150 of the Best, Most Inspiring, and Motivating Business Quotes

Starting a business can be draining and, well, all around quite difficult. Not just financially - but also emotionally. That’s why inspirational business quotes can be such a powerful tool. 

Our list of the 150 best inspiring and motivating business quotes offers nuggets of wisdom and much-needed motivation, inspiration and encouragement. When you feel overwhelmed, or simply exhausted, take a look at this list for a refreshing moment to reconnect with your inspiration and find motivation to move forward. 

Don’t just scroll through the list, though. You’d be doing your business a disservice by just browsing each quote. Instead, really read the quotes and think about how they apply to your business and your industry. And who knows - reflecting on these quotes might bring out some new ideas! 

Without further ado, here are our best inspiring and motivating business quotes. 


150 of the Best, Most Inspiring, and Motivating Business Quotes:

1. “Always deliver more than expected.” - Larry Page, co-founder of Google. 

2. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States

3. 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, Amazon founder

4. “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

5. “If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful.” - Pierre Omidyar, founder of Ebay

6.  “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” - Seth Godin, author

7. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” - Richard Branson, business owner and entrepreneur 

8. “You only have to do a few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” - Warren Buffett

9. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” - Anaïs Nin, author

10. “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” - G.K. Chesterton

11. “Often, the more money you make the more money you spend; that’s why more money doesn’t make you rich – assets make you rich.” – Robert Kiyosaki

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

13. “Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying into space.” - Chris Hadfield

14. “If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.” – Steve Jobs

15. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” - Barack Obama

16. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.” - Helen Keller

17. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” - Stephen Covey

18. “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” - Pele, a Brazilian football player

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

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

21. “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” - Coco Chanel

22. “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” - Oprah Winfrey

23. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” - Nelson Mandela

24. “If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” – Jeff Bezos

25. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” - Paulo Coelho

26. “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” - Jim Rohn

27. “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” - Babe Ruth

28. “The only way around is through.” - Robert Frost

29. “Most of our competitors were one-product wonders … They would do their one product, but never get their engineering sorted out.” – Bill Gates

30. “There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.” – Henry Ford

31. “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” – Jack Canfield, author

32. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook 

33. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” - Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO of BlogHer

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

35. “Failure is success if we learn from it.” - Malcolm Forbes

36. “Brands mature over time, like a marriage. The bond you feel with your spouse is different than when you first met each other. Excitement and discovery are replaced by comfort and depth.” - Gary Vaynerchuck

37. “If you define yourself by how you differ from the competition, you’re probably in trouble.” - Omar Hamoui, co-founder of AdMob

38. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” - Jason Fried, 37signals founder and co-author of Rework

39. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” - Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

40. “Nothing works better than just improving your product.” - Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Stack Overflow 

41. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” - Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA

42. “The more I want to get something done the less I call it work.” - Richard Bach, author

43. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” - Steve Jobs, co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.

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

45. "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” - Ray Goforth

46. “Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea.” - Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga

47. “If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.” - Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

48. "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." - Henry David Thoreau

49. “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

50. "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." -John D. Rockefeller

51. “Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors.” - Chris Dixon, an investor at Andreessen Horowitz

52. "Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

53. “Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.” - Tim O’Reilly, founder, and CEO of O’Reilly Media

54. “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” - J.K. Rowling, author

55. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” - Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy’s

56. "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." - Ray Goforth

57. "Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that's where you will find success." - Thomas J. Watson

58. “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea.” - Larry Page, co-founder of Google

59. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” - Helen Keller, American author, political activist and lecturer

60. "Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion." - Tony Hsieh 

61. "If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." - Jim Rohn

62. “Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be.” - Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman & CEO of ArcelorMittal

63. “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson, entrepreneur 

64. “The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas of enthusiasm.” - Thomas Watson

65. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” - Japanese Proverb

66. "People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy." - Tony Robbins

67. “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there.” - Venus Williams, athlete

68. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar, author

69. “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” - Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn

70. "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." - Colin Powell

71. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” - Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur and co-founder of Alltop

72. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” - Earl Nightingale

73. “Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” - Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy

