Inspirational Entrepreneur Quotes: A Leadership Guide To Win!

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Anyone can have a good idea. Good ideas are the foundation of great businesses and great businesses are what drive our society forward. The problem is, many people have a great idea and stop there. It takes a special kind of person to be inspired by entrepreneur quotes (quick link to a list of quotes located below) and feel motivated to take their idea to the next level.

“Success is your duty, obligation, and responsibility.” — Grant Cardone

Starting a business is hard. A good idea will only get you so far before you have to deal with all of the nuances of making it viable. Not everyone is equipped to run the numbers, solve the problems and innovate around obstacles. As a result, many great ideas and good businesses fail before they even get a chance to start. And, when they do, motivational entrepreneur quotes aren’t always effective at helping someone overcome their setback.

It takes a special kind of person to succeed as an entrepreneur. They need to be equipped with a great idea, the passion to bring it to fruition, and a fortitude that can weather and overcome failures and setbacks. It takes someone who’s motivated by success quotes and fierce about their drive to succeed. It takes a truly special breed of person.

If you think you might be that type of person, you shouldn’t wait a second longer to pursue your dreams and goals! Your life as an entrepreneur starts today, but before it does, it helps to reflect on the words of successful individuals who have brought their own ideas to life before you. Here are the most important lessons they have to teach you:

Table of Contents

1. 14 Great Entrepreneur Quotes to Light a Fire Under You
2. Get Ready to Embrace and Overcome Failures
3. Focus Your Passion to Find Success
4. You’re Going to Learn the Meaning of Hard Work and Sweat Equity!
5. Learn to Look at Entrepreneurship as an Adventure
6. Believe in Yourself and Your Ideas
7. Don’t Waste Precious Time; Success Comes to Those Who Pursue it!
8. Discover the Traits You Need to Succeed

Armed with your great idea and the will to succeed, you’re on the right track to becoming the next great success story. Make sure you stay on this path and stand tall against the obstacles in front of you. With the right lessons and a few inspirational entrepreneur quotes in your pocket, there’s nothing that’ll be able to stop you from achieving your goals and realizing your dreams.

Just remember one thing: It all starts with you. Who you are, what you stand for and the decisions you make all outweigh even the best idea or the most viable business plan. Focus on self-improvement, learning, altruism and your own betterment—these are things that pay dividends on your success and will take you far in whatever endeavors you pursue.

No two success stories are the same, but all of them share a few common themes. Learn from the most successful people in the world and take heed of their success as you embark on your own adventure!

14 Great Entrepreneur Quotes to Light a Fire Under You

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It takes someone with tremendous perseverance, drive, passion and fortitude to make it in the world of good ideas. You need to be able to sell an idea and make it work, but more than that, you need to be able to sell yourself and the idea of success. There are thousands of entrepreneur quotes that talk about how glamorous it is to succeed as an entrepreneur, but just as many that talk about how hard it is.

If you’re feeling aspirational and are looking for words of advice about what you can do to succeed as an entrepreneur, take a look at these great quotes and see if any of them resonate with you. Sometimes all it takes are the right words to unlock something deep within you—something that propels you to the finish line and helps you establish yourself as one of the entrepreneurial greats.

1. “An entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” — David Karp

Young entrepreneur quotes like this one encapsulate what it truly means to be an entrepreneur. You have to be someone who wants more than just money or riches—you need to have a fundamental drive to create something that didn’t exist before and to pursue your vision to success. Sure, you may end up wealthy, but more importantly, you’ll end up creating something you’re proud of.

2. “No more romanticizing about how cool it is to be an entrepreneur. It’s a struggle to save your company’s life—and your own skin—every day of the week.” — Spencer Fry

Inspirational entrepreneur quotes like this one teach us that living the life of an entrepreneur isn’t as glamorous as we might think. It’s not a walk in the park, which is why not everyone with a good idea makes it in the world of entrepreneurs. It’s a constant battle of a never-ending string of troubles that you’ll need to face, often with no one else standing beside you.

3.“High expectations are the key to everything.” — Sam Walton

This is one of the most important entrepreneur quotes to keep in mind because it holds one of the deepest secrets to success. When you have high expectations, you demand perfection, and when you demand perfection, you find success. If you lower your expectations, you’re welcoming in failure and letting yourself be okay with sub-par results. This should never be the mindset of an entrepreneur.

4. “You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.” — Reid Hoffman

Funny entrepreneur quotes like this one paint a vivid picture of how chaotic life as an entrepreneur can be. You might not always have a plan at the beginning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t assemble one as you go! Often, you’ll find yourself in the most dire circumstances, with no bearings and no exit strategy, forced to make the best of what you have and try to achieve success with it. It’s chaotic, but it’s part of being an entrepreneur!

5. “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” — Tony Gaskin

Motivational entrepreneur quotes and words like these light a fire under you when you might be feeling a little deflated. It’s important to always have confidence and remember who you are and what you’re capable of. It’s easy to get down on yourself when times get tough, but if you remember what got you to this point to begin with, you’ll remember that you’ve got all the tools you need for success within yourself.

