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- The road to success is filled with pain and hardship
While on the road, you’re not going to have many friends. You need to look within yourself for the motivation to keep moving forward, even though nothing around you looks like success. This is what makes Jim Rohn’s quote hit home for me: “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” Anyone can make excuses, but it takes a real leader to have the ability to not blame the direction of the wind but to instead change their sail to keep moving in the right direction.
Thanks to Brian Schraut, R.F. Schraut Heating & Cooling!
#2- Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall.” – Confucius. As an entrepreneur, the powerful quote inspires me to embrace obstacles rather than fear them.
Thanks to Bryan Sarlitt, Nomader!
#3- Two quotes
The first is the famous Zig Ziglar quote, “You can have anything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” This has been the guiding principle in how I created my business. It was my goal to create as many ‘wins’ as possible. (Buyers win, content creators win, affiliates win, and as a result of those wins, we win.) My second favorite quote isn’t necessarily a business quote, but it definitely applies to the sense of pride and fulfillment most aspire to in their life’s work. In the final episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White makes the best public declaration that will make the hairs stand up on the back of your head when he admitted, “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And… I was really… I was alive.”
Thanks to Melissa Slawsky, Brainiac Bundles!
#4- It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them
They went out and happened to things.² It is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. As an entrepreneur it is such a great reminder that action is what drives us and brings our vision and dreams to reality. We are wired to make things happen. We see a path and through a lot of hard work, persistence, determination and elbow grease we inspire others to help bring it to life. Successful people from da Vinci to Michael Jordan have noted that people would be very surprised if knew how hard these masters worked to achieve what they did in their careers. Success is not by luck it is a lot of hard work that leads to what we see as a positive outcome there are no overnight sensations.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#5- My favorite quote is about resiliency and businesses by Mark Cuban
“It only takes one win to become successful. The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job, or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once” I love the Quote because he’s right… the beauty of business is no matter how many times we strike out and fail we only have to be right one time to achieve success.
Thanks to Bryan Clayton, GreenPal!
#6- The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people can pull together as a team
The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people can pull together as a team. Simon Sinek This quote speaks to the importance of working together and collaboration which is the bedrock of success. Too many business books focus on individual achievement; I believe great things only happen when a group of smart, talented, driven people work together towards a common goal.
Thanks to Kristi Piehl, Media Minefield!
#7- Discover your uniqueness, and learn to exploit it in the service of others – you’ll be guaranteed happiness, success, and prosperity. – Larry Winget
This is one of my favorite quotes from Larry Winget, who I’ve followed for a long time. It really speaks to me, especially now that I’ve had a solid 10+ years of entrepreneurial experience under my belt. I’ve sold everything from real estate to DVDs and even did a stint in my early twenties as a franchisee. But honestly, I don’t think I would’ve been able to appreciate it as much back then, because I’ve learned that it really takes time, experience, and a ton of trial and error to get to know the unique elements that you possess and learn to harness them to serve others. I like to think that I’ve come close to achieving that with HigherMe – every day I walk into work with a sense of purpose and a drive to achieve something great with our amazing team. And I can’t wait to see what lies in store for us next!
Thanks to Rob Hunter, HigherMe!
#8- The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same – Colin R. Davis
This quote resonates with me because failure is not the end of the road, but rather the beginning of discovery. Failure is in its simplest form is finding out how not to do something to get the desired result. As a serial entrepreneur, I have failed far more than I have succeeded but each failure was a valuable lesson in growth. Sometimes trial and error are our best teachers as we seek to reinvent ourselves or our brand. Success could be defined as having the fortitude to chalk failure up to experience and go back to the drawing board. Nothing great was ever created without adversity!
Thanks to Anza Goodbar
#9- Less is more
Our world is increasingly complex. Options abound in every direction yet time is limited. Sometimes we just want quick answers or updates so we can move onto the next thing that is vying for our attention. Less is more. Give people what they want, when they want it, and with as much crispness and clarity as possible.
Thanks to Donna Duncan, B-SeenOnTop!
#10- I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have
My favorite business quote is from Thomas Jefferson, *I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.* For me this encompasses the true why not me? spirit of entrepreneurship. In business, we wake up every morning knowing that the more doors we open, the more likely we are to find the one that leads to a new sale, a great employee, or a priceless partnership that compounds into the overnight successes we see on places like CEO Blog Nation.
Thanks to Jeff Miller, AE Home Group!
#11- Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish
As a Founder of Jemcastor.com – Marketer in Pink and a full-time Global Marketing Executive, there are many opportunities for me to be content but just as this quote implies, I refused to. Every morning, I wake up hungry for new achievements, projects, and lessons. With this quote, it constantly reminds me to step outside my comfort zone and not be afraid to make mistakes. Inspired by Steve Jobs, I walk this business journey staying hungry and foolish!
