Entrepreneurship can be lonely and starting a business is tough, not just on the practical grind but also financially and mentally.
It’s hard to stay motivated, but the truth is that entrepreneurs and startup CEOs go through lots of ups and downs. So, I decided to share these entrepreneur quotes for motivation to keep you afloat when things get really tough.
To me, entrepreneurship isn’t about the money. For me, its 100% about controlling my own time and embracing the opportunity to do things my way. Despite the ups and downs.
I hope you find inspiration in some of these business quotes:
Bill Gates On Making Money
This one amongst the motivational quotes resonates the most with me. I grew up in a very poor family and was teased about it in school. In fact, the kids called me “TPD” behind my back – for “Trailer Park Darren.”
I was embarrassed about it and resented being poor until one day when I stopped resenting it and turned it into a lesson. It made me work harder to get to where I am today. From a tin single wide trailer shared by seven people to a 2-story house 200 yards from the beach, I think I did something right.
Some people will always find a reason to complain. From the economy to not having marketing ideas or whatever it is. You have to be motivated enough to work hard and turn those lemons into even more than lemonades.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson On Turning Hard Times Into Motivation
Where I come from always motivates me to push for the best. I don’t want to experience the situation I had growing up ever again. Regardless of what I earn now, I continue to push myself each day to work harder and smarter.
If you have had a hard time, use that as a motivation to be the best. Even if you’re already successful, there’s still lots of room at the bottom, never lose sight of what you have and are working for.
Steve Jobs On Loving Your Work
Most entrepreneurs will agree with me that it’s easier to work on something that you love; that you’re passionate about than on something that you tolerate because it puts food on the table.
Our jobs take the majority of our time and a large percent of our life.
The same applies to being an entrepreneur. Pick a niche that you love. Don’t rush into a sector just because you believe it will sell. When your push comes from your heart, it’s easier to do great work even when you haven’t started getting so many sales.
Don’t Slave Away For Another Person’s Dream From Jeff Bezos
We don’t celebrate the employees behind the biggest companies; all you hear of is the CEO and how great they are. More than public recognition is the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from working on your own terms.
It’s much more rewarding watching and nurturing your idea into a business.
Know Your Business Says Jeff Bezos
Jeff’s motivational quotes aren’t as popular as Steve Job’s, but they ring so true in ecommerce and business in general.
Understanding your business is the tested foundation for winning. I learned this early when I started working in corporate marketing for brick and mortar retail brands. “Retail is detail” was drilled into my brain by Susan Stackhouse, a female entrepreneur with 30+ brick and mortar niche stores.
Detail is even more critical when it comes to an online business. A broken link or slow loading checkout page can cost you. So is not understanding your purchasing behavior, customers’ preferences, and the marketplace.
If you don’t understand your business, you can’t communicate to potential customers what you are selling.
Zig Ziglar On Getting Started
Most people never take the first step because they are too worried about not being good enough, not having enough experience, or how people will perceive them during the journey. Trust me, if you worry about all that and never start, you’ll never be great – you’ll never achieve that dream of yours to start a business. Step out of your comfort zone.
Starting is the first step to success. You can choose to sit in your 9 to 5 every day frustrated about your life and worrying if ecommerce will ever work for you, or you can take the leap and become an entrepreneur now.
Michelle Obama On Achieving Goals
People will talk. Regardless of how “clear” your goals might be, there will be people that will tell you that you can’t do it, it’s impossible, etc.
It’s ok to listen to constructive criticism and ideas to push your goals, but if you listen to doubters and naysayers, you will settle for less and end up never achieving your dreams.
Michael Phelps On One’s Goals
If you want to venture into ecommerce entrepreneurship. Don’t be scared of starting on your own tuff with your own website. Launching on Amazon might seem easy, you can easily start getting revenue.
