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  • 49 Motivational & Inspirational Quotes for Small Business Owners

Moments of inspiration and motivation can seem elusive and fleeting when you’re a small business owner. Think of how it feels when you’re on a roll: you’re focused, creative, productive, and you’re making things happen. It’s one of the best feelings in the world!

Sadly, we all know these moments don’t last forever. There are times you may hit a wall. Whether it’s a mental block, a physical obstacle, the loss of a sale, or the fear of the unknown holding you back, take comfort in the fact that every successful entrepreneur and business owner has encountered a similar situation.

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton

How do entrepreneurs stay motivated in spite of failures and setbacks? To put it simply, successful people just don’t quit. Ever. Frequently referencing these business motivational quotes can help inspire you when you feel powerless or stuck. In times of doubt, failure, frustration, and fear, pull out some of these famous words, and recognize the problem you’re having as an opportunity to start again.


Inspirational quotes for business owners starting a new business

Do you want to start a new business? Are you unsure how to make your next great small business idea profitable? If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it. These business owner quotes will motivate you to be persistent no matter what obstacles come your way as you get your new business off the ground.

“Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” – Oprah Winfrey

“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

“Starting a successful business is not tricky. Starting a successful business does not require above average intelligence. Starting a successful business does require having a pig-headed, purpose-driven tenacity about achieving your life goals and fulfilling your life’s vision through providing products and services that offer uncompromising quality in a scalable and duplicatable way.” – Clay Clark, The Wheel of Wealth

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

“The key to success is not through achievement, but through enthusiasm.” –Malcolm Forbes

inspirational quote - oprah


Motivational quotes for growing and expanding a business

Growing your business takes grit and consistency. If you seem to be in a rut while you’re working on growing your business, try innovating or improving a new area or working on different techniques.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney

“Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” – Dennis Waitley

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – Ronald Reagan

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” – Thomas Watson Sr., CEO of International Business Machines

inspirational quote - jc penney


Inspirational quotes about finding new customers

Like money, new customers don’t grow on trees. There are plenty of things that you can do to get new customers for your business. Here are some inspirational quotes to give you some extra encouragement.

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

“You need to spend all of your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value to the people you’re asking for money!” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“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

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

“Here is the simple but powerful rule… always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

motivational quotes - henry ford business quote


Motivational quotes about risk-taking

The fear of failing has a very real hold on many people. Fear is the number one thing that holds us back from success and keeps the majority of the working population chained to a job they don’t love. There are many people with great ideas who are too afraid to challenge the status quo or step outside their comfort zone. This is what sets entrepreneurs apart. While everyone has fears, it is how you deal with your fear that makes a difference.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

“My best advice to entrepreneurs is this: forget about making mistakes, just do it.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston

“Risk is essential. There is not growth of inspiration in staying within what is safe and comfortable. Once you find out what you do best, why not try something else?” – Alex Noble

“How many people are completely successful in every department of life? Not one. The most successful people are the ones who learn from their mistakes and turn their failures into opportunities.” – Zig Ziglar

“Study successful people and businesses, then do what they did to become successful while making slight modifications to fit your lifestyle, your values, your business model & your goals.” – Clay Clark

“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 of Amazon

inspirational business quotes - confucious


Inspirational quotes for taking action in business

Getting out of your own way can be the hardest part about maintaining your drive and self-motivation. Some tasks require difficult solutions and hours of work, while others just seem impossible. When a task or problem seems insurmountable, the best thing to do is simply throw caution to the wind, set aside your fears or doubts, and simply act.

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Sheryl Sandberg

“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

“One of the marks of successful people is they are action oriented. One of the marks of average people is they are talk oriented.” – Brian Tracy

“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you are not a painter’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

And sometimes the best solution is to take a break and walk away.

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

inspirational quotes for business - ralph marston


Inspirational quotes for business planning

Whether you’re working on your small business marketing plan, a financial plan, or any planning in between, it’s best to be prepared for whatever scenario gets thrown at you—good or bad! These quotes can help you along the way:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in preparation.” – Bobby Knight

“Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” – John Lennon

“Preparation doesn’t assure victory, it assures confidence.” – Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Worlds

inspirational business quotes - motivational quote about preparedness


Funny inspirational quotes for any small business

For small business owners, laughter can sometimes be the best medicine. When everything has gone awry and you feel you or your team need a pick-me-up, look no further than these quotes:

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

“Luck is what you have leftover after you give 100%.” – Langston Coleman

“When I hear somebody sigh, ‘life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask: ‘compared to what?'” – Sydney Harris

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs… one step at a time.” – Joe Girard

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

inspirational business quotes - motivational quotes about success example


Motivational quotes from pop culture 

Another way to source motivation for your next hurdle or team meeting is to find quotes from something you already enjoy. Here are a few motivational quotes from movies, music, and more to spark inspiration during times of success or failure.

“I don’t build to have clients. I have clients in order to build.” – The Fountainhead

“If you aren’t first, you’re last.” – Talladega Nights

“Don’t ever let someone tell you, You can’t do something. You’ve got a dram, you’ve got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Pursuit of Happiness

“There is no such thing as a no-sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client something or he sells you a reason he can’t buy. Either way, a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that’s it, I’m done.” – Boiler Room

“Hakuna Matata… it means no worries!” – Lion King

“What can go wrong, will go wrong.” – Ozzy Osbourne

“The secret of success in any field is redefining what success means to you.” – RuPaul

“Can’t forget you only get what you give.” – New Radicals

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa

“You build on failure. Use it as a stepping stone and close the door on the past. Don’t try to forget the mistakes, but don’t dwell on it.” – Johnny Cash

inspiration business quotes - frank zappa


Find inspiration along your business’s journey to success

Reading the wise words of small business experts or listening to inspirational podcasts is another great way to inspire motivation. Whether you’re planning your marketing, looking for a word of support in your business venture, or just want to know what other great business owners have said about entrepreneurship, we hope these quotes have inspired you!

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