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Business Inspiration: Advice, Tips & Inspirational Quotes

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Entrepreneurs are only human. Just like everyone else, they often struggle to stay motivated and maintain their sense of purpose. The stress of an uncertain future never wears off.  Regardless of their latest achievements, an entrepreneur’s life only gets harder as their business grows. You can’t blame them for questioning why they continue to put themselves through so much psychological pain.

One thing that helps the average person get up for work in the morning is the knowledge that they are not alone. Entrepreneurs are no different. When they fall into a rut or face an unprecedented obstacle, the drive to move forward comes from seeing someone else conquer a similar challenge.

Since entrepreneurs have such unique lifestyles, it only makes sense to seek inspiration from other people who don’t follow conventional paths. Take, for example, the athletes who compete in the Winter Olympics.

In this article, we’ll answer the following questions and more:

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    How Do Entrepreneurs Recover from Failure?

    Feeling down about an initiative or investment that didn’t go as planned? Look what happens to Olympic figure skaters, skiers, or snowboarders when they fall. In these sports, one tiny mistake could shatter their dreams of a gold medal, with no one to blame but yourself. Imagine how frustrated and discouraged you’d be. Why bother getting up?

    Yet somehow, Olympic athletes can overcome their mental anguish and recover as if nothing’s happened. They get right back up and resume their performance. If they have another performance coming up, their previous failure appears not to affect their confidence and focus.

    Successful entrepreneurs frequently emphasize the importance of getting back up, even after the most catastrophic failures. After all, these are the decisions that had the most significant impact on their careers. Even if you don’t become a millionaire, no degree of financial success can measure up to the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t let a wrong move or bad luck take you down. Some people need to fall to remind themselves that they are not physically capable of giving up.

    Why Do Entrepreneurs Need to Take Risks?

    The amount of risks entrepreneurs take on each day is daunting. There’s risk in hiring new employees, launching new strategies, investing in new resources, buying new equipment, etc. The fact that entrepreneurs cannot predict what will happen to their businesses and industries is a significant risk in itself. Key employees might leave. Customers might lose interest. A new competitor could disrupt your entire business model.

    With so much risk involved, it almost seems like luck has more control over your business’s fate than your intelligence and work ethic.

    Winter Olympians face a similar dilemma. When skiers, snowboarders, or figure skaters hurl themselves into the air, they might not know if they jumped high enough or were moving fast enough, or were positioned in precisely the right way to achieve their desired result. The same concept applies to the race against the clock. Did you lean a little too much into that last turn?

    However, this lack of control doesn’t stop Winter Olympians from believing they can indeed land that trick or beat their record time. They also mitigate the risk by learning and practicing techniques that increase the likelihood of success. This requires the same dedication, like say, an entrepreneur trying to learn their target audience’s preferences.

    No, you can’t force your audience to click on your ads or engage with your social media posts. But if you learn the techniques designed to produce this result, victory doesn’t seem so out of reach.

    How Do Entrepreneurs Deal with a Lack of Recognition?

    There’s a common misconception that the smartest, hardest working entrepreneurs are also wealthy and famous. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most entrepreneurs don’t make the glamorous products or services you see on Shark Tank. Outside of their friends and customers, no one is aware of their success. But this doesn’t make their achievements any less remarkable.

    Winter Olympians have come to peace with this reality as well. These athletes work just as hard as mainstream sports stars. However, the average person couldn’t care less about speed skating, bobsledding, ice luge, and so on. Winter Olympians simply don’t receive the recognition they deserve. But when they make it to that podium, they feel like they are on top of the world. They don’t care that hardly anyone is watching their medal ceremony.

    Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the self-satisfaction of the Winter Olympians. Who cares if your business hasn’t been featured on a TV show, website, or magazine? If your small business is alive and kicking in this cutthroat society, reserve a spot on your mantle for that gold medal.

    What Do Successful People Do Every Day?

    Many entrepreneurs are motivated by specific people. They discovered them at a young age and immediately thought to themselves, “That’s the kind of person I want to be.” As a result, these entrepreneurs emulate their heroes in any way possible. This includes their daily routine, both at work and at home. You can’t blame them, as certain mundane habits have proven to make people better at getting things done.

