Would You Like to Come and Join us in the Quotation Game?

NB: All readers are welcome to participate in the quotation assignment, give me feedback, ask any questions or share their success stories! Simply send me an email: wf@williamfern.com
It is impossible to include all of the responses I receive but I hope you will benefit from the ones I am able to share.


Many clients find the Quotation Assignment both motivational and enlightening. They should find one or two quotes to ruminate on: 1) Why did they choose it? 2) Was it new to them or had already known of it? 3) If the quote was not new how, if at all, does it mean something different than before? 3) How does it relate to their present life? 4) How do they plan to implement (or not to implement) the message of the quote?

What started as a simple “experimental, thinking-aloud proposal” has gathered steam and provided motivation and helpful insights. 

Stefan, an energetic but frustrated entrepreneur mentioned during our initial contact that one of his main problems was lack of confidence. He was considering giving up his quest to have his own business. He claimed that the market was saturated and there was no demand for his product. He had even begun to apply for office jobs…which he dreaded.

In 1899, the Commissioner of the US Patent office, Charles Duell said that “everything that can be invented has been invented”. We all know what has happened after that. 

During our first session I challenged Stefan’s assumption that there was no market demand. I suggested that he should re-frame the information he provides to his potential customers. For example, others are successful in marketing the same product. What could he do to change the situation?

Stefan agreed to go on a quote hunt to find something that might help his situation. He found the following quotes:

Alles Gescheite ist schon gedacht worden, man muss nur versuchen, es noch einmal zu denken. (“Everything clever has already been thought, you just have to try to think it over again.”)
—Goethe

Japan is very interesting. Some people think it copies things. I don't think that anymore. I think what they do is reinvent things. They will get something that's already been invented and study it until they thoroughly understand it. In some cases, they understand it better than the original inventor.
— Steve Jobs

Stefan says that the quotations helped him regain hope and have prompted him to re-invent his sales pitch. Stefan and I then practiced some re-framing tools together in order to further boost his approach.