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18 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Business Quote

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- Love your family, work super hard, live your passion

Photo Credit: Roman Daneghyan

My favorite business quote is by Gary Vee: “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” This is my favorite one. The reason is it's simplicity. Gary made it short, but there is so much meaning in that sentence. What he says, is that we have to love what we are doing and work super hard for achieving something. And in the same time, we don't have to forget about them, because they are as important as our job in our lives.

Thanks to Roman Daneghyan, Renderforest Company!

#2- If you need inspiring words, you should not do it

Photo Credit: David Sanderson

If you need inspiring words, you should not do it. – Elon Musk. To me, this phrase sums up entrepreneurship perfectly. If you need external motivation to get busy building your company, go do something else. The majority of entrepreneurship is hard and involves doing a lot of things you don't want to do, all while the threat of failure is constantly knocking at the door. Persistence is crucial when starting a company and your intrinsic drive is the only thing that will be there to get you through all the highs and lows.

Thanks to David Sanderson, Reelgood!

#3- Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it

Photo Credit: RM Harrison

My absolute favorite quote, which I apply to business (and entrepreneurship overall), is by Maya Angelou about success: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” I think humans instinctively use external and material measures to define how well they’re doing, because these are things you can physically see. But, at the end of the day, it’s how you feel about yourself, the work you do, and what you have that really matters. For example, you could have a seven-figure business and full-time support staff; but if you’re not excited about the work your company is doing, chances are you’re finding hard to stay motivated in it. What’s the point of being in business for yourself if you’re not doing the things that matter to you?

Thanks to RM Harrison

#4-The best way to predict the future is to create it- Peter Drucker

Photo Credit: Noel Ballou

This quote hit home for me as I made the decision to start my own company and take the risk of scaling a business.When launching a company, one can't predict the future. But, if the right pieces are aligned and a plan is put into place, it's a matter of checking off milestones and goals to create the ideal future business.

Thanks to Noel Ballou, Foodeez!

#5- Don't bring me problems, bring me answers

Photo Credit: Eric Edelman

I learned this quote from a professor who taught a college management course. It has always struck me as a way to encourage our staff to be problem solvers and not just problem dumpers.

Thanks to Eric Edelman, Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Performance!

#6- A Quote by Theodore Roosevelt

Photo Credit: Bobby Montagne

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.– Theodore Roosevelt. Why?The amount of information available to us is increasing exponentially which sometimes leads to analysis paralysis. Although it can be difficult to commit on a move when the outcome is unsure, maintaining the status quo and doing nothing is not going to move the meter. It's best to identify your choices, assess possible results and determine which choice has the greatest possibility of creating value. Chances are if you follow your intuition, the decision will be in your favor. If a wrong decision is made, at least you learn from it and grow. The worst thing you can do is nothing. No one has made history sitting on the sidelines.

Thanks to Bobby Montagne, Walnut Street Finance!

#7- I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have

Photo Credit: Joy Gendusa

I like this quote from Thomas Jefferson: ‘I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.' I think that people tend to underestimate how much effort and hard work it really takes to start, run, and grow a business. But if you focus on working hard and marketing your business WAY more than you even think is necessary, you will succeed. This is exactly how I built PostcardMania – mailing postcards every single week no matter WHAT. And, it worked!

Thanks to Joy Gendusa, PostcardMania!

#8- What got us here won’t get us there

Photo Credit: Drew Goodmanson

Many articles and books have used this quote in their title. From my experience working with numerous entrepreneurs, these inflection points in a company’s history are some of the most important. It takes humility and conviction to decide that the current systems, processes, marketing or strategies need to be transformed to take things to the next level. It’s these courageous moments that separate the amazing leaders from the rest.

Thanks to  Drew Goodmanson, Power Digital Marketing!

#9- A quote by Michael Jordan

Photo Credit: Karen Fish-Will

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. – Michael Jordan. This is so relevant on a daily basis. Professionally and personally,  obstacles to our goals – whether big or small – come up all the time. If we get too focused on what's in our way, we'll never get to where we want to go or never achieve what we set out to accomplish. This quote is such a great reminder that there is always a way to move forward.

Thanks to Karen Fish-Will, Peabody Properties, Inc.!

#10- I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion's roar. ~ Winston Churchill

Photo Credit: Jana Sanchez

Churchill is often held up as the standard for phrases that transcend the original topic. There are two sides to this quote for business leaders. In the early stage of their business, an Owner or CEO must often take charge of areas that aren't ultimately their strengths or eventual responsibility, because that's what the business needs to thrive. But it's also a call to remember that as the leader, you must often champion needs that are not your own. Leaders must champion the business needs first, and then understand the needs of their employees and champion those as well.

Thanks to Jana Sanchez, Trebuchet Group!

