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 – Nothing Without Passion
“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” — Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German Philosopher. This is a quote that was on our President’s wall when I worked for division of Revlon in the early 80’s. We followed that belief as a management team to successfully grow the company by double digits for more than eight years. I grew personally and professionally during those years and brought those experiences with me through my consumer products marketing career.
Thanks to Marcy Schackne, Pathfinder Luggage
#2 – Professional vs. Amateur
Since college I always wanted to start something on my own but never thought I was ready. I kept acquiring new skills but there was always something I didn’t know and required for starting up. My dad gave me an advice which totally changed the way I think. He told me that “Google and Apple were built by amateurs and Titanic was built professionals” (A quote he got from internet). This single statement gave me the courage to take the dive and I finally started ActivityDeck. And I believe it was the right choice. Within first three months we are in business with promising success.
Thanks to Ankit Seth, ActivityDeck
#3 – No Excuse
‘The antiquity of a wrong is no excuse for its continuation’ – Dr Samuel Johnson, I believe. If I had a $ for every time I have thought this, let alone used it when mentoring staff in my previous as a CEO, or currently as a management consultant, I would be rich indeed. Change is part of everyday life and in so many instances there are those who are resistant, their favourite phrase being: ‘We can’t do this. we’ve always done it this way…’ The above quote provides me with a hook for my explanations around the change process and sometimes stops people in their tracks!
Thanks to Julie O’Donnell, Fulford House Consulting Ltd
#4 – Leave a Trail
“Do not go where the path may lead go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. This quote inspires me daily and has since I was in high school. So much so, that I hired an artist to paint a mural of this quote in my office so I can be reminded of taking risks in my business on a daily basis and to inspire all those I come in contact with to do the same! Not following the rules has lead to my success.
Thanks to Kelley Kitley, Serendipitous Psychotherapy
#5 – Expensive Professional
My hands-down favourite business quote is “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”, by Red Adair. This quote comes in and out of my personal and professional life in ad-lib concoctions, including my favourite permutation of “We do it nice because we do it twice”, stolen from a friend in the construction industry who was working with a particularly indecisive client. This quote and the idiom that stands behind it speak to business owners and customers who want to take the cheap route to solving their problems. This usually ends with the decision coming around full circle to bite them in the arse, ultimately costing the owner or customer more as they fork over more cash to now not only solve the original issue, but to fix the errors made in the first attempt. It speaks to the mentality of owners and customers not seeing certain spends as investments into their own stock, but as money burnt, never to be seen again. Smart customers and businesses set themselves apart in how they approach spends on company infrastructure and the like; at the end of the day, it will be these individuals that will be reaping the rewards.
Thanks to Jessica Thiele, Virtual Logistics Inc.
#6 – Do it Today
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t” – Jerry Rice. This is my favorite business quote because it reminds me of two things: 1. To focus on the opportunity vs. the obligation. As an entrepreneur you have no boss (unless you work under investors) and this can create havoc for those who don’t build strong habits. One thing I learned early on in my entrepreneurial career is that you can have two different outlooks on your work. One being the opportunity of accomplishing your goals, and the other being the obligation of having to do it. If you focus on the opportunity instead of the obligation, you’ll wake up before your alarm goes off vs. hitting the snooze button several times. 2. It reminds me why I am doing what I’m doing. Providing a great life for my family, my clients and all of those around me. It’s not about the money as much so as it is about watching people accomplish their goals. There is an opportunity to build the best real estate company in Raleigh, NC and this quote keeps me going, even when there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks to Ryan Fitzgerald, Raleigh Realty
#7 – A Fish on Land
Can you really explain to a fish what it’s like to walk on land? One day on land is worth a thousand years of talking about it, and one day running a business has exactly the same kind of value.” -Warren Buffet I love this quote because its white truth: All of the practice in the world is no substitute for being in the game. And for entrepreneurs, its an especially powerful and inspirational quote to gather your strength, stand, and bravely walk into an unfamiliar world. And its worth every moment.
