115 best business quotes for entrepreneurs – motivation, business, and mindset

A roundup of the 115 best business quotes for entrepreneurs, creatives, founders, and freelancers who need inspiration, motivation, and a mindset boost to overcome all the hurdles that come with growing a successful business.

Being a freelance business owner, I often find it hard to stay inspired and motivated about my work every day. And by hard, I mean impossible. Being a full-time nomad makes it extra difficult, because there’s always new and exciting things to do that don’t involve a desk or a laptop. Sigh. I find that caffeine helps with motivation. Exercise definitely helps. Getting wildly sidetracked writing this blog also helps…in a very roundabout way.

My secret confession is that I kind of enjoy reading motivational quotes to help me stick with the program of growing my business. I use a focus app called Brain.FM and I love the endless supply of entrepreneur quotes that it cycles through when you open up the dashboard. Yeah I know, I’m a little weird.

The life of entrepreneurship and freelancing means you have to get used to the universe (and clients) throwing a bunch of curveballs at you on a regular basis. There’s no such thing as “having it all figured out”. We’re all struggling with different things at different levels, and the only way to succeed is to keep believing in yourself, be stubbornly optimistic at all times, and get laser-focused on being the best at what you do.

These are a few of my favourite quotes from some of the best entrepreneurs, business leaders, founders, and thought leaders of our time.

Feel free to share any of the the royalty-free images and caption quotes on this page to your Instagram.

Best business quotes for entrepreneurs

  1. My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had. Every day I’m learning something newRichard Branson – founder of Virgin Group

  2. If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re rightHenry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

  3. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue themWalt Disney

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  4. I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress – Mark Zuckerberg – founder of Facebook

  5. Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practicalHoward Schultz – Starbucks CEO

  6. Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company – Booker T. Washington

  7. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work – Thomas Edison

  8. The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting somethingSeth Godin

  9. If something is important enough, or you believe something is important enough, even if you are scared, you will keep goingElon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX

  10. Always deliver more than expected – Larry Page

  11. Be so good they can’t ignore youSteve Martin

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  12. ​​Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration – Thomas Edison

  13. Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time agoWarren Buffett

  14. Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not youMark Cuban

  15. Success is not what you have, but who you are – Bo Bennet

  16. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do thatGary Vaynerchuk

  17. What is not started will never get finished – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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  18. Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run meArianna Huffington

  19. Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life – Confucius

  20. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning – Bill Gates

  21. Only the paranoid surviveAndy Grove, former CEO of Intel

  22. Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally followOprah Winfrey

  23. Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere – Albert Einstein

  24. As a founder, lay all the possible scenarios – from best to worst – in front of you, so you don’t get surprised when something happens– Brian Wong

  25. There is only one success- to be able to spend your life in your own way – Christopher Morley

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  26. Be the change you wish to see in the worldMahatma Gandhi

  27. Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you – Tony Hsieh

  28. Winners never quit and quitters never win – Vince Lombardi

  29. The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand – Vince Lombardi

  30. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing – Walt Disney

  31. I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step overWarren Buffett, CEO Berkshire Hathaway

  32. The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says ‘Go!’ – a leader says, ‘Let’s go!’ – E.M Kelly

  33. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds – Albert Einstein

  34. Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself – Oprah Winfrey

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

  36. Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever – Noah Everett

  37. Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors – Chris Dixon

  38. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasmWinston Churchill

  39. 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 workSteve Jobs

  40. Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you – Tony Hsieh

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  41. A real entrepreneur is somebody who has no safety net underneath them – Henry Kravis

  42. If you’re starting something on your own, you better have a passion for it, because this is hard workSallie Krawcheck

  43. If you tune it so that you have zero chance of failure, you usually also have zero chance of success. The key is to look at ways for when you get to your failure checkpoint, you know to stop – Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn

  44. The best way to predict the future is to create it Peter Drucker

  45. Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieveMary Kay Ash – founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

  46. How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the topYvon Chouinard – founder of Patagonia

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  47. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others – Mandy Hale