However, you wouldn’t be able to build a relationship with customers for lifetime value neither are you in control of upsells. There’s also the depressing price-points. Push yourself and put yourself to work. You might be uncomfortable with it now but in a few years, you’ll reap immense benefits.
John Wooden On Making The Best Out Of Situations
John Wooden wrote this in his book in the 1970s, and it resonates with me.
You can either make progress or excuses; you can either turn a negative situation into a motivator or let it drag you down. Make the best of how things work out.
Mindset Is Everything From Henry Ford
Our minds determine how we work. If you start a company thinking you can’t, you truly won’t be able to do much without giving up. If you start with a positive mindset, you will.
Also, many people set goals and make plans but along the way, they let circumstances and time change their thinking. So, you have to tell yourself “I can” repeatedly. Make that what you see and believe. Pick from these words of Henry Ford. Your own inner voice and thoughts controls what you do.
Steve Jobs On Loving One’s Vision
Steve Jobs’s words are some of the most popular business quotes. If you’re continuously struggling to care about your niche, your store, and your product, change your vision.
The reality of life is that your goal wouldn’t be exciting all the time but if that vision of running an ecommerce store is a necessary evil, you’ll fail to have the motivation to market it, people you talk to about it will see that you’re not passionate about it, and your website will fail to gain traction
If it’s the other way round, you wouldn’t need to push, dig and sweat so much to get that motivation and work. Your vision will pull you up every day, and you’ll find yourself working on something you love.
Talk Is Cheap From Walt Disney
Why do you think many people make new year’s resolutions that they never do? Simply because they talk and talk but never start doing it.
Progress starts happening when you shut up and commit yourself to do something about your goal.
Stay On The Right Path From Colin R. Davis
Many famous successful entrepreneurs and CEOs today, including Oprah Winfrey and Walt Disney, failed multiple times before they became successful. This business quote reiterates the point that failure and success are two sides of a coin.
The road to success is paved with failures, and the end of the road of failure is failure. The difference between both is that success might take much longer, and we learn a lot on the way; we learn from the failures and grow stronger because of them.
Fear Mediocrity From Robert Downey Jr
The middle is average; it’s safe. Many people tiptoe through life doing the same thing day to day because they fear failing if they move out of that bubble.
Break free from mediocrity. Take that risk and start your online business.
Pablo Picasso On Inspiration
I like to interpret this quote as always being ready. Think of it, when you’re actively working on something and get an idea, you immediately put it to use. But if you’re playing a game or watching a movie, you’ll think of doing it later. A later that is likely never to come.
Inspiration comes at its own time, and you must be ready to take action and begin to use it.
Grind Hard From Angela Bassett
There are many motivational speakers on ecommerce telling people that they will make a million dollars with this hack or that. I don’t believe in that. Hard work is what works.
Bring your best to your company. Will it fail? Maybe. But there’s also the chance of success. You’ll never know if you don’t try and try again.
Fredrick Douglass On Obstacles
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, there are obstacles everywhere.
The trust that people have for Amazon over your startup is an obstacle. Your competitors ranking high with you nowhere near in SERPs is an obstacle. If you don’t struggle against that, there’s no progress.
Be Consistent In Working From Walt Disney
Pick an idea, read on it, do your industry research, find the right niche and products, and stay with it. Consistency is key to success in business.
Grind hard, stay on the right path, and work even after the launch is done right. Continue working to overtake your competition.
Jim Rohn On Finding A Way
If you keep making excuses for not launching that store, it’s either because you don’t want it or your fear is overshadowing the possibility of it working.
Failing is a norm associated with life; so what if you fail? You have just found one way not to do the same thing in the same situation. Stop making excuses. Start doing something.
Estée Lauder on Taking Action
Dreams take much time without us knowing. You can sit and start pondering on a dream and hours will pass you by.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking and planning the purpose, big picture, plans for, marketing be it SEO or social media, but it has to be more than that.
Success will not seek you out, you have to seek it. You will need to work at being an entrepreneur and running a company that succeeds.
