I love a good quote. I really do. Heck, it’s why I created our Instagram account and apparently over 100,000 people love quotes as well. But do you know why I like quotes? Because they offer perspective… plain and simple.
As an entrepreneur, your world is going to be thrown for a loop on a daily basis. You’re going to question why you got into entrepreneurship and you might even question your sanity along the way (… like why would you subject yourself to this!?). It can also be quite a lonely and alienating journey.
Famous entrepreneur quotes remind you that you are not alone on your journey.
Apart from mentors, fellow entrepreneur friends and the support of family, as an entrepreneur, you don’t always have somewhere to turn when things get dark and when people can’t relate to the lifestyle you live. For me, quotes from other entrepreneurs who have been there and triumphed have always been particularly impactful in my life.
Nikola Tesla quotes like “The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine” remind me that I am creating my future.
They also remind me that what I am experiencing is all part of the journey and is something that every entrepreneur goes through at one time or another. They serve to remind me that no matter how hard times may be right now, fellow entrepreneurs have been there and survived. And not just survived, they thrived.
That is why I have handpicked 5 of my favorite entrepreneur quotes of motivation and how they can apply to every stage of your entrepreneurial journey.
Before you commit. (stage 1)
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
I love to start my day with this quote. It serve to remind me why I started.
For first time entrepreneurs, this quote is particularly relevant as it serves to set the tone for your upcoming journey. It serves to remind you that your life is not only defined by the things you do… but also by the things you do not do.
I for one would rather define my life by my actions rather than hesitations. As an entrepreneur, action is essential to success so I love this quote because it commands that you commit to action.
This quote separates the wantrepreneurs from the entrepreneurs.
It’s time for action. (stage 2)
“Everyone has ideas. They may be too busy or lack the confidence or technical ability to carry them out. But I want to carry them out. It is a matter of getting up and doing it.” — James Dyson
To me, this quote defines entrepreneurship in a nutshell. An entrepreneur is someone who decided to act on an idea they had – despite not having the requisite experience, skills or background.
Want to become an entrepreneur? Simple. You have to ACT.
When the going gets tough. (stage 3)
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill
I am a young entrepreneur and am only 4 years into my journey. Looking back at the past 4 years I can confidently say that I have failed more times than I have succeeded. Yep, I said it (don’t tell anyone).
But you know what? Those failures have made me a stronger entrepreneur and have set me up for some huge wins this coming year. Had it not been for those failures, I wouldn’t have learned what I have learned and I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I do not know a single entrepreneur who was a success right off the bat. As an entrepreneur, you will fail. You will fall, be lied to, scammed, proven wrong, laughed at and more. But that is what defines entrepreneurship.
I like this quote because it outlines exactly what an entrepreneur needs to do. Slap a silly grin on your face, bear down and keep moving. If you can move from failure to failure with no sense of prolonged discouragement, I guarantee you that you will be successful.
When people doubt you. (stage 4)
“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
It took me a while to realize that people are everything when it comes to entrepreneurship. I used to think that I could thrive in a bubble and build my empire in a vacuum. Boy was I wrong. Over the past 3 years I have met countless amazing people who have become my partners, advisers and friends. They have completely changed how I viewed collaboration and partnership in entrepreneurship. More importantly, they have made me realize the profound effect that the people you surround yourself with can have on your ability to succeed.
While choosing the right partners and mentors can make all the difference in your ventures, so can letting the wrong people drain you and belittle you.
I love this quote from Mark Twain as it reminds me of what I am trying to escape – small thoughts and the status quo. As an entrepreneur, you are escaping what is expected of you. You are escaping subdued ambitions and complacent dreams.
Anytime you are challenging this norm, people will hate. People will doubt and people will heckle. That is human nature.
Just remember why you started and the haters will be nothing more than an echo in the distance.
When things are going right. (stage 5)
“When you cease to dream you cease to live.” — Malcolm Forbes
You’ve been “entrepreneuring” for a while now. All the sleepless nights and tired days are starting to pay off. Your vision is coming to life, it is profitable and people are paying attention. What a great feeling.
But now is not a time to become complacent.
I have seen this happen time and time again in my life and in the lives of my fellow entrepreneurs. It is easy to become complacent when things are good. You start to assume that things will continue this way and that you can put all your eggs in the single baskets that have proven themselves before. I have done this only to watch those baskets vanish just as fast as they came into view.
That is why I love this quote from Malcolm Forbes. It is a reminder to keep scaling and to keep building. Once you have achieved your first goal, it’s time to set another and to build upon that.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” — Tony Robbins
No matter where you are along your entrepreneurial journey, remember this – – same old actions will give you the same old results. If you are happy with doing the same thing every day, you should expect the same output.
But if you hear a nagging voice inside of you asking you what if?, then listen to it. Listen to it and allow it to guide you. At the end of the day remember why you’re doing it.
Steve Jobs quotes have always made an impact on me so I’ll leave you with this.
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs
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