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100 Business Quotes to Get Inspired

By Kristina
10 Aug, 2021
13 min read

Starting a business is tough… And continuing one isn’t always easier! Whether you’re an entrepreneur, leader, or dreamer, we all need a bit of inspiration and motivation in our lives to help us get our projects off the ground and keep them running smoothly. 

When the bills are piling up, and the customers are nowhere to be seen, these words of wisdom from influencers, motivators, and successful business people are sure to help you stay on track and ensure you experience every success in life.

So, if you’re ready to become the founder and CEO of your next empire, check out these motivational quotes for entrepreneurs (and everyday life).

Courage

courage

When it comes to success, inspirational words can be vital. But what about when it comes to taking that first step into a new endeavor?

These motivational quotes about courage are sure to motivate you to “quit talking and begin,” even when the next step looks scary.

1.    “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue themWalt Disney

2.    “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney

3.    “A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” – John A. Shedd

4.    “If you don’t have big dreams and goals, you’ll end up working for someone that does” – Unknown

5.    “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it” – Unknown

6.    “Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations” – Tim O’Reilly

7.    “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford

8.    “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create” – Oprah Winfrey

9.    “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical” – Howard Schultz

10.  “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 other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary” – Steve Jobs

11.   “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes not to let my fears run me” – Arianna Huffington

12.   “Everything started as nothing” – Ben Weissenstein

13.   “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is not to try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it” – Debbi Fields

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Change

You can’t have success without change. It’s a natural part of our existence, and there’s nothing you can do about it. That said, change can sometimes be frightening or stressful. These inspirational business quotes are perfect for helping you get through periods of transformation and learn that change is almost always for the best.

14.   “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new” – Socrates

15.   “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late” – Reid Hoffman

16.   “Nothing works better than just improving your product” – Joel Spolsky

17.   “Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day” – Joel Spolsky

18.   “Anything that is measured and watched, improves” – Bob Parsons

19.   “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can be your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else” – Sara Blakely

20.   “There are a lot of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what that is: to change the world” – Phil Libin

Constraints

a lock

Whether it’s pressure from your boss stopping you from creating the small business you’ve always dreamed of or fear of losing security that makes entrepreneurship seem impossible… Or maybe it’s just writer’s block or a lack of inspiration that makes you feel like you can’t achieve your goals… Everyone has something “stopping” them from living their dreams. These positive small business quotes will help you embrace whatever’s holding you back and let you move to the next step.

21.   “Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage” – 37 Signals

22.   “Tough times never last, but tough people do” – Robert H. Schuller

23.   “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars – I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over” – Warren Buffet

24.   “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions” – Steve Case

Support

hands put together

You’ve heard the phrase “no man is an island,” but when it comes to business, we can often feel isolated or like there’s too much pressure on us to fix every problem. These encouraging business quotes are the perfect reminder that even the most successful business people need help and support sometimes and that trusting others is a strength, not a weakness.

25.   “Our chief want in life, is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him, we are easily great.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

26.   “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others” – Mandy Hale

27.   “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be” – Reid Hoffman

28.   “Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea” – Mark Pincus

29.   “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team” – Reid Hoffman

Success

person atop a mountain

When you’re dreaming of becoming successful, quotes from those who have made it big can be a huge help and influence. It’s worth remembering that no “overnight success” was ever truly overnight, and even the most successful businesses went through periods of suffering and difficulty before they became the household names they are today. So, have a look at some of our favorite quotes about being successful and get inspired!

30.   “Don’t worry about being successful, but work towards being significant. The success will naturally follow” – Oprah Winfrey

31.   “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect” – Jack Dorsey

32.   “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs

33.   “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to persue” – Josh James

34.   “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement” – Golda Meir

35.   “Chase the vision not the money, the money will end up following you” – Tony Hsieh

36.   “Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors” – Chris Dixon

37.   “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen” – Wayne Huizenga

38.   “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success” – Biz Stone

39.   “You can’t make anything viral, but you can make something good” – Peter Shankman

40.   “I never dreamed about success, I worked for it” – Estee Lauder

41.   “Diligence is the mother of good luck” – Benjamin Franklin

42.   “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance” – Steve Jobs

Strife

baby at the bottom of the stairs

Even after you’ve shed (or embraced) your constraints, that doesn’t mean success is guaranteed or that all your troubled times are over… In fact, the exact opposite is more likely to be true! 

