Monday, February 18, 2008

Best-Ever Entrepreneurship Quotes, Week 73

Here's the latest in our series of motivational quotes designed to get your week off to an inspired start.

This week: an ode to passion, creativity and leadership.

“One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

Elbert Hubbard, American philosopher, artist, writer and editor (1856-1915).

Hubbard was a genius who lived much of his life in East Aurora, N.Y., just south of the border near Buffalo. He made his fortune as a seller of soap by the age of 37 (he is said to have invented the concept of "premium with purchase" -- thereby anticipating free prizes in cereal boxes and Happy Meals). Selling his share of the business, he founded a publishing company which led to an influential Arts & Crafts colony which at one point employed 500 artists and free-thinkers. His intellectual journey led him from socialism to enlightened entrepreneurship. And his famous pamphlet, A Message to Garcia, turned the difficulty of finding good emplyees into an anthemic crusade for individual passion and initiative.

Hubbard made a point of interviewing the brightest thinkers and authors in the English-speaking world - publishing the results himself in a series of books called Little Journeys. In May 1915 he and his wife journeyed to Europe to interview Kaiser Wilhelm. They died when their ship was sunk by a German U-boat. They had booked passage aboard the Lusitania.

The couple is said to have retreated into a cabin to await death rather than be parted by the raging seas.

Hubbard's writings included many illustrious sayings relating to the entrepreneurial mind. Here are three more:

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."

Although Hubbard is pretty much forgotten now, he also coined at least two phrases that have lived on in popular culture, mostly as slogans for T-shirts and bumper stickers:

"The love we give away is the only love we keep ."
"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive."

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