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15 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 world.

1) The Dark

I own iCandy Homes which is a real estate rehabbing company in Chicago. One of the quotes I love I actually can’t remember who said it but I heard it a while back on “The School of Greatness” podcast that Lewis Howes does, one of his guests said it. The quote is “The dark provides the optimal context for an entrepreneur. If the path was well lit it would be crowded.” I especially love this quote because as an entrepreneur I feel like I’m constantly doing things different than 99% of the people around me. I don’t do the 9-5, I don’t have a secure and steady paycheck, and I’m constantly take “risk” and trying new ideas to see what is going to be the most effective, but the success that we have had is because we are willing to walk into the darkness and try things that no one around us are doing and we get results no one around us are getting. I love it!

Thanks to Kirby Atwell, iCandy Homes!

2) Poor Business

“A Business that makes nothing but money is a poor business,” said by Henry Ford is my favorite quote because it has inspired me to give back and help rebuild my local community. I founded my own charity, The Dream Builders Project, in order to give back on a greater scale. This quote inspires me to take my business to the next level through my philanthropic acts and is a constant reminder of what is truly important.

This is Mayer Dahan, The Dream Builders Project!

3) Start Again…and Again

“Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again” This wonderful line comes from the song, “Pick Yourself Up” in the film Swing Time. Parents and teachers still sing this verse almost everyday to our children. (I know…I also own 2 childcare facilities, and have 3 kids). This single line embodies the mentality of every leader, CEO and entrepreneur – starting from childhood. We learned very early on that we’re going to fall down (it might even hurt), but we always got back up. We brush off our scrapped knee, the failed expedient or the bruised ego. We got up and we started again..and again…and again.

Thanks to Tammy Lee Dwyer, The Christmas Pickle Tradition!

4) Next Level

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” ― Henry Ford. I’m reminded of this great quote quite often in day-to-day business. It’s easy to simply rehash what people currently want. To take your business to the next level, you need to have a vision of what people will want if they only knew the option existed.

Thanks to Ross Cohen, BeenVerified.com!

5) Fired Up

“I want to learn as much as I can about the things that turn me on….and I live by that.” – Geddy Lee, Rush. As a Director of Marketing in the startup world, never a day goes by that I’m not awash in new ideas, techniques, and concepts. This quote from Geddy Lee of Rush gets me fired up every day to dig in at work, learn new things, and break new ground. Before you conclude that Mr. Lee is not a businessman, consider the incredibly successful brand and product he (along with bandmates Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart) have created in Rush.

Thanks to Ryan O’Donnell, Avalara TrustFile!

6) Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

“Imperfect Action Beats Perfect Inaction” unknown In entrepreneurship there is no perfect time. The saying hesitation is the enemy of success is all so true. I’ve seen so many wantrepreneurs worry about websites, business cards, office setup and a bunch of other nonsense that doesn’t drive revenues. You’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable for success to happen.

Thanks to Mike Kawula, Social Quant!

7) Financial Savvy

“Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1”–Warren Buffett. This is my favorite quote because this is a very inspiring quote. For us to achieve anything in business we must be financially savvy. For some of us this is hard lesson. This is also teaches there is no substitute for financial intelligence. Financial intelligence is a vital skill in understanding business. Do you have financial intelligence? That is the question you have to ask yourself. This quote really inspires me to be proficient in understanding financial intelligence and to do great things.

Thanks to Dr. Anthony Miles, Miles Development Industries Corporation!

8) Take Action

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Chinese saying) I love this quote because it’s a reminder for me to take action, even if it’s something small. For example, when I decided to launch a podcast, it was such a daunting task (figuring out recording software, contacting people to be interviewed, setting up a webpage, creating graphics, creating intros and outros, etc.), but that quote made me realize that I only have to take one step right then. So, that day, all I did was pick a name for the podcast. But taking just that one step helped me take all the others because I got started.

Thanks to Louise Hendon, Paleo Living Magazine!

9) Caring

This is my favorite quote that says: “The key to repeat customers is treating them with dignity, respect and giving them a piece of your soul while supplying them with a great product or service! Why you ask? Because business as in life is caring about the individuals, wants, needs and feelings all at the same time!”

Thanks to Dominic Munafo, Original Painter’s Homemade Ice Cream!

10) Migration from Small Town Mindset

“There is no shortage of money, only a shortage of people thinking big enough” Grant Cardone. I come from a small town in the middle of a cornfield in Illinois. I was raised to think small. To get a safe job. To contract and not take risk. This quote hits home because it represents my migration from the small town mindset and has allowed me with the fuel to start my financial planning practice.

Thanks to Brearin Land, Levi-Wolfe Financial LLC!

11) Be Right Once

My favorite business quote is “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” -by Drew Houston CEO and Founder of Dropbox. The reason I like this quote is because despite my age, I’ve started several different business that have failed. So when I end up letting the idea go, I just come at a new business with a different strategy and a lot of lessons learned. Aarons Autosport is finally the only business that is working out! It has allowed me to quit my job and literally create my own work hours so I can finish school. It’s pretty sweet! 😉

Thanks to Derrell Barton, Aarons Autosport!

12) Hustling

“It’s not about money or connections–it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone…And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.” – Mark Cuban. I love this quote because it combines a lot of truths about business. It reminds me that we are all on a level playing field, and that my competitors are out there hustling, so I need to ensure I am out hustling them. It also reminds me that failure is part of the journey and not a big deal, its simply another step on the way to success. The more I try, the more I fail, the closer I get to success and it doesn’t matter how many times i fail … all I need is one success.

Thanks to John Grant, Captura!

13) Impossible is not a fact…it’s a dare!

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”–Muhammad Ali. This quote struck me so deeply that I built my entire TEDx talk around it. As I move into showing businesses how they can profit while making a difference on such issues as turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance–and going beyond sustainability to the world we all want, this quote is highly relevant It inspires me, and the audiences for my talks (which feature examples of “impossible” accomplishments ranging from prisoner-serving-life-sentence Nelson Mandela becoming president of a free South Africa to the International Space Station hurtling overhead at 17,000 mph, and then goes on to discuss how we can actually solve these intransigent problems.

Thanks to Shel Horowitz, Green Business Profitability!

14) Remember the Why

My favorite business quote also comes from the most impactful business book that I have read: The E-Myth Revisted by Michael Gerber. “Once you recognize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life, you can then go to work on your business, rather than in it, with a full understanding of why it is absolutely necessary for you to do so.” Talk about a light-bulb ah-ha moment for me! That simple quote says it all. As small business owners, we must work on our business building systems, processes; strategically and purposefully growing revenue. Most of us, went into business ownership because of a burning desire for freedom and it is that desire that we must remember each and every day.

Thanks to Lisa Baker-King, LBK Kreatives!

15) Exhausting Experiment

I guess this isn’t technically a business quote, but i am a story teller, and this is my business.
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” George Orwell, Author of the book 1984, he is probably the most influential writer on my writing style, the way I market, and how I sell my book. While it isn’t technically a business quote, it surely holds its weight. Most of the time, running a business isn’t a fun and enjoyable experience, but an exhausting experiment into the endurance of humanity. Despite this, entrepreneurs like myself feel a need to continue, whether pull by some god or otherwise. That is what makes a successful business. Not the amount of money made, but the ability to endure, no matter the cost.

Thanks to Austin Lugo, Existence and its Benevolence!

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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