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15 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Inspirational Business Quote

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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 – Run the Day

Photo Credit: Seth Lejeune

Photo Credit: Seth Lejeune

Either you run the day or the day runs you. – Jim Rohn. As a small business owner and realtor, I have found that before real work can begin that you need the right mindset. Too many get up in the morning only to have life basically happen to them, not for them. If one’s mindset is a reactive one, chances are slim that they will make any considerable headway toward their goals; if they have any at all. One of my true pleasures is instilling a proactive mindset in my employees and colleagues, for it is the cornerstone of success.

Thanks to Seth Lejeune, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

#2 – Try, Try Again

Photo Credit: Clinton Lee

Photo Credit: Clinton Lee

Without knocking the virtues of tenacity and perseverance, I love this W.C Fields quote: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. Very often in life we resort to old wisdom without questioning whether it is relevant to the circumstances. Sometimes it’s worth pausing and challenging the assumptions. In my line of work – assisting owners of small businesses sell their businesses – I often come across entrepreneurs who struggled against all the odds to establish and build their businesses, and they succeeded because they persisted and persisted. On the other hand, I have sadly also come across small businesses pursuing strategies that haven’t worked for them and where management would have been wise to accept defeat and move on to better opportunities. I guess it’s about knowing when to hold ’em and knowing when to fold ’em.

Thanks to Clinton Lee, The Exit Firm

#3 – The Most Amazing Way

Photo Credit: Nandita Godbole

Photo Credit: Nandita Godbole

About 5-6 years ago, I came across this quote by Richard Branson: Think: What is the most amazing way to do it? and it has guided my creative process ever since. As a cookbook author and blogger, I have a constant desire to think outside the box, to imagine beyond convention, to go beyond the norm. This quote challenges all the ‘status quo’ about writing, and about how the industry is perceived and executed. I begin every project with this quote and every-time I have finished the project, or think I have, I return to see if I feel that I have accomplished my goal of making something amazing. And it works every-time. I have created two unique cookbooks, gained many loyal followers and food enthusiasts and the journey has only begun. This quote serves to provide advice, as direction and also makes you feel accountable towards your own work – providing a wonderful balance between directed teaching and mentoring.

Thanks to Nandita Godbole, Curry Cravings

#4 – Persistence, Not Luck

Photo Credit: Elisa Wiener

Photo Credit: Elisa Wiener

When I thought that I couldn’t go on, I forced myself to keep going. My success is based on persistence, not luck.- Estee Lauder. I truly love and have lived by this quote for many years. I bring myself back to this quote when I am having a low time in business. I know that hard work, persistence, and never giving up are the keys as to why a business succeeds. When running a business you have to be willing to take hits every day, but you cannot allow them to let you give up. Persistence is key, and it’s the only way to keep a business afloat in this ever-changing business climate.

Thanks to Elisa Wiener, Reese and Rose

#5 – Love What You Do

Photo Credit: Simon Slade

Photo Credit: Simon Slade

My favorite business quote is a little cliched, but very important to me. Steve Jobs said, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do.’ This advice gave me the courage to quit my full-time job at Hewlett-Packard to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Three businesses later, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Being my own boss is a significant factor in my love for my job, and I love that my businesses, Affilorama, SaleHoo and Doubledot Media Limited, help others to also become their own bosses through e-commerce pursuits. It is my hope that our companies help others achieve occupational freedom so that our customers, too, love what they do.

Thanks to Simon Slade, SaleHoo

#6 – Never Give In

Photo Credit: Ron Soussa

Photo Credit: Ron Soussa

By far, my favorite quote is Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. by Winston Churchill. It is often shortened and paraphrased to Never, never, never give up! and it has been a source of inspiration to me over my years as a business owner. Things can often look bleak, especially at first. People around you might encourage you to throw in the towel, to give up on your dreams, or tell you that the odds are too difficult. But the rewards of owning your own business(es) are great, and so too must be the challenges one must endure in order to reap them. That is why I encourage perseverance and it has stood me in good stead many times over my career.

Thanks to Ron Soussa, Liberty Office Suites

#7 – Build Your Dream

Photo Credit: Russell Silver

Photo Credit: Russell Silver

If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs. -Tony Gaskins. Everybody has that one quote that resonates so deeply with them that, while they can’t remember when or where they first heard it, it rings through their ears every morning. That’s what this quote by Tony Gaskins is for me. People are often disillusioned into believing that the companies they work for were carved out of stone by some higher power, because to fit into your role, this is what society wants everyone to believe. For me, this quote is a humbling reminder that they were all created by people, usually not so different from you and I. So this quote really poses a serious ultimatum: with your limited time on this Earth, do you want to make your wildest dreams come true or simply follow the herd?

Thanks to Russell Silver, Fetch

#8 – Throwing a Curve

Photo Credit: Anne Setnor

Photo Credit: Anne Setnor

Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off…the right pitch will come along, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases.” -Rick Maksian. Tell everyone you’re going to quit your ‘secure’ corporate job to start your own company in two industries unfamiliar to most, pet food and entomophagy. I told everyone my dream job/life was to start a company making pet food utilizing insect protein. Instead of support, I got eye rolls, no comments, jokes behind my back, chuckles, people trying to talk me out of it, and those interjecting overwhelming negative comments when not even solicited for topics in which they were uneducated. The interjections were incredibly one-sided and time consuming, which slows you down. You learn to grow a backbone, cut off the negativity and find your inner voice when it gets to be too much bad beetle juice nonsense talk that interferes with your aspirations. Always trust your heart and your gut, but take your brain with you. Learn, educate yourself before taking an unfamiliar path, or speaking on a topic of which you are not versed inside, outside, upside down. If the voices in your head are singing, Go for it, but if it seems like the universe is conspiring to stop you, just remember, life will throw you curves…just keep fouling them off and when right pitch comes along, be prepared to run the bases.

