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) All Courses of Action…
“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli
It resonates with me because of the underlying message – *don’t be afraid to take risks*. This is something that all entrepreneurs, new and old, need to be reminded of on a regular basis. Being able to take risks is the spark that lights the entrepreneurial fire within us.
Thanks to Dan Scalco, Digitalux!
2) Your Reputation…
“Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” — Ryan Freitas
At ScanMyPhotos.com, our Ecommerce photo digitization service deals with people’s most precious possessions, generations of nostalgic photo snapshots. That’s why this business quote is our all time favorite, because integrity matters most.
Thanks to Mitch Goldstone, ScanMyPhotos!
3) Impossible is Just a Big Word…
“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
I like this quote so much that I built my whole TEDx talk around it to show how business can solve hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change.
Thanks to Shel Horowitz, Business For a Better World!
4) You Don’t Have to be Great
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”― Zig Ziglar
I love this quote because it resonates with me so much. A lot of people have what I call analysis paralysis. They become so overwhelmed with imaginary obstacles that haven’t even come into existence yet, that they don’t even move. But starting is the most important part of success. When I started my business, I was a newcomer to the fashion industry. People thought I was crazy because I had no background in fashion whatsoever and some even said I had no business designing clothing. But I had the vision. I knew exactly what I wanted to create. And even though I might not have been the best sewer, I found people that were. I surrounded myself with the professionals who knew. It’s taken me some time for my vision to play out the way I wanted it to, but since then, it has developed beyond my original goal. I would never have gotten to where I am today had I not just jumped in and gave it a try.
Thanks to Gerry Kelly, Sonas Denim!
5) Your Time is Limited…
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ― Steve Jobs
His quote resonates with me after falling severely ill back in 2010. Nothing like facing death to really shake you into looking at your life and seeing if it really aligns with your principles. I have always been on the path I’ve been on of helping people in one shape or another, but before I fell ill I was starting to go off track. I started letting other people and outside events shape my life and by default my future. I realized that the status quo was never what I really wanted, but I felt it would help me reach the actual goals I have. I was sadly mistaken. So, I finally got to the point where I started my own business, and then branched out into creating a web presence for myself as well. Even in my most desperate times in the earlier stages of starting my business I never regretted taking the plunge to be my own boss. I grew up an only child watching various family members work paycheck to paycheck making *someone else’s dreams* come true. I saw the news feature various scandals like Enron and show how loyal employees had the rugs pulled from underneath them without warning and I didn’t want that to be me too. I wanted my success or my failure to be based on me and me alone. Investing in myself has been tremendously rewarding. Changing people’s lives by the guidance and insight I have given them is irreplaceable. I might not be a millionaire from the work I do, but I lead my life with integrity,I provide real value to those I serve and that I feel is priceless.
Thanks to Nicole Bienfang, Your Solution Specialist!
6) She Was Unstoppable
“She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite of them.” ― Beau Taplin
Starting, maintaining, and growing a business does not come without its failures, doubts, fears, and paramount stresses. Choosing partners, watching the bottom line, hiring employees, creating a business culture, pitching to global corporations, calculating profits and losses, dealing with frustrated clients, and managing work overload can lead to almost paralyzing fears and doubts. I founded The Spark Group five years ago and since then, I’ve been running on the famous quote/question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I ran into this new quote a few weeks ago and related so deeply to it. I couldn’t imagine an Entrepreneur or Business Owner out there who has not had to persevere through all of the fears, doubts, and insecurities that come along from founding, managing, and growing a business. But although frightening and almost paralytic, I’m confident that continuing on despite it all that has made The Spark Group succeed into the profitable, enjoyable, and exhilarating company (full of boundless opportunities) that it is today.
Thanks to Daniela Cuevas, The Spark Group!
7) My Heart…
“My heart is in the work.” ― Andrew Carnegie
I always come back to Andrew Carnegie’s quote, which was emblazoned beneath his portrait in the main hallway entrance to my department of studies at Carnegie Mellon University. I at first found this quote odd because Andrew Carnegie was a businessman and in my view I always wondered what on Earth business had to do with heart. But everyday the portrait would catch my eye and make me think. Looking back it was the most poignant and telling advice that I have ever received. I wish I had heeded its call much, much earlier, but better late than never.
Thanks to Brandon Kelly, NYCVanity!
8) In the Long Run…
“In the long run, integrity trumps the fleeting advantages of artifice.” ― Robert. B. Haas
East Hampton Sandwich Co.’s point of differentiation is our commitment to producing a made-from-scratch product. We circumvent taking the more economical approach to the sandwich business; but, what we may lose in food cost is made up for in volume. We recognize our customers relate in our vision for what a sandwich should be.
Thanks to Hunter Pond, East Hampton Sandwich Co.!
9) If Someone Offers You…
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” ― Richard Branson
This is my favorite business quote because as an entrepreneur you will often find yourself in this position. If you can recognized a great opportunity to do something but you do not know how you will go about doing it, you should look at it as a challenge that will allow you to grow, never as an obstacle. Being an entrepreneur means being comfortable out of your comfort zone. Therefore, turning down a great opportunity due to not knowing how to approach the situation should not be an option.
Thanks to Sandy Bodeau, Sira & Mara Accessories!
10) Do or Do Not
“Do or do not, there is no try.” ― Yoda
As entrepreneurs, we’re future oriented and we’re thinkers. We like to calculate our risk before we move. Obviously, these are not bad qualities but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. We can fall into the trap of “analysis paralysis”. It’s easy to think, “I’m not ready yet. I need to read about the industry more. I need to do more research before I take action.” Yoda keeps it simple: either do it or don’t do it.
Thanks to Nik Parks, Launching Creative!