Motivational Quotes from Business Leaders

It’s no secret that owning a business can be an incredibly enriching experience…but it is not as glamorous as some may think.

Check out this epic collection of 100 inspirational quotes from brilliant business minds. They span philosophy, our ideas of success and failure, different approaches to business, and more.

Image credit: Funding Circle

Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You Today

  1. “ Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
    Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.
  2. “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 new.”
    Richard Branson, founder Virgin Group
  3. “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, media proprietor
  4. “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, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.
  5. “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
  6. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.”
    – Henry Ford, Founder Ford Motor Company
  7. “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 achieve.”
    – Mary Kay Ash, Founder Mary Kay Cosmetics
  8. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
    – Richard Branson, founder Virgin Group
  9. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”
    -Josh James, co-founder and CEO Omniture, founder and CEO Domo
  10. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”
    – Scott Belsky, co-founder Behance
  11. “Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.”
    – David Karp, founder and CEO Tumblr
  12. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.”
    – Seth Godin, founder Squidoo
  13. “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
  14. “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.”
    – Reid Hoffman, co-founder LinkedIn
  15. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.”
    – Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway
  16. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.”
    – Steve Case, co-founder AOL
  17. “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 me.”
    – Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief The Huffington Post Media Group
  18. “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 SPANX
  19. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”
    -Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO
  20. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
    – Walt Disney, founder Disney
  21. “High expectations are the key to everything.”
    – Sam Walton, founder Walmart
  22. “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.
  23. “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
  24. “Everything started as nothing.”
    – Ben Weissenstein, founder and CEO The Entitled Group
  25. “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”
    Debbi Fields, found Mrs. Fields Cookies
  26. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.”
    Steve Case, co-founder AOL
  27. “Empower yourself and realize the importance of contributing to the world by living your talent. Work on what you love. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.”
    Catharina Bruns, Founder WorkIsNotaJob
Inspirational Quotes about Hard Work

Inspirational Quotes about Hard Work

  1. “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, executive, head coach, player NFL
  2. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
    – Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc. 3.“If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful.”
    – Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman eBay
  3. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”
    – Jack Dorsey, founder Twitter
  4. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”
    – Guy Kawasaki, co-founder Alltop
  5. “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.”
    – Bill Gates, co-founder Microsoft
  6. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”
    – Caterina Fake, co-founder Flickr
  7. “It is always the start that requires the greatest effort.”
    – James Cash Penney, founder and CEO J.C. Penny
  8. “If hard work is the key to success, most people would rather pick the lock.”
    – Claude McDonald
  9. “Have the end in mind and every day make sure you’re working towards it.”
    -Ryan Allis, co-founder and CEO iContact
  10. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
    -Nolan Bushnell, founder Atari and Chuck-E-Cheese’s

Also See: Inspiring Quotes From Women Business Leaders

Inspirational Quotes about Mistakes

Inspirational Quotes about Mistakes, Failure and Success

  1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
    – Thomas Edison
  2. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
    – Winston Churchill
  3. .“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
    – Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO Dropbox
  4. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner.”
    – Tom Kelley, founder Ideo
  5. “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect”
    – Adam Osborne
  6. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently… A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
    -Henry Ford, founder Ford Motor Company
  7. “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.”
    – Jack Welch, chairman and CEO General Electric
  8. “Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”
    – William Rosenberg, founder Dunkin’ Donuts
  9. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”
    – Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce
  10. “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
    – Dale Carnegie
  11. “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 Ikea
  12. “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”
    – John F. Kennedy
  13. “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.”
    -Robert Kiyosaki, founder Cashflow Technologies Inc.
  14. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
    -Napoleon Hill
  15. “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.”
    – Brian Tracy, CEO Brian Tracy International
  16. “Success is not in what you have, but who you are.”
    -Bo Bennett, founder eBookit.com
  17. “Failure is not about insecurity, it’s about lack of execution.”
    – Jeffery Gitomer, business trainer
Inspirational Business Quotes