6. “Trust your instincts.” — Estée Lauder

The best entrepreneur quotes encourage us to look inward when we’re feeling unsure. Your instincts are what guide you in life and when you’re confident, your instincts will lead you down a path of success. There’s a reason your gut feels the way it does and your mind is urging you to do something in a particular way—listen to yourself and take your own subtle advice!

7. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” — Ray Kroc

There’s risk in everything. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll accept it and make the most out of each situation you’re presented with. Short entrepreneur quotes like this one are worth paying attention to because they keep you grounded in reality. You’re going to have to make a lot of decisions, each with its own risk. Either develop the stomach for risk-taking or abandon your dream of being an entrepreneur.

8. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates

Even when you strike out on your own as an entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be free from dealing with customers or responding to the beck and call of other people. Entrepreneur quotes like this one remind us that as an entrepreneur, you’re even more at the mercy of other people, despite being your own boss! Remember to pay attention to what people are demanding of you and, if they’re unhappy, figure out why and make it right.

9. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” — Lisa Stone

Too many people get into business for themselves because they think they know how to do something better. Unfortunately, it usually ends with them making the same version of the product they sought to correct. Entrepreneur quotes like this one remind us to not just assume we have the answers—especially when it comes to customers. Instead, don’t be afraid to ask a few questions.

10. “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” — Jessica Herrin

You’re going to fail a lot as an entrepreneur. It’s inspirational to know that amongst all the failure there is some success—you just have to be persistent enough to get through all of the setbacks and letdowns first. Success only comes when you’ve mastered failure and used it as a stepping stone. You’re going to learn a lot, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re learning much of anything! In the end, each new failure is a lesson that adds to success.

11. “Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad.” — Kevin Rose

Another motivational entrepreneur quote that teaches us to listen to our gut! This time, listen to your gut in the face of conflicting advice. Not everyone understands your situation or position, but everyone seems to have their own opinion to deliver. Even in the face of a good argument, being able to trust your gut when something isn’t right means keeping yourself on the path to success, instead of deviating towards failure on the uninformed advice of someone who thinks they know better.

12. “One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticism.” — Arianna Huffington

Entrepreneur quotes for women especially need to illustrate the power of standing your ground. You’re going to get criticized and knocked down, sometimes for no reason at all. People like to think they know better or pick apart your faults and failures like they could do better. Stand your ground, take your licks and stay focused on your mission. You’ll get back in the driver’s seat and eventually you’ll show them why you’re the one with the guts to be an entrepreneur—not just a critic.

13. “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

Positive entrepreneur quotes like this one remind us that the right collection of traits can take you far. You might not have an MBA or decades of management experience. You might not have a full team of experts or a list of hot leads ready to convert. But, if you have passion, creativity and resilience, you won’t need these other things to be successful. You’ll find a way by sheer grit alone.

14. “Start as small as you can. When I started SkinnyMe Tea, I had $24 in the bank, and I was entirely self-funded. If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product; you’ve launched too late.” — Gretta Rose van Riel

There are a lot of entrepreneur quotes out there, but this one is one of the most important. It encourages us to “just do it” and throw ourselves into the deep end. Even if your idea is still half-baked and your product is half-formed, having something to show for your work and the zeal that comes with it is often enough to get you started. Do it scared!

Think you’re ready for the life of an entrepreneur? Keep these entrepreneur quotes in mind as you get started on your journey, along with any others you find motivating and inspiring. If you have a few wise words you’ve taken to heart, share them in the comments below.

Entrepreneur Quotes Help to Embrace and Overcome Failures

The reason so many ideas fail and so many businesses don’t get off the ground is because they face incredible odds. Failure is an ingrained part of success and unfortunately, most failures happen right from the get-go. For many people, there’s nothing more demoralizing than striking out on their own, only to be met with setback after setback, failure after failure.

Some of the very best startup quotes and wisdoms from successful entrepreneurs focus on getting comfortable with failure. If you’re going to succeed, you need to learn how to fail first. Think about it like the age-old walking adage: “You need to learn to walk before you can run!” Most entrepreneurs try to get off to a running start and as a result, find themselves falling over. It’s the ones who get back up that will eventually find success.

Entrepreneurial quotes are motivational words that go a long way

If you’re struggling to recoup after a failure, it’s a good idea to keep some motivational pushing through quotes handy. Getting words of encouragement from people who have been in your position before will help convince you that consistent failure is worth enduring, simply because success is so sweet! Here are a few great examples:

“You always pass failure on the way to success.” — Mickey Rooney

This quote is simple and to-the-point, reflecting a perspective we may not always think about. Life is rarely as simple and straightforward as we want it to be. The same goes for success. There’s no direct line from idea to success—instead, it’s a winding road with twists and turns. There’s no roadmap, either! You might find yourself walking in circles, seeing failure after failure, but that’s all well and fine, because eventually, the road leads you to success.

Think about failures as roadwork. You might get stuck on the road to success and have to wait before you can move forward again. But, ultimately, you’re not going to get out of your car just because you’re stopped! You’re still on the road, on the way to your destination. It might take longer to get there, but you’ll get there nonetheless.

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” — Bill Gates

We often hear that with failure comes a lesson. This is 100% true and should be heeded at all times. Whenever you’re facing failure, look for the lesson and you’ll be sure to come away with advice on how to avoid a similar setback next time. What this entrepreneur quote reminds us is that while it may be more fun to celebrate success, it’s much more valuable to dissect our failures and learn from them.

