Give a Gem. Take a Gem.

One of the biggest benefits of social media is the willingness of those who use its tools to share insights and information. It makes us all smarter. As you’ve probably heard, a rising tide lifts all boats.

I was thinking today about some of the great nuggets other smart professionals have shared with me during my career so far, things they’ve learned along the way that have shaped how they do business and that have contributed to their success. That led to this idea…

What if we all shared some valuable insight that we think makes us better professionals and people? Combined, we have a wealth of knowledge and passing along a little piece of advice can help make us all better at our jobs. And maybe at life, too.

So please share your gem in the comments area. I’ll kick it off.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

For me, that quote made clear the fact that accomplished goals are the result of smart planning, hard work and perseverance. And that most things – in work and in life – don’t come easy. I repeat it to myself often.

Ok, now it’s your turn. What’s your gem?

*Image by Swamibu.

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36 responses to “Give a Gem. Take a Gem.

  1. “Engage in the conversation or fail to communicate.”

    No idea who first said this, but I use it often when talking to clients about the importance of online. Yes, we still have to convince people that the Internet matters and that the conversations that happen there are important, relevant and critical to you’re company’s long-term success. And, they’ll happen whether you participate in them or not. So, you better get in there.

  2. kathleenmoriarty

    “There’s no such thing as a mistake. There’s what you do, and what you don’t do.” Perfection is ideal but difficult to achieve all the time. Mistakes happen unfortunately, but the best thing you can do is learn from them and move on with greater awareness and direction.

  3. “The World Needs Dreamers and The World Needs Doers. But Above All, The Worlds Needs Dreamers Who Do.”

    Love this quote (not sure who it came from) but it epitomizes the talk that a lot of people do in everyday life, in business, etc. but only a small % that will actually make those words become a reality.

    Which percentage are you going to be?

  4. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch
    Yard by yard, life is hard

    I know this is kind of general, but I have always found it helpful in getting things done!

  5. Not sure who to attribute it to, but “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to react to it.” That’s been a favorite quote of mine for years.

  6. “We are condemned to live out what we cannot imagine.”

    Not sure I can expand on this, except to say sometimes it is uplifting and sometimes depressing to consider.

  7. “You have no brand. Your brand is whatever people say it is. If you don’t like it, don’t re-brand, do re-design your product/service.”

    The great part about social media is that you can instantly get feedback and understand what other people say your brand is. The bad part is that you might not like what they say. The good part is that if you can accept criticism, you can improve your product and people will like you even more than before because you listened to them.

  8. “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

    The quote comes from Thomas Edison. I’ve kep that quote by my desk for more than 10 years now. It inspires me to try harder and to try new things…

  9. “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a Heaven for?” -Robert Browning

    This was a favorite quote of my father’s, who would recite it to me frequently as I was growing up, when I was far too young to have any inkling of what he was talking about. I now understand that striving toward seemingly impossible goals is, for me, the only way to live.

    Years later, my father imparted another pearl of wisdom. Just hours before he passed away, speaking with clarity through his painkiller-induced fog, he said: “Any day you learn something new is a good day.”

    That statement has been a true gem to me.

  10. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    It’s been my favorite quote for as long as I can remember. It reminds me that doing nothing when a wrong act is occurring can be just as bad as the action itself.

  11. “Happy wife, happy life.”

  12. “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

    Self-doubt is creativity’s strongest enemy.

  13. Be Happy.

    My grandfather used to say this to me every time we’d end a conversation. So simple. You have the ability to change your day.

  14. My “gem” doesn’t derive from brilliant words spoken by a famous person, but the one piece of advice I always offer people looking to secure a job (whether in PR or in a different industry) is to find what makes you unique and showcase it. There is so much competition and so many creative, talented people in this world that it’s absolutely imperative to find that little nugget of uniqueness that makes you shine.

  15. Attitude determines altitude.

    This is so trite, but so true! We all have good days and bad ones, and we all have a choice about how to react and respond. Would a reporter or blogger rather be pitched by someone in a bad mood or good mood? Would a prospect or client rather meet with someone with a positive or negative attitude? This rule applies to work, home life, everything and anything we do. Above all else, I try to keep it positive.

  16. The universe has an infinite capacity for irony.

    It’s a Daniel Lally original.

  17. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Which means, I never have to worry about a completely wrong day. 🙂

  18. In a darkening time, here’s the formula for success:

    Value your integrity, not your things.

  19. This is advice I learned in hockey that I apply to my life: “Keep your head up.”

    When you chase a puck into the corner, keep your head up. If you’re aware of your surroundings, you’ll see attackers in time to make a quick pass or you’ll see that there are no attackers yet and you have time to make a better pass.

    In my life, I use this advice to spot and make the most of opportunities. I research to get the lay of the land, I make a plan instead of rushing in haphazardly, and I network to stay connected and tap the strength of my community.

