On occasion, I feel it’s necessary to stoke the ‘ol entrepreneurial fires. How best to do that? For me, sometimes there is nothing better than a good quote – knowing that others have faced the same dilemma, and seeing their insights, can be just the boost one needs.


Here are a few great quotes that should inspire any entrepreneur:


On success

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”

– Albert Einstein


Of course we all want success, and in business, success is often judged by your business’ bottom line. While financial success is certainly one of our big goals as small business owners, we all know that that is just one factor that goes into the success equation. Offering customers quality and satisfaction, creating jobs, having integrity, designing a great place to work are factors that hold a great deal of value.


On failure

“Success is waking up from failure to failure with no less of enthusiasm.”

                – Winston Churchill


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not know how close to success they were when they gave up.”

                – Thomas Edison


Quotes about failure may seem cliché at this point, but they have become cliché for a reason; the fear and feeling of failure is one of the biggest and most universal deterrents that can prevent us from succeeding. We all know things won’t always go according to plan, and there’s


no doubt you will become frustrated and discouraged along the way. However, persistency, optimism and enthusiasm in the wake of challenges allows us entrepreneurs to turn failure into something positive.


Just stick it out a little bit longer – you might be closer than you think!


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On perseverance

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

                – Steve Jobs


“80% of success is just showing up.”

                - Woody Allen


Being in business for yourself requires all sorts of things, two of which apply here. The first is vision. To start a business, you likely saw something others did not – a business where once there was nothing. And to create that business required the second trait, which is perseverance. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you have already shown both of those traits in spades – otherwise you would not be here now.


On being bold and taking risks

“In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

                – Mark Zuckerberg


My dad always used to say that an entrepreneur was a person who takes a risk with money to make money. Risk is part of this gig.

I have saved my favorite quote for last. This comes from W.H. Murray in his 1951 book, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition:


Until one is committed, there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back; always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man would have dreamed would come his way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:


‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.’”

Be bold my friends. For boldness has genius and magic and power in it.


About Steve Strauss

Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss.

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