Throughout history there have been great leaders and business moguls offering words to live by. Their words are passed around and written down to be a part of history. These words turn into the famous quotes we use today and acknowledge as powerful tools. For any entrepreneur there is likely a quote which fuels their creativity or reminds them why they are on this path in the first place. It could be from their favorite author or another business owner they admire, but the perfect business quote can work wonders when the cards are down. Below are some favorite business quotes from entrepreneurs.
Don Peteresen, former CEO of Ford Motor Company
My favorite business quote? This, from Don Peteresen, former CEO of Ford Motor Company: “Results depend on relationships.” It's broad in its coverage–we have relationships with co-workers, with customers, with superiors, with communities. But it's also specific in its encouragement to hone our respect for one another in order to work cooperatively and productively.
Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli
Paul Valery, Poet
You can’t be productive if you’re idling around. Poet Paul Valery once said, “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” This quote resonates with us because, in business, there’s no way to reach your goals and make your dreams come true if you’re sitting around doing nothing but fantasizing about your business’s potential. You must get up and act in order to make things happen. All the ideas that we come up with will serve no purpose if we simply daydream about their possibilities. We work with Valery’s quote in mind as motivation to stay productive and to make sure we don’t fall into the trap of daydreaming and fantasizing about all the prospective rewards our ideas could bring for our business. While planning and brainstorming are great practices and hold many benefits on their own, everything goes to waste without proper execution, if none of the ideas are put into play.
Thanks to David Miri, Awardable
Nolan Bushnell, Atari Founder
My favourite business quote is from ATARI founder Nolan Bushnell “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.” I think this says everything you need to know about the difference between success and failure. Nothing says “I’m not going to achieve anything today” more than making a dreaded “to do” list! If there’s something that you need to do then don’t write it on a list and plan to do it at some point in the future – do it now! Whatever you need to do, just do it (and, no, checking email Facebook and Twitter doesn’t count). The only way to turn your dream into a reality is to work on it, every day, starting with today.
Thanks to Mike Stoner, Magician
Oprah Winfrey, TV Personality
In my search for business growth I found it beneficial to surround myself with successful people that I could look up to. They provide you the opportunity to aim for bigger and better, to extend your ‘glass ceiling' . One of the many mentors I have for my business is Oprah Winfrey. She has certainly aimed at the stars and extended her reach and enthusiasm to many millions of every day people. One of my favourite quotes from her is “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams” . The concept of having dreams and goals are not new, whoever by visualizing them, they help connect the creative and logical sides of the brain creating magic and growth.
Thanks to Marney Perna, Kinique
George Bernard Shaw, Playwright
My personal favorite is: “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”– George Bernard Shaw
Thanks to Jeff Kurpuis, Orchard Corset
William Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, Business Tycoon
“Business is more exciting than any game.” – Lord Beaverbrook Running your own business is the best game you'll ever play with the most extensive playing field. It's more thrilling than high stakes poker, and with more rules than Mahjong. You're continually moving your pieces around to make the best use of the resources available to you; climbing ladders and jumping over snakes. I could spend the rest of my life learning all the rules and perfecting all the moves. I have to remember though that it is just a game; family and friends are more important.
Thanks to Chris Banks, ProWritingAid
Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
Thanks to Christina Daves, CastMedic Designs
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” ~ Albert Einstein. This is my favorite quote because it reminds me to always be providing value. Success will always follow value, and the mantra of EntrepreneurOnFire is “Inspiring Millions”.
Thanks to John Lee Dumas, EntrepreneurOnFire
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States
My favorite business quote can be applied to many things in life. My father had a copy of this quote taped up in the kitchen right over the telephone from the time I was little. He started his own business when I was about 10 years old. Thirty years later I did the same thing and this quote has stuck with me. I am a firm believer in everything it says. “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 alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ― Calvin Coolidge
Thanks to Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, Falcon Valley Group
Peter Drucker, Management Consultant
“There is nothing so useless as trying to become efficient at something you shouldn’t be doing at all.” ~Peter Drucker. By far, this is my favorite quote when it comes to business; especially in regards to the selection process. When less than 30% of the workforce is actively engaged in the work they do, according to the 2011 Gallup Management Journal’s Survey on Engagement, far too many hiring managers are trying to get better at analyzing criteria that do not guarantee job success, (i.e. prior work experience, degrees and interview skills.)
Thanks to Michael J. Stone, BuildaBetterWorkforce
Marcel Proust, Novelist
My favorite quote, although not necessarily confined to business, is by Marcel Proust: “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” The implications of this quote, from a business creativity and innovation standpoint, are vast. Seeing discarded coffee skins with new eyes yields a new energy drink. Spoiled milk becomes fabric. By the way, these are two real examples. There are many more.
Thanks to Dwayne K. Sutton
Thomas Edison, Inventor
Hands down my favorite quote for business is one attributed to Thomas Edison: “We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work“. I not only remind myself of that often I actually have it painted on the wall in my office as a reminder to all who enter.
Thanks to JP Jones, Collipsis Web Solutions
Orson Scott Card, Author
Here's my favorite quote for all things, but most especially for business. “There is no teacher but the enemy. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong. Today I am your enemy. Today I am your teacher.” Mazer Rackham – from the book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
Thanks to Douglas M. Wamsley, Wamsley Accounting, Inc.
Steve Jobs, Co-Founder Apple, Entrepreneur
Steve Jobs – “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
Thanks to Chris Huse, Media Strike
T.S. Eliot, Playwright, Poet
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot. The reason why I love this quote is because it encourage us to not only think outside the box, but to push forward as much as we think we can. It allows us the license to keep going. You can set a torable pain threshold and move full steam. Nothing happen? Keep going. You failed? Re-asses and go again. Change your plan. Make it better. Once you get there, you know how far you have gotten. I think this is the Swiss Army knife of quotes! It has so many different meanings and useful applications!
Thanks to Roberto Torres, Black and Denim
Fred Smith, Founder of FedEx
My favorite is one by Fred Smith, founder of FedEx: “If you want to innovate you have to be capable of making intuitive judgments. But intuition is guesswork. It's the amalgamation of a lot of stuff from a lot of different places that leads you to say about an idea, that it is a safe bet, not a fool's bet.” I memorized this 20 years ago when I saw this quote in INC magazine.
Thanks to Barry Carroll, Exclaimit!
Aldo Gucci, Fashion
Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten. – Aldo Gucci. Looking for the best deal? Be careful as you get what you pay for. The best deal is not always the lowest price. A higher quality product may cost a little more (sometimes a lot more), but it may last a lot longer. Or a store may charge a slightly higher price than a competitor, but the experience is better, the support is stronger, employees are more knowledgeable, etc. Quality and value are worth a reasonable premium. Aldo Gucci knew it and built an empire of retail stores with the highest quality merchandise – and a price to go along with it.
Thanks to Shep Hyken, Hyken
Steven Soderbergh, Producer/Director
My favorite business quote is one I heard very recently. It's from Steven Soderbergh, the producer/director. It addresses an aspect of our professional lives we tend to overlook. It's directed at filmmakers, but in this age of Facebook, Twitter, etc. I think it applies to everyone. Here it is: “On the few occasions where I’ve talked to film students, one of the things I stress, in addition to learning your craft, is how you behave as a person. For the most part, our lives are about telling stories. So I ask them, ‘What are the stories you want people to tell about you?’ Because at a certain point, your ability to get a job could turn on the stories people tell about you.” So true Steven. I printed this and it's on my office wall.
Thanks to Craig Negoescu, NAKA Media Inc.