Eight Quotes I'm Grateful For This Year by Jenna Abdou


While most teenage confessions are about sneaking out past curfew or cutting class mine was an unhealthy addiction to personal growth quotes.  Albeit the occasional cheesy one (think the classic “Live, Love, Laugh” Pinterest decal), I’ve always tried to be the best version of myself. 

Only a few years after torturing my best friends Joelle and Chelsea with my proclaimed profound insight, today the quotes saved in my notes are personally geared towards to me, and I even get paid to share them. 

The genuine advice our founders share with me tops my gratitude list this year and as we stumble into baking days, Christmas movies, and best of all, family time these are the eight quotes I’m most excited to share with my loved ones.   

On Paying it Forward: 
 “Leading with love doesn’t mean that you don’t let people go. It doesn’t mean that you don’t hold people accountable. It doesn’t mean that you don’t hold them to very high standards. 

It means that you have the courage to do loving things…It’s not loving to let someone fail in their job without giving them guidance. It’s not loving to let them stay in a job where everybody knows they aren’t a good fit. It’s loving to help them find another job. 

Having the courage to do those things is a different way to look at the world.”  - Amy Errett, Founder and CEO of Madison Reed

On Giving Back: 
“I’ve derived so much energy from hiring people and giving them the opportunity to create wealth. Not in the sense of everyone can buy fancy cars but giving people the opportunity to pay their rent and be working on something that everyone really believes in. 

I’ve been really fortunate to be in that world but I can’t imagine doing anything else. To be surrounded by people who do that, that’s the key. 

Doing that from New Orleans, if we were fortunate enough to have some type of liquidation event, and all the sudden our employees can invest in new ideas. That, for me, would have a paramount effect on the city.”  - Brian Bordainick, Founder of DinnerLab

On Figuring it Out: 
“What has to be innate or learned is the guts, there are things you have to figure out every single day. As long as you have the courage to know that you can figure it out, including things like persuasion, selling, these can be learned things. People are going to be naturally better at one thing or another but it can be learned, and even if you are naturally good at it you can always improve.”  - Valerie Wagoner, Co-founder and CEO of ZipDial 

 “Find something that’s a reflection of your personality, that builds off everything that you’ve learned already. I think that’s the magic thing. When you take all of the weird things that make you you and you assemble that in to the thing you do. That’s where I see people get really successful." - Paul Berry, Founder of Rebelmouse 
  
On Accepting Failure: 
 “We like to think of that as continuously learning and saving yourself time. One thing I would say is to know that failure is learning and that is what your whole job is in the earliest stage. Two, at the early stages it’s mostly failure anyways and people who tell you otherwise are not in the early stages. 

Focus on the learning. Whenever we talk to people, if it’s clear what you are trying to learn than the results are not failure, they are data and we should feel dispassionately about it.”  - Christie George, Director of New Media Ventures and Co-founder of Louder

On Happiness: 
“When you walk 1/2 a mile a day with a cause in your heart you start to see the world differently.” - Gene Gurkoff, Founder of Charity Miles 

On the Next Chapter: 
“Companies are a reflection of who you are, and that’s the good parts of you and the not so good parts of you. So what you get with a company, especially as it scales, is a mirror as to where you are really doing things right and to places where you need to change the way you see the world.”  - Kyle Vucko, Co-founder and CEO of Indochino 

“The only sign of life is growth.” - Kyle Hill, Co-founder and CEO of HomeHero


Further Reading
  • Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.
  • How to Build a Team That Aspires for Greatness — When Adam Liebman plays basketball, all he does is shoot three-pointers. “I’ll pretty much shoot three-pointers from anywhere on the court. Once we cross half court, I’m in my range. I’m never afraid to pull the trigger,” he said, reflecting on his fantasy game with Lebron James.
  • The Scientific Case For Happiness: How to Rewire Your Brain and Take Control of Your Life — In an average day, I convince myself that I have at least three disorders. I am a self-diagnosed hypochondriac. Yes, I see the irony here. Ranging from the serious - Will these voices in my head ever stop? - to the non-serious - Why did I ask that interview question? - I often engage in what Paige Craig, an investor at Arena Ventures, has identified as “Creative Destruction.”


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