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17 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) Simplicity & Clarity

“You don’t need to outdo the competition. It’s expensive and defensive. Underdo your competition. We need more simplicity and clarity.” – Jason Fried

This quote speaks volumes to me because when I started my business, like most entrepreneurs, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I wanted to do it all. I offered nearly thirty different digital marketing services. Slowly I began to notice this left leads very confused because there were too many options. After refining our services to only what we do best, I noticed a huge uptick in leads because they were able to better comprehend our offers. Remember that your business doesn’t need to have hundreds of different services and features to be successful. Focus on doing a few things great rather than a lot mediocre.

Thanks to Dan Scalco, Digitalux!

2) Failures & Luck

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” – Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks

This is one of my favorite entrepreneur quotes, because it is simply to truth. While most entrepreneurs are worried about what other people are saying or how they are being told their ideas won’t work… other entrepreneurs are getting work done and making progress. There isn’t enough time in our lives to worry about what other people think — and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter anyway.

Thanks to Zac Johnson, Blogging.org!

3) Thinking Out-of-the-Box

“Nobody wants a 1/4 inch drill—what they want is a 1/4 inch hole.” —Theodore Levitt, Harvard professor, marketing

I like to recall this quote when developing marketing or sales strategy, particularly when I know some out-of-the-box thinking will be required to maneuver a hurdle.

Thanks to Orun Bhuiyan, SEOcial

4) Entrepreneurship

“Live a few years of your life like noone else will, so that you can live the rest of your life like noone else can” -Unknown

The statement above should “hit home” with any fellow entrepreneur. The reason we live everyday, the reason we stay up late, the reason we go without sleep, the reason we miss our families now, during a startup, is so that we can do what we want later in life. When you have the drive, the motivation, the intelligence, and most importantly the confidence, then there is noone that can stand in your way except yourself. Establishing a career working for someone else is great…. Creating something that you are passionate about and watching it grow is rewarding.

Thanks to Brian Hays, Patriot Restaurant Delivery LLC!

5) Integrity

“Always honor your integrity, as no one can ever take that from you.”

The best piece of advice I received was from David Speakman, MD of Travel Counsellors PLC. David told me, ‘Always honor your integrity, as no one can ever take that from you.’ I am so thankful that he told me that, because many times along the way when things were tough, there were opportunities where we could have cut corners and done things maybe a little easier and more cost efficiently. However, my angel on my shoulder reminded me that my integrity was invaluable. I walked away from some very lucrative deals at the thought that it could impact on my integrity. It is one of BubbleBum’s core values.

Thanks to Grainne Kelly, BubbleBum!

6) Innovation

Innovate or Die – SVP of Hardware, Microsoft

The best business quote I’ve heard was from a SVP of Hardware at Microsoft. He said to me, ‘Innovate or Die.’ I am really thankful for this advice, because it has helped me shape the way I run my company. I know that if I don’t keep innovating and bringing new products to market, then my corporation will not survive.

Thanks to Sari Davidson-Crevin, BooginHead!

7) Vision

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

As I understand it is actually debatable whether this is what he said verbatim, but in any case, this was his perspective. Many people today blindly follow the “lean” methodology, taking their judgment out of the picture and building the product purely based on user feedback. Ford built what is arguably the most transformative invention of all time, and clearly had a very different approach. I don’t think it means there is anything wrong with “lean.” But I like this quote because it demonstrates the importance of having vision as well.

Thanks to Max Galka, Metrocosm!

8) Vulnerability

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. – Brene Brown

To be an entrepreneur takes vulnerability. It’s scary to tell people your new idea. I feel privileged that I work with creative people. I help authors promote their books and realize their dreams. Authors share their stories, ideas and expertise for the world to see, read and evaluate. What authors do is the ultimate in vulnerability. I feel fortunate that I have the privilege to work with such brave people. To see your dream come true, you have to be vulnerable and brave too.

Thanks to Fauzia Burke, FSB Associates!

9) Fear

“Don’t let someone’s limited vision of who you are and what you are capable of, detract you from what you know you are supposed to do in life!” – Unknown

One of the biggest challenges all entrepreneurs face is fear. Fear can be manifested from the unknown; however, more so than not, fear can be derived from the naysayers all entrepreneurs will face at one point or another in their pathway to success. The collateral damage of an entrepreneur’s fear is to stall or stop taking action in moving toward a dream; and, this is a tragedy.

Thanks to John Frazier, BizBuzz America!

10) Try Something Else

“If at first you don’t succeed, try something else.” – Phallin Marie

My favorite business quote is actually one I coined. For several years I have been searching for my niche business. And last year I discovered it. I found myself just repeating this over and over when I realized that I didn’t succeed at what I was trying to, I actually tried something new thus the phrase, “If at first you don’t succeed, try something else” I know it probably seems like a scape goat, but if it’s not working it maybe time to try something else.

Thanks to Phallin Marie, Four Sisters Farm Soap Co.!

11) Failure

“I am so good at failure, it’s like my specialty” – Barbara Corcoran

It describes the journey of being an entrepreneur so well – that it is riddled with failures and what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones. You just have to fail well. I love it.

Thanks to Sonia F. Lakhany, Lakhany Law, PC!

12) Procrastination

“Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not ” – Kop Kopmyer

Because it is a great reminder not to put things off. If you have a call to make, do t. An e-mail to reply to do it. A report to write, do it. Putting things off, leads to an ever growing to-do list, with the chance you will forget things. Also when you do what you should do, it frees you up to work on your business.

Thanks to Colin Myles!

13) Prioritization

“Protect the downside, and the upside takes care of itself.” – Seth Klarman

This quote helps me prioritize and see clearly, particularly during times of rapid growth and expansion.

Thanks to Ben Miller, Fundrise!

14) Figure it Out

“Just do it and figure it out as you go” – unknown

I used to think that I must have all the answers before I started my own venture. So I was postponing and procrastinating for months. When I first read this quote I questioned my perspective and it was a real eye opener. Since my old believings brought me to no action I decided to try this one. What if it works? After I quit my full time corporate job last summer, I tried a lot of different things. Now I’m about to participate in my first ever contest – for jewelry makers. And, by the way, I have a degree in Finance. Just do
it!

Thanks to Gabriela, Chic Le Belle!

15) Secret of Success

“The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” – Mark Twain

These words, from Mark Twain, perfectly encapsulate how we must approach what we spend half or more of our waking hours toiling away on. I learned the spirit of this statement from my mentor, Arnold’s Way owner Arnold Kauffman.

Thanks to Brian Rossiter, Fruit-Powered.com!

16) Turning Up

“95% of Success is turning up but not showing up to work leads to 100% failure.” – Woody Allen

To stay successful in business, you have to launch, market, and sell every day- if you aren’t there- none of it happens!

Thanks to Philip Rooke, Spreadshirt!

17) Persistence

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
― Calvin Coolidge

Thanks to John Huntinghouse!

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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