Thanks to Jeanne Marie Castor!
#12- People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic
This quote resonates with me and my business because as an interior decorator, I’m not in the home business; I’m in the people business. Without making a honest connection with each client that I have, I’m not going to be able to create the best designs that I can for them. The most rewarding part of my job is setting down a design at a proposal meeting and having a client simply say wow. That speechlessness is the magic that I’m creating, which is the whole reason I do what I do. I keep this quote at my workspace to help me keep that in mind.
Thanks to Ashley Rose Marino, Ashley Marino Designs LLC!
#13- Your goal should never be starting a company. Focus on the change you want to make
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg once said, Your goal should never be starting a company. Focus on the change you want to make. I think of our customers, their health issues, and their specific needs, and it helps put into perspective how we can help make their experience better. When that is the focus, everything else — the way we treat customers, the level of customer service we offer — falls into place.
Thank to Harrison Doan, Saatva!
#14-Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art
Andy Warhol said Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.* I started a business specifically about the business of art. The people I serve are filmmakers, screenwriters, and other media pros who are looking for a way to make a living doing what they love. My challenge is to help them understand that building a business is an art. It’s not a chore or an impediment. It’s an opportunity to express yourself to the world. How you do business, with whom you do business, the work you elect to do and the projects you pass on, are all creative expressions. One can look back at the business decisions made by a professional artist and one can see who they were, what they value, the statement they made to the world we live in, and how they changed that world. Their business is their masterpiece.
Thanks to Nancy Fulton, EntertainmentIndustryEvents!
#15- I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them
My favorite business quote is from no other than Warren Buffett who once said I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will. This reinforces the need for a company to have a good, long-term business model and one that is not dependent upon the talents of a specific leader. Essentially, if you have a sound enough business model, you can not only survive but can thrive under a mediocre leader.
Thanks to Robert R. Johnson, The American College of Financial Services!
#16- Better be a lean moorhen on a pond than a fat sparrow in a cage
As business owners and entrepreneurs, the allure of ‘VC funding’ is very real – and at times, very distracting. And, there are a lot of disadvantages to raising venture capital – spending a lot of time trying to raise the capital, the very low probability of ever getting any, the loss of ownership, the loss of control, and the yoking with investors that may not share your values – to name but a few. That said, many times the answers to our ‘business questions’, catalysts for new ideas, and necessary grounding doesn’t come from business books or traditional advice, it comes from looking outside our usual genres and (gasp) taking time away from work… My favorite business quote: “Better be a lean moorhen on a pond than a fat sparrow in a cage.” In short, venture capital is a lot like debt bondage. And, the reason most of us start businesses in the first place is to get rid of the boss. For me, the quote is a reminder of the freedom and liberty I truly seek.
Thanks to Greg Archbald, GreaseBook!
#17- The biggest risk is not taking any risk. – Mark Zuckerberg
A short quote, but a pithy one. I have this quote in a frame on my office wall. I work in legal digital marketing, a very competitive field. To remain a step ahead of the competition requires constant innovation and the ability to look beyond the wolf pack mentality. Failure to take risks in a competitive environment can result in your being left behind. The quote also has meaning beyond the office. One should also not forget to take risks in life and love. Risks are the catalyst that can take something average and make it truly exceptional.
Thanks to Jennifer Poole, Nadrich & Cohen!
#18- Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming – Alice Walker
I like this one because it’s a daily reminder that you’re working towards a goal. Similar in thought to dress for the job you want, not the on you have. If you go through the day taking care of the tasks you need to build your future you’ll get there sooner than you think.
Thanks to Teajai ( TJ) Kimsey, Crystal Structures!
#19- “Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face”- Mike Tyson
I like this quote because I run a startup and have had several successful startups in the past. I always cringe when someone asks for our “plan” but then criticizes a little detail like the fact that our color is “orange” and not something more “friendly” (true story). The truth is a plan is just an idea- action is what actually happens when you are faced with reality. Having a good plan can help illustrate that the Co-Founders and Team are well prepared and will likely handle the curve balls that will come our way.
Thanks to Sotereas (Teris) Pantazes, EFynch.com!
#20- Take care of your team and they’ll take care of you
Something that I live by is take care of your team and they’ll take care of you. I think company culture is extremely important in a successful career no matter what role you play. One of my favorites if from Shelley Zalis, she is the CEO of The Girls Lounge and The Female Quotient. I interviewed her about a year or so ago on her success and she said: Learn all the rules, and then break all the ones that don’t make any sense. She talks about redefining women in business and understanding the rules that are in place but not following the ones that are pointless.
Thanks to Celeste Durve, VIPER!