Feeling discouraged? Looking for some inspiration?
As a long-time entrepreneur myself, I get it.
Deciding to be an entrepreneur is, in itself, taking a leap of faith. You have to be prepared for highs and lows. You have to expect and live with failure. There are days you will wonder why you started. It will be hard.
But, no one said it was going to be easy, did they?
How Many Startups Fail?
Did you know that 9 out of every 10 new businesses fail in their very first year?
I don’t share this stat to scare you, only to provide context. If you’re going to be successful you must work smarter, not harder.
A successful entrepreneur is:
- Open Minded
- Well Connected
- Good at Communicating
Are you wondering if you really have what it takes to be successful?
If you don’t trust and believe in yourself, who will? If you want to be successful, you must learn to listen to your intuition and rely on your own wisdom and “gut instinct” when it comes to decision making.
And, hey, maybe you do believe in yourself. But, everyone needs some support sometimes. When you feel uncertain, remember who you are and what you know. Chances are you decided to become an entrepreneur because you already have deep experience and knowledge in your field.
If you’re going through a rough spot and feeling discouraged, here are 100 quotes I collected just for you to help you get back in the right mindset and push forward.
And, know this: I believe in you. You got this.
Motivational Quotes for Entrepreneurs
- “The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”— Mark Zuckerberg, founder, Facebook
- “Every entrepreneur’s first responsibility after identifying his or her product, is their People, you can have a fantastic product, but without the right team implementing your vision into reality, all you have is a product, not a business, and certainly not a company.” ― Mofoluke Ayoola
- “If you have time to whine then you have time to find solution.” ― Dee Dee Artner
- “When in doubt, bootstrap. Using your own personal resources is the easiest way to start a business. You don’t have to convince investors about the merits of your idea. You just have to convince yourself.” — Ryan Holmes, Co-founder of Hootsuite
- “Every step we take toward the top is possible because of all the little steps we took in the past.” ― Dragos Bratasanu
- “Mom & pop stores are not about something small; they are about something big. Ninety percent of all U.S. businesses are family owned or controlled. They are important not only for the food, drink, clothing, and tools they sell us, but also for providing us with intellectual stimulation, social interaction, and connection to our communities. We must have mom & pop stores because we are social animals. We crave to be part of the marketplace. ” ― Robert Spector, The Mom & Pop Store: How the Unsung Heroes of the American Economy Are Surviving and Thriving
- “The difference between companies that make $100,000 vs those that make $1bn dollars within the same industry is paying attention to detail.” ― Lovemore Chirombo
- “When that day comes, I want to remember that the questions, frustrations, and believe that I am lost are all signs that I chose an authentic path, not a stagnant finish line.” ― Jackie Viramontez
- “Successful entrepreneurs don’t have better ideas; instead they have better mindsets for taking action. Action is what sets apart an aspiring entrepreneur from others.” ― Farshad Asl, The “No Excuses” Mindset: A Life of Purpose, Passion, and Clarity
- “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”— Napoleon Hill, author
- “It’s necessary to find a mentor who can invest time to know your personal capabilities and business model.” — Nigel Davies, Founder of Claromentis
- “Failure is not an option but it is constantly a possibility. You manage your success by managing both the technical and the social risk.” ― Dr. Dragos, Engineering Success: The True Meaning of Leadership and Team Building
- “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”― Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
- “Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.” ― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret
- “Chase Dreams, Not People.The right people will be drawn to you.” ― Izey Victoria Odiase
- “True innovation and disruption happens outside of the accepted playing field, outside of the court, outside of the battleground. Disruption breaches the field and changes the game.” ― Tony Curl
- “You don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for.” ― Daniel Milstein, Rule #1 Don’t Be #2
- “Thinking about the future is the worst way of thinking about the future. Working on your future is the best way of thinking about your future.” ― Dragos Bratasanu
- “Fail soon so that you can succeed sooner.” ― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
- “Your career is your business. You are its CEO. Complacency breeds failure. As the CEO of your career, you must continually improve your skills, especially the art of communication.” ― Carmine Gallo, Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great
- “Like growth, success is often a steppingstone from failure.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
- “Selling is not a pushy, winner-takes-all, macho act. It is an empathy-led, process-driven, and knowledge-intensive discipline. Because, in the end, people buy from people.” — Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder of Mindtree
- “The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” ― Nolan Bushnell
- “Never lose sight of your vision and value. What others choose not to see shouldn’t make you go blind. The pursuit of your vision will require a commitment of blood, sweat, and tears. People may try to imitate you but your super power is that there can only be one you. When you no longer get mad and shift your focus, you have unlocked the power in your value. Stay true to your vision until your vision becomes your reality.” ― Tasha McCray
