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April 09, 2010

Entrepreneur Ship Quotes

Boat tile copy
I had dinner with a friend a few weeks ago, and he emailed me today and asked for the "Ship Navigation Quotes" that I have on my desk.

I've always loved the water and I enjoy being on it, in it and under it.  My first memory in life, I think, is of my first swimming lesson.  Mr. Epling said he would give a penny to the person who could duck their head under the water the longest.  My memory is of him lifting me out of the water by my bathing suit because I wasn't ready to come up.  I won the penny.

So - the quotes are really about life and entrepreneurship and they relate so well to what I've experienced since Jim and I started Gold Systems.

The picture that I started this post off with is of a ceramic tile that my wife brought home from the Netherlands for me years ago.  It says "De beste Stuurlui staan aan wal" which translates to english as "The best steersmen are ashore."  It's really easy to stand on the dock and tell the sailor what they are doing wrong, but it gives you a whole different perspective to sail into the storm and to be responsible for the ship.  If people are shouting advice from the dock, they might have good advice, but remember their perspective and that ultimately you and the other people on the boat are responsible for bringing it home safe.

The next one reminds me that good times are easy.

Anyone can hold the helm

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."  According to the fortune cookie, Publilius Syrus said this in the first century B.C.  The next quote gets to that idea from another angle.  "A ship is safe in harbor - but that is not what ships are for."  by John Shedd.  The dates don't quite match the John Shedd from Chicago, but I'll bet it's him.

A ship is safe in the harbor

Too many boats (and people) spend their life in harbor because it is safe.

I am not afraid of storms

I've looked to that last quote a lot, especially in 2001 and again this past year.  "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship." by Louisa May Alcott. I'm not suggesting we should sail into storms just to become better sailors, but if you find yourself in a storm, try to learn from the experience and you'll be better prepared for the next storm.  You may still not like storms but after enough of them, you at least gain some confidence that you'll get through them. 

Before quiting my nice safe job (HA!) I thought that if I was in charge, things would be different.  Some are, some aren't. When things get tough I remind myself that THIS is what I wished for and I'm right where I wanted to be all those years ago.  If I ever cross an ocean in my own boat, and I find myself in a storm, I'll try to remember then that "I'm living the dream!"

(When typing in the tags for this post, I noticed the word EntrepreneurShip.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.)

April 9, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, Web/Tech | Permalink


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