Many times, we miss the lesson in failure because we’re working too hard to put it behind us. We want the good feeling that comes with success, not the bad one that marks failure. Looking past how we feel is important, though. When we pay as much or more mind to failure as we do to success, we’ll unlock the wisdom to ultimately produce more success. You might not feel so good starting your business and running into failure after failure, but if you pay attention, the future will be paved with success after success.

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

All it takes is one crushing failure to knock even an ardent entrepreneur out of the game. When your startup funding falls short or your first big sale falls through, it can leave you feeling inconsolable—after all, you just poured everything you had into your venture. It’s okay to feel demoralized. The key to being successful, however, is having a watershed moment and shaking off this negative feeling.

Take a moment to read wise words like these from Winston Churchill and be reminded of your passion and zeal. If you have faith in your idea and what you’re doing, even the biggest setback won’t be enough to dissuade you from your mission.

Failure is a motivation killer and a detriment to enthusiasm. Know this and battle to overcome it! If you stay focused on yourself and stay confident in your abilities, even the heartiest setback will become just one of the many you can reflect on someday when you’re successful.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” — Colin Powell

A lot of people think there’s some big secret to success—an unspoken idea that only a select few in the world know. The reality is much simpler. There’s no big secret; only the habits of successful people, which includes learning to manage failure. If you open yourself to the idea of failure and use it to learn how to avoid future setbacks, you’ll go far. This is the “secret” so many people think is out there. And, funnily enough, it’s a piece of common sense that many just don’t take to heart.

Use failures as a natural stopping point on your quest for success. Take a moment to embrace the setback, understand why it happened, look at what can be done to surmount it, how to avoid it in the future and more. Reestablishing your footing and getting back up after being knocked down with renewed confidence will lessen the blow and keep you focused. Regardless of how many failures you encounter, using these moments as stabilizing opportunities gives you the opportunity to carry on.

“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” — Tom Kelley

If the road to success is paved with failures, doesn’t it make sense to get them all out of the way as quickly as possible? It’s a funny concept: Failing until you succeed. But what’s even funnier are the number of success stories and success quotes that reference this exactly. Some of the world’s greatest innovators and most successful tycoons measure their success by the number of failures it took to get there.

If you look at early-stage failures as the prerequisite for success, you’ll be more inclined to embrace them when they happen. That, and you’ll be eager to move past them! The road may be full of twists and turns, but if you expect failure around every bend and quickly move past it, it’s only a matter of time before you end up at your final destination: Success.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ― Robert F. Kennedy

Failure is not an option quotes like this one remind us that success is uncertain; failure is a certainty. When you frame it like this, it can seem difficult to stay motivated… but that’s exactly why you should stay motivated! If someone tells you you’re going to fail, prove them wrong by succeeding after the failure. It’s only when you dare to go against the expected that you can achieve those uncertain (but exciting) results you’ve always hoped for.

Treat every failure as its own success

The best way to look at failure is as a form of success. If each failure is a lesson and a stepping stone on the way to something greater, who’s to stop you from using each failure as a positive experience?

Sure, failure may not feel great when you’re in the thick of it. But, when you align your thinking with positivity and stay focused on your goals, the prospect of failure seems a little less harsh. And, when you consider that success is built atop these failures, you might just get a little more excited with each failure, knowing you’re coming up on a breakthrough that could take you to the top!

Learn to get comfortable with failure and embrace the lessons it has to teach us. That’s the first step towards being a successful entrepreneur and the foundation for every lesson you’ll learn on your way up.

Entrepreneur Quotes Help You Focus Your Passion to Find Success

If you ask most people what defines success, they’re probably going to give you an answer that has something to do with money. Being a multimillionaire or a billionaire are common measures of success, as are not having any debt or being able to afford expensive things. But, what you’ll quickly realize as an entrepreneur, is that money has very little to do with success in the end. In fact, the people who fixate on money as a measure of success are the ones least likely to achieve it.

Instead of using money or wealth as a measure for success, look at what you’ve achieved based on your passion. If you set out with an idea and eventually turn that idea into a viable business, that’s a measure of success—no matter how much money your business brings in each month.

In many cases, focusing on your ambitions first will lead to things like money, wealth and freedom later on. Don’t focus on the money—it’s just the means to an end. Instead, focus on the idea that got you excited and ambitious in the first place.

Put your passion first

“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

There aren’t too many business quotes out there that’ll tell you to ignore the money and focus on your interests. However, there are untold words of wisdom from successful entrepreneurs who will encourage you to do exactly that!

The truth is, following your passions and putting your happiness first isn’t a detrimental business move—it’s one of the best ones you can make. When you’re invested in what you’re doing and working hard to bring it to life, you’ll be driven to success in a way money could never hope to motivate you.

Go back to the very beginning. Think about the idea you had and the motivating factors behind your decision to pursue it. This is where your entrepreneurial spirit lives! If you never lose touch with this feeling and your original idea, you’ll always have a guiding light that helps you stay on track to success.

If you’re not entirely sure of what your true passions are, take a moment to reflect on what got you where you are today. Finding the things that matter most to you is as easy as taking a moment to think about them.

There’s no substitute for passion

“Skills are cheap. Passion is priceless.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

From Steve Jobs’ wise words about having a passion for what you do, to Gary Vaynerchuk entrepreneur quotes rejoicing in the idea of making a living out of what you love, it’s clear that the most successful of us have embraced their passions.

Focusing on doing what you want to do with your life will put you in league with these household names quicker than chasing a payday. In fact, part of the reason we know Steve Jobs and Gary Vaynerchuk quotes is because they’ve pursued their passions. They’ve given us an uncompromised vision of their ideas—the things they’re passionate about.

You can be the most educated person in the world, with tons of wealth and riches, but if you lack passion, you lack focus. There’s nothing worse than toiling away at something that means nothing to you, simply because you might have the skills to turn it into a viable business. You’re not doing yourself or anyone else a favor in settling. Instead, embrace your passions. There’s no substitute!

Enjoy what you do

“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.” — Steve Jobs

This is one of the most powerful entrepreneur quotes because it tells the story of how to become successful no matter what you want to do with your life. It’s an equation. If you take your passion and add hard work, you get satisfaction. Satisfaction, reinvested into your business will lead to success! When you have the right ingredients, success is as basic as this, and it’ll seem even easier in practice, since you’re committing yourself to something you’re truly passionate about.

When you love what you do, it’ll shine through everything you produce. Whether you’re offering a product or delivering a service, it’s immediately apparent to everyone when that good or service is backed by passion. Doing what you’re passionate about creates a perception of quality, honesty and integrity. These are the cornerstones of a good reputation and a good reputation is vital for a successful business. Be passionate and enjoy what you do, and success will follow.

Recognize what motivates you

“It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.” — Paul Graham

Not sure what motivates you? Can’t decide what you’re truly passionate about? Reflect on simple entrepreneur quotes like this one to help you zero-in on what matters to you.

If you find yourself daydreaming about something, zoning out to think about it, nodding off at night with it on your mind, this is something important. Don’t dismiss it! No matter the idea or its potential for success, something that’s always top-of-mind is worth pursuing.

Think about the things in your life you like and enjoy. Even the little things. Then, think about how you can turn these things into focuses within your life. Doing this can spark a passion where there wasn’t one before and lead you to feel a sense of motivational empowerment you’ve never experienced! When you have that crystallization moment and realize what inspires you and what you’re passionate about, nothing will be able to stop you as an entrepreneur.

Don’t be afraid to succeed

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” — Albert Einstein

A lot of people are convinced that pursuing their passion will lead to failure. The reality is, pursuing your passion may or may not lead to success. Depending on how committed you are to success, it might just be a matter of how long it takes you to turn your passion into success!

One thing needs to be clear, though: You can’t be afraid to succeed. If you keep doubting yourself or telling yourself success isn’t possible, you’ll talk yourself out of it before you ever have chance to achieve it.

You might think, “I’m not afraid of success,” but your actions may speak differently. If you’re constantly sitting on opportunities instead of acting or you flip-flop between decisions, it’s because you’re not confident in your ability to succeed. This usually means you’ve lost focus.

Every so often, take a moment for introspection. Ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can to succeed or if you’re holding yourself back. And, if you conclude the latter, ask yourself how to get out of your rut and back into the race towards success.

Bet on yourself, against the odds

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” — H. Jackson Brown

The path to being a successful entrepreneur is an uphill battle, with few rest stops along the way to the top. Many times, all you’ll have to keep you going are the passion driving you and your focus on the goal up ahead. The rest is going to be hard work, zeal and perseverance.

Despite the odds, always bet on yourself. Putting all your chips on your own ambitions will make sure you have every reason to succeed, even when you get knocked down.

When your motivations are rooted in passion and a love for what you’re doing, few things will stand in your way. Obstacles will seem smaller, setbacks will be fewer and successes will be greater—all because you’re deeply invested in what you’re doing. Being able to keep your nose to the grindstone day after day won’t seem that bad when you’re doing it with a smile on your face!

Entrepreneurship Quotes Can Help Pass on the Meaning of Hard Work and Sweat Equity!

“There is no substitute for hard work.” — Thomas Edison

No one ever achieved success without a whole lot of hard work behind it. If it were as easy as having a good idea one day and waking up successful the next day, everyone would be an entrepreneur! Instead, the reality is much more difficult. Every day is going to be a constant grind and everything you do will be work for whatever you’re building. Hard work quotes will also help inspire your success.

You’ll know right away if you’re cut out for being an entrepreneur. If you look at hard work with a smile and find motivation in overcoming challenges quotes, you’ll be willing to put in the effort required for success. If it doesn’t seem worth it or you can’t see past the effort, you might not be ready to take the entrepreneur path. The best way to find out is to ask yourself a few simple questions.

Are you ready to work hard?

“Sweat equity is the best equity.” — Mark Cuban

There’s a reason so many people hang on Mark Cuban quotes and inspirational entrepreneur quotes and words from other self-made success stories. It’s because these words give us the power we need to prepare ourselves for the long uphill journey of an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Being able to see what’s at the end of your long, hard-working road can give you the inspiration to keep plugging along day after day. If you can look ahead and see what success looks like, you’ll be more inclined to put in the work now. It all comes down to a simple question: Are you ready to work hard? If you are, get started!

