Running a business is challenging even in the best of times. You find yourself going way outside your comfort zone. You enter parts unknown and unexplored. You constantly face your fears.
And although entrepreneurship is rewarding, you may have to fail a few times before finally experiencing success. You may be tempted to give up at the most crucial time, just when you’re on the cusp of success.
Business motivational quotes can give you the motivation, encouragement, and spark you need to keep going when the going gets tough. They help you to feel not quite as alone in your struggles. And when you hear about real-life success stories, you can’t help but think, “If they can do it, I can do it, too!”
Check out these inspirational business quotes from respected and well-known individuals who’ve lived through the challenges of running a business—and survived.
1. Quotes on Entrepreneurship and Success
Just making the decision to go into business can plunge you into isolation. If your family and friends aren’t in business themselves, they may not understand what you’re going through. They may not be supportive of your business. And when they see you struggling, they may think they’re doing you a favor when they tell you to just give up and go get a day job.
Still some people may question your motives. They may have the preconceived notion that all entrepreneurs are greedy and only in it for the money. Even if you know this isn’t true for you, those negative attitudes can still sting.
These business success quotes may help:
“Ever since then I've gone into business, not to make money, but because I think I can do it better than it's been done elsewhere. And, quite often, just out of personal frustration about the way it's been done by other people.” Sir Richard Branson (Source: Reflections on Success)
“I did not start from here. I started on a small scale. When I was working for someone else, I spent my weekend buying and selling. I sold jewellery. I sold scarfs. My husband was also doing some buying and selling. Yet, he is a lawyer.” – Attributed to Folorunso Alakija (Source: WordsofWomen.com)
“I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.” Mark Zuckerberg (Source: Mark Zuckerberg Biography: What It Took To Invent Facebook and More?)
“There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain; do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking, or smoking and socializing, and more time working. Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.” Gina Rinehart (Source: BusinessInsider.com)
“You don't have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” Attributed to Michael Dell (Source: Entrepreneur.com)
2. Quotes for When You’re Feeling Discouraged
Success at anything requires grit and persistence. It’s even more true in business, where the risks are high and disappointments can outnumber successes. And even when you're doing your best, circumstances outside your control can throw a wrench in your plans.
These inspirational business quotes remind us that failure and hardships aren't necessarily bad. They bring valuable lessons that help you succeed.
“You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” Attributed to Warren Buffett (Source: CNBC)
“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Attributed to Bill Gates (Source: InvestingAnswers.com)
"To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there." - Jeff Bezos (Source: Amazon letter to shareholders)
“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” – Attributed to Mary Kay Ash (Source: Entrepreneur.com)
3. Quotes for Women in Business
If you’re a woman in business, you face a unique set of challenges. You find yourself defying social norms and working harder to earn respect in an arena dominated by men.
And then there’s the never-ending struggle to balance work and family life. Despite having careers and businesses, women are often still expected to be responsible for childcare and home management.
These passages from some of the most successful female entrepreneurs of our time may strengthen your resolve to carry on:
“I was once afraid of people saying ‘Who does she think she is?’ Now I have the courage to stand and say, ‘This is who I am.'” - Oprah Winfrey (Source: O)
“Being perfect is being flawed, accepting it and never letting it make you feel less than your best.” - Attributed to Jessica Alba (Source: Inc.com)
“If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.’” - Arianna Huffington (Source: Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder)
“At the end of the day, don’t forget that you are a person, don’t forget you are a mother, don’t forget you are a wife, don’t forget you are a daughter. Because in the end, no matter how much money you make and how much success you create, What you are left is family, friends and faith.” Indra Nooyi (Source: Sun Tzu for Women: The Art of War for Winning in Business)
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.” Attributed to Debbi Fields (Source: Inc.com)
"I don't like to gamble, but if there's one thing I'm willing to bet on, it's myself." Beyonce (Source: ABC News)
“What would you do if you weren't afraid?” - Sheryl Sandberg (Source: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
4. Quotes for Creative Inspiration
Great ideas fuel great businesses. But sometimes the creativity doesn’t flow as freely as we need it to. When this happens, it’s usually because fear and self-doubt are blocking the creative flow.
These top small business quotes may get your ideas surging again:
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” - Sara Blakely (Source: Forbes)
“To set high goals, to have almost unattainable aspirations, to imbue people with the belief that they can be achieved—these are as important as the balance sheet, perhaps more.” John Brooks (Source: Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street)
“If somebody is doing something that’s useful to the rest of society I think that’s a good thing. Like it doesn’t have to change the world. If you’re doing something that has high value to people, and frankly even if it’s a little game or some improvement in photo sharing or something, if it does a small amount of good for a large number of people that’s fine. Stuff doesn’t need to change the world just to be good.” Elon Musk (Source: Y Combinator)
“I don't think that you're born with gut [instinct], a gut matures and gets better and better over time, the struggle that most people have is learning to listen to it. Figuring out how to access it in some way. What I found is that even though I'm an engineer and an analytical person at heart the most important decisions I've made had nothing to do with any of that. They were always based on intuition.” Tim Cook (Source: Macworld.co.uk)
“Sometimes it’s important to wake up and stop dreaming. When a really great dream shows up, grab it.” Larry Page (Source: University of Michigan Commencement Address)
5. Quotes for Challenging Times
As an entrepreneur, you'll come across challenging times often. There's always a new challenge, obstacle, or problem to overcome. They make the life of a business owner exciting! But they can also wear you down.
If you need a dose of extra strength to persevere, these motivational quotes for business owners may fit the bill:
"There will be ups, there will be downs, there will be sideways. I can just tell you I have been hired, I have been fired, I have been lauded, I have been vilified. I've said some of the most brilliant things that just by accident appeared on my tongue, and I’ve said some of the dumbest things that you could imagine. But each day - even the day that I knew I was going to be fired - I looked forward to because I've always believed that tomorrow was going to be the best day of my life." Michael Bloomberg (Source: 2007 Tufts University Commencement Speech)
“The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.” JK Rowling (Source: Twitter)
“You just got to stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment.” Mark Cuban (Source: The New York Times)
“When the door closes you have two choices. Give up, or keep going. Let them shut you down or prove them wrong. We all start somewhere. It's where you end up that counts.” Rihanna (Source: Grammy 2013 Trailer)
“I never thought I'd be successful. It seems in my own mind that in everything I've undertaken I've never quite made the mark. But I've always been able to put disappointments aside. Success isn't about the end result; it's about what you learn along the way.” - Vera Wang (Source: Seventeen)
Find More Inspirational Business Quotes
Need even more inspirational quotes for business leaders? Get your fill from these roundups of inspirational quotes for business owners covering a variety of situations:
- Public Speaking15 Inspiring Public Speaking Quotes (Famous, Funny, & Fear-Reducing)Laura Spencer
- Diversity15 Great Diversity and Inclusion Quotes for a Better WorkplaceAndrew Blackman
- International Women's DayPress for Progress: 40 Inspiring Quotes for Women EntrepreneursAndrew Blackman
- Presentations15+ Best Business Presentation Tips: Quotes From the Experts (For Great Results in 2019)Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo
- Black History MonthTop 40 Inspirational Quotes of Black Entrepreneurs & LeadersAndrew Blackman
Have the Courage to Succeed
If you want a crash course in self-development, start a business. You’ll find yourself acquiring new skills and growing in more areas than you thought possible.
Running a business isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone. In this article, you’ve seen some of the best business inspirational quotes we could find from business leaders in different industries. They may help you to stay motivated to give this endeavor your best shot. If you do, you’ll reap the rewards in terms of gaining competencies, experience, and possibly profits.
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