Turf Magazine - January, 2014

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Quotations to Get 2014 Off on a Positive Note

By Steve Rak II

I thought it would be nice to start 2014 off on a positive note and share some of my favorite quotes with you.

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

Mr. Ford sure nailed it with this one! This is the classic little engine that could scenario. "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." Try saying that out loud right now. How does that make you feel? Now try saying this: "I think I am going to fail miserably and begin a downward spiral into the valley of doom and despair." How does that make you feel? Kind of like that donkey dude on Winnie the Pooh right?

Look, I know it sounds goofy and I know it sounds like I'm quoting quotes, which I am, but ask yourself this: "Have I driven a Ford lately?" Henry Ford's legacy speaks for itself as does his quote. Hang this one up somewhere so you can see it when things get tough.

"Think different." - Steve Jobs

When Steve Jobs came up with that quote, which was used in a big Apple ad campaign, the marketers wanted him to change it to "Think differently," which is what most people who are not geniuses would say. Jobs said "No!". The whole point was that even the quote itself was different. Of course we all know the story of how Steve Jobs changed the world one Apple product at a time. How can you "think different" about your business?

"The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing." - Walt Disney

This is a very simple sentiment from a guy who has made dreams come true for so many people. There is a time when you have to just start doing whatever it is you want to do.

It's good to talk things out and make plans, but unless you actually do something it never becomes a reality. Imagine Walt Disney sitting in a coffee shop at the end of his life, penniless and rambling on to anyone who would listen about this amazing theme park with a life-sized mouse that he was going to build someday. Imagine the laughter of the patrons sitting next to this old man rambling on about a crazy dream. I can't imagine that either, but it could have happened had he not taken his own advice.

"Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals, I get my back into my living." - Pete Townshend

These opening lyrics to The Who's song "Baba O'Reily" really hit home for me because I think how closely it relates to the landscape industry. Most people start their careers in the landscape industry working in the field, and it's not an easy job. When you start out that way you often feel like you are fighting every day just to keep things going, just to get a paycheck so you can put food on the table.

The song is a '70s classic; if you have never heard it check it out. Some music is timeless and this song fits that bill. We all get our backs into our living at some point in this industry. Stand proud when it comes to your efforts, a lot of people would be down for the count if they had to do what you do every day. They probably wouldn't make it the first day until the morning coffee break. As we all know, there aren't any designated coffee breaks when you're on the seat of a mower or in the cab of a track loader.

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe

I love this quote and in this age of instant gratification I think it is more important than ever. I think we sometimes need reminding that life is not like technology. Think about it, if you want an answer to a question you just ask Google and instantly you get tens of thousands of answers and options. You want a book or song and you can instantly download it. But life is different and there is no easy trip to success. Success is indeed a journey and even in this day and age of technology sometimes we all need to put in pure sweat equity to help us along this journey.

The power of the human mind is unique because by simply changing your thought process you have the potential to change your success rate. I hope that these quotes will give you some inspiration for 2014 so that you can continue on your success journey.

Happy New Year!

Steve Rak II is the owner of Southwest Landscape Management, Columbia Station, Ohio, and a partner with his brother, Jeff, in Rak Consulting. Contact him at steve@sw-landscape.com.