I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but he who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Lately I’ve had a few people feel compelled to share with me why my new business won’t work. They don’t like the name. They think the niche is too small or I won’t be able to find the right developers in Vietnam.
I realized that every single time I’ve embarked on a big project I’ve had at least one person delight in telling me reasons why it wouldn’t work. I had people tell me I was crazy for moving to Vietnam. I had people tell me that a cross-cultural marriage would be too hard. I had people tell me I could never train staff in Vietnam to assume director-level positions. I proved them wrong in all cases.
The critics in our lives — “those cold and timid souls” — are against us. They want us to fail to excuse their inability to try.
We are the men and women actually in the arena, faces marred by dust and sweat and blood, daring greatly.
Let’s prove them wrong.
*Image from peterbillingham.com.
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