- “Most people don’t know what they want. Some people kind of know what they want. Successful people know what they want and don’t take no for an answer.”― Colleen Ferrary Bader
- “An entrepreneur with strong network makes money even when he is asleep.” ― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
- “Your ability to attract, evaluate, and forge strong working relationships with co-founders, early employees, and investors often mean the difference between failure and success.” — Clara Shih, Co-founder of Hearsay Systems
- “Selling is serving, helping others find solutions, impacting lives positively with passion and integrity.” ― Farshad Asl
- “We all have the DNA of an entrepreneur. Some are building their own dreams. While most are building other people’s dreams. Entrepreneurs are Dream Builders. Are you building yours?” ― Farshad Asl
- “Entrepreneurs must be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.” ― Jeff Bezos, The Long Run & Other True Stories: foreword by Jeff Bezos
- “Perception is the beginning of all realization and actualization of possibilities.” ― Abhijit Naskar
- “To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.” ― Richie Norton, Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It
- “Sometimes in business, you get a whack on the side of the head, sometimes a gentle nudge out of your comfort zone. Either can be a blessing in disguise.” ― Nigel J. Bennett, Take That Leap: Risking It All for What Really Matters
- “When you stay in your comfort zone, you are not learning.” ― Ben Tolosa, Masterplan Your Success
- “Tell me the four people with whom you spend the most time and I will tell you who you are.” ― Ann Marie Sabath, What Self-Made Millionaires Do That Most People Don’t: 52 Ways to Create Your Own Success
- “Humans are born to build something outrageous.” ― Kumar
- “I see entrepreneurship, like many other activities, as a type of mission. A mission by which we can provide better life chances and quality for both our current and future generations.” ― Miguel Reynolds Brandao, The Sustainable Organisation – a paradigm for a fairer society: Think about sustainability in an age of technological progress and rising inequality
- “Blessed are the misfits who make their own rules and stick to them for they shall inherit peace of mind” ― Chikamso C. Efobi, Boss Bible: Daily Wisdom to Inspire the Successful Lifestyle in Every Achiever and Entrepreneur
- “Fight your fear, your laziness, your ignorance before you worry about fighting the competition.” ― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
- “Your mission or purpose is like a magnet that keeps you moving is a well-established direction” ― Doris P. Johnson
- “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” — Thomas Watson, Sr., former CEO, IBM
- “Of the top 10 sources of innovation, employees are the only resource that you can control and access that your competitors cannot. Employees are the one asset you have that can actually be a sustainable competitive advantage.” ― Kaihan Krippendorff
- “Make something people want and sell that, or be someone people need and sell you.” ― Ryan Lilly
- “I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” ― Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
- “To ‘wow’ a client is to win a client.” ― Richie Norton
- “People are the most important thing. Business model and product will follow if you have the right people.” — Adam Neumann, Co-founder of WeWork
- “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” — William Durant, co-founder, General Motors
- “Being a woman in business doesn’t come without challenges. My advice? Surround yourself with other supportive women that encourage you, share ideas, and get you motivated.” — Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company
- “Create value, not bait!” ― Stacey Kehoe
- “The type of person you are is usually reflected in your business. To improve your business, first improve yourself.” ― Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability
- “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together”, African Proverb” ― Paul Oberschneider, Why Sell Tacos in Africa?: 16 life-changing business strategies you can use anywhere, from the man who turned $400 into $200 million
- “Commitment shows up before results do!” ― John Di Lemme
- “You can get rich if you were born financially poor, But you can’t get rich if you are poor minded.” ― Rafaa Khiari
- “If you allow yourself to be bogged down and lose your enthusiasm, you are dead in the water. But if you remain optimistic, cheerful and committed to your goal, there’s nothing that can stop you.” ― Cathy Huges
- “Good is the enemy of great” ― Jim Collins
- “Do not focus on numbers. Focus on doing what you do best. It’s about building a community who want to visit your site every day because you create value and offer expertise.” — Cassey Ho, Founder of Blogilates.com
- “Patience is a virtue not a vice.” ― Jaachynma N.E. Agu
- “Don’t try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important.” — Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox
- “The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.”— Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google
- “Success in life is not for those who run fast, but for those who keep running and always on the move.” ― Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity
- “Branding is fascinating. Creating a brand that is authentic and timeless is what entrepreneurs dream of. Dare to be different, dare to dream.” ― Independent Zen
- “If it comes easy, it will go fast.” ― Andrena Sawyer
- “The fear of disappointing others will cripple the ability to succeed. Everyone makes mistakes.
