Should Write A Book, by Ralph Daigh (1977), wherein she discusses her own process for writing a novel:

A long process of “dreaming through” takes place, in which I think about the entire novel–living through various scenes, hearing or inventing dialogue; walking around with my characters in my head for months; only when the process is completed can I begin to write, and I can’t hurry the process.

Sometimes we think great products or projects just exist, fully-formed and perfect, because that’s how we see them when they are presented to the world. But as any writer knows, tons of revisions takes place first; or as any programmer knows, tons of sprints happen before software gets shipped.

#3: Fire the bad clients.

From: Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing, by Rick Webb (2015):

Unprofitable clients exist. Avoid them. If you have one, fire them.

While this pithy little bit of advice is often much easier said than done, it is still nonetheless important to try to remember–especially on those nights when you’re up thinking about how much money you’re losing on that bad client.

#4: The Theory of Reality

From Winning Through Intimidation, by Robert J. Ringer (1974), in which the author describes his “theory of reality”:

This theory emphasizes, first of all, that reality isn’t the way you wish things to be, nor the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are. Secondly, the theory states that you either acknowledge reality and use it to your benefit or it will automatically work against you.

The first thing to do when reading old books is to learn how to ignore the inherent chauvinism and outdated cultural references. But once you’ve done that, you can find some nuggets of age-old wisdom that remains true throughout the years. Reality is what it is, whether we like it or not–and acknowledging that reality is the first part of dealing with it. How many people do you know that are stuck in denial for so long?

Do you have any inspirational quotes?

Send them our way — or any business books you found particularly helpful. We’re always on the lookout for great ideas!