These inspirational business quotes all come from people who have overcome difficulties to achieve success and are the perfect “Wednesday Wisdom quotes” for when everything feels impossible.

43.   “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with dust and sweat; who strives valiantly, who errs and may fall again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming” – Theodore Roosevelt

44.   “Every time we launch a feature, people yell at us” – Angelo Sotria

45.   “Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t find one, it’s you” – Mark Cuban

46.   “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates

47.   “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved” – Helen Keller

48.   “Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop” – Jeffrey Zeldman

49.   “No more romanticizing about how cool it is to be an entrepreneur. It’s a struggle to save your company’s life – and your own skin – every day of the week” – Spencer Fry

50.   “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over” – Richard Branson

Failure

words on glass

No success comes without some failures and setbacks. It’s inevitable. However, it’s how you look at your failures that set apart the success stories from the businesses you’ve never heard of. Just imagine if Thomas Edison had quit after 9,999 ways that won’t work, or if Jeff Bezos had let a few setbacks stop him from creating Amazon. We would live in a very different world, that’s for sure!

So, whether you’re struggling with any of life’s failures, let’s look to Edison, Bezos, and other success stories for some success and failure quotes you’re sure to learn from and feel inspired by.

51.   “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison

52.   “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once” – Drew Houston

53.   “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow” – Ingvar Kamprad

54.   “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination” – Steve Case

55.   “I know that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying” – Jeff Bezos

56.   “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… Is not starting something” – Seth Godin

Motivation

No matter where you are in life or your business journey, we could all do with a little more motivation in our lives. These are some of the most motivational quotes for work success and entrepreneurs that we look to on almost a daily basis. We hope you find them as helpful as we do.

57.   “Be so good they can’t ignore you” – Steve Martin

58.   “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

59.   “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” – Warren Buffett

60.   “Knowledge without action is meaningless” – Abu Bakr

61.   “The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually’, just do it and correct course along the way” – Tim Ferriss

62.   “If you just work on stuff you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out” – Mark Zuckerberg

63.   “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen” – Scott Belsky

64.   “If you’re interested in the living heart of what you do, focus on building things rather than talking about them” – Ryan Freitas

65.   “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And, when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives” – Daniel Pink

66.   “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had – every day I’m learning something new” – Richard Branson

67.   “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve” – Mary Kay Ash

Ideas and Inspiration

person holding a light bulb

Motivation. Inspiration. Success. Quotes about these three things are some of the most useful and most powerful business quotes you’ll find. However, inspiration isn’t always about knowing what next step to take; sometimes, it’s the simple process of coming up with a best-selling idea that can tie us in knots. 

So, if you’re dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur, these encouraging business quotes might be just the thing to get your creative juices flowing and help you come up with that golden idea we all know is within you.

68.   “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good” – Paul Rand

69.   “Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be” – Lakshmi Mittal

70.   “The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch” – Michael Arrington

71.   “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard” – Guy Kawasaki

72.   “I try not to make decisions that I’m not excited about” – Jake Nickell

73.   “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea” – Larry Page

74.   “When you find an idea that you can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue” – Josh James

75.   “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen” – Scott Belsky

76.   “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably  more important than working hard” – Caterina Fake

Entrepreneurs

Seeing as this is a list of the 100 best business quotes to help you feel motivated and inspired to live your most successful life, it’s only fitting that these famous business quotes take up the most significant section of our list. 

These inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs are almost like a message these successful people have for anyone dreaming of starting their own business or taking the next step towards a successful life. Read them as though the individual is talking to you directly, and you’re sure to uncover your inner entrepreneur mindset with these quotes.