- Some fear that others will judge them if they fail. The Interpreter is not ruled by such fear and cares little for the opinion of others.” ― Brock M. Stout, The Interpreter’s Journey
- “Your Core Values are the “glue” that holds your business together.” ― Doris P. Johnson
- “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe” ― Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
- “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”― Sigmund Freud, neurologist
- “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” ― Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine founder
- “Focus on people who matter most; focus on ideas that change the world for better; be generous in helping people trying to bring those ideas to life.” ― Ilya Movshovich
- “Thinking big is a skill all entrepreneurs should be focused on cultivating.” ― Stephanie Breedlove
- “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- “Spend one more day in pursuit of art that only you can produce, and somewhere, someone is envying your courage to do just that.” ― Teresa R. Funke, Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life blog
- “A leader without a team, is a car without steering wheel” ― Fabrizio Moreira, The Gift That Would Change My Life
- “If you would not spend time looking at it, do not ship it. One of the best quality assurance rules of thumb is to avoid publishing content that you would not consume. Simple, yet so hard to execute on. My audience deserves my very best. Repeat that to yourself every single day.” ― Laura Busche, Powering Content: Building a Nonstop Content Marketing Machine
- “Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important.” ― Jaachynma N.E. Agu, The Prince and the Pauper
- “You may not have connections, or an education, or wealth, but with enough passion and sweat, you can make anything happen.” ― Gary Vaynerchuk, Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
- “Love your work and success is your next customer.” ― Alin Sav
- “No matter what the industry you choose to ultimately invest all your time and energy in, be sure you’re the owner, founder, and CEO. Remember, if you don’t own it, you can’t control it nor can you depend on it.” ― Brandi L. Bates, Moonshine For The Soul: A Path to Strength, Wisdom, Growth, Health & Happiness
- “Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad.” — Kevin Rose, co-founded Digg
- “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”— John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America
- “Doug Rauch, former President of Trader Joe’s, views employees and customers as two wings of a bird: you need both of them to fly. They go together—if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your customers. When your customers are happier and they enjoy shopping, it also makes your employees’ lives happier, so it’s a virtuous cycle.” ― Nickles McHugh McHugh, Understanding Business
- “The road to success begins with knowing what you need to know and why” ― Savania China
- “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ― Anaïs Nin, writer
- “It’s not about getting out of your comfort zone to reach your goal. It’s about widening your comfort zone so far that your goal fits comfortably inside. Once you do that, hitting your goals will be like hitting 3s for Steph Curry.” ― Richie Norton
- “Let them ask who you are but do not let others dictate who you should be.” ― Hockson Floin
- “If you don’t appreciate your customers, someone else will.” ― Jason Langella
- “I think a great entrepreneur is learning every day. An entrepreneur is somebody that doesn’t take no for an answer — they’re going to figure something out. They also take responsibility. They don’t blame anybody else. And they’re dreamers in one sense but they’re also realistic and they take affordable steps when they can.” ― Damon John
- “The fastidious entrepreneur is a connoisseur as well as a poet.” ― Sravani Saha Nakhro
- “Hidden skills and knowledge are the essence of a successful small business or consulting firm. Unleash and leverage what is locked inside your head to help others while help yourself.” ― Sarah Gerdes, The Overlooked Expert
- “A wise question doesn’t ask, – it creates.” ― Kangoma Kindembo
- “Goals and dreams are the entrepreneur’s mental energy. However, the same goals and dreams that drive his behavior will also drive him to an early grave if he doesn’t take care of his physical energy through a mix of exercise and relaxation. Energy manipulation is the ability to feed the mind with dreams and sustain the body so it will keep up with those dreams.” ― Gudjon Bergmann
- “THE EASIEST AND MORE PLEASANT PATH TO SUCCESS IS BY ADDING VALUE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES” ― Linda Alfiori, The Art of Loving Again: How to More Intelligently Start Again After a Breakup, Divorce and The Death of a Loved One
- “Money chases good ideas” ― Jonah Lehrer, Imagine: How Creativity Works
- “they don’t serve champagne at pity parties” ― Cara Alwill Leyba, Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur
- “There are no overnight success. It’s a combination of humility, sacrifices, tenacity, failure, and opportunity.” ― Timi Nadela, Get To The Top
- It’s very important for entrepreneurs to look for people in the company who are not afraid of failures, for example, intrapreneurs. They make a business more successful by thinking like an entrepreneur — but within a company.” — Chirag Kulkarni, Founder of Taco
- “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” — Jessica Herrin, founder and CEO of Stella & Dot
- “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”— Scott Belsky, Behance co-founder
- “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, Apple Inc. co-founder, chairman and CEO
- “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”— Napoleon Hill
Now, go get ‘em, tiger.
Do you have a favorite motivational quote to add to the list? Share it in the comments. Let’s help motivate and inspire others.
That’s why you became an entrepreneur in the first place, right?