One of the most important things when taking on an entrepreneurial venture of any kind, Airbnb investing included, is staying recognizing that challenges will come, it is what you do with them that matters.

I thought of this last weekend while watching one of my favorite movies of all time, The Count of Monte Cristo. At one point in the film the Count is making a toast to the young son of another Count and says, “Life is a storm my young friend. You will basque in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

There will be days when it feels like everything is falling apart: the kids are crying, the car broke down, guests are complaining, and it feels like everything that you were holding together by a string is all coming crashing down. And life couldn’t be kind enough to space things like this out. No, life always dumps all 567 problems you could face in a year in one day.

Those are difficult days. They can make you question whether you’re making the right decision. They might make you question if you’re cut out for all that you set out to do. It is moments like these that can define success. The trick is to stay grounded; take a step back, breathe and take one thing at a time.

The Count’s toast continues, “You must look into that storm and shout ‘do your worst’ for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you, (insert your name here)!”

When life throws storms your way I challenge you to face them head on and ready to conquer! Don’t let them make you crumble.

What can help you do this at a moment’s notice? I suggest a good quote.

If you look at great leaders from history: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and so on, they were all students of the other greatest minds in history. They had put to memory the works and thoughts of legendary poets, philosophers, artists, and leaders. Many knew the Bible like the back of their hand. When in a pinch, they could think of others who had blazed the trail before, someone who had faced down a mountain of problems and pushed through. It helped them to take a step back, breath, and take one thing at a time.

You can do the same. Find a quote that inspires you. Something that lights a fire in your chest and sends chills down your spine every time you read it. Then, put it somewhere you can see it, so that in a moment’s notice, when the world seems to be falling apart, you can read it and it can help you to push through.

For me it is “Our Greatest Fear” by Marianne Williamson and quoted by Nelson Mandela.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,

talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of

God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people

permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.

You never have to go it alone. You can have the greatest minds in history as business partners, friends, and mentors if you choose. Their words can inspire YOU to make history!


Interesting read if you want to learn more about the science of why quotes motivate us.