101 Entrepreneur Quotes for Every Situation

Warren Buffet’s nickname is the Oracle of Ohama, and it’s a well-earned title. He grew up in Ohama, Nebraska, and made his first stock purchase at the age of 11. Today Buffet is considered one of the most successful investors in the world with a net worth of $78.9 billion dollars — making him the world’s seventh wealthiest person. 

Given Buffett’s success, it’s no surprise he’s one of the most quoted entrepreneurs in history. In addition to his 75 years of investing, business and wisdom, there’s a science-backed reason people listen to his words.

Studies have found that reading a motivational quote can make you feel the same emotions as actually achieving something. So, if you want to feel like the seventh wealthiest person in the world, listen to the Oracle of Ohama. 

We’ve compiled a list of 101 entrepreneur quotes for every inspirational need. Whether you’re about to purchase your first stock, getting ready to attend business school, taking on a new leadership role or simply need some encouragement, this list will have the wisdom you need. 

Keep reading or quickly jump to our infographic for some bookmark-worthy quotes. You can also skip down to the specific sections:

Motivational Entrepreneur Quotes to Get You Out of Bed

quotes entrepreneur

Feel like hitting the snooze button? After reading through these quotes you’ll be ready to start the day. Here’s some wisdom from Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and others to get you motivated to take on the day. 

  1. “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 of Apple
  1. “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 of Flickr and Hunch
  1. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for whatever success I have attained has been the result of much hard work and many sleepless nights.”  —Madam C.J. Walker, first female self-made millionaire in America 
  1. “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” —Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla
  1. “We live in a world where there are no limits for those who can create results.” —Tony Robbins, American author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker
  1. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned 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, chairman and co-founder of Apple 
  1. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” —Walt Disney, co-founder of Walt Disney Productions
  1. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”  —Estée Lauder, co-founder of Estée Lauder 
  1. “Starting a business is a huge amount of hard work … You had better enjoy it.”  —Richard Brandson, founder of the Virgin Group 
  1. “I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. Since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition.”  —Larry Page, co-founder of Google
  1. “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.”  —Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram
  1. “Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote.” —Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber, Scour and Red Swoosh
  1. “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” —Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
  1. “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” —Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies
  1. “It is within everyone’s grasp to be a CEO.” —Martha Stewart, television personality and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
  1. “Timing, perseverance, and 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” —Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter

Inspiring Entrepreneur Quotes for When You Want to Give Up

Things are bound to go wrong in your journey to success, and at those low points, it’s important to get perspective. Read these quotes to assure you that failing is not only normal, but it’s a part of the growth process.

  1. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”  —Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post
  1. “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” —Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella & Dot
  1. “Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”  —William Rosenberg, founder of Dunkin’ Donuts
  1. “Every time we launch a feature, people yell at us.” —Angelo Sotira, co-founder of deviantART
  1. “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.”  —William Durant, co-founder of General Motors, Chevrolet 
  1.  “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”  —Coco Chanel, founder of Chanel
  1. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” —Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
  1. “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.”  —J.P. Morgan, American financier and founder of J.P. Morgan bank

Powerful Entrepreneur Quotes to Take On New Challenges

Taking on something new can be incredibly daunting, but in the end it’s worth it. Visualize reaching your current goal and let that feeling of accomplishment sink in. Now, feel the power of these quotes and use them to propel you into your next challenge.

