Viola Davis is pure Black Girl Magic. The regal beauty and scene-stealing legend is never one to shy from speaking the truth and is beloved as much for her star turns as her empowering words of wisdom.
Regardless of if she is accepting an overdue award for her her acting skills, doing an interview with top-tier media or calling out the history of racism, sexism, and ageism in Hollywood, the “How to Get Away With Murder” icon never fails to represent for herself and Black women everywhere!
This diva has been unapologetically, rocking her crown for years and the world is finally paying its respect.
Here are 15 quotes that remind us that Viola Davis has always been a queen inspiring us to let our inner queens shine too.
“The one thing I feel is lacking in Hollywood today is an understanding of the beauty, the power, the sexuality, the uniqueness, the humor of being a regular Black woman.” – Viola Davis
“You can’t be hesitant about who you are.” – Viola Davis
“Do not live someone else’s life and someone else’s idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you. Womanhood is everything that’s inside of you.” – Viola Davis
“I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me.” – Viola Davis
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” – Viola Davis
“Even when I get the fried chicken special of the day, I have to dig into it like it’s filet mignon.” – Viola Davis
“You can’t shine if you have two lines in the background as a bus driver. You can only shine if you’re included in the narrative, and narratives start when you put pen to paper and you use your imagination. You just tell a story. That’s all you do. You tell a story. You don’t put any boundaries on it. It’s infinite and that’s the only way we can do what we do is that people use their imaginations so that we can be included in it.” – Viola Davis
“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, truly being who you are. And I’ve spent far too long apologizing for that—my age, my color, my lack of classical beauty—that now at the age of, well, at the age of 46, I’m very proud to be Viola Davis, for whatever it’s worth.” – Viola Davis
“As Black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences—experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.” – Viola Davis
“They say to serve is to love. I think to serve is to heal, too.” – Viola Davis
“I see a lot of sexy women who are hard, cold, look like they have windswept hair and lip gloss and light makeup when they say it’s no makeup. I work out five days a week, and I’m still not a size 2. So I wanted to see a real woman on TV. I wanted to see who we are before we walk out the door in the morning and put on the mask of acceptability.” – Viola Davis
“Vanity destroys your work. That’s the one thing you have to let go of as an actor. I don’t care how sexy or beautiful any woman is. At the end of the day, she has to take her makeup off. At the end of the day, she’s more than just pretty.” – Viola Davis
I would tell my younger self just be yourself—that who you are is good enough.” – Viola Davis
“The internal sexism within womanhood is very predominant in Hollywood, because we all want to be successful. There’s a plug to it: You all have to be skinny! You all have to be pretty! You all have to be likable, because that’s the formula that works. On an executive level. On a power level. And it’s not always the same working with black people, because of the internalized racism. The colorism.” – Viola Davis
“What keeps me in the business is hope, and that’s the hope that women of color are also a part of the narrative, that our stories are just as potent, because we also have the power of transformation. We also have the power to be quirky, and sexy, and different, funny, heartfelt and all of those things.” – Viola Davis
We all have dreams and goals we want to accomplish in life, whether they be to start or run a successful business, have a happy family, be in a position to give back to the community or all of the above. With everything going on in our lives it’s easy to get distracted and forget that we started with a dream or goal in mind.
Follow these few tips to ensure you live your life, and run your business the way it was meant to be; full of intent and purpose.
Define Your Goals
The most important part of creating a life or business of intent, is clearly defining your intention. Writing down your on goals and intentions not only makes them official, but creates a starting point for creating a path to achieve your goals.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Your goals are yours and yours alone. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, who will? Are you making choices full of intent? Are you taking steps to achieve your goals? Review your goal list often to remind yourself why you started down this road in the first place. Self-correct when you stray from your original intention or find yourself being lazy or lacking focus.
Start Tracking Your Progress & Achievements
It is important to write down your goals and intentions, but it is just as important to track your accomplishments and successes along the way. By keeping tabs and celebrating your achievements you’ll reinforce your original intentions, ensuring you stay on the path. This is also a great way to motivate yourself by showing how far you’ve come from the beginning.
Take Your Goals Everywhere
Having reminders of your goals is great way to keep on track and a vital way to stay motivated to keep moving forward. Create several copies of your goals and put them everywhere: your car, your purse, and even keep a photo copy on your phone. This gives you a way to bring yourself back to your dreams when you feel yourself getting lost in the craziness of everyday challenges. Giving yourself an easy way to realign yourself to your goals will be priceless in helping you live each day with intent.
Sometimes the best place to find inspiration is the same places you found it as a kid. Like most adults, I’ve been a Dr. Seuss fan since I was little and have read just about every book he’s written. It might seem odd, but the same man who penned The Cat in the Hat provided some sound advice in his children’s books that can be re-applied to your business and life. Here are my top 10 favorite Dr. Seuss quotes sure to bring a little light and clarity to your day.
1. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
2. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
3. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
4. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
5. “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
6. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
7. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
8. “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
9. “Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
10. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Feel free to share these Dr. Seuss quotes to bright the day of others in your life.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am optimistic about most things in life. My approach when it comes to business in no different. Success in business requires a great deal of hard work, and there are times when your motivation can lag. Memorize these quotes to keep yourself driven and push through the tough times to the other side.
“Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.” – Debbi Fields, cookie guru
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines, Virgin Mobile, etc.
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” –Henry Ford, the car maker
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton of Walmart
“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” – Tom Brokaw, respected news anchor
These people were outrageously successful in their respective fields. It’s likely that they spoke these encouraging words to themselves often. It’s easy to imagine Debbie Fields meeting with rejection of her cookie idea and Tom Brokaw making hard decisions about what to report. Richard Branson, Henry Ford and Sam Walton revolutionized business, each in his own way. Their words give you a glimpse into the world view that helped them flourish.
You can’t do it alone. Entrepreneurs thrive when they combine their wisdom with that of others. Here are more 3 pieces of advice from established business professionals who were interviewed for Forbes.com. Use them on a daily basis to build and cultivate your business and your life.
Befriend Fear, Reject Perfection
“Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you make your first step. Dive in and learn as you go!” – Chris Beatty, marketing guru and head of Local Profit Academy
“Help people. Help when you’re happy. Help when you’re tired, and even help without attachment to getting anything in return. Keep on helping people towards a better life, straight through to your marketing. If you do this…you’ll have a business that’s never short on customers.” – Forest Linden, of techhusband.com, where he provides tech training for online businesses
Sell Your Wares
“Stop doing anything else until you can say you’ve mastered the ability to sell what you offer. Everything is easier when you develop the ability to find a need; fill it and then be paid well to do so.” – Ken Foody, business strategist and president of Domain Mastery in Utah
When you come up against an obstacle, the words you say to yourself will determine how well you recover. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, and use these quotes to strengthen your resolve to keep moving forward.
“One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth.” L. Tom Perry
“Don’t be afraid. Be alive.” Sarah Dessen
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“It is always the start that requires the greatest effort”. – James Cash Penney