    Adhering to the following habits can make you more creative, proactive, and less likely to let stress get the best of you. These habits also instill a sense of discipline, which has proven instrumental in countless entrepreneurs’ success. Whether your business is up or down, maintaining the same daily routine keeps you focused on the same goals.

    1. Make Your Bed Every Morning

    Not only will this make your mother happy, but it also starts your day with a positive accomplishment. It’s a habit that’s shown to correlate to increased happiness, an increased sense of well-being, and a stepping stone to increased productivity. Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, calls it a “keystone habit” in that it leads to a pattern of other good behaviors. Taking a few minutes to put your bed in order in the morning sets you up for a day chock-full of positive accomplishments.

    2. Read

    Want to get ahead? Read. This is the most common habit among ultra-successful, highly effective people. Warren Buffett is said to read 500 pages a day. You may not have time to read that much, but picking up a book can set you apart and help you get ahead. Be it fiction or non-fiction, entertainment or education, reading helps reduce stress, teaches empathy, and stimulates creativity. It’s also a big happiness booster.

    3. Stay Hydrated

    You can’t be highly effective if you’re running on fumes. This applies to hydration as well as nutrition. Dehydration has enormous ramifications. Whether you work outside or inside can adversely affect decision-making, induce fatigue, lead to poor diet, and bring out grumpiness. It’s been shown to result in more sick days and slower mental processing.  In short, dehydration is a death knell for productivity and effectiveness. So drink up!

    4. Tidy Up

    Mess equals stress. This applies to your desk, your car, your bedroom, or your boardroom. Clutter is a distraction. It keeps you from focusing, processing information, and making good decisions. This is not to say your environment needs to be sterile. Some studies indicate that some clutter can be good. It can promote creativity and fresh insights. The trick is knowing when clutter can benefit your effectiveness and when it hinders it.

    5. Get a Coloring Book

    Every highly productive entrepreneur needs downtime. For many people, this means meditation, yoga, or exercise. However, these habits don’t resonate with everyone. The recent craze for adult coloring books is proving to be a good substitute. Its simple motor movements and repetitive motions work similarly to yoga and meditation in that they slow your heartbeat and relax your mind. This, in turn, reduces stress, promotes creativity, and increases mindfulness.  Stashing colored pencils and coloring books in your desk drawer may seem childish, but pulling them out when you need a break is a great way to re-energize, relax, and maintain your effectiveness.

    6. Carry a Notebook

    This is another habit ultra-successful people adopt. Carrying a notebook with you each day holds numerous benefits related to cognition and productivity:

    It doesn’t have to be a fancy notebook. A regular, college-ruled pad will do. The key is to keep it handy and never hesitate to use it when the opportunity arises.

    7. Be Grateful

    Gratitude is a natural source of energy and motivation. Thinking about how fortunate you are should make you want to put these gifts to good use. Focusing on what you don’t have, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. You can feel the energy being sapped from you.

    Research has also found that gratitude makes employees more engaged and committed to their companies. Think of gratitude as an investment. When your company hits the inevitable speed bump, your employees will return your words of appreciation with their heightened efforts.

    What Are the Most Inspirational Quotes from Entrepreneurs?

    Sometimes, a single quote is all it takes to pull you out of a rut. Many entrepreneurs can even sum up their entire philosophy for success, a.k.a. the main reason they became successful, in just a few words. Here are some of the most inspirational quotes uttered by successful entrepreneurs:

    Inspirational quotes on overcoming failure:


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

    • Thomas Edison, inventor, businessman, and founder of the first industrial research lab dedicated to technological innovation


    “How many people are completely successful in every department of life? Not one. The most successful people are the ones who learn from their mistakes and turn their failures into opportunities.”

    • Zig Ziglar, salesman and motivational speaker


    “I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.”

    • Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club


    “Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

    • Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company


    “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

    • Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets and former basketball player


    “Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”

    • William Rosenberg, founder of Dunkin’ Donuts



    “Recognize that there will be failures, and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very little learning in success.”

