There are a lot of ups and downs that come with being an entrepreneur. It’s not always easy to stay motivated, but it’s so important to keep pushing forward. To help you stay motivated, I have compiled a list of 17 entrepreneur motivational quotes that I have found to be very useful to encourage me on my entrepreneur journey.
Hopefully, these quotes will help you stay inspired and focused on your journey.
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Entrepreneur Motivational Quotes No. 1. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? – Robert H. Schuller
Many a time, we are limited by our own limiting beliefs. Before we set out to do something or act on that idea that would move our business forward, we already told ourselves why it cannot be done. So we put it on the back burners or procrastinate and never get down to doing it.
How refreshing it would be if we could remove all those self-imposed limitations and dream of the possibilities of what we could achieve instead! So think big and really ask yourself what you want to achieve without limiting yourself, then work towards them.
2. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Again, we are our own worst enemy. This second quote again is a proof of that. We have a lot of self-doubts and overthink issues to death before we act on the things we should be doing. This quote will hopefully provide us with further impetus to act.
3. If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. – Thomas Jefferson
This quote is telling us to try new things and experiment. You can have all the great ideas in the world, but if you don’t experiment with them, you will never know if they are any good. By trying new things, you will find out if they work and determine what you want to do next.
4. If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative. – Woody Allen
In trying out new things, unavoidably we may fail. We need to realize that failure is a necessary part of success and not be afraid of it. This is important if you have come from an employee background, where failures seem to be intolerable and inexcusable.
Being an entrepreneur means you need to be comfortable taking risks and failures. You can read more about how you can transition from employee to business owner successfully in this article I wrote previously.
5. I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. – Thomas Edison
Number 4 and 5 of these 17 Entrepreneur Motivational Quotes are dealing with failures, but number 5 is more to do with reframing failures or to change your perspective and look at failures differently. Failures are a necessary part of entrepreneurship journey.
The more times you fail, the more likely you are to succeed in the long run as you gain more learning experiences and know what would or would not work. Thus, do not fear failures, but embrace them and learn from the lessons and experience they bring to you.
6. Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't. – Anonymous
This quote captures the essence of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is about making sacrifices in the present so that you can enjoy greater rewards in the future. It's about taking risks and putting everything on the line in pursuit of your dreams. If you're not willing to do that, then entrepreneurship is probably not for you.
7. The obstacle is the way. – Marcus Aurelius
The obstacle is the way is a popular saying that is often used to encourage people to persevere in the face of adversity. The saying is attributed to the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, who wrote “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
The saying has been popularized in recent years by entrepreneur and author Ryan Holiday, who has written a book by the same name. The book explores how some of history's most successful people have overcome obstacles to make great achievements.
If you're an entrepreneur, chances are you will face many obstacles on your journey. The obstacle is the way is a reminder that you can't let those obstacles stop you from achieving your goals. Keep moving forward, even when it's difficult.
In fact, you should even try to go one step further and turn the adversity to your advantage by reframing it. It is precisely there are these obstacles that cause people to give up, those who persist will win the prize. And you and I are not those people who give up as we want to work on our dreams!
8. Done is better than perfect. – Sheryl Sandberg
This is especially for those people like me who have perfectionist tendencies. It is important to realize that can be never be a “perfect” product or solution, as there will always be new things that can be incorporated or improvements added.
So, if your product is good enough, you can always get it out into the market first and tweak and refine it after getting more feedback from the market rather than waiting for it to be perfect. This will affect your speed to market and thus your competitiveness.
Another way to look at it is that if you wait for it to be perfect, you may miss that window of opportunity and end up never launching it in the end. I experienced this when I first started selling on Amazon. I was already with the preparations and product listing and everything, but being a perfectionist that I was, I had wanted to wait and refine more before I launched my product.
Luckily I had a friend who is also an Amazon seller whom I knew from the same course I took that asked me, “Why don't you list it and see how it goes?” I then listed my product and got my first sale within that day and the rest, as they said, is history. I am so glad that I listened to her and listed that product and started getting sales sooner rather than later.
9. This too shall pass. – Anonymous
This quote is important if you are in a rough patch of your business journey and you need to get things into perspective. No matter how tough things get, remember that this too shall pass as tough times never last.
In fact, when you look back 10 years or even 20 years from now this would probably just be a minor blip in your overall business journey. So stay positive and focus on the long term while you are going through these tough times.
