50 quotes to inspire small business owners


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50 quotes to inspire small business owners

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Starting a small business is a daunting task for anyone. There are myriad things to consider and mainly obstacles to overcome before doors can open for business – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Far from it, in fact. Starting your journey into business and entrepreneurship could be the best thing you ever do.

There are 5.9 million small businesses in the UK – so there’s plenty of lessons to be learned and motivation to be found. Look in the right place – beyond cliche Tweets and Pinterest boards – and you’ll find a wealth of advice from CEOs, like–minded founders and business experts to help you navigate the often murky waters of business and become a true success story.

Below, we’ve collated 50 of the best quotes about business, money, success, motivation and much more. Bookmark this page and watch the inspiration roll in.

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Quotes about the inspiration of running a small business

Thomas Jefferson - inspirational business quote

This quote from America’s third President Thomas Jefferson can ring true to anyone working to build something – from novice to veteran – and, as any successful business owner will attest, is almost totally accurate.

2. “The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It’s part of the job description.” ― Caterina Fake, founder of Flickr

There's only so far that cold calculation can get you. Sometimes you need to believe deep down that what you want to create is possible – and that takes a lot of positivity. So do what you can to be optimistic. That doesn't mean you need to be happy all the time, it just means that when you're having a bad day, you believe there'll be better days.

3. “If we did all the things we were capable of, we would astound ourselves” – Thomas Edison, inventor

America’s greatest inventor says it best. Don’t just put half of your energy into your project, but, instead, immerse yourself in the new challenges and learn from them. You never know, your lightbulb moment could lead to something huge.

4. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

From craft beer to comics and plants to push bikes, starting a business around your hobbies and interests could be the best thing you ever do. Because when you love what you do, it won’t feel work.

5. “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

Zuck’s got it spot–on here. If you’ve got an idea, a passion and a vision, you’re already in a strong position get things moving. Like the Steve Jobs quote (above), when you love what you do, it really won’t feel like a chore.

Small business quotes about family and friends

George Lorimer - quote about family and friends

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

Your friends and your family know you best, meaning that they’ll probably be able to give you an accurate analysis of your baseline business idea. Chances are, they won’t be scared to be honest about your grand plans.

8. “Work 9-to-5, spend a couple of hours with your family, 7 to 2am is plenty of time to do damage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman of VaynerX

Everyone’s got 24 hours in a day, right? So be sure to break yours up according to your priorities. Spend time with your friends and family – they keep you sane during tumultuous times and celebrate during the best – while also dedicating portions of time to getting things off the ground.

9. “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar, writer and salesman

You’ll meet all sorts of people during the lifetime of your business, from investors to customers. You'll want different things out of each relationship, but your input should be the same – be open and be honest. And people will trust you, which can go a long way.

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

Onboarding staff can be a huge investment – and it's not easy to get right.  So be sure to streamline who you actually want to represent your business and who can help it thrive. It could be a smaller team than you think.

Small business quotes about motivation

Estee Lauder - motivational business quote

Working hard at your business can result in financial success, which could enable you to buy all sorts of nice things. But relationships with friends and family, and your own peace of mind, might need more than money to thrive.

As with Wayne Huzienga’s thoughts below, Lauder’s most famous quote is one about motivation and having a strong work ethic. Your dreams only have a chance of coming true if you make them.

12. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James, CEO and co-founder of Omniture

It’s easy to fantasise about would–be businesses, but there’s a difference between an impulsive idea and an obsession. Does it keep you up at night and stay at the front of your brain all day? Good – then get it started.

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

A lot of small businesses and start-ups focus only on money from day one. That can work, but try to look at the bigger picture too. And, crucially, plan out your five and ten–year strategy which maps your business journey. If your business plan is solid and things go your way, the money will follow.

14. “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” – Wayne Huizenga, serial entrepreneur

Everyone’s got an elevator pitch, but very few act on their ideas. If you want your small business to take off, work on it every day and leave the nay–sayers in the rear–view mirror.

15. “A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader.” – Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures

You don’t have to be an office-floor-dominating personality or an online polymath to be an effective business owner. Far from it, in fact. If you have an acute knowledge of an industry or product, you’ll be able to steer your staff in the right direction. Have faith in yourself.

Article updated on:
March 7, 2022

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