    • Michael Dell, founder Dell, Inc.


    Inspirational quotes on achieving success:



    “Everyone who achieves success in a great venture solved each problem as they came. They helped themselves and they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they meet.”

    • Clement Stone, entrepreneur and author


    “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”

    • Zig Ziglar, salesman and motivational speaker


    “What I lack in talent, I compensate with my willingness to grind it out. That’s the secret of my life.”

    • Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur, marketing expert, and author


    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

    • Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company


    “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 Blakely, founder of SPANX


    “Success is about creating value.”

    • Candice Carpenter, founder of iVillage


    “You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.”

    • Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and motivational speaker


    “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”

    • Michael Dell, founder Dell, Inc


    “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 Companies and named one of the 20th century’s most influential business geniuses


    “Success is not the result of one decision, but a culmination of many decisions.”

    • Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications


    “Sometimes you have to get rid of something that’s good, and tinker with something that’s better.”

    • John Schnatter, CEO of Papa Johns


    “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

    • Booker T. Washington, educator, speaker, and founder and executive committee member of the National Negro Business League, c. 1910


    “You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn’t going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You’re going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it.”

    • Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines


    “After 25 years of buying and supervising a great variety of businesses, Charlie and I have not learned how to solve difficult business problems. What we have learned is to avoid them. To the extent we have been successful, it is because we concentrated on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over rather than because we acquired any ability to clear seven-footers.”

    • Warren Buffett, investor


    “Patience is a key element of success.”

    • Bill Gates, co-founder Microsoft


    Inspirational quotes on maintaining priorities:



    “A man should never neglect his family for business.”

    • Walt Disney, animator, and founder of The Walt Disney Company




    “[My biggest mistake is probably] weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”

    • Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla


    “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 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and founder of Covey Leadership Center



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

    • Caterina Fakke, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch



    “Build your business around your life, not your life around your business. This will give you stamina to build a business with longevity.”

    • Brenda Brock, founder and CEO of Farmaesthetics



    “You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.”

    • Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of VaynerMedia, investor, and wine expert


    “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.”

    • Ryan Freitas, co-founder of About.me



    “Life-fulfilling work is never about the money — when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.”

    • Eileen Fisher, fashion designer and founder of Eileen Fisher, Inc.



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

    • Farrah Gray, self-made millionaire by the age of 14 and motivational speaker


    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

    • Steve Jobs, co-founder Apple, Inc.


    “Live out your imagination, not your history.”

    • Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and founder of Covey Leadership Center


    “There is little success where there is little laughter.”

    • Andrew Carnegie, an investor in steel and railroads

    Inspirational quotes on understanding and creating value:


    “If you would like to know the value of money, try to borrow some.”

    • Benjamin Franklin, co-founder Library Company of Philadelphia, inventor, and diplomat


    “Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”

    • Warren Buffett, investor

    Inspirational quotes on overcoming obstacles:


    “Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week.”

    • Jay Z, music producer, bar owner, and sports agent; founder of Roc Nation


    “You didn’t grow up driving . . . you figured it out.”

    • Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of VaynerMedia, investor, and wine expert

    Inspirational quotes on customer satisfaction:


    “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”

    • Zig Ziglar, salesman and motivational speaker


    “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.”

    • Elizabeth Arden, founder Elizabeth Arden, Inc.


    “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

    • Bill Gates, co-founder Microsoft


    “When a customer’s expectations for your business don’t match reality, his or her perception is affected, oftentimes permanently. Shoddy business presentation and practices affect how much value a customer places on your brand . . . Any business, no matter what it is, lives or dies by the customer reactions it creates.”

    • Jon Taffer, former business owner, and restaurateur, current host, and co-producer of Bar Rescue

    “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

    • Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon


    “Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising in the world.”

    • Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company

    Inspirational quotes on employees:


    “Never hire someone you can’t fire.”

    • Melinda Emerson, the SmallBizLady


    “They don’t teach you this at Harvard Business School, but it’s all about people.  Everything happens by, with or through people. Nothing just happens on its own. Small businesses know this because we actually have to get things done.”