10. I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener. – Anonymous
This quote is important because it shows that you are busy working on your own business and don't have time to care about other people's (e.g. your competition's) businesses.
Some people are obsessed with noticing what their competitors do or not do, and it causes them to deviatee from their own business. This is something you don't want to do as all the time and energy spend in obsessing about your competition could be better spent in building your business.
If someone says something negative about your business, take 5 seconds to reflect on whether what he/she said is true. Try to find out more about how you can improve it if it is true. If it is not true, then bother to listen because you are too busy doing your own thing.
11. Building a business is not rocket science, it’s about having a great idea and seeing it through with integrity. – Richard Branson
This quote is about having the confidence to do it and following through. I have always encouraged myself by thinking that “Since building a business is not rocket science and many people have done it, why not you?”
If I have failed in something I pursue, it could be because I have not learned the right method of doing it as others have done it. So instead of thinking that I may not be good enough, I try to find out or learn from others who have done it before, e.g. learning from other successful entrepreneurs or looking for a mentor to guide me to cut short my learning curve.
The second part of the quote is to do with following through. It would surprise you how many great ideas were left unrealized because of a lack of follow-through. By having a great idea and keep working at it, you are more likely to see it through. This is important in any business, but is especially important in startups.
Especially in the online business world, you face many “opportunities” (another word for shining objects) and you may have many ideas you want to try out and you go into every single one of them.
What you should do is to choose one and focus on it until you become proficient or good and succeed in it (i.e. starting making money from it) then you go into and building on another idea.
12. Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. – Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space, and her quote inspires entrepreneurs to never give up on their dreams. The world is full of possibilities, and it's up to entrepreneurs to imagine what could be.
When you think of an entrepreneur, you perhaps picture someone who started a business from their basement, or someone who has been through a lot of hard work to create a successful business. They may run into resistance from family or friends who aren't too keen on their business idea.
However, you should never allow yourself to be limited by others who cannot identify with your ideas or your dreams and let your dreams die. You should just ignore them.
I have gone into length about this in my previous blog post “How to Ignore Naysayers As A New Entrepreneur?”.
13. Focus on being productive instead of busy. – Tim Ferris
In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget what's truly important. As an entrepreneur, it's essential to focus on being productive instead of just busy. By prioritizing your time and energy, you can make the most of every opportunity and achieve your goals.
Since your time and energy is limited, you need to focus on the revenue generating activities (i.e. those activities which would actually help bring in the money) and then delegate or outsource the rest to others who may help you with them.
14. Never give up! – Jack Ma
You will make mistakes, you will have some tough times, but eventually you will get through it and you will be better at it. The key is to keep your head up and never give up. Remember, it's not about being perfect–it's about continuing to move forward and getting better every day.
I remember in December 2014 when I was vising Zhejiang province in China; I saw that at the there was a stone placed at the entrance of the Hangzhou Normal University with the inscriptions of the writing by Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba.
The first line wrote “Never give up!” while the second line was the Chinese name of Jack Ma. He practiced this himself and finally created a successful ecommerce business empire with Alibaba from his humble beginnings as an English teacher from Hangzhou many years ago.
15. I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean
Many things happen in our business that we cannot avoid or change. However, we can be flexible and decide how we respond to them. Thus, it's important to have a growth mindset, stay nimble and be open to new ways of doing things as an entrepreneur.
16. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs
Entrepreneurship is hard work. But, as Steve Jobs famously said, the only way to do great work is to love what you do. And, while there may be days when you question your decision to become an entrepreneur, it will help you stay motivated on your journey.
17. If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY. – Simon Sinek
Last but not least, this quote from Simon Sinek would provide a great motivation for anyone looking to start or continue their entrepreneurial journey. Ask yourself why you want to start this entrepreneur journey.
Watch this YouTube video from Simon Sinek and it could help you find your why too.
Is it to have more time freedom with your loved ones? Is it to make money so that you can lead a more comfortable life and help those around you? No matter what it is, this will sustain you through tough times and whenever you feel like giving up.
These are 17 of my favorite entrepreneur motivational quotes that will help you stay focused and motivated on your journey as an entrepreneur. When you are feeling down, remembering these quotations can help push you back into action. They will also help you refocus and keep moving forward. Bookmark this article for future reference, so you always have a source of inspiration when needed. Thanks for reading!