99 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs

10 min read · 7 years ago


Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, rewarding, frustrating, satisfying, disappointing, and exhilarating. To help you through all the highs and lows of starting your own business, I’ve gathered some of my favorite inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs. Let these words of wisdom motivate you on every step of your entrepreneurial journey:

1. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

2. “Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius, Philosopher

3. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein, Physicist

4. “Stay self-funded as long as possible.” -Garrett Camp, Co-Founder of Uber

5. “If you are going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

6. “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” -Michelangelo, Artist

7. “Business opportunities are like buses: there’s always another one coming.” -Richard Branson, Chairman and Founder of Virgin Group

8. “Done is better than perfect.” -Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

9. “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

10. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker

11. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates, Greek Philosopher

12. “If you want to build a successful business, make sure you have three things—a big market opportunity, great people, and more than enough capital.” -Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist, Author, and Entrepreneur

13. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” -Vince Lombardi, Famed Football Coach 

14. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain, Writer

15. “Everyone has an idea, but it’s really about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you with the idea.” -Jack Dorsey, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Twitter

16. “It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.” -Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” Judge

17. “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” -Seth Godin, Author

18. “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’” -Dave Barry, Humorist

19. “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.” -Ted Turner, Entrepreneur and Businessman

20. “The price of inaction is far greater than then cost of a mistake.” -Meg Whitman, CEO of HP

21. “If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 35 more letters.” -Claire Cook, Author 

22. “I stand up on my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” -Robin Williams, Actor and Comedian (from Dead Poets Society)

23. “If you had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” -Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

24. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” -Thomas Edison, Inventor

25. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” -Muhammad Ali, Boxing Champion

26. “Never tell your problems to anyone … 20 percent don’t care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.” -Lou Holtz, Football Coach

27. “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want  in life.” -Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker

28. “There are a lot of things that go into creating success. I don’t like to do just the things I like to do. I like to do things that cause the company to succeed. I don’t spend a lot of time doing my favorite activities.” -Michael Dell, Founder of Dell Computer

29. “100 percent of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in.” -Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Legend

30. “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” -Dale Carnegie, Author and Motivational Speaker

31. “Make your team feel respected, empowered, and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.” -Tim Westergen, Founder of Pandora

32. “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” -Seth Godin, Author

33. “You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the per­for­mance is to be a suc­cess.” -Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

34. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” -George S. Patton, U.S. General

35. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” -Albert Einstein, Physicist

36. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosopher

37. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” -John Maxwell, Motivational Speaker and Author

38. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” -Andrew Carnegie, Industrialist and Philanthropist

39. “Screw it, let’s do it.” -Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

40. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” -Aristotle, Greek Philosopher and Scientist

41. “If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” -Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

42. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein, Physicist

43. “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” -Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker

44. “Goals aren’t enough. You need goals plus deadlines: goals big enough to get excited about and deadline to make you run. One isn’t much good without the other, but together they can be  tremendous.” -Ben Feldman, Actor

45. “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

46. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” -Jerry Rice, Legendary Wide Receiver for the San Francisco 49ers

47. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” -Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

48. “If you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.” -Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook

49. “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” -Kevin Systrom, Founder of Instagram

50. “Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” -Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker

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51. “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” -Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

52. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” -Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder

53. “Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.” -Albert Einstein, Physicist

54. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou, Author and Poet

55. “Whatever you do, be different—that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” -Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop

56. “Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” -Billie Burke, Actress

57. “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” -Bruce Lee, Martial Arts Expert

58. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.“ Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

59. “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” -Oprah Winfrey, Entertainer and Entrepreneur

60. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” -Steve Martin, Comedian and Actor

61. “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” -Conan O’Brien, Talk Show Host 

62. “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there.” -Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

63. “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” -Donald Porter, British Airways

64. “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” -Samuel Johnson, Writer and Editor

65. “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” -Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE

66. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” -Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

67. “Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are:  in social media.” -Lori Ruff, Chief Brand Evangelist

68. “People want to do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you to help you get what you want.” -Don Crowther, Social Media Expert

69. “Always deliver more than expected.” -Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google

70. “You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn’t going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You’re going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it.” -Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines

71. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain, Author

72. “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” -Brian Tracy, Entrepreneur and Author

73. “Do an evening review at the end of the day to reflect on what went well, and what you’d do differently next time.” -Marilyn Suttle, Author

74. “Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” -Marian Wright Edelman, Activist

75. “You must take the time to do something that brings you joy. If you are saying to yourself, ‘I can’t do that because I have to pick up the kids, and run my business, and … and … who’s got time for fun? Are you insane?’ If you don’t have time for fun, you’ll be forced to take time for illness. Then what?” -Beth Ramsay, Author

76. “In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” -Anonymous 

77. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” -Colin Powell, U.S. General

78. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” -Nolan Bushnell, Entrepreneur

79. “You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, love big, and live big.” -Andrew Carnegie, Industrialist and Philanthropist

80. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda, Star Wars

81. “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” -Woody Allen, Actor and Director

82. “Business is like poker. You have to be able to read people. You have to understand the odds of a particular endeavor. You need to make calculated bets. And you have to get lucky.” -Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist and Co-Author of Poker for Dummies

83. “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” -Charles R. Swindoll, Author

84. “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” -Simon Sinek, Author

85. “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time—a tremendous whack.” -Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

86. “Even a correct decision is wrong when it was taken too late.” -Lee Iacocca, Former CEO of Chrysler

87. “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President

88. “Don’t wait for perfection. Life isn’t perfect. Do the best you can and ship. Real people ship, and then they test and then they ship again. Then you wake up one day and you have something insanely great.” -Guy Kawasaki, Entrepreneur

89. “Success … is no longer a simple ascension of steps. You need to climb sideways and sometimes down, and sometimes you need to swing from the jungle gym and establish your own turf somewhere else on the playground.” -Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn

90. “Be nice to geeks; you’ll probably end up working for one.” Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft

91. “To have a great idea, have a lot of them.” -Thomas Edison, Inventor 

92. “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” -Napoleon Bonaparte, Military Leader

93. “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” -Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

94. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein, Physicist

95. “Better understated than overstated. Let people be surprised that it was more than you promised and easier than you said.” -Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur, Author, and Motivational Speaker

96. “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are asking, what’s in it for me?” -Brian Tracy, Entrepreneur and Author

97. “When you’re first thinking through an idea, it’s important not to get bogged down in complexity. Thinking simply and clearly is hard to do.” -Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

98. “Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.” -Ajaero Tony Martins, Entrepreneur and Investor

99. “What business should you start today? One that you are passionate about, has a big market opportunity, can be up and running quickly, and that doesn’t require a lot of initial capital. Think Internet, apps, e-commerce, and mobile.” -Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist, Author, and Entrepreneur

Still not inspired enough? Be sure to check out 50 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Copyright © 2014 by Richard Harroch  

About Richard Harroch

Richard Harroch is a Managing Director and Global Head of M&A at VantagePoint Capital Partners, a large venture capital fund in the San Francisco area. His focus is on investing in Internet and Digital Media companies. He is the author of several books on startups and entrepreneurship. He was also the founder of several Internet companies. He is the co-author of Poker for Dummiesand a Wall StreetJournal bestselling book on small businesses. He was also a corporate partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, with experience in startups, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and venture capital.

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