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24 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 – Pain pushed you until a vision pulls you.

Image Credit: Ray Higdon

My favorite quote is from the Reverend Dr. Michael Beck with and he says, Pain pushed you until a Vision pulls you. When I was dead broke and in foreclosure, pain was certainly pushing me around. It was when I caught a vision of building a new company that I stopped feeling all that pain and built a company from scratch to being recognized on the Inc 5000. I fully believe if an entrepreneur or really anyone is not consistent then they just don’t have a vision of who they want to become.

Thanks to Ray Higdon, Higdon Group!

#2 – Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund

Image Credit: Christoph Seitz

My favorite business quote as it relates to work ethic is: “Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.” It’s German and translates into “morning hour has gold in its mouth”, same as “early bird catches the worm”. It’s amazing how much you can get done in the early morning hours when most people still sleep. It’s also when my mind is most clear. Take advantage of the extra time you have to make your business rise above the competition.

Thanks to Christoph Seitz, CFR Rinkens!

#3 – You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take

Image Credit: Dora Herrera

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take ~ Wayne Gretzky. My Mama, the founder of Yuca’s Hut in Los Feliz, CA, didn’t allow a lack of college degrees or a business plan to deter her from launching her dream. She saw in a converted 8′ x 10′ shoeshine stand the perfect opportunity for her first dive into the restaurateur life. She would be the cashier, cook, marketer, and any other role that was needed. Just open the door already! She fired many shots: She offered authentic Mexican food to a base that made faces at anything that was not a hard shell taco. She applied guerrilla marketing principles before the term was even invented. She served her customers top quality meats and produce in a time when everyone was focused on quantity and low price. Mama Yuca’s is lucky 41 years later to have a well-loved, prosperous, and award winning business. Today, I am the one following her example and firing the shots on all cannons!

Thanks to Dora Herrera, Yuca’s Restaurants!

#4 – Do what you never thought possible

Image Credit: Christine King

Do what you never thought possible -Christine King. I began to use that quote after I broke my back & was paralyzed from the waist down. The Doctors couldn’t say whether or not I’d walk again, however they said I didn’t die because I was fit. From that day forward I vowed that if I ever got out of that hospital bed, I’d change my career to educate the world about the vital importance of health and fitness. For over 20 years now we’ve been helping people do things THEY never thought possible!!

Thanks to Christine King, YourBestFit.com!

#5 – Always deliver more than expected

Image Credit: Sean Mallon

I wanted to share one from Larry Page that I try to live by: “Always deliver more than expected.” —Larry Page, Google co-founder.I think it really sums up what it takes to be successful in business – providing more value than is expected and making the customer feel valued. It’s obviously worked for Google and, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for any business!

Thanks to Sean Mallon, Bizdaq!

#6 – The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.

My favourite business quote is from Jordon Belfort, the author of Wolf of Wall Street. While I don’t see that kind of “businessman” as any kind of inspiration to me, the quote itself is honest and motivating, especially during times when I’m struggling to get motivated or making excuses for a lack of progress. The quote: “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

Thanks to Ben Taylor, Home Working Club!

#7 – Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Image Credit: Vincent Nero

Successories invented the proliferation of business motivational quotes via the motivational poster back in 1987. The quote above from Andrew Carnegie is featured on our iconic Teamwork Rowers Motivational Poster which has been a best seller for over 30 years and now found in countless offices. It’s an important quote for employees and business owners to internalize, because a company is people working toward success. It says it all right there.

Thanks to Vincent Nero, Successories!

#8 – You cant change the world working part time.

Image Credit: Gene Caballero

I am co founder of GreenPal which has been described as Uber for lawn care. No quote rings more true when it comes to starting your own business. My grandfather was a successful entrepreneur and he told me that he wasn’t the smartest guy but was never outworked. There are 3 8-hour work days in one 24 hour day. Pick which two you want to work and you will be successful. You can’t change the world working part time.

Thank you to Gene Caballero, Your Green Pal!

 

#9 – If you don’t have the best then make the best of what you have!

Image Credit: Harshit Jain

To be honest, I don’t really know who wrote it but this quote is the one that always helps me keep hustling and keep going on whenever I find myself stuck somewhere or feel frustrated and depressed. There are many times when you have to tackle situations like these as an entrepreneur. Being pushing through challenges all alone on one tough road is a hell of a job and is much harder to do in reality. This quote always inspires me and forces me to rise up a belief in myself that I’ve got this no matter how hard it is to accomplish what I’ve planned.

Thanks to Harshit Jain, Hobbiesphere!

#10 – It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than doubling your traffic.

