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Passion to Profit: 80 Motivational Quotes for Business Success

If you want to become an entrepreneur, your first step is to learn from others to maximize your chances of succeeding in your endeavor. That's why we've compiled a list of the best motivational quotes for business owners looking for some much-needed inspiration.

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Motivational Business Quotes for Starting a Business

Starting a small business is one of the most challenging endeavors you’ll face. 

If you’re still on the fence about whether you should pursue your passion, here are some inspiring quotes from the business world:

  1. “A big business starts small.” — Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
  2. “You don’t build a business, you build the people, then people build the business.” — Zig Ziglar, writer
  3. “Making something people want includes making a company that people want to work for.” — Sahil Lavingia, CEO of Gumroad
  4. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” — Josh James,  co-founder of Omniture
  5. “Do not focus on numbers. Focus on doing what you do best. It’s about building a community who wants to visit your site every day because you create value and offer expertise.” — Cassey Ho, fitness entrepreneur
  6. “What helps people, helps business.” — Leo Burnett, founder of Leo Burnett Worldwide
  7. “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy. Do what is great while it is small.” — Sun Tzu, Chinese military general
  8. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain, writer
  9. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” — Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance
  10. “The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It’s part of the job description.” — Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr
  11. “A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.” — Nicole Snow, entrepreneur
  12.  “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
  13. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” — Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp
  14. “You need to spend all of your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value to the people you’re asking for money!” — Gary Vaynerchuk, businessman and writer
  15. “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” — Peter F. Drucker, management consultant and educator
  16. “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great achievements.” — Demosthenes, Greek statesman
  17. “Great customer service is a critical competitive advantage for a business.” — Steve Benson, cartoonist

Motivational Quotes for Business: Taking Risks

You can’t be successful in business without becoming a risk-taker. If you have ideas that you want to pursue but are afraid of failure, here are some wise words from successful individuals to hype you up:

  1. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” — Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook
  2. “You can’t be successful in business without taking risks. It’s really that simple.” — Adena Friedman, president of Nasdaq
  3. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” — Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
  4. “To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.” — Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
  5. “If you can push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking a risk, really amazing things can happen.” — Marissa Mayer, business professional and investor
  6. “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, diarist, and essayist
  7. “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” — Frank Zappa, musician, and composer
  8. “A lot of times, people look at risk and ask, ‘What are the odds that I will succeed?’ A different way to look at risk is to ask, ‘What’s the worst thing that would happen if I failed?’” — Dave Hitz, founder of NetApp
  9. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
  10. “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” — Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and writer

Motivational Business Quotes for Not Giving Up

Few successful businesses got off to a good start. It’s essential to keep your chin up, work on self-improvement, and believe in yourself. Here are some quotes to help you keep your head above water:

  1. “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” — William Durant, co-founder of General Motors
  2. “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” — Wilma Rudolph, Olympic athlete
  3. “There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.” — Michael Ventura, novelist
  4. “One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” — Michael Korda, writer
  5. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
  6. “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google
  7. “You build on failure. Use it as a stepping stone and close the door on the past. Don’t try to forget the mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.” — Johnny Cash, singer-songwriter
  8. “If we did all the things we were capable of, we would astound ourselves.” — Thomas Edison, inventor and businessman
  9. “Where do you put the fear when you choose to innovate? The fear is there, but you have to find a place to put it.” — Seth Godin, writer and businessman
  10. “Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities, and don’t let the bastards get you down.” — Michael Bloomberg, businessman, politician, and author
  11. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.” — Walt Whitman, writer
  12. “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.” — Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable
  13. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin, polymath, scientist, writer, and statesman

Motivational Business Quotes for Working Hard

Want to create something great? Then you’ll have to work your way up to it. After all, the average small business owner works over 50 hours per week. And that’s in addition to reading some of the best business books.

You must be ready to put in continuous effort until you reach the point where you can slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Let these quotes inspire you to keep chipping away at it:

  1. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
  2. “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear, it’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time when we fall down.” — Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post
  3. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King, writer
  4. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
  5. “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” — Wayne Huizenga, businessman
  6. “Never ever give up! Constant effort is the key to success.” — Xavier Davis, composer, pianist, and music educator
  7. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
  8. “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” — Charles F. Kettering, inventor and engineer
  9. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney, founder of The Walt Disney Company
  10. “Don’t count the days, Make the days count.” — Muhammad Ali, boxer
  11. “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while, the muse shows up, too.” — Isabel Allende, writer
  12. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” — C.S. Lewis, writer
  13. “There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” — Seth Godin, writer and businessman
  14. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.” — Steve Case, co-founder of AOL
  15. “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” — Eddie Cantor, comedian and actor

Motivational Business Quotes for Success

How and when do you know that you’ve created a successful business? More importantly, how do you achieve career success?

Those are some of the toughest questions to answer, but a few wise people have tried:

  1. “I never dreamed about success — I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder, co-founder of Estée Lauder
  2. “In order to succeed. We must first believe that we can.” — Nikos Kazantzakis, writer and journalist
  3. “Don’t worry about being successful, but work toward being significant, and the success will naturally follow.” — Oprah Winfrey, TV host and producer
  4. “Success comes from the inside out. In order to change what is on the outside, you must first change what is on the inside.” — Idowu Koyenikan, writer
  5. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee, martial artist and actor
  6. “You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.” — Dale Carnegie, writer and lecturer
  7. “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, memoirist and poet
  8. “The secret of success in any field is redefining what success means to you.” — RuPaul, drag queen and producer
  9. “It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.” — Mahatma Gandhi, political ethicist and lawyer
  10. “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” — Coco Chanel, designer and businesswoman
  11. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller, writer
  12. “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.” — Jonathan Winters, comedian and actor
  13. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
  14. “Carpe per diem — seize the check.” — Robin Williams, comedian and actor
  15. “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” — G.K. Chesterton, writer and philosopher
  16. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas Edison, inventor and businessman

Motivational Business Quotes for Overcoming Challenges

You’ll face many challenges as a small business owner, from financial troubles and lost clients to underperforming workers. Failures are an inevitable part of doing business.

Here are some quotes to get you through it all and to show you that most business owners face an endless barrage of difficulties:

  1. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” — Michael Jordan, basketball player
  2. “Entrepreneurs understand that there is little difference between ‘obstacle’ and ‘opportunity.’” — Victor Kiam, entrepreneur
  3. “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” — Molière, playwright and actor
  4. “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” — Charles R. Swindoll, pastor, author, and educator
  5. “Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine, author and lecturer
  6. “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” — Bernice Johnson Reagon, composer
  7. “If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” — Latin Proverb
  8. “Achieving success is a challenge, but so is struggling, so you may as well choose success.” — Rob Liano, writer
  9. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

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