Sharing an occasional quote that really moves you is great. Routinely though, as I scan down my news feed, my eyes glaze over at the seemingly unending list of tired platitudes.

A pattern emerged.

Normal posts of dogs, kids, political rants, or simply people with something to say were one category. In between those, every single “feel good” quote came from those describing themselves as cutting edge entrepreneurs. Some were people I’ve met over the years in business and networking. Others through social media itself, but that similarity remains constant in almost everything each of them post.

Apparently being a “visionary” means regurgitating cliches hoping it makes you look like a guru. All it really does is make you look like fortune cookies that didn’t come with a satisfying Chinese dinner.

One of them in particular that made me smile was the good old “Don’t walk the trodden path; instead forge your own where none have gone and leave a trail.” The irony of sharing that status as a supposed thought leader wasn’t lost on me.

Think Positive, Click Your Heels and…

I’m a big proponent of the power of positive thinking, but I’m enough of a realist to know that success is also part luck and being in the right situation with the right opportunities. Being driven and organized is important, but I raise a skeptical eyebrow at the people preaching that if you believe hard enough everything will fall into place. If that’s so true, why are most of these same people in the exact same position year after year?

Either they’re exaggerating their own investment in the crap they spout off (and that’s why they aren’t millionaires) or they’re all belief and no action. I’d believe either. The longer they continue to spout that “wisdom” that obviously doesn’t work for them the less credible both the platitude and their own gum-flapping becomes.

And really, if you want to be an inspirational figure to everyone around you, remember that action inspires more than empty words. Aside casually throwing around somebody else’s wisdom, what have you done personally that is awe-inspiring or shows that you can lead by example? If you’re the only one talking about how great you are, reflect on that.