In 2017, I shared a compilation of 23 inspiring quotes from Rachael Ray to Ann Handley to Andy Weir and many other people. Each of these quotes continues to inspire and affect my view of content marketing
Today, to launch the New Year, the CMI editorial team has asked me to share some additional quotes.
I am a junkie of quotes since I was a kid. Some of the quotes I have included this year have been picked up recently. Others come from the dog-eared journal I created in 1993 and which contains gems like this:
Embarrassing? Absolutely. But …
My hope is that you draw inspiration from these quotes or that you think in a new way to familiar ideas.
Keep up your energy
Much of the work that we have to do as marketers – and, more importantly, as makers – forces us to think and create. And, quite frankly, the time we have to write, develop, or create, day by day, significantly is limited.
Michael Simmons sums up the idea perfectly in his article entitled The brutal and honest balance between an ambitious person and his balance between work and personal life :
"In the world of long distance running, the idea that someone starts a race sprinting as fast as possible until they collapse from fatigue is obviously stupid. Yet, with respect to our careers, many of us follow this mentality.
On the other hand, expert marathon runners deliberately run more slowly than all their potential to be able to run longer and win the race.
We must redefine the hard work of how many hours we work in a week (the equivalent of our sprint speed) to the consistency with which we work over a long period. "
And speaking of marathons, we often hear that content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and that many articles refer to a delay of 18 to 24 months to create a brand with content marketing. But in recent years things have become more difficult and, as Mark W. Schaefer points out, the journey takes longer:
What I've determined is that it took an average of two to three years for a personal brand to actually ignite. Two and a half years. Sensational. It's 30 months of patience .
Maintaining the focus is difficult, especially when the required work will take months or even years. But this idea of the editor of the magazine Entrepreneur Jason Feifer allows me to stay on track:
I do not want to work nonstop – it only ends with burnout – but I want to make sure I use my time as well as I can. I have therefore started to measure time in terms of result. I was wondering, "What am I getting for this past hour? What can I show next? '… There may never be time for everything, but there is always time for many. It's just a question of priorities .
While maintaining this goal is a continuous journey (hehe, a fight), the best thing to do to come back on my steps is flawless, absolute calm. I emphasized this idea in my previous post, and that's why I was so fascinated by this quote from Zen Master Ryutan:
You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come to ask for instruction, but your cup is full; I can not put anything in it. Before you can learn, you will have to empty your cup.
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Do not think about it
Like many marketers, I love to come up with ideas and start projects, but I can exhaust myself as the project progresses. But these following quotes remind me that doing (and not thinking about doing) is the most important.
You would have a hard time finding an idea so bad that it could not succeed with good performance. And it would be even harder to imagine a good idea that could not fail if the execution was left to morons. Ideas are worthless. The execution is everything. – Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
You are not a leader because you have a better idea – you are a leader because you make decisions. – David C. Baker, The Case of Expertise
Too often, we deplore the lack of time, budget or absence of (insert your reproach here). But sometimes these are the same constraints that help us focus.
Here's a fact: creativity is facilitated by constraints … Constraints make haiku one of the most moving poetic forms in the world. They give us limits that direct our attention and allow us to be more creative. It is for this reason that, by chance, small start-ups often have innovative ideas. They start with so few resources that they are forced to come up with simplifying solutions. – Shane Snow, Smart Cups
RELATED CONTENT HANDPICKED: The 3 behaviors that motivate the most creative content marketers
Connect with the (right) people
Another thing that keeps me motivated is working with people who challenge me – and I like it. This year, I proactively contacted marketers and business owners, and even though not all conversations have concrete action, I'm always learning something new. (And, until now, everyone has agreed to speak.)
Allen Gannett expresses this idea clearly in this quote from his book The Creative Curve (I recommend it):
In fact, do not wait for someone to take you under their wing; start the process yourself. If you meet someone who is successful in an area you want to know, contact him. To be curious. Be relentless!
My business partner, Clare McDermott, and I often talk about the value of "creative abrasion". I always try to work with people who ask questions, disturb my thoughts or give me a new perspective. Although too much friction is not a good thing, embrace what Allen calls the collaborator in conflict:
For this reason, I'm calling the ideal person to work with a collaborator in conflict. Basically, you do not want to collaborate with someone who is so easygoing as not to push you. The goal is to find a person who will help you discover and overcome your flaws.
Here is another reminder of why it is essential to adopt other perspectives:
Our senses are limited, so our view of the world is limited. This is only a problem if we start to believe that what we perceive is all there is to perceive. – Peter McWilliams, self-help author
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Kissing Your Own Way
One of the drumming drums this year is to avoid the best practices and to chart our own path (and the most varied perspectives, the better it is. ).
As such, I can not help but remember this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Has anyone else gone through a transcendental phase in high school? Just me? My book of quotes is littered with ideas from Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.):
Do not follow where the path can lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. "- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Following his own path, it is also having a point of view, which Meera Kothand summarizes in his book, Your First 100 . (Meera is a new content marketing specialist that I came across this year: I really enjoyed his emails and action-oriented books):
The value does not come to feed your audience with free tips that everyone already says. You bring value when you are able to inspire a commitment to change. You add to the content of the literature in your niche when you have a distinctive point of view. This is also how you build a content authority.
This is not to say that we can not learn from others, but I challenge you to make the most of what you know, apply it, and do it yourself.
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Start now, from where you are
This last series of quotations (among which there are enough) can be the most important and the most universal. Indicate where you are and keep moving forward.
Unfortunately, I do not know who said this next jewel, but I have repeated this quote many times since I heard it at Content Marketing World last year:
"You can not compare your beginning with the middle of someone else."
He echoes these popular Chinese proverbs:
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. "
"Do not be afraid to go slowly, just be afraid to stand still."
And I leave you with this quote from Jay Acunzo who speaks to all my marketing friends who experience this feeling of paralysis because we think our work may be better:
Perfect is not the enemy of good, nor an obstacle. I just think we are misrepresenting the idea. Aspire to perfection over time, but be sure to take a step forward today.
Keep setting priorities, defining and owning the best version of yourself, while ensuring a healthy dose of silence, so you can recharge your batteries and keep moving wherever you are.
I would like to hear what you think at the beginning of this year. Share your favorite quotes – or ideas – in the comments.
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Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute