Entrepreneurs are ingenious and innovative, responsible for creating the world we live in today. From technology to delivery services to life-changing products, entrepreneurs have overcome obstacles to bring their vision into reality. There are financial risks associated with entrepreneurship, yet so many people brave the uncertainties to create something they know will succeed. Whether a small business or a startup, entrepreneurs need passion and motivation to keep going. Here are 50 quotes by the world’s most influential entrepreneurs to inspire your business dreams.
- 10 Quotes to Keep You Motivated
- 10 Quotes to Deal With Feeling Inadequate
- 10 Quotes to Overcome Fear
- 10 Quotes to Inspire Growth
- 10 Quotes to Inspire Leadership
10 Quotes to Keep You Motivated
Staying motivated is so crucial for entrepreneurs. Having the right resources is essential, as is a mentor or team to support you. Remembering your vision and why you got started in the first place can inspire you to get after it. Looking at what other entrepreneurs have done is a great way to get motivated. Their success will inspire you to get working, and their wisdom can help your process.
- “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”
— Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s
- “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, Author of the 4-Hour Work Week
- “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”
— Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
- “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
- “I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.”
— Estee Lauder, founder of Estee Lauder Cosmetics
- “All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.”
— Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
- “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.”
— Oprah Winfrey, Media Proprietor
- “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”
— Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
- “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
— Walt Disney, founder of the Disney Brother Studio and Disneyland
- “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, Co-Founder of Github
10 Quotes to Deal With Feeling Inadequate
Sometimes it helps just to know you aren’t alone as an entrepreneur. When you’re feeling defeated or that inevitable burnout, rally with the people around you and the ideas that got you there in the first place. Remember that so many other entrepreneurs before you have dealt with the same things. Trying to make a profit, gain traction, and share your idea with the public can come at a cost.
- “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.”
— Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder
- “Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea.”
— Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga
- “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.”
— Wayne Huizenga, Owner of Blockbuster Video and the Miami Dolphins
- “Get a mentor in the applicable field if you’re at all unsure of what you’re looking for.”
— Kyle Bragger, founder of Forrst, and co-founder of Exposure
- “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
— Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter
- “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, Co-Founder of CarbonMade
- “See things in the present, even if they are in the future.”
— Larry Ellison, Co-Founder of Oracle
- “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”
— Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company
- “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
— Drew Houston, Dropbox Co-Founder and CEO
- “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
— Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO
10 Quotes to Overcome Fear
Fear is omnipresent in the life of an entrepreneur. But you can’t let it cripple you into inaction. Entrepreneurs have to own their fear and use it as fuel to go after what they want. Whether you are starting your first business plan, raising funds from investors, or launching your product, fear can’t be part of the equation. Here are the best quotes to help you shake any fear related to being an entrepreneur.
- “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, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.
- “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”
— Scott Belsky, Co-Founder of Behance
- “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.”
— Jason Fried, 37signals Founder and Co-Author of Rework
- “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.”
— Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA
- “Business opportunities are like buses: there’s always another one coming.”
— Richard Branson, Chairman and Founder of Virgin Group
- “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
- “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”
— Walt Disney, Co-Founder, Disney
- “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, AOL Co-Founder and CEO
- “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
— Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder
- “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”
— Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX
10 Quotes to Inspire Growth
All entrepreneurs want their ideas to succeed, which often means they grow into something bigger than they could have imagined. Sometimes it’s hard to see that change when you're consumed by doing the work to make it happen. These quotes all focus on inspiring the kind of growth that entrepreneurs dream about creating. Maybe you finally got your first business loan and are ready to get started, or you’ve been working on something for years and need an extra push to get across the finish line. Whatever the case, these entrepreneurs have been through it, too.
- “Always deliver more than expected.”
— Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google
- “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
— Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn
- “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
— Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft
- “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
― Oprah Winfrey, Media Proprietor
- “People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
— Tony Robbins, Life and Business Strategist, and Author
- “User experience is everything. It always has been, but it’s undervalued and underinvested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.”
— Evan Williams, Co-Founder, Twitter
- "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
- "Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets."
— Jas Bagniewski, Co-Founder of Eve Sleep
- "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
- "Ignore the hype of the startups that you see in the press. Mostly, it’s a pack of lies. Half of these startups will be dead in a year. So, focus on building your business so you can be the one left standing."
— Jules Pieri, Co-Founder and CEO of the Grommet
10 Quotes to Inspire Leadership
Finally, being an entrepreneur also entails being a great leader. Starting a business means you’ll be responsible for a team of people, which could be growing. Not everyone is born a natural leader, but reading these inspiring quotes from great leaders is a good starting point. Learning how to communicate with your employees and create trust is just as important as showing you care about people outside of business hours.
- “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”
— Tim Westergen, Pandora Founder
- “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”
— Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO
- “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, LinkedIn Co-Founder
- “Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.”
— Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
- “A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader.”
— Fred Wilson, Co-Founder of Union Square Ventures
- “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”
— Les Brown, American Motivational Speaker, Author, and Former Politician
- "Success depends on employees. For me knowing and connecting with my employees is very important."
— Divine Ndhlukula, Founder and Managing Director of DDNS Security Operations Ltd
- "In the age of transparency, honesty, and generosity, even in the form of an apology, generate goodwill."
— Alexander Asseily, Founder of Jawbone
- "One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticism."
— Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group
- "It’s important to realize that brand is much more than a logo and slogan. A brand is who your company is: how you function and make decisions."
— Joanna McFarland, Co-Founder of HopSkipDrive
Learning From Successful Entrepreneurs
These influential entrepreneurs have found success, enduring setbacks and fear to get to where they are today. Inspirational quotes from successful people will help keep you motivated and excited to grow as you navigate the waters of entrepreneurship. Feeling inadequate or afraid is a given in an entrepreneur’s life, so don’t let that set you back. Take the wisdom shared by these incredible people and make your dreams a reality.