No matter how passionate, dedicated, and hard-working you are as a new entrepreneur, the road to success is littered with pitfalls and setbacks. Product launches gone awry. Investors not coming through. And now, of course, the corona pandemic.
In such times, when motivation falters and conviction is shaken, get back into focus by listening to the wisdom of others who have faced the same challenges. And persevered.
One of the best ways to find fresh inspiration, gather new strength and adjust your perspective is by looking at quotes. The purposeful words of successful entrepreneurs past and present are full of valuable advice and wisdom.
Struggling with financial setbacks? Robert Schuller’s words may help you reorient yourself towards the future:
“Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”
Having trouble assembling a coherent team? Kevin Rose knows how to unite them: “A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains.”
Facing an absolutely overwhelming business situation? Anthony Robbins can change your perspective:
“Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow.”
Reading the biographies and business credos of successful entrepreneurs can definitely give you deeper insights. But their knowledge, competence, and conviction are distilled in their most famous quotations. And these are absolutely unbeatable in terms of quick motivation boosters.
So whether you are looking for a new personal mantra, something to set as your desktop background as a perpetual source of inspiration, or just a grain of wisdom to pull yourself out of a slump, here are the 500 best quotes of all time.
A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about. 1. What its product is, 2. Who its customers are. 3. How to make money.
A team aligned behind a vision will move mountain.
Business is a game, played for fantastic stakes, and you’re in competition with experts. If you want to win, you have to learn to be a master of the game. Sidney Sheldon
Business is still more often about whom you know, not what you know. Alejandro Cremades
Business opportunities are like buses there’s always another one coming.Richard Branson
Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost. Robert H. Schuller
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed. Robert H. Schuller
Build your business success around something that you love – something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.Martha Stewart
Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.Dee Hock
Concentration is my motto – first honesty, then industry, then concentration. Andrew Carnegie
“Loyalty is not won by being first. It is won by being best. Stefan Persson
9 out of 10 businesses fail_ so I came up with a foolproof plan, create ten businesses.
A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains. Sell them on your roadmap and don’t compromise – care about the details, the fit and finish. – Kevin Rose.
Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing… layout, processes, and procedures. Tom Peters
As an entrepreneur, I try to push the limits. Pedal to the metal. Travis Kalanick
Being an entrepreneur is my dream job, as it tests ones tenacity.Gautam Adani
Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs. Henry Ford
Don’t count the things you do, do the things that count. Zig Ziglar
Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise.
‘Entrepreneur ‘just denotes that you recognize that you’re doing things across disciplines and that you’re blazing your own path. Pharrell Williams
Every problem is a gift. Without problems we would not grow. Anthony Robbins
For me, the winning strategy in any start-up business is, ‘Think big but start small. Carmen Busquets
Fortunes are built during the down market and collected in the up market. – Jason Calacanis
Hire character. Train skill. Peter Schutz
I have had some great successes and great failures. I think every entrepreneur has. I try to learn from all of them.Kevin O’Leary
I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. Steve Jobs
If you want to change the fruits, you will first have to change the roots. If you want to change the visible, you must first change the invisible. T. Harv Eker
It’s not about the content we are creating but how much content our customers are creating for us. roger james hamilton
Markets come and go. Good businesses don’t. Fred Wilson
Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly, but working for a large company is like being waterboarded. – Paul Graham
There is no luck in business. There’s only drive, determination, and more drive. Sophie Kinsella
Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success. Biz Stone
To be outstanding – get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Alrik Koudenburg
You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die. Jack Ma
In the startup world, ‘not working’ is normal.Paul Graham
It’s better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy. Paul Graham
It’s easier to stand on the sidelines, criticize, and say why you shouldn’t do something. The sidelines are crowded. Get in the game. Robert Kiyosaki
It’s pretty clear that [customers] know what their budgets are now, and what they want to. Ben Horowitz
The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers. John Egan
The more successful you are, the more you need to learn and grow. Your commitment to learning has to be continuous and unrelenting. John Donahoe
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Steve Jobs
When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. Elon Musk
Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you, they’ll invest in you. Marissa Mayer
You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you. Marissa Mayer
Your business has to work when it’s small in order to survive to the point where it gets big. Seth Godin
Your employees know each other better than they know you. Ben Horowitz
When it gets difficult is often right before you succeed.
Write your principles in pen and your business model in pencil. Josh Kopelman
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. Lee Iacocca
You know your business model is broken when you’re suing your customers. Paul Graham
The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works. Jeff Bezos
The big value of the founder running the company is really two things_ the knowledge and the commitment. Ben Horowitz
The courage of leadership is giving others the chance to succeed even though you bear the responsibility for getting things done. – Simon Sinek.
