Jobs are like people, they come in all different shapes and sizes. One thing that holds true for all of us is that we all need a lil encouragement now and then. Maybe you work for yourself and have nobody to share your daily trials and tribulations with. Maybe you just don’t get adequate feedback from your uninspiring manager. No biggie. It means that sometimes, you just have to be your own darn cheerleader! Go us! Go you! Go me!

To help you on the way to being a more confident and motivated you, we’ve handpicked quotes from 7 incredibly successful, self-made men and women, to get you back on track and add an extra lil spring in your step! So what are you waiting for? Go forth and slay your work day!

1. Always Bring Your A-Game

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment”.
Oprah Winfrey

Look, we’ve all been there. You just had another no-show, your suppliers haven’t delivered on time as was scheduled or maybe you’re just not “feeling it” today. Hey. We get it. We really do but now’s not the time to give in or give up. Quite the opposite in fact. Now’s precisely the time you should push yourself that lil’ bit harder to kick some serious butt. Why? The fact is, whatever you do today, will set you up in good stead for an awesome tomorrow.

Work’s a lil’ like a diet. Okay..Just hear us out. Some days are way more challenging than others. It’s just a roll of the dice. Sometimes you may even feel like entirely giving up, staying in your pjs, bingeing on Cheetos and Netflix and taking a break from the whole overrated “adulting” thing.

Well buddy.. Those are precisely the days you need to really dig deep inside yourself, go out and kick life right in the… get the picture.  Hey. Whatever it takes to stay in the game, right?

Ladies and gents, it’s time for you to rise and shine to the challenge. 

We’re in no way saying you have to exist in some sort of freaky, stressy, survival mode as your default work setting. Heck no! Not now. Not ever.

However, from the very moment you show up at work, sit at your desk or deal with your daily entrepreneurial business what not, it’s super important that you keep in mind how each day, in its own way, sets in motion steps that’ll guarantee you a brighter and even more successful tomorrow. However light you travel, always pack your game face.

In all the hoo-ha of our busy work life we often forget how much control we actually have in moulding our future. The good news is that we don’t need to sit and wait for life to come at us like sitting ducks. We have the power to go and grab it by the throat. We also have some say in what direction we want to take our business or drive our career. Well thought-out choices paired with consistent honest ole-fashioned-hard-work can turn our plans and dreams into reality.

Bam! *Mic Drop*

2. There are no mistakes, only lessons

“There a no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”.
Colin Powell

We live in an increasingly picture-perfect world. Thanks to numerous apps like Instagram or FaceApp, our so called “blemishes” are miraculously filtered away, leaving us with a new “better” perfectly curated “reality”. Well. This ain’t no Keepin’ up with the Kardashians and ain’t nobody got the time, energy or inclination to take ten thousand selfies of us, besides,  life doesn’t actually work like that.

Life’s all about the down and dirty nitty-gritty. Throughout any given work day you’re gonna make mistakes both big and small. It’s not like we’re aiming to mess up but it happens. We could say it was human error but then why should us humans take all the blame? How many times have the machines, which we depend on in our day to day lives, messed up or let us down? Share the blame we say! 

Let’s set the record straight once and for all: making mistakes is not a failure.  It’s all part and parcel of the learning and growing process. We all mess up sometimes, what sets you apart from the crowd is how you deal with these unfortunate situations. If you grow from the experience, learn how to deal with it in a calm and professional manner and rectify the issue in the most effective way then you literally managed to turn a negative into a positive.

Not only did you just defy the laws of science you badass baller, but you flipped the whole darn thing on its head! So, next time you’ll be that much more prepared and ready for it. Heck you’ll undoubtedly spot any possible issues long before they even occur and successfully avoid getting into that pickle again.

Failure? More like winner!

3. Quality over Quantity

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in”.
Arianna Huffington

Whether you work for someone else or are lucky enough to be your own boss, knowing how to use your time efficiently and apply your many talents in the most effective way are key to your success in and out of the work environment.

As with most things in life going through the motions, ticking the boxes and getting the bare minimum done to get by will, without a doubt, take you through your workday but nothing more than that. Since when have we ever wanted to just “get through” anything, let alone our workday? Nope. Not us. Not you. Not today folks. Not ever. 

We want to get the most out of our work day. We want every day to count. This has a lot less to do with the hours we put in and a lot more to do with the quality of the work we spend our time doing. We need to stop goofin’ around. The goal is to have a strong focus in order to produce our highest caliber of work.

The thing that’ll push you ahead of the competition is being able to manage your time properly, laying out yours tasks in a considered manner, moving rapidly from the planning stage to the getting-things-done stage and overall finishing your tasks to the highest level in the most efficient manner. This formulaic-like process’ll guarantee you a successful day at work. No question.

It’s all about the level of effort coupled with making the most of your time. You’ll also need to constantly juggle the age old dilemma of “amazing is great but finished is even better”. 

4. Become the competition

“It’s not about money or connection— it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone”.
Mark Cuban

Look. We’re not gonna deny the fact that having money and connections doesn’t make living la vida loca a lot more stress-free and plain sailing. There is however a false belief that it’s enough to get you to where you want to be without any effort.

Anyone who has any kind of real aspirations to break the mould, outdo their colleagues, rivals, boss or even their own expectations, knows that real success simply can’t be handed to you on a silver platter. Sure, it gives you a leg up but not much more than that. So don’t be disheartened if you’re coming at this “all alone” so to speak. 