74. “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” — Wayne Huizenga, prolific American business person, owner of Blockbuster Video and the sports team the Miami Dolphins

75. “When I hear somebody sigh, Life is hard, I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’” - Sydney Harris, journalist

76. “Please think about your legacy, because you’re writing it every day.” - Gary Vaynerchuck

77. “If you’re interested in the living heart of what you do, focus on building things rather than talking about them.” — Ryan Freitas, co-founder of About.me

78. "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

79. "A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that other throw at him." - David Brinkley

80. “The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.” - Tim Ferriss, author 

81. “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” - Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder

82. “It’s more effective to do something valuable than to hope a logo or name will say it for you.” - Jason Cohen, founder of Smartbear Software

83. “You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” - Sam Levenson, humorist

84. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” - Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

85. "Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever.” - Noah Everett, founder of Twitpic

86. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” - Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter

87. “I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” - Estee Lauder, founder of Estee Lauder Cosmetics

88. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” - Caterina Fake, Flickr co-founder

89. "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

90. “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” - Herman Melville, author

91. “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” – Alan Turing, inventor

92. “If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run, then walk. And, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

93. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison

94. “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined and connected to one another. And, when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.” - Daniel Pink, author

95. "I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--It is: Try to please everybody." - Herbert Bayard Swope

96. “Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t find one, it’s you.” - Mark Cuban, entrepreneur

97. “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

98. “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, co-founder of CarbonMade

99. “I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.” - Jake Nickell, founder and CEO of Threadless

100. “Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.” - Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

101. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” — Mark Cuban, entrepreneur

102. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” — Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company

103. “Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.” - Jeffrey Zeldman, entrepreneur and web designer

104. “There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” - Stephen Hawking

105. "Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember--the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you." - Zig Ziglar

106. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.” - Steve Case, co-founder of AOL

107. “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” - Oprah Winfrey

108. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” - Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter

109. "You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it." - Oprah Winfrey


Still need some extra inspiration? Read on… 

110. “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” - Jim Rohn

111. “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” - David Brinkley, newscaster

112. “Get a mentor in the applicable field if you’re at all unsure of what you’re looking for.” - Kyle Bragger, founder of Forrst, and co-founder of Exposure

113. "Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning." - Robert Kiyosaki

114. "Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down." - Charles F. Kettering

115. "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." - Conrad Hilton

116. “Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day.” - Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Stack Overflow

117. "There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality." - Anthony Robbins

118. “The last 10% it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90%.” - Rob Kalin, founder of Etsy

119. “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” - Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft

120. "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney

121. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” - Aristotle

122. “Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” - Dale Carnegie

123. “Today’s Accomplishments Were Yesterday’s Impossibilities.” - Robert H. Schuller

124. “Best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.” - Michael Arrington, founder and co-editor of TechCrunch

125. “I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” – Benjamin Franklin

126. “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” - Michael Jordan

127. "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." -John D. Rockefeller

128. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” - Walt Disney

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

130. "I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come indirectly through accident, except the phonograph. No, when I have fully decided that a result is worth getting, I go about it, and make trial after trial, until it comes." - Thomas Edison, inventor 

131. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” - Richard Branson

132. "The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same." - Colin R. Davis

133. "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary." - Vidal Sassoon

134. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” - Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

135. “Lean forward into your life. Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” - Mary Anne Radmacher, author

136. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” - Henry David Thoreau

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

138. “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” - Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder

139. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” - Muhammad Ali, athlete

140. “What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

141. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon

142. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” - Thomas Watson

143. “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, trans-formative success is.” – Seth Godin

144. “Don’t be addicted to money. Work to learn. don’t work for money. Work for knowledge.” – Robert Kiyosaki

145. “You know, you don’t have to have money to be a successful businessperson. You don’t need a college degree, you just need a lot of common sense backed up by a willingness to work hard.” – Farrah Gray

146. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

147. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight Eisenhower

148. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

149. “If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late.” – James Goldsmith

150. “To think is easy, to act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth

What’s the business quote that’s inspired you the most? Share it with us below in the comments. 

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