Thanks to Anne Setnor, FORAGE Pet Foods

#9 – Hustle and Talent

Photo Credit: Chris Huntley

Photo Credit: Chris Huntley

Without hustle your talent will only get you so far. – Gary Vaynerchuck. To be blunt there are thousands of people that can do what you or I do. The difference comes down to execution and drive. I have known many naturally gifted people who spin their wheels into eternity – while I have known others that work, work, work until they get the desired results. If you were to ask me to bet on two entrepreneurs – one with talent and another with hustle – I would pick the one with hustle every single time. Nothing is going to be handed to you in life. It’s your responsibility to take the ball and kick it into the goal. Hustle is what takes your talents to the next level.

Thanks to Chris Huntley, Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services

#10 – Not About Money

Photo Credit: Garrett French

Photo Credit: Garrett French

Philanthropy is not about the money. It’s about using whatever resources you have at your fingertips and applying them to improving the world – Melinda Gates. At ZipSprout.com we help our clients align with social causes in need of support. We believe in the power of grassroots campaign. Now more than ever, brands have become more hyperlocal aware, noticing the great opportunities that come with engaging social causes, helping communities thrive and giving back. For companies and brands, we help them by building a loyal client base and getting that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with improving the world. For non profits, we match them with companies willing to help out, so they can focus more on their causes and ease their worry on their funding. It’s a win-win situation and at ZipSprout.com we are very happy to be the matchmakers of great partnerships

Thanks to Garrett French, ZipSprout

#11 – Missing Shots

Photo Credit: Isar Meitis

Photo Credit: Isar Meitis

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan. In business, you can’t dwell on the mistakes or the missed opportunities. You can only use your experiences to make you stronger, more knowledgeable, and more successful. Don’t ever shy away from an opportunity, because you’re afraid to fail.

Thanks to  Isar Meitis, Last Minute Travel

#12 – Play to Strengths

Photo Credit: Louie Balasny

Photo Credit: Louie Balasny

Whether you’re 9 or 90, stop trying to fix the things you’re bad at, and focus on the things you’re good at. – Gary Vaynerchuk. This couldn’t be more true. So much wasted energy goes into fixing things people are bad at, when in reality, it’s so much easier to swim with the stream and focus on your strengths. You’ll be more likely to try again after a failed attempt and most importantly you’ll be happier because you look forward to it. The old way of thinking was that you should work on your weaknesses? That’s dumb, you’ll be miserable. If there is something you need for your business but it takes a certain skill set that you lack, go find someone. There are so many talented people who can compliment you. Go find them and play to your strengths.

Thanks to Louie Balasny, Botkeeper

#13 – Tomorrow is Yours

Photo Credit: Doug Mitchell

Photo Credit: Doug Mitchell

Do you want to take Fridays off? How about Friday and Monday? What about taking a week off the office once a quarter? John C. Maxwell said it best, If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want do when you want to do them. I first read this on a sign in a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop many years ago. At the time I was just beginning to realize that if I wanted to take those extended weekends or sporadic vacations, I would need to put in the time now so that I could play more later in life. I found that procrastination didn’t fit in my business. Well said John Maxwell. In 2005, I started a life insurance general agency. I had been pretty successful as a life insurance agent for the first ten years of my career but I didn’t work many Fridays and never on the weekend. This all changed when I opened the doors to Ogletree Financial Services, LLC. Now Friday and Saturday were just another day of the week. During the early years of Ogletree Financial, I felt like I was missing out. No more Friday golf or skipping town for the lake or beach. My wife and I actually have the quote by Maxwell posted on the office wall and have lived by it for many years. It all started to click. The extra work that we had been putting in was starting to pay off. So about three years ago, not only were we able to start taking off on Friday but now we take off Monday too. A three or four-day weekend every week can’t be beat.

Thanks to Doug Mitchell, Ogletree Financial Services

#14 – Charging Less

Photo Credit:  Fred Zeglin

Photo Credit: Fred Zeglin

I have no problem with a man who charges less. He knows better than anyone what his work is worth. P.O. Ackley, Gunsmith. I have long felt that many entrepreneurs, especially new startups sell themselves short when they price their work. When you look around the market place and see the prices being charge it makes much more sense to emulate those charging higher prices, especially if they are well respected by industry and/or clients. Why? They have learned what it costs to be successful and make a living, in short if you can compete on quality, the you should ride the leaders coat tails on price too.

Thanks to Fred Zeglin, 4D Reamer Rentals LTD

 #15 – Powers Unknown

Photo Credit: Darian Chavez

Photo Credit: Darian Chavez

Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solves each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met. — William Clement Stone. If this isn’t the definition of a small business I don’t know what is. I live everyday with this quote and it keeps me going because it helps me understand that I am not alone in my struggle to make a living from what I love.

Thanks to Darian Chavez, Wild Texas Soaps

About CEO Blog Nation

This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. 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.
  • Leo Walker

    My favourite is “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches” by Napoleon Hill

    • ceoblognation

      That’s a great one. The power of the mind is often overrated.

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