Image Credit: Lauren Pawell

My name is Lauren Pawell, and I’m the founder and owner of Bixa Media, a digital marketing agency focused on helping entrepreneurs generate and nurture more leads through their WordPress & Shopify websites. It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than doubling your traffic. — Bryan Eisenberg. As an online marketing specialist, I love this quote from Bryan Eisenberg. Why? Because so many business owners focus primarily on growing their website traffic as a way to grow their business. But this is a long, hard road that typically doesn’t see payoff until 6 months to 1 year later. However, if the business owner instead focused on doubling their conversion rate and getting more leads from their existing traffic…he or she would see results far more quickly. Equally as important, once they decided to pursue traffic growth, they’d be in far better position to get greater results.

Thanks to Lauren Pawell, Bixa Media!

#11 – If we give people tasks, we get doers. If we give people authority, we get leaders.

Image Credit: Brianna Valleskey

This quote is from Oleg Vishnepolsky the global CTO at DailyMail Online and Metro.co.uk. He writes often on the topics of leadership, management and growth, but this quote struck me. Before I started my own business, I experienced both types of leadership: The diminisher, who requires complete control over all projects and tells employees what to do and how to do it; and the multiplier, who empowers employees by granting them ownership over projects and guiding them along the way. The multiplier had an enormous amount of success and loyalty from her employees, while the diminsher sucked the motivation from his team, earned no loyalty from his employees and slowly watched them all leave the company. In the knowledge economy, your employees are your greatest asset. Oleg’s idea is even backed by research. When I work with my clients and their employees, I utilize this strategy. And it works. Instead of telling them what to do and how to do it, I help them articulate their pain points, goals and potential action steps, while giving them the authority to decide what’s best for their company and how they’d like to see the action steps carried out.

Thanks to Brianna Valleskey, Brave Ink LLC!

#12 – If you want something better, you have to be willing to DO something different.

Image Credit: Terri Maxwell

I’ll never forget the day. It was March 2008. After years of hard work, I succeeded in building a multi-million dollar marketing consulting firm that served mostly Fortune 1000 clients. The business was thriving, I was financially free, but … I hated working inside my own company. It wasn’t the people who worked for me, or our clients. I loved them. It also wasn’t the stress of business ownership. I loved being a CEO and an entrepreneur, and the risks I took to start and grow the company provided more income than I ever earned in corporate America. What I hated … was … the work itself. I just wasn’t passionate about marketing “stuff” anymore. I needed my life, as well as my work, to matter. Realizing there was no way out, and keenly aware of the pending economic crisis on its way, I sold the company and started over. I didn’t know where the journey would head, but it didn’t matter. Purpose was calling. This lends itself to my own favorite business quote, If you want something better, you have to be willing to DO something different. Why? The art of being an entrepreneur is knowing that you have the power to create your own reality.

Thanks to Terri Maxwell, Promote on Purpose!

#13 – Mix of Two

Image Credit: Reagan Toal

My favorite quote is really a mixture of two. One is from Colin Powell: There are no secrets to success. It is the resolution of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. The other is from my father, who used to say that success happened when preparation met opportunity. These two quotes work in harmony. Success cannot happen until you have put in enormous amounts of hard work and are prepared for when the opportunity to succeed comes your way. Along the way there will doubtless be failures and each of those is yet another opportunity to rise up and overcome. However, through doing these things, you put yourself and your company in a position to flourish.

Thanks to Reagan Toal, Federal Brace!

#14 – Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Image Credit: Kristin Marquet

I am a small business owner and the quote that resonates the most with me is the following Dale Carnegie saying: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”—Dale Carnegie. As someone who has hit a wall a million times and failed in the past, I believe tenacity is the most important quality an entrepreneur must have to become a success, followed by resiliency. You need to be get up after you fall. If you don’t, you won’t ever become a success.

Thanks to Kristin Marquet, CreativeDevelopmentAgency.com!

#15 – It never really works the way you plan it. It’s all about resilience.

Image Credit: Jan Maclatchie

I own a brand strategy agency in New York. The pace is a constant sprint and the requirements for perfection are high since we work in the home decor and design industry. Years ago I was reading an interview with Russell Simmons in which he said this: “It never really works the way you plan it. It’s all about resilience.” I thought it was so simple and brilliant that I wrote it down and kept it in front of my desk for a long time. Now it is just in my head always. It helps me have the agility to make adjustments on the fly that benefit brands. It gives me courage to create inroads for our client brands to innovate and be first to market. Market conditions shift, it rains on event days, vendors let you down, stuff happens, but the brands that prevail are those that stick to their vision while finding ever-evolving ways to listen, engage and delight audiences. He’s so right. It’s all about resilience.

Thanks to Jan Maclatchie, JanMacBrands!

#16 – Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it

Image Credit: Oli Russell-Cowan

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Goethe As entrepreneurs, we can feed ourselves a laundry list of excuses and choose to buy into fear. I love this quote by Goethe because it reminds me that instead of thinking about what would happen if I failed, I remember to focus on the genius and magic that comes with bold risk. Do you want to look back on your life and think I could have or I should have? That feeling of knowing that you could have made a difference in the lives of others or created something truly innovative should be the driver of pursuing your dream. Visualize your life and vision cast based on what your true desires are. Focus on that thought; live and breathe it every day until it comes to fruition.