    • James Koch, co-Founder and chairman of Sam Adams


    “You don’t lie to your own doctor. You don’t lie to your own attorney, and you don’t lie to your employees.”

    • Gordon Bethune, retired Navy Lieutenant, aeronautics executive and named one of the top 25 Global Managers in 1996 and 1997


    “Make your team feel respected, empowered, and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”

    • Tim Westergren, co-founder Pandora


    “Surround yourself around the best people you can and give them an opportunity to do what they love to do best. Each one of my staff and faculty are leaders themselves. I cannot succeed without them.”

    • John Stonecipher, President and CEO of Guidance Aviation Inc., and named Small Business Person of The Year


    “You honor the past by embracing fresh ideas and by bringing in the right people.  You have to entrust the people in your organization to find the right talent and let them do their job.”

    • Rocky Wirtz, President of Wirtz Corporation and Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks

    Inspirational quotes on entrepreneurship:


    “I’m a big fan of small business ownership. I think it’s the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it.”

    • Bill Rancic, the first winner of the TV show “The Apprentice”


    “It doesn’t matter whether the Dow is 5000 or 50,000. If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no bad time to start a company.”

    • Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur, marketing expert, and author


    “Entrepreneurship is largely about being scrappy, creative, fearless, and somewhat irrational.  Those aren’t the principal traits nurtured in formal business training. And ultimately, general business skill sets are easy to hire.  My own business training was in a rock band.”

    • Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora


    “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.”

    • Madame C.J. Walker, beauty entrepreneur, founder of Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1908, and widely considered the first African-American woman self-made millionaire


    “You never lose in business, either you win or you learn.”

    • Melinda Emerson, SmallBizLady


    “Starting a small business has been one of the best choices I ever made. I have grown, and have learned, and have been able to explore my creativity in ways that I would not have been able to had I not taken that first step.”

    • Rawa, Founder, Peachcake LLC


    “If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.”

    • Candice Carpenter, founder of iVillage.com


    “If you want to build a successful business, make sure you have three things—a big market opportunity, great people, and more than enough capital.”

    • Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist, Author, and Entrepreneur


    “What is best for people is what they do for themselves.”

    • Benjamin Franklin, co-founder Library Company of Philadelphia, inventor, and diplomat


    “If I had to choose one attribute that would be most predictive of success for an entrepreneur, I would have to say being a good communicator. By that, I mean having the ability to get other people excited or inspired about your vision. In the end, success comes largely from the work and contribution of others around you, not yourself.”

    • Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora


    “The problem you ultimately want to have, as an entrepreneur, is deciding who to help, not deciding who can help you.”

    • Gene Simmons, entrepreneur, and musician


    “Almost every entrepreneur I know loves to brainstorm new ideas, often reminiscing the early days when they were still figuring out what to build. Side projects can ignite this entrepreneurial spirit and get a team excited.”

    • Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt


    “I don’t know why people are obsessed with growing so big all the time. It’s never been my idea to just grow so huge that I need a staff of 50. I love being nimble.”

    • Natalie Sisson, co-founder of FundRazr


    “Being an entrepreneur isn’t just a job title, and it isn’t just about starting a company. It’s a state of mind. It’s about seeing connections others can’t, seizing opportunities others won’t, and forging new directions that others haven’t.”

    • Tory Burch, CEO of her own billion-dollar fashion brand


    “That is the life of an entrepreneur: It’s a steady stream of hard work, occasionally punctuated by some really hard decisions.”

    • Dharmesh Shah, author, and co-founder of Hubspot


    “Entrepreneurs often think that there is a formula for running a business: measure this, check that box, and you’re done. But it never looks like that on the ground. It’s messy, but it has to happen organically.”

    • Marc Eckō, entrepreneur and founder of eckō UNLTD

    Inspirational quotes on taking risks:


    “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.”

    • Walt Disney, animator, and founder of The Walt Disney Company


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

    • Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder of Cloudflare


    “Often, in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead but the bold.”

    • Robert Kiyosaki, investor and author


    “I don’t look at risk the way other people do. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you’re going to be successful.”

