Keep Calm and Carry On… Not Just Another Pretty Saying

How to solve any crisis in your life using these 3 key components

Trevor Blake
3 min readJun 9, 2021
Photo courtesy of @pressmaster/

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too

So begins Kipling’s famous poem If — which he wrote as advice to his son in 1909.

Voted as Britain’s favorite poem many times (and as recently as 2009), the poem is often a common source of inspiration to entrepreneurs — it conjures up images of a “stiff upper lip” and a calm head in a crisis.

Kipling’s motivation for the poem was personal. He wrote it after witnessing a friend’s heroic and patriotic response to being cheated, betrayed, and imprisoned… yet refused to bow to public pressure to restore his reputation at the expense of the British government.

Many years ago, I was fortunate to get to know George Rathmann, the ‘Bill Gates of Biotechnology.’ I credit him with offering me the most sagely business advice when I ventured out to be my own boss for the first time.

He told me to stop wasting my life preparing a perfect business plan with this line:



Trevor Blake

Perpetual student of life. Author of NY Times Bestseller, Three Simple Steps. Author of new book, Secrets to a Successful Startup —