  20. Trying and wishing are essential for kids but basically useless for adults.

    I’ll explain…

    As children, we did childish things and thought in young ways. As adults, we let those things go…or did we?

    There’s no such thing as “try.” As children, trying builds self-esteem and motivation. “Nice swing, Billy, try again!” In the grown world, though, trying doesn’t cut it. You either do something or you don’t.

    Children “wish” upon stars. Children should wish for things…so that they have something to look forward to being or having when they’re older. “I wish I was a ballerina!” “I wish I lived in a mansion!” “I wish I owned a robot!” In the grown up world there is little room for wishes. We’re adults and we can gather resources, take action, and make moves toward things we desire. We can make changes to become the people we want to become.


  21. As Malcom S. Forbes once said, “Do things you like to do. Try to find a line of work, even if itís initially not as remunerative or as financially well off as some other line of work where you look forward to going to work each day rather than looking forward to the weekend. The hardest thing for young people to do is to figure out what they like; the only way they’re going to figure it out is by trying a lot of things so at least they know what they don’t like. So don’t be passive, be active.”

  22. Karen Heenan-Davies

    “Even in you are in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth” (Gandhi)

    Many times as communications professionals, the best service we can give our clients is to be the voice of reality. It can feel uncomfortable to be the only one in the room who doesn’t agree with the strategy/concept etc. But we still have to do it.

  23. There’s what you do, and what you don’t do.” Perfection is ideal but difficult to achieve all the time.

  24. Great idea! Here’s mine:

    Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.

    David Ogilvy

  25. “Convince yourself of your own innate perfection.” ~Paramhansa Yogananda

    I love this one! It says to me that I am perfect just as I am, so worrying and stressful striving are totally unnecessary. Be happy with who you are.

  26. That which enables disables, and that which disables enables.
    –Paula Underwood, The Walking People

    Thanks for doing this David – and what a great find your blog is for me. Recent events give this old bit of Native wisdom new meaning. I’m thinking of the economic collapse of the past two weeks and how it is both enabling and disabling, just depends on where and how we view it AND the passage of time.

    LaDonna Coy

  27. The ability to engage, while having the potential to be tremendously beneficial, can also be extremely damaging as well.

    Just ask Apple (no, Steve didn’t have a heart attack… where did you hear that? CNN? And where did they get their info? Who??) or CBS and their ‘eyemobile for iPhone’ app for citizen journalists (‘er, did you just say that people are using this app to upload porn and disguise it as news? well, that’s not our fault!’).

    This is not to discount the notion that the sharing of info is good. Quite the contrary. It’s just that info just because it is being shared isn’t immediately ‘good’. And the more that larger info aggregators attempt to harness individuals as sources of info, without boundaries and/or discretion, the more likely inaccuracies will be passed on as truth before things can be reversed.

  28. Pingback: Commandeering the Conversation « libby started a blog

  29. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again,

    Treat ALL of your customers with open honesty about your product or service.
    Treat ALL of your customers with respect.
    You’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll see more business come back to you.

    When I’m creating my wire names at a trade show or private party, I smile at everyone. Just be nice. How hard can it be?

    Dave Maskin
    “a strand of wire is transformed into a work of art at your event.”

  30. Treat every small job and every client with the same respect and consideration you would a major contract or company CEO.
    If you’re hired to design a logo for $150 and a website for $4,000, make both clients feel like they are an important priority for your business!

  31. “Only the future is manageable!”

    This us because you cannot manage the past. It is over and done with. And you cannot manage the present, because it does not exist. It is but a fleeting nano-second of time as we constantly move into a brand new future. Hence we can only manage the future. That creates a conundrum. It means that management is about managing what hasn’t happened yet. Therefore we must forecast and anticipate what will happen, and act accordingly.

    I also use another slogan:
    “The future belongs to those who get there first!”

    In other words, those who best anticipate and forecast the future, and then manage accordingly, will get to the future before the competition.

  32. I follow the following :

    1. Play the game by your rule. Don’t get trapped in others’ rules. Be nimble-footed and change strategy to suit winning the point. Think constantly.

    2. But never lie. Truth is the ultimate home-maker. If you are uncomfortable with the truth be silent but never lie.

    3. Even if you are down, smile and be positive and be prepared to be a gracious loser rather than a miserable manager.

    4. Be calm and things will come back to you.

  33. Work Smart…Work Hard…take a break….relax, refresh and evaluate..Work Smart…Work Hard

  34. Attention to Detail.

    Giving the client the feeling that no stone will remain unturned. It’s what consistently differentiates me from others. This applies mostly to work. At play, I think it pays to have an element of “flakyness”. The trick is to balance the two in your life.

  35. Be honest and expect others not to be honest to you is a saying that will get you through a lot.

  36. 1) The call you least want to make is probably the call that most needs making.
    2) There’s “busy” and there’s “getting stuff done.” Know the difference.
    3) Most times, the last person who knows you need to be fired is you.

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