    • Lillian Vernon, founder of catalog business and first woman-owned business listed on the American Stock Exchange

    Inspirational quotes on hard work:


    “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

    • Benjamin Franklin, co-founder Library Company of Philadelphia, inventor, and diplomat


    “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”

    • Oprah Winfrey, founder of Harpo Productions and media mogul


    “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

    • Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Inc.


    “The only place work comes before success is in the dictionary.”

    • Vidal Sassoon, hairstylist, and founder of hair salons and products


    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

    • Rob Kalin, founder of Etsy


    “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”

    • Estée Lauder, co-founder of Estée Lauder Companies and named one of the 20th century’s most influential business geniuses


    “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”

    • Madame C.J. Walker, beauty entrepreneur, founder of Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1908, and widely considered the first African-American woman self-made millionaire


    “The only way to do something in depth is to work hard. The moment you start being in love with what you’re doing and thinking it’s beautiful or rich, then you’re in danger.”

    • Miuccia Prada, business owner and fashion designer


    “The reality is that with a startup, you can’t sit around waiting for magic to happen–you have to just work your ass off instead. Talk to customers, build your product, get feedback, then do it all over again. It’s a cycle, and it’s hard work, and it definitely doesn’t involve magic.”

    • Hiten Shah, co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics

    Inspirational quotes on innovation and creativity:


    “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”

    • Sara Blakely, founder SPANX


    “We want to do just a few things better than everyone else. We just do things we think are right.”

    • Steve Ells, founder and co-CEO of Chipotle


    “I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”

    • Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon


    “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

    • Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla

    Inspirational quotes on leadership:


    “Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them, and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.”

    • Lee Iacocca, a senior executive of the Ford and Chrysler Motor Companies; author


    “Know what you bring. Know what you don’t bring. And build a team that covers everything you need.”

    • Angie Hicks, founder of Angi


    “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”

    • Andrew Carnegie, an investor in steel and railroads


    “The more effort that goes into a commitment, the greater is its ability to influence the attitudes of the person who made it.”

    • Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion


    “As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow.”

    • Himanshu Bhatia, Rose International Inc.


    “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

    • Jack Welch, a chemical engineer and former CEO of GE


    “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

    • Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club


    “Most businesses think that product is the most important thing, but without great leadership, mission, and a team that delivers results at a high level, even the best product won’t make a company successful.”

    • Robert Kiyosaki, investor and author


    “The secret to success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.”

    • Andrew Carnegie, an investor in steel and railroads

    Inspirational quotes on motivation:


    “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged.”

    • Lucille Ball, owner of Desilu Productions, actress and comedian


    “Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

    • Teddy Roosevelt, owner of Elkhorn Ranch and former president of the United States


    “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then, probability will occur.”

    • Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla


    “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 of Apple, Inc.


    “When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.”

    • Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics


    “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

    • Robert Kiyosaki, investor and author


    “I daydreamed for motivation. I didn’t lie to myself and talk about my passions and how if I was passionate enough about something, I could be successful at it.”

    • Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and investor


    “Sustaining a successful business is a hell of a lot of work, and staying hungry is half the battle.”

    • Wendy Tan White, founder and CEO of Moonfruit DIY


    “I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours?’”

    • Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit


    “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

    • Dale Carnegie, author How to Win Friends and Influence People; speaker


    “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.”

    • Andrew Carnegie, an investor in steel and railroads


    “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

    • Thomas Edison, inventor, businessman, and founder of the first industrial research lab dedicated to technological innovation

    Inspirational quotes on vision:

    “You must have an honest conversation with yourself about the vision you have for the future of your small business.”

    • Donna Levin, co-founder and VP of Operations at Care.com


    “Thinking about your purpose is actually pretty crucial to your success as a company and a brand: Not only does it give customers something to believe in, but it will inspire your team to think bigger and make your product better.”

    • Hiten Shah, Co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics


    “Walt Disney told his crew to ‘build the castle first’ when constructing Disney World, knowing that vision would continue to serve as motivation throughout the project. Oftentimes when people fail to achieve what they want in life, it’s because their vision isn’t strong enough.”