  1. “If something is important enough, or you believe something is important enough, even if you are scared, you will keep going.” —Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla
  1. “The earlier you start, the more time you have to mess up.” —Emil Motycka, founder of Motycka Enterprises
  1. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” —Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company
  1. “I find it best to dive right in and learn the hard way.” —Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable
  1. “As a founder, lay all the possible scenarios — from best to worst — in front of you, so you don’t get surprised when something happens.” —Brian Wong, co-founder of Kiip
  1. “If you start thinking you are good at something, that’s often the day you stop trying to be better and open the back door for someone to come after you. That’s why we always aim higher. We never feel like we’re done.” —Drew Houston, co-founder of Dropbox
  1. “If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.” —Majora Carter, broadcast producer
  1. “Play by the rules, but be ferocious.” —Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike
  1. “‘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.” —Timothy Ferriss, American entrepreneur and podcaster
  1. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” —Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, founder of LeanIn.Org
  1. “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” —Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur and motivational speaker

Actionable Entrepreneur Quotes to Form New Habits

We’ll let the cat out of the bag on this one. The secret to success isn’t wizardry, it’s habit formation. Repetition is how you steadily climb to the top. Learn how some business greats used habits to find their success.

  1. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.” —Steve Case, former CEO of AOL
  1. “Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets.” —Jas Bagniewski, founder of Lover
  1. “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” —Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook
  1. “In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions.It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” —Tony Robbins, American entrepreneur and motivational speaker
  1. “I’m always tweaking, always trying to make it better, constantly moving the levers and dials.”  —Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill
  1. “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” —Stephen Covey, educator and businessman
  1. “Wake up early and tackle the day before it tackles you. Be on offense, not defense.” —Evan Carmichael, YouTuber and founder of EvanCarmichael.com
  1. “The question I ask myself almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’” —Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook
  1. “The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.” —Andrew Carnegie, American businessman
  1. “1. Build stuff. 2. Make a lot of things. 3. Make a list of said things. 4. Make said list longer.” —Sahil Lavingia, founder of Gumroad

Deep Entrepreneur Quotes to Find Meaning

Purpose is a key motivator to work. It aligns everything and it’s something you can come back to when you lose your direction. Here are some quotes to help you find meaning in your work.

  1. “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, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
  1. “In the age of transparency, honesty, and generosity, even in the form of an apology, generate goodwill.” —Alexander Asseily, co-founder of Jawbone
  1. “I think I was very naïve early on, but that also meant I didn’t know what couldn’t be done.” —Matt Mickiewicz, founder of 99 Designs
  1. “It starts with not having a hangover with the way things used to be.” —Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour
  1. “Traditions are like cliches. They are everywhere. They may sometimes even be correct, but often they are justified by nothing except constant repetition.”  —Peter Theil, co-founder of PayPal
  1. “Sooner or later, your work speaks for itself. Outlasting the critics feels like it will take a very long time, but you’re more patient than they are.” —Seth Godin, founder of Yoyodyne
  1. “You don’t have to choose between doing good and doing well.” —Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
  1. “The first one gets the oyster, the second gets the shell.” —Andrew Carnegie, American businessman 
  1. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray, American businessman, investor and columnist
  1. “Find a way to say ‘Yes’ to things.” —Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. 
  1. “A vision is something you see and others don’t. Some people would say that’s a pocket definition of lunacy. But it also defines entrepreneurial spirit.” —Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
  1. “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 of Github
  1. “It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.” —Paul Graham, co-founder of Y-Combinator 
  1. “Don’t let someone else’s vision of success force you to stray from the path you worked to be on. Carve your own path and you’ll always be heading in the right direction.” —Michelle Phan, co-founder of Ipsy
  1. “Success is defined in units of fun. It’s all about being happy.” —Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless

Leadership Entrepreneur Quotes to Face Adversity

Before you start drafting your inspirational speech for your team, read through these quotes on how to lead in the face of adversity. 

  1. “One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticism.” —Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post
  1. “Don’t try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important.”  —Chieu Cao, founder of Mintago
  1. “Your ability to attract, evaluate, and forge strong working relationships with co-founders, early employees, and investors often mean the difference between failure and success.” —Clara Shih, co-founder of Hearsay Social 
  1. “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea.” —Larry Page, co-founder of Google
  1. “The reason I became successful is because I touched. I touched my community.” —Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of VaynerMedia; co-founder of Resy
  1. “We led with our conviction rather than rational, because rational said it was impossible.” —Daniel Ek, co-founder of Spotify
  1. “Be ready to revise any system, scrap any method, abandon any theory, if the success of the job requires it.” —Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company
  1. “Players should never fight. A real businessman or entrepreneur has no enemies. Once he understands this, the sky’s the limit.” —Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group
  1. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” —Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple 

Creative Entrepreneur Quotes to Fuel Imagination

Creativity is at the very heart of most of the work you’ll do. Innovative problem-solving, strategic thinking and imaginative writing and reasoning will get you far in your career. It’s hard to start producing world class ideas when you’re out of inspiration. Read these quotes on creativity, it’s importance and how to foster it.