  48. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful – Albert Schweitzer

  49. I can name dozens of failures that we had over the years. Yet, with all these failures, we still managed to build Appster into one of the largest, and best companies in our industry. So, remember every time you fail, remind yourself these words: ‘Life won’t always go my way, but I will always find a way -Josiah Humphrey, Co-founder of Appster

  50. Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad – Kevin Rose

  51. Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter – Francis Chan

  52. 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 secondarySteve Jobs

  53. Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard Guy Kawasaki

  54. 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

  55. Every noble work is at first impossible – Thomas Carlyle

  56. If you can offer a free tier that provides a lot of value, it will naturally help your product to spread much more rapidly – Melanie Perkins, Co-founder of Canva

  57. A business that makes nothing but money is a poor businessHenry Ford

  58. Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare timeMarian Wright Edelman

  59. Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets -Jas Bagniewski, co-founder of Eve Sleep

  60. Be nicer to your customers than your competitors – Richard Reed, Co-Founder of Innocent Drinks

  61. In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination – Steve Case

  62. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great wayNapoleon Hill

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  63. 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.

  64. When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe.’ – Tom Preston-Werner

  65. Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not – George Bernard Shaw

  66. Our chief want in life, is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him, we are easily great – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  67. Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that – Anthony Volodkin

  68. One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticismArianna Huffington, Co-found and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group

  69. In the age of transparency, honesty, and generosity, even in the form of an apology, generate goodwill – Alexander Asseily

  70. I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one – Bill Gates

  71. High expectations are the key to everythingSam Walton – founder of Walmart

  72. Tough times never last, but tough people do – Robert H Schuller

  73. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doingWalt Disney

  74. I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from non-successful ones is pure perseverance Steve Jobs

  75. No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team – Reid Hoffman – co-founder of LinkedIn

  76. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with dust and sweat; who strives valiantly, who errs and may fall again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming – Theodore Roosevelt

  77. 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 youJeff Bezos

  78. When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge – Robert Kiyosaki

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  79. 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 Airbnb

  80. Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career – Ryan Freitas

  81. Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune Jim Rohn

  82. The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own – Benjamin Disraeli

  83. So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard – Caterina Fake

  84. Without hustle, your talent will only get you so far – Gary Vaynerchuk

  85. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieveNapoleon Hill

  86. Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail – Confucius

  87. Dear entrepreneurs, you can start a thousand businesses, launch 100 projects, and take dozens of companies public, but you only have one shot at being part of your kid’s childhood. Your kid doesn’t care about your platform, they care about your presence – Jon Acuff

  88. 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

  89. Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value – Albert Einstein

  90. 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

  91. 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

  92. Knowledge without action is meaningless – Abu Bakr

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

  94. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with itHenry Ford

  95. Speak less than you know; have more than you show William Shakespeare

  96. 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
  1. I’m just always looking forward. I spend very little time, looking backward Gary Vaynerchuk

  2. When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue – Josh James

  3. To win without risk is to triumph without glory – Corneille

  4. The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followersRalph Nader

  5. It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen – Scott Belsky

  6. It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differentlyWarren Buffett

  7. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way – John C. Maxwell

  8. It is always the start that requires the greatest effort – James Cash Penney

  9. When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe – Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder Github

  10. When you cease to dream you cease to live – Malcolm Forbes

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  11. A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for – John A. Shedd

  12. Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people cant – A student of Warren G. Tracy

  13. You have to believe it before you see it – Jeremiah Say

  14. As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think bigDonald Trump

  15. Have the end in mind and every day make sure you’re working towards it – Ryan Allis

  16. Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once – Drew Houston

  17. It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failureBill Gates, founder of Microsoft

  18. Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create – David Karp, founder and CEO Tumblr

  19. There are lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world – Phil Libin, CEO Evernote

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Author bio
Rachael is a full-time digital nomad and freelance copywriter for B2B and SaaS companies. She’s worked with brands like Unbounce, Biteable, Datacom, Viddyoze, and Owler.

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