Are you willing to put in work every day?

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

Only the best of the best succeed and maintain their success. If you’re only doing a “good enough” job, someone who’s working harder is going to swoop in and take the success you worked for. To avoid this, you’re going to need to put in work each and every day. Hard work—because nothing good comes easy!

Facing the idea of hard work each day, many aspiring individuals reflect on Michael Jordan quotes and other inspirational entrepreneur quotes and words. Seeing the dedication required for paramount success means having the perseverance to stay on your grind at all times. Are you willing to put the work in each day? If you are, you’ll become just like Mike: The greatest of all time.

Are you adaptable and flexible?

“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” — Roy Ash

Part of being an entrepreneur is figuring things out. You’re not going to have any idea of what you’re doing, but you’re going to need to adapt and make it work.

If you do this, success won’t elude you for long! You’ll be able to meet and surmount obstacles nimbly, recover quickly after setbacks, and more effectively evaluate your position as you strive towards success. More importantly, you’ll have an edge over others who may not be as quick to correct.

Are you adaptable and flexible when it comes to weathering adversity? If you are, you’ll do just fine as an entrepreneur.

Can you stand up to adversity?

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” ― Booker T. Washington

When you get pushed over or fall down, do you stay there or do you pop back up on your feet? For entrepreneurs, it’s going to be a constant struggle—being knocked down over and over again, from different angles, by different obstacles. Being able to get up, keep going and not lose ground is important, otherwise you’ll never reach success.

There’s no avoiding failure as an entrepreneur, but learning to recover from it without losing a step is something you’ll definitely need to learn. Can you stand up to adversity? That depends on your enthusiasm and confidence in what you’re doing.

Work hard, sweat and succeed

Does the prospect of waking up to new challenges each day excite you? Are you confident in your ability to work harder than everyone else, pursuing a passion you know is true? Are you willing to get back up after countless knock-downs and reestablish your fortitude?

Take the time to look inward and ask yourself these questions and more. If the answers are a resounding “yes,” there’s no doubt in your future success as an entrepreneur.

Learn to Look at Entrepreneurship as an Adventure

Entrepreneurship is an adventure into the great unknown. Sure, there are footsteps you can follow to help you get to where you need to go, but your original idea requires an original approach.

For the most part, as an entrepreneur, you’re on your own. There will be people to help you out along the way and opportunities for assistance, but the core of an entrepreneurial journey starts (and ends) with you.

Don’t look at the road ahead with fear or back away feeling overwhelmed. Instead, saddle up for adventure! Taking the first step into the unknown will be scary, but when you finally get going, you’ll be compelled to keep going. From crawl, to walk, to run, every entrepreneur starts their adventure the very same way, even if the path towards success is different for everyone.

You can’t finish if you don’t start

“What is not started will never get finished.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney

Most entrepreneurs get started with stars in their eyes and a fire in their heart. They’re ready to go and they crave success! But these same passionate people quickly realize that before they can stand on the mountaintop in triumph, they need to walk through the valley and brave the wilderness. It can be immediately demoralizing to see the success you want, but not be able to reach it because it’s still so far away.

The reality of entrepreneurship really sets in when you hit your first real obstacle. What happens when the road ahead is blocked and you have to backtrack to find a new path to success? Many simply give up hope and that’s where their adventure ends.

Others, however, do what it takes to keep pushing ahead. Whether it’s asking for help, finding a new path or just reflecting wisely on overcoming obstacles quotes, it’s these innovators who will continue their journey and keep the adventure of entrepreneurship alive.

The journey is what makes us strong and resilient. When you do finally reach success, you’ll be weathered and worn, but you’ll also be strong and wise. Someone who is handed success may just as quickly let it slip through their fingers. Someone who has braved their own adventure and battled adversity won’t give up their success without a fight!

Are you ready to set out on your own adventure? Ready to brave the obstacles and test your character? If you’re eager to set out on your journey, don’t wait another day! And remember, even though times will get tough and you might feel lost and alone, there’s always opportunity waiting around the corner. Keep going and never give up!

Recognize your purpose and pursue it

“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd

“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

There’s a purpose behind every great adventure—something that inspires and motivates people to do extraordinary things. For entrepreneurs, there’s nothing more inspirational or motivational than a great idea. Yes, a great idea is even more powerful than any of the top entrepreneur quotes. The drive to take that idea and turn it into a reality is the purpose behind every great success.

Reflect on the entrepreneur quotes above for a moment and think about what it means to have purpose. A ship may look beautiful and stoic when it’s anchored in the harbor, but if it never leaves, is it truly fulfilling its purpose? It’s only when that ship is cutting through the open seas and flying high on a good headwind that we recognize its true beauty.

Doing what you’re meant to do has that same effect. It reaffirms a sense of purpose and shows you your true potential. Such is the case when an entrepreneur sets out to make something of themselves. They leave the harbor and set sail on the high seas, where they belong.

If you know your purpose and don’t take steps to recognize it, you’re doing yourself and the world a disservice. If you never pursue your passion and never realize your potential, you’ll deprive yourself of fulfillment and the world from the gifts you have to give it. Even worse, you’ll deprive yourself of the satisfaction that comes from achieving your fullest potential.