  1. “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.” —Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb
  1. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” —Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance
  1. “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” —Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
  1. “There are a lot of rich people in the world. There are very few people who have the privilege of getting to invent things that billions of people use.” —David Karp, founder of Tumblr
  1. “If Google teaches you anything, it’s that small ideas can be big.” —Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest
  1. “When in doubt, bootstrap. Using your own personal resources is the easiest way to  start a business. You don’t have to convince investors about the merits of your idea.  You just have to convince yourself.” —Ryan Holmes, founder of Hootsuite
  1. “There’s 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 of Evernote
  1. “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 of LinkedIn
  1. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” —Albert Einstein, inventor
  1. “My goal is to simplify complexity. I just want to build stuff that really simplifies our base human interaction.” —Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and founder of Square
  1. “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.” —Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Business Entrepreneur Quotes to Make Strategic Decisions

Do you hire this person or that person? Should you invest in this stock or that one? Will you partner with this company or that one? Reasoning your decisions is important. Read through these quotes on how to make smart business decisions, spoken straight from the mouths of millionaires.

  1. “If you tune it so that you have zero chance of failure, you usually also have zero chance of success. The key is to look at ways for when you get to your failure checkpoint, you know to stop.” —Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
  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 of Wendy’s
  1. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” —Thomas Watson, former CEO of IBM
  1. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” —Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation 
  1. “Stay self-funded as long as possible.” —Garrett Camp, co-founder of Uber
  1. “Turn a perceived risk into an asset.” —Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint.com
  1. “I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.” —Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook
  1. “You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” —Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States
  1. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” —Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group
  1. “There’s a lot of pressure to look like the last company that was successful.” —Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest
  1. “In my opinion, no one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or ‘get rich’ in business by being a conformist.”  —J. Paul Getty, founder of Getty Oil Company
  1. “The transition strategies are more important than understanding what the outcome state will be.” —Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster
  1. “Don’t make decisions based on fear.”  —Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless

Women Entrepreneur Quotes for Female Empowerment

As a record-number of women are attending business school, future board rooms might look a little different. It’s empowering to see females rise to ranks that traditionally are rewarded to men. Hear some inspiration from female business leaders who have carved their path to the top. 

  1. “I want every little girl who’s been told she’s bossy to be told again she has leadership skills.” —Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, founder of LeanIn.Org
  1. “If you know too much before the start, then you will get overwhelmed. Come up with an original idea, and don’t copy because there will be no passion. You need that otherworldly passion. Just start.” —Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
  1. “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist — while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!” —Lori Greiner, Shark Tank investor
  1. “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” —Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host, entrepreneur and philanthropist
  1. “The difference between skill and talent: A skill is something you learn. Talent is what you can’t help doing.” —Caroline Ghosn, founder of Levo
  1. “In whatever you do, you’re not going to stand out unless you think big and have ideas that are truly original. That comes from tapping into your own creativity, not obsessing over what everyone else is doing.” —Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and Girlboss
  1. “Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.” —Meg Whitman, former CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  1. “Being a woman in business doesn’t come without challenges. My advice? Surround yourself with other supportive women that encourage you, share ideas, and get you motivated.” —Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company

Feeling inspired? This is your sign to go start that company you’ve always wanted to, take that trip on your bucket list or get to that MBA degree that’s been your dream since a young kid. See just how far motivation can get you!

Sources: CNBC | Psychology of Motivation