Hey, there’s no fail proof formula to get you to the top of wherever it is you want to be but there’s a pretty obvious tried and true fact that has been tested over and over again throughout time immemorial. What is it? Work harder, be better, be smarter, become the competition.

If you make sure to stay that one step ahead of the game, whatever form or avatar that may present itself to you in, you can’t but overpass it and reestablish yourself as the “one to beat”. When you become the benchmark in your field then success is inevitable.

Now, the only question left is to ask yourself how much you’re willing to invest of “you”? The time and effort you’ll funnel into your work as well as continuing to develop your own knowledge is what’ll get you there. Whether you work a 9-5 gig or you need to keep your solopreneurship ahead of the others, if you want it badly enough you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Dayum! You go gurl! *Snaps fingers*

5. Never Fear Change

“Sometimes, you have to give up. Sometimes, knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. Giving up doesn’t mean stopping. Don’t ever stop”.
Phil Knight

Human beings are by default creatures of comfort. Heck just try to prize some of us away from a nice night in with our favourite trash TV curled up on the sofa. Not. Gonna. Happen. At least we’re honest! We also love to be reassured and told we’re on the right path to finding success. All the more so when dealing with business and our careers.

Perhaps you just zoned out in a long line in Target, only to realize you hate the career path you have mapped out for yourself. Or, perhaps you’re still finding your footing after “going it alone” and launching your very own business. One thing’s for sure, you need to have the self-awareness to notice and accept when something just ain’t working.

Remarkably,  in an ever-evolving world people still think that things are set in stone. Look. Without sounding too dramatic. Life’s just too short to hate your work. People now spend on average just over 13 years of their life working. Now, That’s not to depress you. That’s to encourage you. It’s a heck of a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t love. Or at the very least like. Sure. Not everyday’s gonna be a party but to have no job satisfaction in any way is a sad, sad thing.

We’re not saying quit right this instant and throw whatever it is your working on in your nit-picking micromanaging *expletive* of a boss’s face. What we’re simply encouraging you to do is to recognise what just ain’t working for ya, make plans and set them in motion to change your future. 

If you are blessed with having your own business and it’s not doing quite as well as you had hoped it would or has recently taken a hit, it’s time to have an overhaul and look with a critical yet encouraging eye at where the problems lie. Be open-minded and objective.

Look at your numbers and bookings. Scrutinize everything and drop anything that just isn’t working well enough. Reasess. Reevaluate. Nothing is exempt. Check whether your pricing is still applicable and relevant to the current state of the economy. It’s a good rule of thumb to snoop on the competition and see how much they’re charging.

A little bit of change, some nips and tucks here and there will keep your business on it’s toes. Nothing is forever, so if you want to survive in this dog-eat-dog jungle make sure you stay relevant. Embrace the change. Embrace the possibilities.

Constantly find yourself by rewriting your next chapter.

6. Breaking Barriers and Stereotypes

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents, and interests”.
Sheryl Sandberg

Unfortunately, life’s complicated and work life is a mine field. When we come to the workforce we bring with us a whole lot of personal baggage as well as all our preconceived and mostly unfounded notions from every day life. Things have come a long way but they’re still not good enough.

If you’re a woman, less able-bodied or part of a minority, chances are you’ll probably have to work twice as hard to make your dreams of launching your own business or getting that promotion. The pay gap is still a very real thing. Yes it’s crazy. No. It’s in no way fair. Sure, it’s better than before but that’s not saying much.

We’re not saying all this to depress you. Quite the contrary. You’re here. You literally beat the odds. Through sheer hard work and determination you kicked some serious butt. You are unstoppable. Every wall they built, you climbed over, dug under or tore down. You’re never gonna fold your arms. Not you. Not now. Not ever. There’s just too much at stake.

When someone pushes the barrier and smashes those nasty little stereotypes on the head, they not only succeed personally, they also leave behind a legacy. They even built and opened a door in society’s walls which were meant to keep people like you out. Those are the same doors you and countless others like you, will walk through in the future.

So pick up your sledgehammer and smash those stereotypes to the ground, because you mean business. Literally.

7. You are Your Brand

“Developing a good work ethic is key. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life”.
Tyler Perry

As previously mentioned, time management and your overall hardworking attitude are key. To go a step further, your general demeanour and personal brand development are paramount to your long lasting success.

Whether you work for somebody or run your own show, being “on brand” at all times is everything. From the way you look, the “voice” you use in emails or how you interact with your customers, all adds up to the creation of your personal brand. 

Being on brand is super-duper important when in comes to having your own business. Clients often choose one service provider over another simply based on the attractiveness or relatability of the brand’s voice. Hey. If that weren’t the case then the likes of Nike and Dunkin’ wouldn’t drop all that dough, pun intended, on all their guerrilla marketing. Would they?

The aim is for you to like their brand, their voice, their flavour. That’s what’ll push you to go to them in the first place and hopefully return, again and again. Fulfilling the dream of a never-ending cycle. It’s good practice to keep an eye on yourself and check if you’re staying on brand at all times. If you’re using the right voice. Or maybe you need to totally rethink it and reinvent yourself like Madonna has done countless times in her career.

You hold the key to your own success! 

One thing’s for sure, no matter the type of job we have, how successful we are or how long we’ve been in the game, there’s a lot more that unites us than divides us in terms of guaranteeing our long-term success.

From “faking it till we make it” to re-evaluating ourselves consistently, one thing’s for sure, we need to embrace every opportunity, good or bad, as it comes and continue to evolve. At any given moment, you have the means to set the wheels in motion and reach your work goals.

Success is at your very fingertips. Now get’ er done!