99 inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs and small business owners

99 inspirational quotes for small business owners
(Last Updated On: April 10, 2023)

Running a small business online is definitely not a small thing. In fact, it’s something that has a lot of hurdles to overcome and lots of problems to solve. Though you started it out of passion, there are times inspiration may run out. And it’s perfectly normal! A few inspirational quotes especially for entrepreneurs can help you out!

That’s why we curated a list of inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs like you who want to keep the fire burning! And, they’re not just random motivational quotes — they’re handpicked for passionate business owners who want to reach great heights.

Ready to hear some great advice from great business owners and thinkers? Let’s dive in!

Here are 99 inspirational quotes for small business owners and entrepreneurs:

On ambition, idea, and innovation

inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs

Quotes that will help you when you feel doubtful about your actions, ideas, or ambitions:

1. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.”
– Henry Ford, Founder Ford Motor Company

2. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
-Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO Amazon

3. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”
– Scott Belsky, co-founder Behance

4. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.”
– Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway

5. “Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.”
– Michael Bloomberg, founder Bloomberg L.P.

6. “Ambition is the first step to success; the second step is action.”
– Unknown

7. “All our dreams will come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” let the bastards get you down.”
– Walt Disney

8. Risk more than others think is safe; dream more than others think is practical.”
– Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.

9. “Great companies start because the founders want to change the world, not make fast buck”
– Guy Kawasaki

10. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
– Steve Jobs

11. “Innovation is where imagination meets ambition.”
– Unknown

12. “Starting and running a business is as much about the innovation, drive, and determination of the people who do it, as it is about the product that they sell.”
– Elon Musk

13. “I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.”
– Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

14. “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.” 
– Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnbk

Related read: Qualities and traits of entrepreneurs

On success and failure:

motivational quotes for entrepreneurs

15. “Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”
– William Rosenberg, founder Dunkin’ Donuts

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

17. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
– Bill Gates, founder and CEO Microsoft

18. “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”
– Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO Mashable

19. “Your positive actions combined with positive thinking results in success.”
– Shiv Khera

20. “Whenever you see a successful decision, someone once made a courageous decision.”
– Peter Drucker

21. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones is perseverance.”
– Steve Jobs

22. “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill

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

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

25. “The greatest mistake a person can ever make is to be afraid of making one.”

26. “Your best teacher is your last mistake.”
-Ralph Nader

27. “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.”
– Jack Welch, chairman and CEO General Electric

28. “Failure is not an option here. If things are not failing, you’re not innovating.”
– Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

29. “Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.”
– Drake

30. “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”
– Lucie Ball

31. “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”
– Leymah Gbowee

32. “More is lost by indecision than wrong decision.”
– Markus Cicero

On determination and courage:

33. “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.”
– Naepolean Hill

34. “When something is important enough, do it. Even if the odds are not in your favour.” “
– Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

35. “I believe success is achieved by ordinary people by extraordinary determination.”
– Unknown

36. “If it makes you nervous, you’re doing it right.”
– Unknown

37. “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”
– Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

38. “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”
– Tina Fey

39. “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

40. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
– Hellen Keller

41. “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

42. “If you are really determined to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
– Unknown

43. ““Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
– Stephen Covey

44. “Obstacles are those frightful objects you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
– Henry Ford

45. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher

46. “Resilience is when you address uncertainty with flexibility.”
– Unknown

47. “The only one who can tell you “you can’t win” is you and you don’t have to listen.”
– Jessica Ennis

To help you start the day:

48. “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” you can’t win” is you and you don’t have to listen.”
– Isabelle Alande

49. “Now that your eyes are open, make the sun jealous by your burning passion to start your day.”
– Unkown

50. “This is not just another day; this is another chance to make your dreams come true.”
– Unknown

51. “isn’t it funny how day-by-day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different?”
– C.S Lewis

52. “You’ve never lived this day before, and you never will again. So make the most out of it.”
– Unkown

53. “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
– Jim Rohn

54. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
– Emerson

On entrepreneurship:

inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs

55. “Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey.”
– Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Malone

56. “My advice is to focus on the importance of forging a long-term relationship, whether with colleagues, partners, or customers. It is often easy to get caught up in short-term decisions.”
– Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder of Care.com

57. “Being a woman in business doesn’t come without challenges. My advice? Surround yourself with other supportive women that encourage you, share ideas, and get you motivated.”
– Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company

58. “Don’t try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important.” 
Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox

59. “Do not focus on numbers. Focus on doing what you do best. It’s about building a community who want to visit your site every day because you create value and offer expertise.” 
Cassey Ho, Founder of Blogilates.com

60. “Don’t assume that borrowing lots of money can make your business fly. There are many things to the business other than investors, and it’s possible to succeed with your business without breaking the bank.”
– Barnaby Lashbrooke, Founder of Time Etc.

61. “Be nicer to your customers than your competitors.”
Co-Founder of Innocent Drinks

62. “Only the paranoid survive.” 
– Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel

63. “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

64. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.

65. You have to learn to keep your eyes on an ultimate goal. If you lose sight of that goal, you have to get out.”
― Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani

66. “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, founder Pinterest

67. “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.”
– Roy Ash, co-founder Litton Industries

68. “All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.”
– Reid Hoffman, co-founder LinkedIn

69. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
– Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

70. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It defines you. Forget about vacations, about going home at 6 pm – last thing at night you’ll send emails, first thing in the morning you’ll read emails, and you’’ wake up in the middle of the night. But it’s hugely rewarding as you’re fulfilling something for yourself.”
– Niklas Zennstrom, founder Skype and Kazaa

71. “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”
– Unknown

72. “You’ve got to get your team to not only understand your company brand but also to understand their personal brand.” 
– Amber Hurdle

73. “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” 
– Unknown

74. ““Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”
-John Lewis

On ethics and values:

75. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
– Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway

76. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”
– Henry ford

77. “The real threat of business is from within; from poor ethical standards to lack of integrity.”
– Azim Premji

78. “If you set a good example you don’t need to worry about setting rules.”

79. “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
– Albert Einstein

On strength, persistence, and optimism:

80. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
– Robert Schuller

81. “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.”
– Oprah Winfrey

82. “Because, you know, resilience – if you think of it in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But the good thing is, with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”
– Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

83. “In carrying out e-commerce, the most important thing is to keep doing what you are doing right now with passion, to keep it up.”
– Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba

84. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.”
– Unknown

85. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
– Bill Gates

86. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
– John D. Rockefeller

87. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.”
– Jason Fried, founder of 37signals

88. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”
– Josh James, CEO of Omniture

89. “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
– Benjamin Franklin

90. “Optimism is the foundation of courage.”

91. “What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle, and giving 110% all the time. – Don Zimmer

92. “Believe you can and you are halfway there.”
– Benjamin Franklin

93. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.”
– Confucious

94. “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear, it’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time when we fall down.”
– Arianna Huffington

95. “A business absolutely devoted to service will have one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
– Henry Ford

96. “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
– Unknown

97. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
– Thomas Jefferson

98. “Be undeniably good. No marketing or social media buzzword will be a substitute for that.”
– Anthony Volodkin

99. “Instead of freaking out about the constraints, embrace them. let them guide you.”
– Unknown

losing inspiration occasionally is normal. And, as business owners, you need to keep yourself motivated regularly. Such inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs will help you get motivated.

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