I’ve been fortunate enough (blessed, actually) to be approached after an EyeCoach workshop, or after reading one of my INVISION articles, or after a chaotic Project Homeless Connect Vision event, and have people tell me I’ve inspired them, or made them laugh, or think in ways they’ve never thought possible. It always floors me and I am so humbly grateful.

After a workshop, an OD asked me, “Robert, what inspires you? Where do you come up with your ideas?”

There’s not enough room here for me to share everything that inspires and shapes my ideas but I thought sharing some favorite quotes from famous, not so famous and industry people, is a good start:

  • “I’ve learned that people fall down. Winners get up. And, Gold Medal winners get up faster.” Bonnie St. John (Silver medalist, ‘84 Winter Paralympics)
  • “To thine own self, be true.” William Shakespeare
  • “... and you can’t sell everybody. If you try, you will end your day, always, in frustration. Always seek to sell to those whose needs you can meet.” Larry Bell, Optical Sales Legend (and my Dad)
  • “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” Popeye the Sailorman
  • “Starting today, treat everyone you meet as if they’d be dead by midnight.” Og Mandino
  • “Be impressed, not impressive.” Frank Gomez, Zeiss Optical
  • “It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s not even how you play the game. It’s how you feel about yourself after the game has been played.” Anna Quindlen
  • Best outgoing voicemail message I’ve ever heard: “Hi, this is Sheldon Gordon. Please leave me a message and if it’s good news or money, I’ll get back to you.” Sheldon Gordon, OWP Eyewear
  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Go out and make as many mistakes as you possibly can, as fast as you can, and learn from them. You’re gonna make mistakes, anyway. Might as well get them out of the way.” Richard Block, former VP of Silor Optical (my first professional mentor)
  • “Wisdom is the reward you get for … listening when you would rather have talked.” Mark Twain
  • “... your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…” Marianne Williamson
  • “If you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘no.’” Deborah DeLong, Safilo
  • “Be curious, not judgemental.” Walt Whitman
  • “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek
  • “It’s great to be great, but it’s greater to be human.” Will Rogers
  • “The easiest way to get what you want is to help someone else get what they need.” Deepak Chopra
  • “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” Socrates
  • “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Don’t let the fear of striking out get in your way.” Babe Ruth

Robert Bell is the founder of EyeCoach, a sales and marketing practice. He is considered one of the most inspirational, innovative and effective speakers/trainers in the eyecare industry. His workshop, “Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Selling” is highly coveted. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INVISION.

 

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