Inspirational Business Quotes

  1. “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 Wendy’s
  2. “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”
    –Tim Westergen, Pandora Founder
  3. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
    -Bill Gates, founder and CEO Microsoft
  4. “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 and CEO Facebook
  5. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.”
    –Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO BlogHer
  6. “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 O’Reilly Media
  7. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”
    – Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  8. “Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors.”
    – Chris Dixon, co-founder and CEO Hunch
  9. “Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.”
    – Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  10. “Always deliver more than expected.”
    – Larry Page, co-founder Google
  11. “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”
    – Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO Mashable
  12. “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.”
    – Russell Simmons, found Def Jam Records
  13. “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 LinkedIn
  14. “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
    – Steve Jobs, founder, chairman and CEO Apple Inc.
  15. “Hire character. Train skill.”
    – Peter Schultz, founder and director GNF
  16. “The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says ‘Go!’ – a leader says, ‘Let’s go!’.”
    -E.M Kelly, U.S Army
  17. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”
    – Henry Ford, founder Ford Motor Company
  18. “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.”
    -Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist
  19. “The things we fear the most in organizations- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.”
    – Margaret Wheatley, management consultant
  20. “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”
    -Jim Rohn
  21. “Stay self-funded as long as possible.”
    – Garrett Camp, founder Expa, Uber and StumbleUpon
  22. “Turn a perceived risk into an asset.”
    – Aaron Patzer, founder Mint
  23. “It’s more effective to do something valuable than to hope a logo or name will say it for you.”
    – Jason Cohen, founder Smart Bear Software
  24. “Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever.”
    – Noah Everett, founder Twitpic
  25. “Data beats emotions.”
    – Sean Rad, founder Adly and Tinder
  26. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.”
    – Anthony Volodkin, founder Hype Machine
  27. “Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.”
    -Mark Cuban

Also See: 23 Inspirational Motivational Quotes About Success

Inspirational Entrepreneurship Quotes

  1. “Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.”
    –Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  2. “All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.”
    – Reid Hoffman, co-founder LinkedIn
  3. “Don’t take too much advice. Most people who have a lot of advice to give — with a few exceptions — generalize whatever they did. Don’t over-analyze everything. I myself have been guilty of over-thinking problems. Just build things and find out if they work.”
    – Ben Silbermann, founder Pinterest
  4. “Before dreaming about the future or making plans, you need to articulate what you already have going for you – as entrepreneurs do.”
    – Reid Hoffman, co-founder LinkedIn
  5. “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.”
    – Roy Ash, co-founder Litton Industries
  6. “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling”
    – Anita Roddick, founder The Body Shop
  7. “But as an entrepreneur, you have to feel like you can jump out of an aeroplane because you’re confident that you’ll catch a bird flying by. It’s an act of stupidity, and most entrepreneurs go play because the bird doesn’t come by, but a few times it does.”
    – Reed Hastings , CEO Netflix
  8. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
    – Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  9. “Openly share and talk to people about your idea. Use their lack of interest or doubt to fuel your motivation to make it happen.”
    – Todd Garland, Founder BuySellAds
  10. “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.”
    -Donald Trump
  11. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
    -Steve Jobs, founder, chairman and CEO Apple Inc.
  12. “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
    -Donald Trump
  13. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It defines you. Forget about vacations, about going home at 6 pm – last thing at night you’ll send emails, first thing in the morning you’ll read emails, and you’’ wake up in the middle of the night. But it’s hugely rewarding as you’re fulfilling something for yourself.”
    -Niklas Zennstrom, founder Skype and Kazaa

Also See: 13 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You to Be Successful

Inspirational Quotes about Ethics and Morals

  1. “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
  2. “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.”
    – Ryan Freitas, co-founder About.me
  3. “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company”
    – Booker T. Washington
  4. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
    – Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway
  5. “How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”
    – Yvon Chouinard, founder Patagonia
  6. “If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself – your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 30% managing those with authority over you, and 15% managing your peers.” -Dee Hock

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Also See: 13 Motivational Quotes to Help You Achieve Your Dreams

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