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22 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Business Quotes

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André Gide wrote that,”Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” Quotes are an important part of motivation, though many of them are repeats of another turn of phrase. Business owners are particularly partial to famous quotations. Reading a motivational speech from a business legend or famous creative mind can give you a spark. It doesn’t matter if it has been said before and repeated numerous times, quotes can give you the fire you need to be a better entrepreneur or learn how to handle a difficult situation. Below are some of those quotes sent in by entrepreneurs throughout the country.

1) Anything Can Be Accomplished with Action

“Never reduce a target. Instead, increase actions!”- Grant Cardone

I love the idea of increasing action in response to a difficult situation. I believe that given the correct viewpoint anything can be accomplished. This quote encompasses that viewpoint.

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Margolin, Effective Management!

2) Innovation

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music” – Friedrich Nietzsche

This quote resonates with me in the data solutions space because often the most innovative ideas are not fully understood by those standing on the outside looking in. Innovation is often seen as insanity whilst in its infancy. If we look at taking a fuzzy cognitive map approach to developing Big Data or Business Intelligence solutions it is easy to be berated on a single piece of work as it seems pointless and completely irrelevant, however as the pieces start plugging into each other and the big picture becomes clear, people start to “hear the music” so to speak. Often we criticize new or different ideas, we should always take a step back and ask ourselves if potentially we cannot hear the music that others are dancing to.

Thanks to Ryan Naudé, Entelect Software!

3) Legacy

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” -Henry Ford

This ideology is as true today as it was in 1903, when the second incarnation of Henry Ford’s dream took shape.  You can’t take it with you and the only thing you leave behind is your legacy, whether good or bad. I never wanted to own a business, I just wanted to be a model and an actress. I got to do those things and I loved it – still do when I’m wearing those hats. But somewhere along the road, I grew up a little bit, shed some of my youthful self-obsession, looked around and realized that we have a lot of work to do. I knew that there was a way I could merge my passion for all things girly & creative with my keen desire to empower as many of my sisters possible. So began my unlikely adventure in Social Entrepreneurism. Functional Girl started as an advice column in a local magazine, grew into speaking engagements and workshops, followed not long after by a lifestyle website. So, so, so many of my ideas for my brand have not worked. Some have failed spectacularly and with distinction. Some are taking longer than others to find their way. But some really beautiful ideas have thrived beyond my wildest dreams. And while I hope the days of explaining the difference between a “non-profit” and “no profit” are almost over, there are two things I know for sure: Living a good life isn’t a luxury, and if we change the world for our daughters, we change the world for everyone.

Thanks to Courtney Joy, Functional Girl!

4) Actionable Steps

“Hope is not a strategy.” – Andy Grove

To me, it shows the need to not only predict what will happen, but to take actionable steps towards making it happen.

Thanks to Larry Chao, Balluun, Inc.!

5) Following the Herd

“Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” -Warren Buffet

This quote speaks so perfectly to the human tendency to “follow the herd.” Truly great things only happen when someone dares to do what no one else is willing to touch. I think just by being an entrepreneur, that means you follow that philosophy to some degree. It also applies to my business philosophy. I offer copywriting services, and there’s stiff competition for this service online. What really makes me stand out? I’ve chosen to go with the idea of being “engaging” as opposed to advertising myself as a “copywriter” or “content writer.” Honestly, there aren’t too many out there (actually none that I’ve seen) that do the same. But, there’s probably a few that do.

Thanks to Dan Stelter!

6) No Worries

“This planet is work not worry. If you do a lot of worry, it produces nothing. If you do a lot of work it always produces a result. If you do the RIGHT work it produces the RIGHT result. There is no ‘right’ worry; because it NEVER produces a result. So why waste time worrying?” – Dr. Barry Morguelen, M.D.

Anytime I find myself worrying, I stop, read this quote and figure out the right ‘work’ I should be doing on what I’m worrying about vs. worrying. If I’ve done all the right work I can and within my control, I don’t worry anymore and I sleep like a baby now when I used to be a chronic insomniac with worry about things.

Thanks to Elizabeth Frisch, The Thrival Company!

7) Start Something

“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” – by Seth Godin.

It’s often said that failure is there for you to learn and steer you to success. Imagine never even making an attempt at starting something? I’ve failed many times and in the process have become more experienced on actually creating value and working on things that matter. In hindsight, it’s easy to appreciate what starting and failing does for you.

Thanks to Eduardo Perez, Easy Ukulele Songs!

8) Cultivating a Team of All-Star Players

Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” -Booker T. Washington

Our company culture at ConsumerAffairs.com is deeply rooted in cultivating a team of all-star players that work together to produce tremendous results. Whether those tremendous results are for our own company or the brands we partner with through our brand accreditation and partnership program, our team’s commitment to quality and a high standard of excellence is what helps our organization thrive and grow year after year.

Thanks to  Zac Carman, ConsumerAffairs.com!

9) Money vs. Passion

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” – Tony Hsieh

This is a quote that many successful entrepreneurs have said, and as a founder of a start-up business, I find this quote inspirational and try to run a business that is not driven by profit, but one that is driven by passion and a vision.

Thanks to Jerry Lee, StoryLeather.com!

10) Dedication & Hard Work

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph. – Marvin Phillips”

This quote summarizes the dedication and hard work entrepreneurs need to have to get beyond the “try” to see if a real business can be established in the triumph. Too often many entrepreneurs do put enough effort, passion, and drive into their business, thus never even getting past the try.

