My 10 favourite quotes when the going gets tough


As a small business owner, sometimes it’s hard to maintain self-confidence and self-belief. Especially if you’ve had a challenging week – maybe you worked with a client you didn’t like; or you made some mistakes; or something went wrong; or you got sick … we all have days, weeks or even months like that.

I came off my bike 18 months ago – chipped the bone and severely dislocated my shoulder. My right shoulder and yes I’m right-handed. The injury was so bad that I couldn’t work for 3 weeks.  I couldn’t even type at all for two weeks and then it was left-handed only; I couldn’t drive for about 6 weeks and even then only short distances. I was taking so much pain relief every day for about 10 weeks … those were some tough days and weeks (and months for me). Unsurprisingly, my business faltered and stumbled a little. However I did not let this get me down. I used this “off” time productively to do lots of strategic thinking about my business and my clients. I came up with brand new ideas for my business – ideas that have been really successful.

How did I stay positive during that time? I firmly believe that we all have a choice when it comes to tough times or hardship. We can choose to get down about it and allow “it” to control us; or we can choose to use the experience and learn from it. Here are a few of my favourite quotes and sayings to help you keep going when the going gets tough or when it seems like a never-ending uphill battle:

  • Tough times never last, but tough people do.  Robert H Schuller 

  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

  • Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams

  • An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.  Edwin Land

  • There can be no stronger criticism than self-criticism and no harsher judge than ourselves.  R. De Board

  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.  W.C. Fields

  • Imperfect action will get you there so much faster than perfect inaction.

  • This too shall pass.

  • Sometimes there’s not a better way. Sometimes there’s only the hard way.  Mary E. Pearson, The Fox Inheritance

  • Learning has to include an amount of failure, because failure is instructional in the process.   Diana Laufenberg, How to learn from mistakes. 

  • Let the experience refine you, not define you.  Vivienne Smith, Single Mum’s Survival Guide 

  • The only true failure is the person who fails to try.

What about you? What do you tell yourself when the tough gets going?  Please leave a comment – I’d love to know which quote ‘speaks’ to you.

(OK and for those of you who are eagle-eyed, yes this is 12 not 10 quotes, but who’s counting when you’re with friends!)

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