32 Motivational Quotes Every Entrepreneur Needs To Hear
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Or maybe you’re well on your entrepreneurial journey. In either case, we all know that being an entrepreneur is not easy. It comes with a lot of challenges and at the same, chances for immense fulfillment. We get it.
To keep you going through your toughest moments, we’ve put together some motivational quotes to give you the pick me ups you need. And to remind you that you may not always know where you’re headed, but as long as you remember your “why”, you’ll be right where you need to be.
#1. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
There are always going to be challenges on your path. No matter how far you get, or the skill sets that you master. And the only way for you to really overcome them is to find the courage to fight for your dreams.
#2. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
You cannot grow or evolve if you do not learn. And sometimes, your best teachers are the mistakes you make, not just the wins you score. While it is alright to rejoice in your successes, every time you encounter a failure, take note and evolve.
#3. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi
Success is all in your mindset. Nobody said that getting to the top was ever going to be easy. But you were always told that the view from the top was amazing right? So why wait? Keep climbing until you get there. And if you fall down along the way, pick yourself back up and get going.
#4. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
Want to have the future you dream of? Get up, get moving, and create it. It’s all yours for the taking. Maybe not in the exact way you think it will be. But through a journey that is yours and yours alone.
#5. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
Logic is what will help you analyze and solve your problems to a certain degree. But with your imagination, you open yourself up to new possibilities and innovative approaches. Keep your logic sound and steady but don’t be afraid to think outside the box too.
#6. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
This famous quote from Edison is one that we’ve all heard many times over, no doubt. Even after failing as many as 10,000 times, the inventor refused to give up and as a result, went down in history with one of the most useful creations of all time. So every time that you fail, think of what you learned in the process. Your attitude towards your failures can make them your wins.
#7. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill
You don’t always have to do great things to make a mark. Just focus on doing something small in a unique way that serves others, and fulfills you, and you will lead a meaningful life.
#8. “What is not started will never get finished” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you do not push yourself to begin what you must do, you will never see the results. And you may never get to do what you want to do. Just thinking about getting started will not give you the business that you want.
#9. “Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
If you want to make sure that your work doesn’t feel like work, look for moments of joy in everything that you do. You don’t need to love what you do 24/7. But you do need to identify goals to work towards, and the moments in your day to day, that make you feel excited and motivated. These things will help sustain you through the most difficult moments.
#10. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
If you really want to foster a culture of improvement in your business, listen to what your unhappy customers have to say. They can show you exactly what you need to work on. And nothing beats winning them over, when you can.
#11. “Every problem is a gift—without problems we would not grow.” – Anthony Robbins
You need challenges to push you past your comfort zone so that you can keep growing and building on your successes. And more than that, you need challenges so that you can fully experience all that life has to offer you. Comfort is nice, but we weren’t given this one life to be comfortable.
#12. “There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin
Many people have amazing ideas. The problem is that too few of them are willing to actually make those ideas happen as an entrepreneur. As long as your idea is in your mind, it is just an idea. But if it’s something that you can’t stop thinking about, you owe it to yourself to try to make it come to life.
#13. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
In the age of social media highlight reels, it might seem like everyone’s an overnight success. But it’s all a facade. Keep putting in the work, day in and day out. And look to the stories of those who you admire who have done the same, while overcoming challenging obstacles. Choose to surround yourself with affirmations and inspiration.
#14. “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” – Henry Ford
One of your biggest assets, and one of your most difficult obstacles, is your mind. Whatever ideas you feed yourself are those which you will believe. And if you tell yourself that you cannot, you never will. In some moments it might really feel like you can’t. And maybe that’s true of a particular approach. But that just means you’ve got to find one that works for you. And it all starts with believing you can.
#15. “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey
You should never just rely on luck. Sure sometimes you’ll feel that you benefit from it. But in every instance that you do, if you take a careful look you’ll see how a whole bunch of seemingly small choices led to your luck. Luck happens when you are well prepared and find you when you keep putting in the work.
#16. “The only way around is through.” – Robert Frost
If you feel that you’ve hit a rough patch and the going gets really tough, remember that short cuts are also short-lived. The best way to overcome anything as an entrepreneur is to work through it. You may have to take infinitesimally small steps. But whether they’re tiny steps or giant leaps, keeping working through everything you come across.
#17. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James
Failure is inevitable. But regret doesn’t have to be. When you see an opportunity, seize it. When you think of an idea, try to execute it. Don’t sit on things that can move your business forward. Once you try and give it your best, even if you do fail, you’ll be that much wiser for the experience and more fulfilled knowing that you fought for your vision.
#18. “Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” – David Karp
For you to become an entrepreneur, you cannot just have a vision. You also need to be driven to create things that didn’t exist before you. Or exist in the particular way that you can believe they can.