77.   “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it” – Roy Ash

78.   “Dear entrepreneurs, you can start a thousand businesses, launch 100 projects, and take dozens of companies public, but you only have one shot about being part of your kids’ childhood. Your kid doesn’t care about your platform, they care about your presence.” – Jon Acuff

79.   “In carrying out e-commerce, the most important thing is to keep doing what you are doing right now with passion, to keep it up” – Jack Ma

80.   “Don’t risk more than you can afford to lose!” – The Backroads Bosslady

81.   “Always deliver more than expected” – Larry Page

82.   “Don’t take too much advice. People who have a lot of advice to give – with a few exceptions – generalize whatever they did. Don’t over-analyse everything… just build things and find out if they work” – Ben Silbermann

83.   “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” – Anthony Volodkin

84.   “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anything, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed” – Dave Thomas

85.   “The value of an idea lies in the using of it” – Thomas Edison

86.   “If you define yourself by how you differ from the competition, you’re probably in trouble” – Omar Hamoui

87.   “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” – Lisa Stone

88.   “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team” – Jason Fried

89.   “The last 10% it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90%” – Rob Kalin

90.   “An entrepreneur is someone who has a vison for something and a want to create” – Kyle Bragger

91.   “Stay self-funded as long as possible” – Garrett Camp

92.   “It’s more effective to do something valuable than to hope a logo or name will say it for you” – Jason Cohen

93.   “All humans are entrepreneurs, not because they should start companies, but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA” – Reid Hoffman

Leadership

a group of people on a hill

A great leader might be something we all strive to be, but how many of us can genuinely say we get this right every time? These motivational quotes are aimed at helping you become the best leader you can be. After all, we need others to make our visions come true, and moving forward is so much more hard work without an extraordinary leader.

94.   “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams

95.   “If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you” – Zig Ziglar

96.   “A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader” – Fred Wilson

General advice

In addition to inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs and work success, it’s essential to look at the wider world when it comes to being successful. These last four great quotes about success are full of general advice that will help you live your best life, in business, and beyond.

97.   “Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them” – Tony Hsieh

98.   “Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you” – Tony Hsieh

99.   “When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe.’” – Tom Preston-Werner

100.   “Don’t be afraid to asset yourself, have confidence in your abilities, and don’t let the bastards get you down” – Michael Bloomberg

Extra quotes to inspire you

doughnuts

Like an extra doughnut, who doesn’t love it when there’s a little more left in the box? So, before we leave you, we wanted to share a few of our all-time favorite inspirational quotes for success that are perfect for any occasion: 

1.  “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere” – Barack Obama

2.  “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure” – Colin Powell

3.  “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty – Winston Churchill

4.Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it – Henry David Thoreau

5. “If you look really closely, most overnight successes took a long time – Steve Jobs

Quit talking and begin

Whether you’re facing a challenge at work or are thinking of starting a business, quotes can help us focus and feel motivated to take the next step in our lives.

With this list of the best motivation, inspiration, and success quotes, we hope you find the words of wisdom you need to get you through the next chapter in your life.

We recommend you check back here regularly, as the most useful business quotes for your life will change over time, and you never know when you might spot your next favorite saying.

FAQ

What is the most inspiring quote ever?

This is a really tricky question to answer, as the most inspiring quote for us changes depending on where we are in our lives and the words we most need to hear. That said, our business quote of the day would have to be…rnrn“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success” – Biz Stone.rnrnWe love this quote because it reminds us that everything takes time to perfect, no matter how quickly it appears to happen to others.

What is a good quote to encourage someone?

Again, the best quotes are the ones that perfectly match your feelings and the challenges you’re currently facing. However, if you know someone (or are someone) who’s struggling to take the plunge in business or beyond, we think this is the perfect motivational quote for someone who needs a few words of encouragement:rnrn“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt DisneyrnrnIt might be blunt, but we believe it’s the perfect quote about succeeding and makes a point you simply can’t argue with! Plus, it was said by Walt Disney, and who could argue with the creator of Mickey Mouse?!

What is a good motto?

Whether you realize it or not, many of us have a little motto or saying that we repeat to ourselves (and others) from time to time. If you don’t have one (or haven’t figured it out yet), reading some famous business quotes is a great way to discover a new motto to help you when times get tough or whenever you need some inspiration.rnrnOur current motto is a section of one of the best business motivational quotes, and it serves us well in business and beyond:rnrn“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” – Steve Jobs.

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Kristina

I'm a content manager at sixads. I'm fiery about marketing, writing and traveling, so you can often find me scribbling away in some unknown corner of the world. If you want to know more ways to increase traffic and attract buyers to your online store get in touch with sixads on one of the channels bellow.