Entrepreneurs have an unmatched drive and resilience, but this doesn’t mean we don’t need help and inspiration to keep going.
Risking it all and spending every minute of our time and energy on a business is not for the faint of heart.
Quotes are a small, yet tangible way to carry a piece of inspiration with us. I have an obsession with reading and learning from others, so I love pithy quotes. When I’m stuck or running on empty, I often think about what other entrepreneurs and leaders would do in my situation, or ask how they were able to overcome every obstacle on their path.
Here are ten of my favorite power quotes for entrepreneurial inspiration on this challenging but rewarding journey.
1. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
Nothing is impossible. If you have a dream, the desire to pursue it and work harder and smarter than anyone else is willing to, you can achieve it.
2. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can… begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” – Goethe
“Begin it.” How many of us have spent years of our lives dreaming instead of starting? Nothing can be accomplished if you don’t get started.
3. “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!” – Paul J. Meyer
An idea is nothing on its own, and neither is action with desire. Paul J. Meyer reminds us that there are four parts of achieving anything great – imagining to conceive, desire to do, belief to sustain and action to make it happen!
4. “If you’re not doing something that is so big, people call you crazy — that means you’re not dreaming big enough.” – Naveen Jain
People often tell me I think and dream too big. I don’t look at the world or entrepreneurship that way. I encourage my team to dream big and own it. Nothing meaningful is discovered or accomplished via the safe route.
5. “A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it should be.” —Jack Welch
Why settle with what we have or how things are today? In business, we have to be proactive thinkers seeing things in the future to make them happen as quickly as possible.
6. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” —Warren G. Bennis
You can be the world’s greatest visionary, but if you aren’t able to apply it, you aren’t a leader — you are only a dreamer.
7. “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” – Goethe
As an entrepreneur working with young employees, many with their own entrepreneurial aspirations, this is deeply meaningful. Seeing and treating them as employees with limits creates complacency and even a level of comfort. But, treating them as entrepreneurs or the star employees I know they can become, they have freedom and responsibility to rise to their true potential. This benefits us all.
8. “You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” —Bob Nelson
Passion and desire is not easy to create in someone, but there is a significant difference between pressuring someone to complete a task, and guiding and supporting them to be a better employee/person/entrepreneur. See quote #7.
9. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality, the last is to say ‘Thank you.’ In between the two, the leader must become a servant.” —Max De Pree
At Kahuna Business Group, we believe, “We achieve our victories through the victories of those we serve.” We are honored to serve other entrepreneurs and finding our success in becoming successful servants.
10. “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark” – Michelangelo
I’m a sucker for bold and audacious – “Go big or go home!” Don’t set your goals too low or you just might achieve them.
What’s your favorite quote of inspiration applied to entrepreneurship?