The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then to not just meet them but to exceed them—preferably in unexpected and helpful ways. Richard Branson
We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful_ Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient. Jeff Bezos
Often any decision, even the wrong decision, is better than no decision. Ben Horowitz
Startups are rapidly changing systems. If you use an annual review cycle, you aren’t getting feedback at the same pace that you need to adapt and change the business. Fred Wilson
Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.
The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything. Lee Iacocca
If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion. Elon Musk
In 1998, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos became an early investor in Google. He invested US$250,000, which was worth about US$2.2 billion today.
Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it.Jay Baer
Marketing is a contest for people’s attention. Seth Godin
Building product is not about having a large team to manage. It is about having a small team with the right people on it. Fred Wilson
Everyone can tell you the risk. An entrepreneur can see the reward. Robert Kiyosaki
For the most ambitious young people, the corporate ladder is obsolete. Paul Graham
I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.
I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.
I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours.
If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing.
If you never want to be criticized, for goodness’ sake don’t do anything new. Jeff Bezos
If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. John D. Rockefeller
Long-term goals are dangerous. They limit you. They hinder you from reacting to new conditions. Ben Casnocha
Never go into business purely to make money. If that’s the motive you’re better. Richard Branson
Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you. – Matt Goulart
Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from. Robert Kiyosaki
Talk of nothing but business, and dispatch that business quickly. Aldus Manutius
The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you are the pilot. Michael Altshuler
The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing. Seth Godin
“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
A great business success was probably never attained by chasing the dollar, but is due to pride in one’s work – the pride that makes business an art. Henry L. Doherty
Artists work best alone. Work alone.Steve Wozniak
Be daring. Be first. Be different. Anita Roddick
Don’t think what’s the cheapest way to do it or the fastest way to do it, think ‘what’s the most amazing way to do it. Richard Branson
Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create. David Karp
Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors. – Chris Dixon.
Good behavior is everybody’s business, and good taste can be everyone’s goal. Millicent Fenwick
If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. Jack Welch
If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit. Banksy
If hard work is your weapon, success will be your slave.
Success comes in cans not in can’ts.
Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you INSPIRE others to do.
Successful people are not gifted_ they just work hard, then succeed on purpose. G.K. Nelson
Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent. Bill Gates
We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. That becomes the touchstone for how we invent. Jeff Bezos
We try to solve very complicated problems without letting people know how complicated the problem was. Jonathan Ive
When you receive criticism from well-meaning people, it pays to ask, ‘Are they right’ And if they are, you need to adapt what they’re doing. If they’re not right, if you really have conviction that they’re not right, you need to have that long-term willingness to be misunderstood. It’s a key part of invention. Jeff Bezos
You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential. Jonathan Ive
You should pursue your passion. If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful. Pierre Omidyar
Innovation is moving at a scarily fast pace. Bill Gates
Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. Steve Jobs
It’s important to give a better country to your children, but it is more important to give better children to your country. Carlos Slim
Life can be much broader. You can embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. Steve Jobs
Look for 3 things in a person. Intelligence, Energy, & Integrity. If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two. Warren Buffett
Only fools use their mouth to speak. A smart man uses his brain, and a wise man uses his heart. Jack Ma
Small groups of people can have a really huge impact. Larry Page
Success is never owned, it is rented, and the rent is due every day. Rory Vaden
Great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure. Larry Ellison
Great companies with the way they work, first start with great leaders. Steve Ballmer
If you do everything that everyone else does in business, you’re going to lose. The only way to really be ahead, is to ‘be different’. Larry Ellison
I like to tell people that all of our products and business will go through three phases. There’s vision, patience, and execution. Steve Ballmer
Anything you can imagine probably is doable, you just have to imagine it and work on it. Larry Page
A good job isn’t something you go out and find, it’s something you discover while you’re working.
Build a platform – prepare for the unexpected…you’ ll know you’re successful when the platform you’ve built serves you in unexpected ways. Pierre Omidyar
Improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you.That is a big lesson.Indra Nooyi
Sustaining a successful business is a hell of a lot of work, and staying hungry is half the battle. Wendy Tan White
The secret to successful hiring is this; look for the people who want to change the world. Marc Benioff
You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets. Arnold Schwarzenegger
If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do. Michael Phelps
Nothing works better than just improving your product. Joel Spolsky
Remember; It’s not innovation until it gets built. Garry Tan
Solving big problems is easier than solving little problems. Sergey Brin
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
If you keep your eye on the profit, you’re going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow. Steve Jobs
A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Steve Jobs
All entrepreneurs make decisions. Some will go right, and some will not go that right. Sunil Mittal
Be simple and reliable. Jan Koum
Business dispatched is business well done, but business hurried is business ill done. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Gail Devers
The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. Vince Lombardi
You’re only as good as the people you hire.Ray Kroc