    • Gail Blanke, President, and CEO, Lifedesigns


    “Long-term goals are dangerous. They limit you. They hinder you from reacting to new conditions.”

    • Pete Cashmore, founder Mashable


    “If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent their growing.”

    • Coco Chanel, fashion designer


    “High expectations are the key to everything.”

    • Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club

    Let’s get to brass tacks:


    “Whether you’re a programmer or a seamstress, it’s all about new techniques, simplifying old techniques, and consolidating steps. Making things go faster — but not worse.”

    • Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia


    “If you want to sustain excellence over a long time, you’d better come up with a system that works well. Anyone can sprint for a little while, but you can’t sprint for forty years.”

    • Michael Dell, founder of Dell, Inc.


    “Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing . . .  layout, processes, and procedures.”

    • Tom Peters, co-author In Search of Excellence


    “The truly gifted negotiator, then, is one whose initial position is exaggerated enough to allow for a series of concessions that will yield a desirable final offer from the opponent, yet is not so outlandish as to be seen as illegitimate from the start.”

    • Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion


    “You can market your ass off, but if your product sucks, you’re dead.”

    • Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of VaynerMedia, investor, and wine expert


    “If a vacuum cleaner salesman rings your front door, he will be selling HIMSELF first. The vacuum cleaner is secondary.”

    • Gene Simmons, entrepreneur, and musician


    “Companies that realize that their growth opportunity goes beyond the surface level marketing and focus inward at the opportunities presented within their own product are the ones who will find outsized results.”

    • Sean Ellis, Founder of Qualaroo and GrowthHackers


    “See every crack, every detail. I learned to really see and not just look at my business.”

    • Jon Taffer, former business owner and restauranteur, current hosts and co-producer of “Bar Rescue”


    “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources — not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”

    • Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human and named one of the 50 most influential management gurus

    Inspirational quotes on taking action:


    “Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

    • Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels


    “Even a correct decision is wrong when it was taken too late.”

    • Lee Iacocca, senior executive and Ford and Chrysler Motor Companies, author


    “Execution really shapes whether your company takes off or not.”

    • Pete Cashmore, founder Mashable


    “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    • Wayne Gretzky, former hockey player and owner of sports teams and restaurants


    “I am not the richest, smartest, or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going.”

    • Sylvester Stallone, restauranteur, art collector, actor, director


    “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, founder of Atari, Inc. and Chuck E. Cheese


    “My best advice to entrepreneurs is this: Forget about making mistakes, just do it.”

    • Ajaero Tony Martins, CEO of Firefly Technologies


    “I got my start by giving myself a start.”

    • J. Walker, beauty entrepreneur, founder of Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1908, and widely considered the first African-American woman self-made millionaire


    “There are many really stupid ideas that wind up being brilliant if you can implement them.”

    • Gene Simmons, entrepreneur, and musician


    “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.”

    • Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft


    “I think business is still largely an execution game, not an invention game.”

    • Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora


    “A thousand acres that can feed a thousand souls is better than ten thousand acres of no more effect.”

    • Benjamin Franklin, co-founder Library Company of Philadelphia, inventor, and diplomat


    “So many people told me it was not a good idea to start a restaurant, especially a fast-food restaurant. There was so much wrong with it—it was too spicy; everything was done by hand, from scratch. Everything was wrong. But that’s why customers liked it; it’s different, in the right way. If you have an idea, just go for it. If everybody is telling you that it’s wrong, maybe that’s an indication that it’s an original idea.”

    • Steve Ells, founder and co-CEO of Chipotle


    “Tenacity will beat brains seven days a week. Go in on Saturday. Stay ’till 6:30 on Fridays. Somebody will notice and reward you for it.”

    • Jimmy John Liautaud, founder Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC


    “If you are the kind of person who is waiting for the ‘right’ thing to happen, you might wait for a long time. It’s like waiting for all the traffic lights to be green for five miles before starting the trip.”

    • Robert Kiyosaki, investor and author


    “Screw it, let’s just do it.”

    • Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group

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