Imagine going through life knowing you can be better, but never taking the steps towards realizing it. Don’t be a ship sitting idly in the harbor—especially if you have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Sure, you’ll encounter rough and tough times as an entrepreneur. But when you come through them, you’ll feel even better about your decision to leave the harbor. Pretty soon, the prospect of storms won’t scare you as much as the prospect of dropping anchor!

Let your dreams compel you to succeed

“We grow great by dreams.” — Woodrow Wilson

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” — Oprah Winfrey

Everyone dreams of adventure in some way, shape or form. Children play pretend and make their own fantasy world; adults daydream about what they could be doing, to escape the reality of what they are doing. When it comes to entrepreneurship, you need to come down somewhere in-between.

Have the imagination of a child and never stop dreaming of ideas, but at the same time, do the adult thing and take action! Turning your daydreams and fantasies into reality gives you a reason to succeed.

When our dreams are on the line, we’re compelled to succeed. Just look at these Woodrow Wilson and Oprah Winfrey quotes as a prime example. They preach following dreams because, like these two inspirational individuals, we’re best motivated by the things we hold close. If you get the opportunity to live out your dreams, wouldn’t you? For entrepreneurs, it’s not about being given the opportunity, it’s about creating it for yourself.

Taking your dreams and making them a reality may seem like a farce. Dreams are dreams because they couldn’t possibly be reality, right? This is where entrepreneurs have to stand up and disagree! Who says your dreams can’t be reality? In fact, who or what is preventing you from recognizing your dreams?

Standing up to the obstacles and pushing through the naysayers is part of what it takes to turn your dreams into tangible things. If you truly want to realize your vision, you’ll need to have the fortitude to push back.

We all have dreams. The difference between entrepreneurs and everyone else, is the fact that an entrepreneur is compelled to turn his dreams into realities. Everyone else will have to be content with dreams that are always just out of reach.

Embrace your zeal for adventure

There’s nothing so fulfilling as a great adventure. Taking those first steps, embracing the uncertainty of the journey, weathering the obstacles and making it through to the other side—these are all part of what it means to accomplish something. This is the adventure every entrepreneur faces.

As you set out on your journey to turn a good idea into something more, remember that every adventure has its ups and downs. You’ll encounter strife and find opportunity where you least expect it. What matters is that you keep your adventure pressing onward and don’t lose sight of your goals.

Believe in Yourself and Your Ideas

If you don’t believe in yourself, why would you expect anyone else to? The mark of a successful entrepreneur is someone who starts with their own self-confidence and who doesn’t need validation or affirmation from anyone else to be successful. Ironically, entrepreneurs are beloved for this reason and often find support and assistance from others along the way.

If you’re planning to make something of yourself, you’ll need to reflect deeply on who you are as a person before you get started. Asking yourself truthfully if you have the fortitude and perseverance to succeed is essential, and having confidence in your beliefs and ideas is paramount. If you don’t believe in yourself or your ideas, they’re going to fall flat and fail before you even get started.

From age-old adages, to simple truths, to Thomas Edison quotes, Bill Gates quotes, and Grant Cardone quotes, there are plenty of ways to boost your own self-confidence. But, it’s up to you to recognize your own worth and potential.

Confidence is key

“Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.” — Barbara Corcoran

If you don’t feel confident at the outset of your entrepreneurial journey, don’t worry. We all start on shaky ground. What you need to do is knuckle down and take those first steps with confidence. As soon as you do, you’ll feel better.

It helps to read up on Barbara Corcoran and inspiring Barbara Corcoran quotes like these for a quick burst of motivation and the confidence to take those early steps.

With each step you take towards success, your confidence will grow. You might not always know what comes next or where you’re going, but your continuous progress will shed light on your ability to succeed. When you feel lost or uncertain, just look at everything you’ve done up to that point and reignite the confidence within that got you this far.

Never waste a good idea

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” — Thomas Edison

Believe in your own ideas. Even the simplest ideas you have are worth exploring! Why? Because they come from a great mind—yours! Pay careful attention to the epiphanies you have and the concepts rolling around in your head, because one day, they might be part of the grand vision that catapults you to success. If you let these ideas dissipate without acting on them or at least given them consideration, you might be letting go of something great.

Not every idea is a winner, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth exploring a little. Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that do the most good—like changing your approach to a problem or seeing a couple steps ahead of where you are now. If you doubt your own ideas, you’ll stagnate yourself and stop moving forward. This is death for an entrepreneurial dream, which is why every idea is worth investigating.

Brush away criticism

“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

There will always be people who want to keep you down. They’ll criticize your successes and tout your failures. Nothing you do will ever appease these individuals, which is why you should never try. They’re not worth your time or your frustration. And while the voices of naysayers might be hard to drown out while you’re in the thick of things, they’ll be absolutely deafened when you achieve your success.

When you indulge those who want you to fail, you open yourself up to their tutting and taunting. Pay them no mind, because they have nothing to offer you. They don’t want to help you grow and their criticism isn’t meant to provide you with a lesson. Shut them out and focus on what matters—whatever problem stands between you and success.

