I live by this saying. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam: I will find a way or I will make one. I am too stubborn to give up. Which is why this is my second favorite quote: When in doubt, use a bigger hammer.
When I was 15, I was working for a neighbor whose name I will never forget. Mr. Young. I would do general outside work (mowing & cleanup) for extra money. Mr. Young was a retired executive from one of the largest retailers around that time. I think he was in his early 70s at the time and he sure did love to give me lots of little pointers and pieces of wisdom. Honestly, I was 15, I can't say I listened to every word with eagerness. There were times that I just wanted to make sure I had enough money to buy whatever cd happened to be coming out soon.
Though, it just so happened, that one day while we were walking around so he could explain what all on my normal list needed attention that day. Mr. Young paused mid-sentence and a very serious look came over his face as he told me something that changed my perception of life from that day on.
"You need to look out for yourself son, cause no one will do it for you. No one is going to lose sleep if you aren't making anything of yourself. Everyone else has their own problems, and they don't care what your issues are. So you need to look out for number one (yourself), cause no one else is goin' to."
Those words bounced around my head for the rest of that day and every day since. I took it as a motivator, not in the egoistical, self-worshiping way it sounds. But, rather in the way that shows you are motivated person with real drive and character. Coming from a humble background it hit really close to home. When other kids were out playing and running the streets, I was at home taking care of my siblings so my parents could work. I saw first-hand what he was talking about. I watched my father work countless hours at several jobs to make sure we were able to survive and my mom would work various thankless jobs to help out. I strive for success through hard work and by earning the respect of anyone I work alongside. Whether it was while flipping burgers at McDonalds at 16, talking to mechanical engineers at various fortune 500 companies about process automation at 23, or when I founded a highly respected Interactive Agency (out of a bedroom in my house) alongside two of the best individuals anyone could hope to call friends.