Whether you’re in a slump or just looking for your daily dose of inspiration, here are 10 of the best motivational business quotes to help you get out of bed and start taking action.
They come from entrepreneurs, influencers, and figureheads from all walks of life and throughout history. And even though the speakers may have passed on this wisdom in a particular context, each quote has one thing in common: they have lasting implications for business owners looking to succeed.
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson
Owner of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson knows a thing or two about business opportunities. What started as a simple chain of record stores (Virgin Records) has expanded to encompass 400 different companies. Branson’s entrepreneurship includes telecommunication, air lines, and even space flight.
In this quote, Branson tells the budding entrepreneur that there is simply no end to the avenues through which you might find success.
“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
In this quote from life coach Tony Robbins, we learn an important lesson about how our mindset shapes our journey. Because both success and failure can snowball, we need to plan for how to react to both.
When we win, we need to ride the wave. Use those positive emotions to compound one success into multiple.
Conversely, when we fail or suffer setbacks, we have to do everything in our power to resist the urge to let the negativity boil over.
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
19th century writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau offers an important lesson in sticking your nose to the grindstone. In other words, if you want to succeed, busy yourself working for it.
Too many people waste their time in “disguised procrastination”. They spend hours asking questions in forums, researching the next big thing, or focusing on busy work. Meanwhile, the people who are actually successful are busy doing the work that pushes their business forward.
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson
U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson has some sharp words for all the nay-sayers who like to complain about other people’s success being nothing more than the result of luck.
It’s true that a good dose of luck is integral to succeeding in business. You need to be lucky enough to be recognized by the right people, or have your blog post go viral, or be picked up by major news outlets.
However, Jefferson points out that the more work you put into something, the more opportunities you have to strike it lucky.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
In this quote, former prime minister of the UK teaches us about the power of determination and perseverance.
Despite being a household name of success today, Churchill suffered some serious failures. As Lord of the Admiralty during the first World War, he devised an attack on Gallipoli that proved to be a disaster. What could have been a career ending moment, Churchill turned to a chance to better himself.
He quit his position of strategic authority and enlisted as a front line soldier. After proving his mettle on the battlefield, Churchill recovered his reputation and began building a successful political career. As prime minister, he would go on to lead his nation to victory in World War II.
“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin
Seth Godin’s quote echoes what Thomas Edison once said: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
In other words, you don’t succeed by having a good idea. Everyone has good ideas. What separates the successful people from the rest is the determination to actually take action to see their ideas take flight.
“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
There might be no one better to teach us about the fruits of suffering than Helen Keller, the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts who went on to become a successful writer, lecturer, and activist.
Keller’s proves to be one of the best motivational business quotes because it reminds us that we shouldn’t expect an easy ride. If we want to become the best that we can be, we are going to face trials and tribulations. But overcoming them will change us for the better, inside and out.
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
Did you know that Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds, failed at 51 other games before they launched this international success? Rovio was on the brink of bankruptcy and had already laid off most of its employees when they finally had their first real win.
Steve Jobs reminds us with this quote that nothing worth doing comes quickly.
“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis
Sir Colin Rex Davis was a conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra and a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music.
His quote points out that the journey walked by both the successful and the unsuccessful is very similar. The difference isn’t so much in the path, but in the person walking it.
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey
It might seem funny to read a quote about not being paid from one of the wealthiest women in the world, but Oprah’s message is about loving what you do.
After all, making money isn’t necessarily equated with success. There are plenty of people in the world who are rich and miserable.
The lesson Oprah teaches is clear: if you want to be successful, do something that you are passionate about.