Oprah Winfrey On Attaining Success
A friend of Oprah Winfrey once told her this quote, which she shared with everyone and it rings true.
Don’t fret over success – little worry can turn into worse. Have success in mind but work towards serving and providing products and solutions that are significant, and success will naturally follow. Look at all the platforms, products, and solutions that have gone viral in today’s world. They all are significant.
Success Is Tied To Value From Albert Einstein
This motivational quote from Albert Einstein puts more credit on what I mentioned above.
If you offer significant products; if you provide value, success will follow you. From Steve Jobs to Tobias Lütke, their success was as a result of their provision of value. Learn from that.
Everyone Can Lose From Bill Gates
Are there entrepreneurs and CEOs who got lucky and made it without much work? Yes. But in the large circle of successful people are those with a long line of work and failure behind them. You only see the great part of it and want to be inspired by it.
Sadly, most motivational shows only bring successful people; they wouldn’t bring a starter entrepreneur who just failed at his product launch. You only see the glitter and that can make even the smartest person think they can get there as well without failing.
Criticism is a good thing; it can help you make a better product, sell and communicate better, and give you information that you never thought of.
However, be careful who you take criticism from. Some people will criticize every single thing you do just because they aren’t the ones doing it. Learn to discern whose criticism and whose advice you should accept. Accepting the wrong one could mar your company.
Walt Disney On Obstacles
Sometimes you need adversity and obstacles to show you the right path and to strengthen you. At the time it happens, no one sees it as a good thing but as you start to learn from it, you start to appreciate it.
Getting stronger doesn’t feel good in the process, but hang in there. It might just be the best thing yet.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Secret To Success
For your dreams to work, you need hard work. I love Dwayne Johnson, from his business quotes about working hard to how he actually does it are things that I can relate to.
Success comes from preparation, hard work, being hungry to push more, and learning from failure. Also, always be humble; remember that quote? – “pride goeth before a fall.”
The Formula For Success By Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Many factors affect the different things we do and the products that we try to sell, but you can put effort into finding what people are looking to buy.
If you focus on the right channels, building a targeted sales funnel, and putting your all into it, you can make it.
Jeff Bezos Reveals Three Keys To Success
It’s key to be customer-focused. One of Jeff’s motivational quotes states that if you focus more on your competitors than customers, you have to wait until your competitors are doing something before you do. But when you’re customer-focused, you are always a pioneer because you think of innovative ways to serve better.
Don’t copy your competitors outright. You can be inspired by their strategies, but do yours differently and wait. Think of the long-term before your ideas are fully implemented. Don’t rush it and jump in too deep.
Richard Branson On Enjoying What You Do
You can head to your 9-5 that you don’t really like every day, but you’ll never own the business, you’ll never work on your terms or be in control of day-to-day decisions, you’ll never be fully involved.
Also, with owning your company, you’ve got to enjoy it. If you loathe having to deal with selling the products you sell, you’re going to have a hard time doing it.
Making a successful business is more than hard work. You have to love and enjoy it otherwise, it will turn into a cumbersome task.
Jeff Bezos On Pricing
Selling on Amazon and other marketplaces is risky business; you can’t beat them on their own platform. Look at the ton of products that Amazon now private labels. If you follow popular forums like the Seller Central, you will see sellers complaining of Amazon selling the same products at ridiculous prices.
You could sell for $11 for a fair margin while Amazon can afford to sell for $3 until they push you out of business. Regardless of how low you want to price your product to eliminate competitors, you can’t do it better than Amazon.
However, if you own a private label business and sell on your Bigcommerce store, you could. Amazon wouldn’t have as much in-depth data from your website as they will on theirs. You can control more on your own terms.
Don’t Give Up From Thomas Edison
Many of Thomas Edison’s quotes are around failure and rising from it – this is a man that failed more than 9,000 times before succeeding at creating the lightbulb.
