Few American presidents could best Abraham Lincoln in the pithy quotes department. Gems such as “What kills a skunk is the publicity he gives himself” or “No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.”
But he also could turn a phrase to inspire a nation wracked with civil war. To mark Presidents’ Day, I give you a handful best suited to those running professional practices.
“Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.”
Successful professional advisory businesses are built upon clear, inflexible principles—values. There are no shortcuts to integrity.
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”
So you failed: lost a client, flamed out with expanding a practice area, had your book ignored (or panned). Are you going to wallow in failure or figure out how to do it bigger/bolder/better next time?
“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business.”
Don’t let critics stifle your expression or cripple you from taking action. Who cares if trolls (or your non-sweet spot client base) don’t like what you have to say? Stick to your principles and roll with the punches.
“Some day I shall be President.”
Keep your eye on your vision. The more concrete you make it, the more likely you’ll achieve it. And by speaking it out loud, you just may engage others in helping you get there.
Get your Lincoln on: Happy Presidents’ Day!