100 Best Motivational Quotes for Entrepreneurs

by Oudraa S
Turn Ideas Into Reality

Becoming and remaining a successful entrepreneur is not an easy feat. There are both good days and bad days. And sometimes, the bad days feel like they last much longer than the good. What’s important here is to give yourself grace, keep trying, and never give up. If you truly believe in yourself and in your business, your idea will eventually come to fruition with positivity.

When you’re having a tough day, week, or month, reading or hearing a motivational quote can boost your mood and shift your mindset. Alongside a quote, regularly practicing positive affirmations is also something that can help keep you in the entrepreneurial zone, prepared to succeed. For positive affirmations to repeat daily, check out our “100 Positive Affirmations for CEOs to Repeat Daily” blog here.

Sometimes all you need is a phrase or quote to remind you of your “reason”. It’s easy to feel exhausted and defeated if your business is not taking off the way you anticipated it to but, there is always a possibility. If you can BELIEVE it, you can ACHIEVE it! Start with your mindset – the rest will follow. Keep reading for 100 of the best motivational quotes for entrepreneurs.

1. “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

2. “If you know too much before the start, then you will get overwhelmed. Come up with an original idea, and don’t copy because there will be no passion. You need that otherworldly passion. Just start.” – Jeni Britton Baur, Founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

3. “I’m always tweaking, always trying to make it better, constantly moving the levers and dials.” – Steve Ells, Founder and co-CEO of Chipotle

4. “Don’t let anyone convince you that your dream, your vision to be an entrepreneur, is something that you shouldn’t do. What often happens is that people who are well meaning, who really care for us, are afraid for us and talk us out of it.” – Cathy Hughes

5. “Five days a week, I read my goals before I go to sleep and when I wake up. There are 10 goals around my health, family, and business with expiration dates, and I update them every six months.” – Daymond John, Founder, President, and CEO of FUBU

6. “Remember why you started.” – Unknown

7. “You have to believe it before you see it.” – Unknown

8. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

9. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

10. “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” – Adam Osborne

11. “I suffer from the delusion that every product of my imagination is not only possible, but always on the cusp of becoming real.” – Sean Parker, Founder of Napster

12. “If Google teaches you anything, it’s that small ideas can be big.” – Ben Silbermann

13. “SEO is a race, not a sprint.” – Neil Patel

14. “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.” – Pete Cashmore

15. “Never underestimate the power of a t-shirt.” – Unknown

16. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

17. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

18. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” - Henry Ford

19. “You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.” -Unknown

20. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

21. “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” – Chinese Proverb

22. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

23. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray

24. “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills

25. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

26. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

27. “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

28. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.” – Steve Case

29. “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington

30. “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 Blakeley

31. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz

32. “Everything started as nothing.” – Ben Weissenstein

33. “Empower yourself and realize the importance of contributing to the world by living your talent. Work on what you love. You are responsible for the talent that has bene entrusted to you.” – Catharina Bruns

34. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

35. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” – Napoleon Hill

36. “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” – Brian Tracy

37. “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

38. “Turn a perceived risk into an asset.” – Aaron Patzer

39. “People don’t take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side is unsecure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it.” – Michelle Zatlyn

40. “It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. You only have to be right once.” – Mark Cuban

41. “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

42. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J. Walker

43. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake

44. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

45. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Virginia Rometty

46. “No matter what, expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, be the unexpected.” Lynda Barry

47. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder

48. “The most courageous act is to still think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel

49. “Startups are the truest passion projects.” – Vinay Kanchan

50. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

51. “Vision without action is a daydream.” – Karthik Shankar

52. “Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.” – Seth Godin

53. “An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.” – Scott Belsky

54. “Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day, until you reach your goal.” – Ava DuVernay

55. “We lead with our conviction rather than rationale, because rationale said it was impossible.” – Daniel Ek

56. “For every dollar you spent in failure, learn a dollar’s worth of lesson.” – Jess Robbins”

57. “Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way, in a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. Opportunities – the good ones – are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.” – Susan Wojcicki

58. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle

59. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc

60. “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

61. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

62. “Stick with it, even on the bad days.” – Vivienne Harr

63. “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese Proverb

64. “There’s always an element of chance and you must be willing to live with that element. If you insist on certainty, you will paralyze yourself.” – J.P. Getty

65. “Fail forward.” – Unknown

66. “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – Unknown

67. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brené Brown

68. “Listen to anyone with an original idea, no matter how absurd it may sound at first. If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.” – William McKnight

69. “He who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Unknown

70. “Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” – Johann Goethe

71. “What is now proved was once only imagined.” – William Blake

72. “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” – Antoine Saint-Exupéry

73. “The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But above all, what the world needs most are dreamers that do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

74. “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

75. “The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones.” – Unknown

76. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

77. “Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.” – Barbara Corcoran

78. “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” – Antony Jay

79. “Nothing is stronger than habit.” - Ovid

80. “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” – A. Von Szent-Gyorgyi

81. “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Unknown

82. “Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” – Tao Te Ching

83. “You never lose in business, either you win or you learn.” – Melinda Emerson

84. “What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul.” – Deepak Chopra

85. “You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” – Shonda Rhimes

86. “Even the genius asks questions.” – Tupac Shakur

87. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

88. “Perseverance, the secret of all triumphs.” – Victor Hugo

89. “Don’t let someone else’s vision of success force you to stray form the path you worked to be on. Carve your own path and you’ll always be heading in the right direction.” – Michelle Phan

90. “What you are today is the result of your yesterday.” – Unknown

91. “Done is better than perfect.” Sheryl Sandberg

92. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

93. “If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.” – Claire Cook

94. “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” – Dale Carnegie

95. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – George S. Patton

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

97. “In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” – Unknown

98. “Even a correct decision is wrong if it is taken too late.” Lee Lacocca

99. “Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

100. “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

BONUS: 101. “You can either be your biggest fan, or your worst critic. Doubters will always offer you more doubt – don’t open your hand.” – Oudraa

If You Never Know Failure You Will Never Know Success

Even if this list has gotten you to consider things differently for just a moment, it has done its job. The path to entrepreneurship can be muddied with ups and downs. The trick is to stay determined and fixated on your goal. Even if you fail, fail with lessons learned and a renewed sense of perseverance.

You can do it!

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