#11- If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time

Photo Credit: Nick Riesel

This quote by Steve Jobs will resonate with anyone who's ever seen success, be it personal or professional. It is for this reason that the statement greatly appealed to me, as it encapsulates the valuable and hard-won nature of success, which is exactly what makes it so rewarding. Time is dedication, and dedication is a key factor for something or somebody to be deemed successful.

Thanks to Nick Riesel, Free Office Finder!

#12- If you're not getting better than you're getting worse

Photo Credit: Andrew Schrage

One of my favorite business quotes wasn't necessarily originally uttered in terms of a small business, but it definitely applies to small businesses and entrepreneurs as well. It was said by Joe Paterno, who basically stated that if you're not getting better than you're getting worse. Essentially, no one (or even a business) stays the same. The complete quote is as follows: Today, you've got a decision to make. You're gonna get better or you're gonna get worse, but you're not gonna stay the same. Which will it be? I like this quote because it truly is applicable to small business ownership. Each and every day, in all things that you do, you are either moving your business forward or it is falling behind. One of the main reasons for that is that if you think that your business may be static, the competition is probably getting better, which means that you are in fact falling behind. With that quote in mind, entrepreneurs and small business owners alike should realize that hard work is a must, and that you can never rest on your laurels If you do, you won't have many of them to rest on for long.

Thanks to Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers!

#13- Competition is for losers

Photo Credit: Saud Ibrahim

My favorite business quote is by Paypal founder Peter Thiel, i.e. Competition is for losers. This utterance may be too much for some but it has become a guiding principle for me and my business. The message is simple; do one thing but do it brilliantly. Goal is to become elusive, so much that competition becomes irrelevant. It has been instilled in our organization that we have to provide so much value that we become invincible in what we do. By no means it will be an easy feat but is what we aspire to be as an organization.

Thanks to Saud Ibrahim, The Jacket Maker!

#14- You will either take a step forward into growth, or you will step back into safety

Image Credit: Melissa Okabe

As an entrepreneur and personal brand, one of my favorite quotes is: You will either take a step forward into growth, or you will step back into safety. (- Abraham Maslow). Along the lines that the best growth opportunities lay outside of your comfort zone, I believe that the challenge (and the excitement) lies in the unknown. As one of my mentors told me many years ago, we should explore the things that scare us, because often times, if we can walk through this fear/ self doubt, there is an opportunity for growth on the other side. So take a chance, be daring, be bold, and believe in your greatness.

Thanks to Melissa Okabe

#15- Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts

Image Credit: Zondra Wilson

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. — Winston S. Churchill. If this quote doesn’t inspire you, nothing will. It motivates me so much because it pushes me to never give up. It motivates me to embrace failure and when I fall to get right back up and continue pushing until I reach my goal.

Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!

#16- If you built a house with your work ethic, dedication & preparation, would you trust its foundation enough to live in it?

Photo Credit: Nicole Garraffo

There are so many great and worthy business quotes to choose from but I’ve been gravitating toward a quote by Robert Griffin III lately; “If you built a house with your work ethic, dedication & preparation, would you trust its foundation enough to live in it?” It’s a basic principle that my parents and grandparents instilled in me. They never actually sat me down and spoke to me about this but they lived this quote every day. Their example is one reason that this quote connects with me. Another reason relates to the stress-filled and fast-paced world we live in. This principle just makes sense and is as important today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. If you want to succeed at anything, the principle of being dedicated, prepared and taking the necessary time to do the job to the best of your ability is paramount. Whether your goal is to achieve academic success, climb a corporate ladder, build a thriving business, or even live a healthy lifestyle, this principle can be a key to success.

Thanks to Nicole Garraffo, Efferent Media!

#17- Quote by Richard Branson

Photo Credit: Ginny Scales Medeiros

“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. I live by this and have written a book, invented a product , brought it to market, bought and sold real-estate, and now learning and working in AI and IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) We are designing a new brand, along with cutting-edge marketing for it. I did not finish high school and was on my own at 15. I say YES, then learn as I go. I admire Richard,as a person, this quote in particular, inspires and validates the way I have always navigated the world! When a new idea or business opportunity comes my way, I have an open mind. If it feels right, I say, Yes.. and then learn about it! This has been the greatest education of all…. Win Win,

Thanks to Ginny Scales Medeiros 

#18- We have met the enemy, and he is us! -Pogo (Walt Kelly)

This quote is about understanding that we can sabotage ourselves in many ways. We may not even know we are doing it. Uninformed and unsupervised staff may be undermining your company not realizing what they are doing. We can sink our own ship sometimes. We don't always need an enemy torpedo to do it for us.

Thanks to Michael Murphy, GetPayroll & Simon!

What's your favorite business quotation? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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