It's occasionally valuable to take some time to listen to the collective wisdom of entrepreneurs, great personalities, and leaders who have distilled their knowledge and experience into inspiring quotes.
If you are struggling to get a new venture off the ground, or keep your company on the path to growth and prosperity, take ten minutes to stop and read through this list - you might just find the motivation you need to keep going.
Almost all of the people quoted here had to overcome significant challenges in their own lives in order gain the knowledge and experience summed up in their saying. Food for thought...
1. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
For me this is one of the most important quotes about business. There is never a guarantee that you will succeed when you try something new or take a risk. But, there is a guarantee that you won't succeed if you don't.
2. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right
Having self-confidence is vital. If you don't have faith in yourself there is no way you will be able to convince investors, partners, customers, employees, or anyone else to either.
3. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 10 000 ways to do it wrong
In my experience business is a lot like this. The only real failure in life is if you stop trying altogether. Everything else is experience.
4. No beer and no TV make Homer something something (Go crazy?)
Homer & Marge Simpson
I spent a lot of time working feverishly (day and night) on exciting new ideas that I felt had the potential to be real game changers. The problem is that it is easy to burn out/go mad/get cabin fever if you don't take time to have a real life - family, social, adventure, etc.
5. If you are going through hell, keep going
It's so easy to look at stories of overnight success and be jealous. What you don't see are the10 years of backbreaking work, risk taking, and problem solving that went into achieving that success.
6. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change
Given the continuous and rapid changes in technology it is pertinent to revisit Darwin because what he said applies to modern day entrepreneurs now more than ever.
You don't have to be big to succeed, but you do need to always stay ahead of the curve.
7. If you're not confused, you don't know what's going on
I think the important lesson in this quote is that knowledge becomes dated and redundant very quickly. If you always feel secure in your knowledge then it's likely you are living in blissful ignorance and that is not a good thing for an entrepreneur.
8. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident
You can replace the word truth with the phrase business ideas in the above quote to make it apply perfectly to startup ideas. Sharing your ideas with friends and family might invite ridicule from them... right up until the moment you sell the business for millions.
I thought Twitter was the stupidest idea I ever came across (when I first heard about it). They do ok, so what do I know?
9. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have
Tru dat Teddy. There is absolutely no use in complaining about others' privilege. Many successful people come from humble beginnings. If they can do it, so can you.
10. If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run, yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, and - which is more - you'll be a man, my son
"If" by Rudyard Kipling is one of the most inspirational poems ever written. But the last few lines (quoted above) is where the real meat is. Use everything you have, for as long as you have it, and you can do anything.
So those are my top 10 inspirational quotes for business. What other sayings motivate you? Share your thoughts in the comments.