Listen to advice and learn

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

Not all criticism is delivered by naysayers. Constructive criticism is provided by those who want you to succeed and who have lessons to teach you. Listen closely and learn in these situations, because the lesson provided will be invaluable. You’ll learn how to avoid future pitfalls or correct mistakes you’re making. You’ll also learn how to embrace feedback and put it to good work. This makes all the difference in a successful business.

Never lose your ability to learn—especially when someone is taking the time to deliver a lesson to you. It might come in the form of an angry customers or a mentor’s wise words. Whatever the case, make sure you’re responding in kind and making use of the information you’re given.

Act, even against the odds

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” — Elon Musk

There’s a common theme in entrepreneur quotes from successful individuals: Not giving up. Elon Musk quotes like this one in particular show how crucial it is to keep pressing forward with positive action. The odds may rarely be in your favor but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to lose. In fact, just by taking the initiative to act, you’ll raise your odds to a winning favor.

Entrepreneurialism is rooted in forward progress. You need to stay moving at all times or you fall behind and, eventually, out of favor. Complacency results in setbacks and failures that could easily be rewarded by moving forward. And, even if it looks like you might fail, taking positive steps and testing the odds is better than taking no action and dooming yourself to failure regardless.

Never compromise your values

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

There are a lot of trials for entrepreneurs on the road to success and a lot of temptations too. Passing these moral tests and avoiding temptation is what will ensure your success one day. Those who take shortcuts or act immorally will almost certainly find their comeuppance later down the road—usually at the expense of everything they’ve earned.

Never compromise your values and always stay true to the person you are. Entrepreneurship may be a venture built on the concept of a great idea, but success is only won with character. If you compromise your values, you compromise your business.

Have a little faith!

Starting out on your own will be rough and rocky, no doubt. But if you act with confidence and pay mind to the validity of your own ideas, you’ll do just fine when the going gets tough.

Success is earned through perseverance, which means having confidence and pride in everything you do. Don’t be your own worst enemy as you pursue success—there will be plenty of other obstacles out there! Instead, leverage your strengths and become confident in your own success. Once you do, the road to success becomes just a little less troublesome.

Don’t Waste Precious Time; Success Comes to Those Who Pursue it!

When you’re an entrepreneur, time is always of the essence. Every minute counts and every day is the day to make something happen. Nothing is built overnight, but most businesses are built because the person behind them has pulled more than a few all-nighters. There’s a sense of urgency at all times, because if you don’t capitalize on your dream, there are thousands (maybe millions) out there who might instead.

Success comes to those who pursue it relentlessly. Waking up early, staying up late, working long hours and putting time in on the weekends are all going to be part of your lifestyle as an entrepreneur. The sooner you embrace it and get moving, the more of a head start you have on others who might be vying for your same success.

6 motivational entrepreneur quotes to inspire action

To understand the very real sense of urgency that comes with entrepreneurship, it’s important to look at what successful people have to say. Every business began as a startup, which means someone was at the helm pushing for success day after day. Here’s what they have to say about acting with urgency and pursuing success:

1. “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.” — John Wooden

Too many people focus on what’s holding them back. You might not have the skills to accomplish a specific task or the knowledge to solve a particular problem. So what? Find someone who does!

If you get sidetracked trying to overcome a single obstacle, you’re never going to reach success. Don’t let what you can’t do become the model for what you’re able to do. Never hesitate to seek help and develop a network of people who can do what you can’t.

2. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Feeling stuck? You’re bound to at some point or another. Getting into a rut and finding the strength to get out of it is the mark of a steadfast entrepreneur. You just need to remind yourself of all the resources and opportunities around you.

Staying mindful of what’s around you at any given time and knowing your abilities means never truly being stuck. It’s just a matter of finding the right way to move forward!

3. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh

If you’re trying to get rich quick, you’re going to fail. Don’t hit the ground running in pursuit of money. Instead, make sure your actions are fueled by passion. Invest yourself and your time in doing what you love.

Doing something just to get rich is what often lands people far short of their expectations. If you knuckle down and pursue your passion, you’ll invest yourself so deeply into it that nothing will deter you from success. It’s only then that you’ll see: Money follows great ideas.

4. “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” — Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett quotes like this one are great sources of motivation because they remind us simply to act. You don’t have to have a grand plan or a clear vision of exactly what to do—all you really need is the right idea and the will to act.

Sometimes just taking a small step in the right direction lends itself to big things, which gets the ball rolling on your entrepreneurial adventure. Taking action—even simple action—is everything.

5. “Don’t wait for the perfect time, you will wait forever. Always take advantage of the time that you’re given and make it perfect.” — Daymond John

So many budding entrepreneurs cite “the right time” as their excuse for waiting. Daymond John quotes like this one show the real truth: There is no “right time” to do anything. Act now!

Don’t wait for the stars to align or the variables to becoming dependable—it’s never going to happen this way and eventually, all your waiting will put you in a worse position to act. If you move now and are tactful, it doesn’t matter if the stars aren’t aligned. You’ll look back one day and realize that the time you decided to act was the right time all along.

6. “Money has no grey areas. You either make it or you lose it.” — Kevin O’Leary

Reading these Kevin O’leary quotes will help inspire you to try his morning routine. If you’re not acting, you’re not moving; if you’re not making money, you’re losing it. It’s as simple as that!

