I’ve been collecting quotes for the last 25 to 30 years. It started with a few jotted down in a notebook and has grown into one enormous Word document that includes over 4,000 inspiring, motivating, thought-provoking and sometimes timely quotes. I started this collection for myself, and now enjoy sharing the wisdom of great thinkers with my followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The reward? Many people reply, “Thanks for sharing your quote. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The power of words, especially from those who have "been there," can help us get through tough times or help give us motivation when we need it most. Entrepreneurs battling for success know even the smallest inspirations that come at the right time are priceless.
I decided to go through my list of quotes to find ones that would apply to entrepreneurs. I whittled the list down to 10, which I assure you wasn't easy. (Please note, in some cases, I wasn’t able to attribute the quote to a person. I decided to keep the quote because what was said is more important than who said it. If you know the source of the quote, please feel free to share.)
1. “Rejection is not fatal; it is merely someone’s opinion.”
I don’t know the source of this quote, but it has helped me throughout my business life. Whenever someone has said "no" to me, I remind myself of this quote, start to smile and move on to the next steps. Whether it was trying to turn a “no” into a “yes” or going to the next client, I rarely take rejection personally.
2. "If you really want to do something, you will find a way; if you don’t, you will find an excuse.”—Jim Rohn
This is one of my favorite quotes. How many times do we validate our failures with an excuse?
3.“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”—Helen Keller
There are few people in this world who overcame more adversity than Helen Keller. Her words are a strong reminder that almost nothing worth having in life comes free or easy.
4. "Nobody wants a 1/4 inch drill—what they want is a 1/4 inch hole.”—Theodore Levitt, marketing professor at Harvard
Levitt used this anecdote to teach his students about the importance of selling product benefits. I have used his quote countless times to remind my clients about why their customers buy from them.
5.“Don’t worry twice.”
I often hear entrepreneurs talk about the “what ifs.” The successful entrepreneurs create contingency plans; the unsuccessful ones worry and hope for the best.
6. "Nobody is defeated until he starts blaming somebody else. My advice to you is don’t fix the blame. Fix the problem.”—John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach
Coach Wooden is known as much for his pearls of wisdom as he is for winning 10 NCAA basketball championships in 12 years. He was a brilliant mind who cared deeply about his players and mankind.
7.“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” —Albert Einstein
Every entrepreneur can relate to Einstein’s quote. We’ve all been told at some point in our lives, “You can’t do it.” “That’s impossible.” “You WILL fail!”
8.“There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”—Norman Vincent Peale.
He was one of the world’s great motivational speakers. Mr. Peale made people believe that they could accomplish great things in this world with their God-given talents. I recommend his books and articles to any entrepreneur who is dealing with self-doubt.
9. “Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three kinds; all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.”—Edward Everett Hale
This is quote is along the lines of “Don’t worry twice.” We must remember that stress, negative thoughts and worry are all needless obstacles that we place in front of ourselves on our paths to success. These are issues we can actually control.
10. "It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly ... who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."—Theodore Roosevelt
An inspiring reminder that, as entrepreneurs, we are not sitting on the sidelines in the game of business and life.
Do you have a quote that inspires you or you use to inspire your team? Please share it with us.
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