Inspirational Quotes For Startups

No one is immune to occasional mental blocks and we sometimes find ourselves a bit lost on our professional journeys. While these situations can easily trigger some unwelcoming anxiety and mess with our vision, there are always ways to prevent further derailment and keep our focus on the right track.

Sometimes finding the right motivation can be as simple as talking to a loved one, or taking a few days off work. It can also be as straightforward as reading a positive quote from some of the greatest minds. And that’s what we’re going to do here – we’ll present you with a curated list of our favorite inspirational quotes spoken by some of the most prominent entrepreneurs and established business people.

Relax, open your mind, and absorb these useful references to get an immediate boost to your motivation.

50 of Our Favorite Inspirational Quotes for Startups

  1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States
  2. “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
  3. “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
  4. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
  5. “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir, fourth Prime Minister of Israel
  6. “Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.” – Jeffrey Zeldman, entrepreneur and web designer
  7. “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” – Wayne Huizenga, owner of Blockbuster Video and the Miami Dolphins
  8. “Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever.” – Noah Everett, founder of Twitpic
  9. “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” – Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host and philanthropist
  10. “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” – Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the United States
  11. “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking, British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author
  12. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell, US statesman and retired four-star General in the United States Army
  13. “If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run, then walk. And, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr., leader of the civil rights movement
  14. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”– Samuel Beckett, Irish avant-garde novelist and playwright
  15. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and 3rd President of the United States
  16. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth, American professional baseball player
  17. “If you can push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking a risk, really amazing things can happen.” – Marissa Mayer, president & CEO of Yahoo!
  18. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan, former professional basketball player
  19. “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth, director of strategy and partnerships at Spredfast
  20. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” – Mark Cuban, entrepreneur, owner of Landmark Theaters, and Chairman of AXS TV
  21. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar, American author
  22. “You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Sam Levenson, American humorist
  23. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr., American author
  24. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
  25. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer, German philosopher and humanitarian
  26. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon, British hairstylist, businessman, and philanthropist
  27. “Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
  28. “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” – Anonymous
  29. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker
  30. “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles F. Kettering, American inventor, engineer, and businessman
  31. “Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationship.” – Henry Ross Perot, American business magnate and philanthropist
  32. “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, American businessman and electrical engineer
  33. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford, industrialist and inventor
  34. “The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.” – Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
  35. “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin, naturalist, biologist, and author
  36. “Life’s too short to learn from your own mistakes. So learn from others” – Anonymous
  37. “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres, television host and comedian
  38. “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
  39. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think about what can be done better tomorrow.” – Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA
  40. “It’s a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur’s metric for success. It’s not, and nor should it be.” – Richard Branson, English business magnate, investor, and former philanthropist
  41. “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” – Reid Hoffman, American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author
  42. “I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso, legendary painter
  43. “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 of Amazon
  44. “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, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple
  45. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney, founder of Disney
  46. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
  47. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” – Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp
  48. “In carrying out e-commerce, the most important thing is to keep doing what you are doing right now with passion, to keep it up.” – Jack Ma, co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group
  49. “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd, American author and professor
  50. “Remember why you started.” – Anonymous


What you’ve read above might be a sizable bite to digest all at once, so go ahead and bookmark this article so you can return to it whenever you need a stimulative kick. Taking advice from somebody who’s been through it all can often be eye-opening.

What we’ve noticed about these quotes is that they all have some things in common. There’s a pattern mentioning hard work, quality over quantity, and high self-confidence in all of them, so let that be your takeaway from this read. Implement those mechanisms in your life and professional success will come no matter what.