Waiting around to be inspired or being passive in your actions means costing yourself untold opportunities. Whether your goal is wealth, notoriety, power or fame, you’re putting them all at risk with inaction.

Don’t wait another minute

Time is precious and we only have so much of it. Couple that with the idea that there are thousands of other entrepreneurs out there vying for success just like you and you’ve got a race against time in which every minute is important. Don’t let another day pass you by while you plot your action—stop planning and start doing now!

Discover the Traits You Need to Succeed

You’re almost ready to set out on your entrepreneurial journey! Before you go, it’s important to reflect closely on the skills and traits you’ll need to harness before you take the plunge. These are traits prevalent across all successful people and they’re characteristics evident in leadership quotes. As you seek to make your way in the world, invest your time and effort in developing these core traits for success.


“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” — Jim Rohn

Discipline is what will keep you focused and zeroed-in on what you have to do to succeed. It’s what’ll keep you working hard after hours and help you stay on-task when all you want to do is take a break.

Discipline is hard to come by and takes a lot of self-control to stand by. To develop this skill, make sure you’re staying fully invested in your goals. Before you make a decision or take action, ask yourself, “how does this fit with my goals?” You’re going to find yourself saying no to a lot of things you’d rather be doing, but the result will be a more intense focus on the ultimate goal.

In a sentence, discipline is being able to delay your own gratification while you work hard to pursue something bigger and better for yourself. Entrepreneurship might seem thankless, but with enough discipline, it’ll be its own reward one day.


“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” — Earl Nightingale

There are a slew of goal quotes like this one. Why? Because goal-setting is a fundamental trait in any successful individual. Think about it: If you’re not sure exactly what you’re striving for, will you really be able to stay on-task as you work towards it? Having clearly-defined goals leads to clearly-defined actions.

Goal setting entails more than just setting goals. It’s also about identifying the right goals and creating strategies to reach them. If you set random goals with no real roadmap, you automatically diminish your chances of reaching them. Set S.M.A.R.T goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

When you get into the habit of constantly setting goals and qualifying them, your roadmap to success will become more clearly defined. Suddenly, the path ahead doesn’t seem so uncertain and the requirements for success seem much easier to obtain!


“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” — Albert Schweitzer

Perseverance is the ability to get up after you’re knocked down and keep trudging ahead, without any loss of motivation or enthusiasm. As an entrepreneur, it’s one of the best traits you can have. In fact, without it, you’ll quickly lose sight of your goal.

Perseverance is part of dealing with the many failures that come before success and it’s a trait that’ll help you harden your skin against naysayers, setbacks, pitfalls and letdowns. Perseverance is actually a form of strength. Only those with self-confidence and inner strength will be able to weather the uncertainties of a long, hard, less-traveled road. If you lack perseverance, you lack fortitude.

The best way to develop perseverance is to stay mindful of your mission and take stock in your passion when the going gets tough. Instead of giving into the negativity you might be faced with, anchor yourself to unrelenting positivity. Trust in your ideas, believe in yourself and keep your head up.


“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” — George Washington Carver

If you spend your whole life copying someone or trying to be something you aren’t, you’re not going to get very far. You’ll always be one step behind and waste time and energy on something that’s not unique to you. Instead, be original. Being original takes a fraction of the energy and comes naturally!

Put your originality into everything you do. Whether it’s a product or service, make sure your original idea is always present and always central. This is the key to success! If you’re just another copy of a copy, there’s nothing to set you apart and you’ll quickly sink into mediocrity.

This is where entrepreneurs go to flounder, stagnate and die. Avoid the doldrums of what’s on-trend and in-style; be uniquely you and let your idea ring out in its originality.

It can be scary to put yourself and your ideas out there in their purest form. Have confidence! If you can put yourself out there in an original way, you’re bound to connect with an audience who appreciates your risk and exalts your approach.


“Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.” ― Roy T. Bennett

There is no substitute for responsibility. If you shirk your duties or pass off blame on others, you’ll never be taken seriously as an entrepreneur. When you set out on your own, you need to hold yourself accountable and be responsible.

So many success entrepreneur quotes talk about responsibility because it’s a cornerstone not just in entrepreneurship, but in life itself. How you act and carry yourself, what actions you take and who you choose to affiliate with are all aspects of responsibility. Carefully making decisions and standing by the ones you do make will distinguish you in your endeavors.

Responsibility is something that’s earned with time. The more you choose to do and the better the job you do, the more responsibility will be associated with you. If you honor your word and do everything in your power to always act with candor, you’ll come to ingrain a deep sense of responsibility within yourself.

You have the power to succeed

If you have passion and motivation, backed by these essential entrepreneurial traits, there’s little holding you back from becoming the person you want to be. When you’re confident in yourself and your actions, it’s only a matter of time before your dreams become reality and your ideas become tangible. You have the power to succeed—you just have to look within yourself to find it!

What are the best entrepreneur quotes you know? Share them with us in the comments below to inspire others to find the same positivity you’re working toward!

Read Next: Barbara Corcoran Quotes to Boost Your Self-Confidence and Spark Your Motivation

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