#19. “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
Feeling safe is important, sure. But it doesn’t need to be the defining characteristic of your life. In fact, we’d argue that it shouldn’t. Push boundaries to discover what’s possible for you. Live your life to its fullest potential. And remember that you’ll only discover what that is if you treat your life as an adventure to be discovered.
#20. “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” – Reid Hoffman
Don’t spend all of your time around people who think and behave as you do. Aim to spend time in the company of those who have achieved goals you’re striving to achieve. Or who have skill sets and mindsets that you’re trying to master as an entrepreneur. You become the company that you keep.
#21. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” – Warren Buffett
Set goals that are realistic. And set them often. In this quote Warren Buffet speaks to the importance of this. When we set goals that are realistic, they take into account where we’re at and what we have the resources to achieve. And then we can build on them. When we set unrealistic goals we stack the odds against ourselves and we set the stage for failures that are harder to bounce back from. Take small steps every day. And don’t worry about it being small. A step is still a step.
#22. “It is always the start that requires the greatest effort.” – James Cash Penney
A lot of the time, what takes people the most effort is to start something new. Your mind can get crippled with fear and uncertainty. And this in turn will lead you to look for ways to delay what you want to change or begin. But if you can find a few seconds of courage, get yourself over the threshold. As an entrepreneur you’ll always find that each step afterward builds on the efforts of those that came before.
#23. “Have the end in mind and every day make sure you’re working towards it.” – Ryan Allis
Keep your eyes on the prize, friends. This might mean a vision board, affirmations or some other way to remind yourself of your big goal(s). But be sure that your goals are on your mind and that you’re working towards them every day. Stay focused. And get back on track as quickly as you can when you take an occasional detour.
#24. “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
This one is pretty straight forward. Don’t get caught up in shiny things and quick-fixes. Really dig into your business, and get to know your product and your customers. Don’t make assumptions about either. Keep building and innovating, and follow the data.
#25. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” –Mark Zuckerberg
When you work on things that you really like and are interested in, you don’t have to have a master plan from the get-go. You can just get started and then discover and innovate as you go along. Working on something that you’re invested in will give you the drive you need to see your journey through as an entpreneur.
#26. “As a founder, lay all the possible scenarios – from best to worst – in front of you, so you don’t get surprised when something happens.” – Brian Wong
Anticipating every last scenario might seem like it’s going to bring on a whole lotta anxiety. But that’s only a part of the process. Considering different scenarios allows you to come up with contingency plans and to build in buffers. And of course, when it comes to best-case scenarios it will also fuel you to move forward.
#27. “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” – Richard Harroch
When you get started, you might have visions of striking it big overnight or within a few months. But remember, you’ve got to pay your dues. Becoming profitable takes time and requires sacrifices. Live as lean as you can so that you can weather the early stages, and some of the in-between stages, that come with launching and scaling.
#28. “The things we fear the most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.” – Margaret Wheatley
In business, as in life, wisdom comes from experience. And you will only become more skilled at handling difficult situations as an entrpreneur once you face them. In the midst of a fluctuation or imbalance, it can seem like the worst is happening. But it’s that pressure that will help strengthen your business and your team to face even more when it comes. And to safeguard your business from challenges in between.
#29. “All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.” – Reid Hoffman
The Co-Founder of LinkedIn speaks from much experience. You were designed to create, so why hold back? Whether that means being an outright entrepreneur, or an intrapreneur who innovates from within an organization, go for it. Follow that urge to bring new ideas to life and see where they lead you.
#30. “How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon Chouinard
The view from the top, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with getting there is hard to ignore. And you shouldn’t. That’s a big part of what’s driving you as an entrepreneur. But remember that in order to get there you have to intentionally work for it every single day. Because how you do anything, becomes how you do everything.
#31. “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.” – John F. Kennedy
Don’t let your mind take you out before you’ve even given something a shot. You need to set yourself up for success, and not limit what you can achieve. Do everything you can to prepare yourself to do well. And then give it everything you’ve got. Ultimately you’ll learn what the experience is meant to teach you. And only you can decide how much you’re willing to learn.
#32. “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” – Brian Tracy
There are no two ways about it. There’s no neutral stance in this situation. You’re either working towards your goals as an entrepreneur, or you’re not. Take a step back often to reflect on how effectively you’re tackling each day, week, month, and year. The more you reflect on how well you’re doing, the more you can course-correct as needed.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart
But being an entrepreneur pushes you to discover how much you can achieve every single day. This can be grueling, even when it’s rewarding. The risks of burnout are real. And so it’s important to pace yourself where you can, and surround yourself with everything you need to keep that fire in your heart glowing and growing.