21 Quotes to Carry You Through The Tough Times

21 Quotes to Carry You Through The Tough Times | Inc.com

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Despite having to climb the highest mountain and cross the largest ocean, you will never hear a successful entrepreneur say the words, “good enough.” A truly inspired leader does not settle for mediocre results–and they have the wisdom to separate what really matters from the minutiae of every day work and life.

I’ve always found it interesting that many influential leaders have at one point in their life experienced great personal challenges, even tragedies. They not only survive them, but shape them into a meaningful form of inspiration and motivation. That’s what the 22 women featured in the newly released book, Resilient Women Overcoming Mediocrity have done. I found this collection of their stories and words of wisdom not only encouraging, but also eye-opening.

Here are a few quotes from the authors to inspire you as you climb the mountains and cross the oceans to reach your dreams.

  1. “Don’t let the world tell you who you are, only you get to decide.” – Jennifer Truesdale
  2.  “Next time life’s GPS sends you astray, take a deep breath, hold on tight and get ready for the ride.” – Michelle Sutter
  3. “Believe in yourself, trust your gut, surround yourself with resilient people who inspire you to be better and work hard.” – Monique Hicks
  4. “Resilience is merely putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving–in spite of your fears.” – Jennifer Pestikas 
  5. “Every choice makes a difference as we get ourselves unstuck and move toward the life we desire. Select your choices wisely.”  – Angie Engstrom
  6. “Being healthy is more than just a number on the scale or the number from a test. These numbers are simply a moment in time.” – Sharan Tash
  7. “Love Well. It makes all things possible.” – Marci D. Toler
  8. “Your mess is your message! Your resilience comes from not giving up on yourself; figuring it out is the most beautiful adventure that you’ll ever have.” – Misty Totzke
  9.  “Do one thing each day that scares you.” – Melissa Laverty
  10. “Resilience is the willingness to not quit, to challenge your habits, and to stay determined to make a difference– first for yourself and then for the rest of the world.” – Jackie Simmons
  11. “By accepting personal responsibility in life, and showing your scars, you can heal yourself and your excel in business.” – Nancy Abramovitz
  12. “Live life to the fullest, keep your dreams alive, uplift each other, share a smile and a hug.” – Ylona Cavalier
  13. “Anything truly worth having is well worth the pain or fear it sometimes takes to it.”  
    – Dorci Hill
  14. “Become your best self by investing in your education, finding positive aspects in adverse situations, and fulfilling your life purpose.” – Irina Zlatogorova
  15. “Life is about making our own choices, our own mistakes, and fighting our own battles. We all deserve to follow our own unique path.” – Svietlana Lavrentidi
  16. “It’s time to let go of the frozen, stagnant ideals of traditional success.” – Michele Riley Swiderski
  17. “God not only uses our trails to better equip us to help others, he also brings us the right people at the right time with the right resources so that our impact in the world will be greater.” – La Tanya Hinton
  18. “Second chances are a gift. From them, we can help others grow and learn from our mistakes.” – Danielle Di Cosola
  19. “Everyone deserves a great life. Amazing things can happen when you step outside of your comfort zone.” – Kathy Rosner
  20.  “Never take a “no” from someone who was never empowered to give you a “yes” in the first place.” – Sherry Rauch/Dehbozorgi
  21. “When someone does not like you it does not define you, it only defines them.” 
    – Jeanmarie Dwyer-Wrigley

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Published on: Oct 30, 2017


Solve These Tough Data Problems and Watch Job Offers Roll In

Late in 2015, Gilberto Titericz, an electrical engineer at Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras, told his boss he planned to resign, after seven years maintaining sensors and other hardware in oil plants. By devoting hundreds of hours of leisure time to the obscure world of competitive data analysis, Titericz had recently become the world’s top-ranked data scientist, by one reckoning. Silicon Valley was calling. “Only when I wanted to quit did they realize they had the number-one data scientist,” he says.

Petrobras held on to its champ for a time by moving Titericz into a position that used his data skills. But since topping the rankings that October he’d received a stream of emails from recruiters around the globe, including representatives of Tesla and Google. This past February, another well-known tech company hired him, and moved his family to the Bay Area this summer. Titericz described his unlikely journey recently over colorful plates of Nigerian food at the headquarters of his new employer, Airbnb.

Titericz earned, and holds, his number-one rank on a website called Kaggle that has turned data analysis into a kind of sport, and transformed the lives of some competitors. Companies, government agencies, and researchers post datasets on the platform and invite Kaggle’s more than one million members to discern patterns and solve problems. Winners get glory, points toward Kaggle’s rankings of its top 66,000 data scientists, and sometimes cash prizes.

