“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” – Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator, and Author
Are you an entrepreneur looking for some inspiration? If you are, you know that the path that you have chosen is not an easy one.
There are days when things are going great. Then there are the slow days where nothing seems to be working as it should.
You are often confronted with possible failure. Sometimes you stare at uncertainty and discomfort right in the eye.
There are plenty of ups and downs.
Perhaps you have some great ideas and aspire to become an entrepreneur and launch your product out in the world.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, an aspiring future one, or you love the courage it takes to be one, you may need some inspiration in your life.
I have gathered some of my favorite quotes from some of the best and brightest minds out there.
These quotes acknowledge the challenges that go along with being an entrepreneur.
They also encourage you to reach for excellence and give you a much needed different perspective.
Let us begin!
1. Yearning For Something More
“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, French Writer and Aviator
2. Become An Unstoppable Entrepreneur
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?” — Ayn Rand, Novelist and Philosopher
3. The Leap Of Faith
“But as an entrepreneur you have to feel like you can jump out of an aeroplane because your confident that you’ll catch a bird flying by. Its an act of stupidity, and most enrepreneurs go splat because the bird doesn’t come by, but a few times it does. Most entrepreneurial ideas will sound crazy, stupid and uneconomic, and then they’ll turn out to be right.”– Reed Hastings , CEO of Netflix in an interview to Wired
4. Reaching For Excellence
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word: excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” – Pearl Buck, Writer and Novelist
5. Three Simple Things
“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 Fast Food Restaurants
6. Do It Now
“To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” – Catherine Cook, Co-founder of Social Networking Site MyYearbook
7. Go Ahead And Take A Chance
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”– Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Bakeries and Cookbook Writer
8. Use Change As A Fuel For Opportunity
“This defines entrepreneur and entrepreneurship – the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” ― Peter F. Drucker, Management Consultant and Author
9. Do Something About Your Great Ideas
“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, Engineer and Founder of Atari
10. Become Aware
“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” – Sheryl Sandberg , Author and COO of Facebook
11. Look Beyond Your Greatest Failure
“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”-Napoleon Hill, Author and Personal Development Pioneer
12. Become Comfortable With Risk
“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc, Philanthropist and CEO of McDonald’s
13. What Is Your Vision?
“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”– Tony Hsieh, Internet Entrepreneur and Former CEO of Zappos
14. Selling Your Idea
“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.” — Estée Lauder, Co-founder of Estée Lauder Cosmetics
15. Innovate, Innovate, and Innovate
“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” ― Peter F. Drucker, Management consultant, Educator, and Author
16. Never Give Up
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth, American Major League Baseball Legend and Member of Hall of Fame
17. Go Through Your Fears
“If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen.” — Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo
18. The Best Motivation
“I really love what I do. It’s extremely motivating to me.” – Jenny Craig, Founder of Jenny Craig Companies
19. What Are You In The Business Of?
“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, Founder of Virgin Group
20. The Worst Case Scenario
“What’s the worst that could happen? Everyone turned me down; big deal.” – J. K. Rowling, Author of The Harry Potter Series
21. Finding a Great Purpose
“I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” — Ellen DeGeneres, Comedian and TV Host
22. Accept Failure As Part of the Journey
“I was taught to put my best into anything I did and I can honestly say I’ve always done that. Still, there are many times when I failed, when I was disappointed.” – Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”– Steve Jobs, Co-founder and former CEO of Apple
24. The Price Of Success
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”– Vince Lombardi, Football Player And Past Coach Of The Green Bay Packers
25. Keep Learning New Things
“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had — everyday I’m learning something new.”-Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
26. Treat Your Employees Well
“Our attitude has always been that if you hire good people and provide good wages and good jobs and more than that – if you provide careers – that good things will happen to your company. I don’t see what’s wrong with an employee earning enough to be able to buy a house or have a health plan for the family.” – James Sinegal, Founder and former CEO of Costco
In every success story, you will find someone who has made a courageous decision. — Peter F. Drucker, Management consultant and Author
28. Risk More, Dream More
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks
29. Encourage People To Have Creative Ideas
“It is a critical job of any entrepreneur to maximize creativity, and to build the kind of atmosphere around you that encourages people to have ideas. That means open structures, so that accepted thinking can be challenged.”- Anita Roddick, Founder Of The Body Shop
30. Ditch Over-Thinking
“Don’t take too much advice. Most people who have a lot of advice to give — with a few exceptions — generalize whatever they did. Don’t over-analyze everything. I myself have been guilty of over-thinking problems. Just build things and find out if they work.”– Ben Silbermann, Co-founder and CEO of Pinterest
31. Push Through Uncertainty
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. Sometimes that’s a sign that something really good is about to happen. You’re about to grow and learn a lot about yourself,” – Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo as told to CNN
32. Change the World
“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote
33. Create Great Value to Others
“It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. Now 30 years on The Body Shop is a multi local business with over 2.045 stores serving over 77 million customers in 51 different markets in 25 different languages and across 12 time zones. And I haven’t a clue how we got here!” – Anita Roddick, Founder Of The Body Shop
34. Make Sure You are Working on the Right Thing
“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”– Caterina Fake, Co-founder Flickr and Hunch
35. Follow Your Inner Voice
“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, Co-founder and former CEO of Apple
36. Make Mistakes And Learn From Them
“Ive learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.”– Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric
37. Become an Expert in your Field
“Anyone can become an expert at anything in six months, whether it is hydrodynamics for boats or cyclonic systems for vacuum cleaners.”- James Dyson, Inventor and Founder of Dyson Vacuum
38. How To Survive as an Entrepreneur
“Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; its about trading: buying and selling”– Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
39. Best Learning Opportunities
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” —Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
40. Let Your Passions Choose You
“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.”-Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon
41. More Action Please!
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Writer and Poet
42. The Big Picture
“Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective, ‘What’s the best way to make money?”- Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla and SpaceX
43. Look Actively For Opportunities
“The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities.” — Michael Gerber, Author and Business Skills Coach
44. Say No And Prioritize
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically, to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the good.”-Stephen Covey, Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
45. The Right Mindset
“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”-Narayana Murthy, CEO of Infosys
46. Where is Your Best Team?
“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, Co-founder of LinkedIn
47. Build Processes and Structures
“Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.” —Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup
48. Become an Experimenter
“The key element of the art of innovation is treating life as an experiment—living with the idea that you need to continuously try things as opposed to just sticking to the knitting.”-Tom Kelley, General Manager at IDEO and Co-author of 10 Faces of Innovation
49. “I Can” Attitude
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.”– Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company
50. Tinker And be Open To New Ideas
“All sorts of things can happen when you’re open to new ideas and playing around with things.” — Stephanie Kwolek, DuPont Chemist
51. How Many Prototypes Again?
“I made 5,127 prototypes of my vaccum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution. So I don’t mind failure.”-James Dyson, Inventor and Founder of Dyson Vacuum
52. Transform Work into Play
“If you’ve got to work for the rest of your life, you’d better do something you’ll enjoy.” – James Sinegal, Co-Founder and former CEO of Costco
53. Have Fun And Lighten Up While Working
“Ninety percent of this stuff is just not that serious, we get crazy about it.” Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox
54. Make it Happen
“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”– Scott Belsky, Author and Co-founder of Behance
55. How Can You Make Things Better?
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”-Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX
56. Stay Curious
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ― Walt Disney, Cartoonist and Film Producer
57. Trial and Error
“Enlightened trial and error outperforms the planning of flawless intellects”– David Kelley, Author and Founder of IDEO
Now over to you! Which quote and idea resonated most with you?