Thanks to John Bodrozic, HomeZada!

11) Lazy Man

“Whenever there is a hard job to be done I assign it to a lazy man; he is sure to find an easy way of doing it.” – Walter Chrysler

I know all too well the beauty of this thought. I invented Stuft Bags, a trash bag arrangement that makes replacing trash bags five times faster because I knew there was an easier way than what was currently done with trash bags. I wanted an easier time replacing bags so I created it for myself. Now it’s a well-selling product! It’s the K.I.S.S. acronym on steroids. Don’t just keep it simple, always be looking for a way to make it simpler.

Thanks to Heather Offord, Stuft Bags!

12) Do the Extraordinary

“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” – Steve Jobs

A CEO needs to internalize the idea that they are capable of doing extraordinary things, even if they do not see themselves as an extraordinary individual. Everyone has some degree of the ‘imposture syndrome’ and not overcoming the fear that you will be ‘found out’ for not being as great as the world thinks you are can be a leaders demise. Everyone’s naked in the mirror. Even those that we idolize most.

Thanks to James Fayal, Zest Tea!

13) Seize Opportunities

“A turbulent economy is a dealmaker’s dream.” – Anonymous

Attributed to the ever-present Anonymous. I like it because it’s optimistic. Whereas most business owners fear change, especially rocky economic conditions, this is an empowering concept. It shows that, with a change in perspective and a little creativity, we can recognize and seize the opportunities that lie just beneath the surface. With this as our guiding principle, our company navigated through many dark days during the Great Recession.

Thanks to Brian Rouff, Imagine Communications!

14) Be Bold

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” —Coco Chanel

Decisions made from a place of fear are rarely the right decisions to make—especially when you start and grow your own business. This quote reminds me to never lose the boldness I had when I first started out as an entrepreneur—that fire in your gut helps fuel you past the voices of doubt and onto the next level. If success becomes your only option, even the moments where you fall short (and there WILL be moments you fall short) become new opportunities to learn and grow—nothing is a complete failure.

Thanks to Patti Minglin, Go Girl Communications!

15) Empowered & Personal Investment

“People support a world they help create.”

This single sentence still sticks with me to this day. Essentially, to get buy-in from others, you need to make them feel empowered in the process so they feel personally vested in the project, initiative, vision, etc. Once someone feels like they are personally having an impact on something, they will support it and work tirelessly to see it through. It applies in personal situations as well, when dealing with peers and friends.

Thanks to Jayme Pretzloff, Wixon Jewelers!

16) Ideal Lifestyle

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set a life you don’t need escape from. –Seth Godin

Seth Godin has it exactly right! As an entrepreneur, working to set up a lifestyle that’s ideal is a big reason why people go into business to work for themselves. What’s key is putting the right systems in place early on to move towards a lifestyle that one doesn’t need escape from. But, of course this process takes time and is part of the reason why business owners burn out early or give up all together. Staying committed to your goals and being patient in the process will eventually get you there.

Thanks to Marsha Battee, The Bossy Nurse!

17) Move Forward

“If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” – Stephen Covey

It reminds me that we have to keep moving forward. As individuals and a company, we cannot remain stagnate. Whenever I’m not pleased with results, I pull out this quote to remind myself that these results will continue if we keep doing things as is and do not expand our efforts. Then I focus on what we can improve to get better results.

Thanks to Jonathan Cronstedt, Empower Network!

18) Helping Others

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”–Mark Twain

I find this quote particularly inspiring for all aspects of my life, being a mom, a wife and most of all being a business owner. I found that I was truly put on this earth to help others. The business we created and services we offer are a way to help, and I get to talk daily with other entrepreneurs on their journey to success and help them reach for the stars. It is a magical feeling and I love what I do each and every day.”

Thanks to Nellie Akalp, CorpNet.com!

19) The Future

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

Being an entrepreneur is not always fun, it is a lot of struggles and sacrifices on your personal life. But as challenging as it is at the moment you know that you are doing it for a better future. It is the best way for me to keep my motivation going on, by imaging a successful future version of my self that you will thank you for all the things I’ve been through.

Thanks to Ben Guez, Ophis Vape!

20) Small Successes

“Many small successes are preferred over one spectacular failure.” – Dick Yarzab

My first professional boss and mentor, Dick Yarzab advised this, and I’ve kept it in mind throughout my career. Creating great and lofty plans with large promises and long-term deadlines sounds very exciting. But I’ve seen lots of large projects get delayed and under-deliver. Instead, getting things done, making progress and having small impacts in an agile-like fashion can lead to better long-term outcomes.

Thanks to David Scarola, The Alternative Board!

21) Be Bold

“Results go to the bold.” – by Rupert Murdoch

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I really didn’t make any money until I stepped out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it’s the smallest companies that have the best ideas, but big or small, you don’t truly gain if you’re doing business like everyone else. Results go to the trailblazers – be BOLD, baby!!!

Thanks to Rosaria Cain, CEO of knoodle!

22) Consistency & Persistence

“Feast on Faith and Fast on Fear”

This quote reminds to be consistent and persistent even when I don’t see the results I desire.

Thanks to Lucinda Cross!

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of Gresham Harkless Jr.
Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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  • Amazing article! Fun to see which ones I already know and like! My favorite has to be Jonathan since he is such a favorite person of mine being the dynamic and articulate guy who always knows what to say!
    Ellen Macieiski
    Buildingabrandonline.com/Ellen100

  • great inspiring quotes ! Thanks for sharing ! Johan Persyn

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