Ryan Young for Wired

Alone and in small teams with fellow Kagglers, Titericz estimates he has won around $ 100,000 in contests that included predicting seizures from brainwaves for the National Institutes of Health, the price of metal tubes for Caterpillar, and rental property values for Deloitte. The TSA and real-estate site Zillow are each running competitions offering prize money in excess of $ 1 million.

Veteran Kagglers say the opportunities that flow from a good ranking are generally more bankable than the prizes. Participants say they learn new data-analysis and machine-learning skills. Plus, the best performers like the 95 “grandmasters” that top Kaggle’s rankings are highly sought talents in an occupation crucial to today’s data-centric economy. Glassdoor has declared data scientist the best job in America for the past two years, based on the thousands of vacancies, good salaries, and high job satisfaction. Companies large and small recruit from Kaggle’s fertile field of problem solvers.

In March, Google came calling and acquired Kaggle itself. It has been integrated into the company’s cloud-computing division, and begun to emphasize features that let people and companies share and test data and code outside of competitions, too. Google hopes other companies will come to Kaggle for the people, code, and data they need for new projects involving machine learning—and run them in Google’s cloud.

Kaggle grandmasters say they’re driven as much by a compulsion to learn as to win. The best take extreme lengths to do both. Marios Michailidis, a previous number one now ranked third, got the data-science bug after hearing a talk on entrepreneurship from a man who got rich analyzing trends in horseraces. To Michailidis, the money was not the most interesting part. “This ability to explore and predict the future seemed like a superpower to me,” he says. Michailidis taught himself to code, joined Kaggle, and before long was spending what he estimates was 60 hours a week on contests—in addition to a day job. “It was very enjoyable because I was learning a lot,” he says.

Michailidis has since cut back to roughly 30 hours a week, in part due to the toll on his body. Titericz says his own push to top the Kaggle rankings, made not long after the birth of his second daughter, caused some friction with his wife. “She’d get mad with me every time I touched the computer,” he says.

Entrepreneur SriSatish Ambati has made Kagglers a core strategy of his startup, H2O, which makes data-science tools for customers including eBay and Capital One. Ambati hired Michailidis and three other grandmasters after he noticed a surge in downloads when H2O’s software was used to win a Kaggle contest. Victors typically share their methods in the site’s busy forums to help others improve their technique.

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H2O’s data celebrities work on the company’s products, providing both expertise and a marketing boost akin to a sports star endorsing a sneaker. “When we send a grandmaster to a customer call their entire data-science team wants to be there,” Ambati says. “Steve Jobs had a gut feel for products; grandmasters have that for data.” Jeremy Achin, cofounder of startup DataRobot, which competes with H2O and also has hired grandmasters, says high Kaggle rankings also help weed out poseurs trying to exploit the data-skills shortage. “There are many people calling themselves data scientists who are not capable of delivering actual work,” he says.

Competition between people like Ambati and Achin helps make it lucrative to earn the rank of grandmaster. Michailidis, who works for Mountain View, California-based H2O from his home in London, says his salary has tripled in three years. Before joining H2O, he worked for customer analytics company Dunnhumby, a subsidiary of supermarket Tesco.

Large companies like Kaggle champs, too. An Intel job ad posted this month seeking a machine-learning researcher lists experience winning Kaggle contests as a requirement. Yelp and Facebook have run Kaggle contests that dangle a chance to interview for a job as a prize for a good finish. The winner of Facebook’s most recent contest last summer was Tom Van de Wiele, an engineer for Eastman Chemical in Ghent, Belgium, who was seeking a career change. Six months later, he started a job at Alphabet’s artificial-intelligence research group DeepMind.

H2O is trying to bottle some of the lightning that sparks from Kaggle grandmasters. Select customers are testing a service called Driverless AI that automates some of a data scientist’s work, probing a dataset and developing models to predict trends. More than 6,000 companies and people are on the waitlist to try Driverless. Ambati says that reflects the demand for data-science skills, as information piles up faster than companies can analyze it. But no one at H2O expects Driverless to challenge Titericz or other Kaggle leaders anytime soon. For all the data-crunching power of computers, they lack the creative spark that makes a true grandmaster.

“If you work on a data problem in a company you need to talk with managers, and clients,” says Stanislav Semenov, a grandmaster and former number one in Moscow, who is now ranked second. He likes to celebrate Kaggle wins with a good steak. “Competitions are only about building the best models, it’s pure and I love it.” On Kaggle, data analysis is not just a sport, but an art.