Entrepreneurs better realize that getting the perfect formula doesn’t always happen on the first attempt. Frankly, it is ridiculous to think that ‘cos you have a bit of experience in sales or something, your business will boom on the first attempt.
You might fail many times, but you only need one good one to catch the market. You mustn’t give up. Try again. Be determined and persistent.
Jeff Bezos On Market Leadership
One reason for Jeff Bezos success – and name leading on Forbes 400 list is the market leadership that his business has been able to acquire.
When you prove that you understand customers and once you get to that point of being a leader in your market, the business will naturally flock in without much sweat. More business = higher revenue, profitability, and returns on investment.
Of course, getting to the point of being a market leader will not happen in one day, but you have to be prepared to work hard for it.
Drew Houston On Arrogance
There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance. You can be confident in your skills, but don’t ever be arrogant. You don’t know your customers more than they know themselves; you can’t assume what they want. Research and read.
You can’t always be right. Share your ideas and ask for opinions. Take surveys on your online store. Ask questions on social media. Speak with family and friends.
Mark Cuban On Attaining Success
Failure is part of business. It will happen. The world’s greatest inventors, entrepreneurs, and CEOs had to go through failure before their breaking success.
It doesn’t matter if you fail 100 times, don’t quit. People that quit never achieve their goal. It’s key to learn from failure, learn why you failed, improve on your actions, and do a better job next time. You only need to be right once to succeed.
Mark Cuban On Retaining Success
One mistake that many people make once they leave the corporate world or get a bit of success is to relax. Being an entrepreneur and CEO might mean working even more than when you’re working for someone else.
Bust your ass, be willing to outwork and outlearn everything.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Advice To Business Owners
Starting your own business has to be fueled by a mission that matters to you. Your mission is what helps you define the difference between you and your competitors.
That mission has to be something you believe in and are passionate about; otherwise, you would give up easily. Tie your passion to your mission and business.
Niche Down From Seth Godin
One mistake that some online sellers make is trying to sell to everybody.
You can’t and shouldn’t start as a general store. When you’re just starting a business, you need to know who your customers are, and you need to niche down. It’s easier to build a passionate following and a high ranking on Google when you niche down and get known for being a market leader in a niche.
Winston’s Churchill’s Definition Of Success
In business, there will be points where failure happens. It’s inevitable. It could be that you put your time, effort, and money in hopes of a big marketing boom that goes south. Or even the whole business.
However, there are lessons of failure that we need to learn from each ball thrown at us. There’s a big difference between failing and quitting. Don’t quit, move on with pure perseverance and enthusiasm, learn from your mistakes, and get back on your feet.
Warren Buffet’s Advice On Customer Management
Success in business happens when you have happy customers that are willing to tell others about how great your product is. Be it a big or small business, strive to more than satisfy your customers.
Regardless of how great a service you provide, some customers will still be unhappy. Learn from them. As Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Passion Motivates Over Money – Reid Hoffman
This quote from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, places much emphasis on passion and the truth is, if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life/long term, you need to be passionate about it.
When your motivation is money, you’ll work hard but after a while, it starts to wane, especially when you experience failure or disappointments.
Don’t go into ecommerce choosing products just because your research shows they might be profitable. That is important, but at the same time, put your passion into consideration when choosing a business model, niche, and products.
Building Your Own Thing Is One Of The Most Fulfilling Things
I hope these inspirational quotes have fired up your drive to be an entrepreneur. What business model are you looking into? Is it an Amazon affiliate store or private label. Take action, build a startup, and market it better.
Don’t try to compete with Amazon on its platform though, you wouldn’t win. You can start with a model that relies on them for drawing revenue, but have it in mind that you should innovate.
Expect criticism. Like Jeff Bezos said, “If you never want to be criticized, for goodness sake don’t do anything new.” Work hard, continuously read on the market and customers, work on marketing even more, and never neglect any aspect of your business.
What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs? Share it with us in the comments.