A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I had a shepherd’s pie for lunch. He was furious” (5/22)
“Average gumbo is only medi-okra” (5/21)
“The job requires me to get a potato clock” (up at eight o’clock) (5/21)
“The past is your lesson. The present is your gift. The future is your motivation” (5/21)
“I took my son to Coney Island. I asked, ‘Wanna go in the Crazy House?‘“ (joke) (5/21)
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Entry from June 29, 2015
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”

"You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” is a motivational saying that has been printed on many posters. The saying is usually attributed to motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar (1926-2012), but Ziglar credited speaker Joe Sabah with the saying in Ziglar’s book, Over the Top (1994). It’s not known when Sabah first used the saying.

“You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going” is a similar saying that became popular in the 2000s.


JoeSabah.com
About Joe Sabah
Joe Sabah is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, consultant, author and publisher.  He is based in Denver, Colorado where he operates a speaking/publishing/consulting business.

As a member of the National Speakers Association, in 1982 Joe served as co-founder and first president of the Colorado Speakers Association (a chapter of the National Speakers Association, now with over 150 members.  He is also a member of the Small Publishers Association of North America.

Google Books
Over the Top
By Zig Ziglar
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
1994
Pg. ?:
Getting started is, of course, the first step because, as speaker Joe Sabah says, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

8 April 1998, Hutchinson (KS) News, “‘Failure’ is not in these folks’ vocabularies” by Richard Shank, pg. E4, col. 4:
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,” Ziglar said.

Google Books
Staying Up, Up, Up in a Down, Down World:
Daily Hope for the Daily Grind

By Zig Ziglar
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
2000
Pg. 110:
Speaker Joe Sabah wisely observed, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Google Books
Lists to Live By for Smart Living
By Alice Gray, Steve Stephens and John Van Diest
Sisters, OR: Multnomah
2002
Pg. 10:
Seven Favorite Quotations of Zig Ziglar
1. Happiness is not a when or a where, but a here and a now!
2. When you associate with winners, your chances of winning go up!
3. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Google News Archive
28 December 2007, Hidalgo County Herald (NM), “Intentions are good, but actions are better” by Rick Kraft, pg. 7, col. 3:
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

My challenge to you is best summed up in an advertising motto, “Just do it.”

Twitter
Emile Ennis Jr.
‏@EmileEnnisJr
DAILY INSPIRATION: You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. - Joe Sabah
10:31 AM - 23 Jun 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Monday, June 29, 2015 • Permalink