Thanks to Michael Stratta, Arcalea LLC
#8 – Old Ideas
“It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.” —Edwin Land, Polaroid co-founder. My time in the tech trenches has shown that the most effective enterprises continually question basic assumptions and traditional business models. I realized that our traditional sales force was no longer needed as tech professionals prefer to try products and services. Embotics shifted the mindset to delivering solutions instead of sales and this new business model has gained traction and new customer wins. The secret in the sauce of an effective CEO is to know when to veer off an accepted path and blaze a new trail. This quote reminds me to continually question the status quo and accepted practices.
Thanks to Michael L. Torto, Embotics
#9 – Happy Customers
“Your most unhappy customers are you greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates. While dealing with unhappy customers isn’t a fun thing to do by any means it can help you improve your product or service by leaps and bounds. We were able to make our software easier to use by listening to our customers and finding out where they were running into issues. We kept tabs of how many times we heard about specific problems during the user experience and once those problems hit a certain number of complaints we addressed it and fixed it. This way we made sure we were fixing issues that were affecting more than just 1 or 2 customers and went for the major change which would help many people. Remember only a fraction of people will complain about something so you can assume for each complaint or issue there are another handful who are experiencing the same thing but won’t tell you, they’ll just move on to another company.
Thanks to David Batchelor, DialMyCalls
#10 – A Satisfied Customer
A Satisfied Customer is the Best Business Strategy of All – Michael LeBoeuf. If your customers aren’t satisfied, there is no business. We make it a point to make it a pleasant experience for everyone, no matter what they are paying. In the web design and internet marketing field, your customers are your best strategy for getting your name out there. If they are satisfied, it will not only make them happy, they will be willing to recommend you to others. A lot of our business comes from referrals. This tells us that we must be doing something right!
Thanks to Kornel Kurtz, WebTek
#11 – The Journey and Courage
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill. I absolutely love this quote by Winston Churchill because of what it means to me. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. A reminder that your situation whether good or bad is not permanent. You just have to continue to show up, work hard and grind. If you are successful today, you have to work hard to keep it. If you don’t, you will lose it. If you have failed, it is not the end of the road, you can still get up, dust yourself and work hard to turn it around. The “JOURNEY” and the “COURAGE” to get the results you want is what truly matters.
Thanks to Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger, You! Lingerie
#12 – Endearing Persistence
“Nothing in this 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 will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent..” – Calvin Coolidge. In PR, and for any business, this quote is applicable to both how you run your organization internally and also how you work for your clients. You can have the smartest, most educated, and most talented team of people in the world, but it’s completely lost without a strong persistent work ethic and culture. Our firm is small with only six people, however, we run some of the most massive events in the state included the country’s premier clay-disk shooting tournaments in the country. We embody this quote with our company culture of ‘getting it done.’ We find solutions. We make things possible. We implement new and more creative ideas each day. Every company should be determined to have the best outcomes for both themselves and their clients.
Thanks to Tara Frier, Goodwin Group PR
#13 – The Role of a Leader
Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips, spoke at a conference I attended. One of her quotes has stuck with me ever since: “The role of a leader is not to manage and change others; it is to manage and change themselves.” Leaders are responsible for creating the environment in which our teams work, yet our influence is limited because we can’t control external factors. As leaders grow, we see the sort of environment we want our team to work in, but the only way to create that environment is to become that person ourselves. When we change ourselves, our surroundings will automatically evolve to match.
Thanks to Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc
#14 – Daily Failure
Although I have several business quotes that have helped me over the years, I guess that my favorite would have to be what was once said by Michael Jordan, one of the stars of the NBA. He said “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed”. Failure is going to be a part of your life as an entrepreneur, there are no two ways about it. But what is important is how you respond to those failures. In order to succeed, you must understand that it’s part of the process, and that you’re able to stand back up, brush yourself off, and get back to work when they occur. Those who practice that strategy are that much more likely to enjoy success.
Thanks to Andrew Schrage, MoneyCrashers
#15 – Fulfilling Work
“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us.” – Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success. The reason this is one of my favorite business quotes is that it brings the real world into the mix. So many of the quotes about business that people cite over and over again seem like they were written in a bubble. Some strange land where the one and only thing that anyone lives for is their work. The reality is that you could be making millions, but if you hate what you’re doing, you’ll burn out and fail. Money is simply one factor of living a happy life as a business owner.
Thanks to Nick Brennan, Watch Social Media