Thanks to Oli Russell-Cowan, Rad Season!

#17 – Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined

Image Credit: Shiree Odiz

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau. If you’re running a small business, it’s so important for you to love what you do. It’s not easy to start a business but when it’s your passion, it makes challenges seem exciting, problems appear fixable and success becomes even more gratifying.

Thanks to Shiree Odiz, Shiree Odiz!

#18 – Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret

Image Credit: Marty Spargo

I’m Marty, the Co-Founder of REIZE. Below is my favorite quote that fuels me to give my business 110%:. Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret – Helen Keller. This quote keeps me going in business because there are many days when you wonder if it’s all worth it. This quote reminds me to stay disciplined and keep getting up and working hard, day after day, even when everything seems hopeless. Being disciplined like this feels like suffering sometimes, but the alternative is to suffer the pain of regret which is must worse.

Thanks to Marty Spargo, REIZE Energy Drinks!

#19 – Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships

Image Credit: Fabrice Dumans

My favorite business quote comes from NBA legend Michael Jordan, he stated ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’ In order to have a successful business, you need a strong team by your side. Individual accomplishments are great, but in order for a business to be successful there needs to be structure, support and competent, intelligent colleagues that can help elevate the business to the next level. A great team with the same passion, drive and goals can create the perfect environment for a successful business.

Thanks to Fabrice Dumans, Timyo!

#20 – If you only do what you can do you will never be more than who you are

Image Credit: Dr. Ameerzeb Pirzada

If you only do what you can do you will never be more than who you are!! Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda 3. Reflecting on this quote motivated me to start my own business. All my worries of being scared of failure just disappeared into nothing. If you really think about this, if you want to be successful you have to go above and beyond your natural limits, get out of your comfort zone and then you will be able to stand out from the rest of your competitors. Yes, it’s going to be tough and yes you’re going to have sleepless nights but that’s the point now isn’t it? Hard work is the key. Even if you fail, even if you fall, you will evolve into something amazing and you have to remember that this is not the end. Beautiful things are yet to come along.

Thanks to Dr. Ameerzeb Pirzada, Z Dental Studio!

#21 – What’s obvious is not always apparent

Image Credit: Mark Hughes

What’s obvious is not always apparent”- Mark Hughes. This is my favorite quote because it’s simple and speaks to peoples everyday working actions. Often times when faced with a decisions there is an obvious path that can be taken, yet it is frequently overlooked. People get hung up in the small details of simple tasks and overthink a problem that has an easy solution. I believe this quote encourages people to stop overthinking and realize the options presented in front of them. This allows employees to make more effective and efficient business decisions.

Thanks to Mark Hughes, C3 Metrics!

#22 – Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up…

Image Credit: Manoj Marty Puranik

There is one quote which really stands out for me and I share it with my employees from time to time because it is very motivational. Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun
the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running. This is very important to understand in the world of business. If you’re not out there hustling and doing the best you can, someone else will be there to run right past you.

Thanks to Manoj Marty Puranik, Atlantic.Net!

#23 – Stay self-funded as long as possible

Image Credit: Ryan Hogan

“Stay self-funded as long as possible.” — Garrett Camp. There’s something completely wrong in the business ecosystem when entrepreneurs are graded on their last round of fundraising, instead of their company’s performance. Celebrating failure is a surefire way to coddle egos, but learning from failure is the only genuine way to realize success. The institutions feeding into these strategies will crumble alongside. Spend precious time focusing on launching, acquiring feedback and achieving product/market fit. It’s important to stay confident and agile in an environment where you have a million opinions be forced on you. You should rest easy knowing that there is a path that doesn’t require $1M in seed pre-revenue. Hustle, grit and a high-risk tolerance will always prevail, in my opinion. Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s is a prime example of hustle at its finest.

Thanks to Ryan Hogan, Hunt a Killer!

#24 – Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step

Image Credit: Janet

My favourite quote which is quoted by the honourable Dr Martin Luther King Jr is “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” We all can have the best laid out plans in business but untimely we are taking that step in faith. We don’t really know if it will work or not. However to find out we must take that step in taking action. .This is where many in business fail or become stuck. They choose to prepare the path as best as possible. Making sure every area is covered before they take that leap of faith. However the longer you prepare the hard it is to take that step. I’m not saying not to get your plans or tasks in order but don’t plan for every eventuality. Especially, when you don’t fully know if events will happen, or change along the way. Like the quote states, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, but just enough to allow you to move forward.

Thanks to Janet Walker, JWGInternational!

What’s your favorite quote? Tell us in the comments below.

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

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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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