Running a successful business is no easy feat. With so many daily decisions to be made, it can be easy to lose sight of your passion. The vision that made you want to start your business in the first place can become muddied by the challenges of all your day-to-day responsibilities. Sometimes, it can be helpful to just take a moment to read some inspirational quotes to reignite your momentum. That’s why we’ve pulled together some inspirational quotes from some of the world’s most successful doers and thinkers. Take a look at our countdown of the top business quotes and our interpretation of how they can relate to your business.
12. “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius, Philosopher
You’ve probably heard this quote before—and it’s true! While of course every job has its ups and downs, it’s important to pursue your passions and find a role that truly makes you happy. Because most people will spend the majority of their time at work.
11. “Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” —Theodore Isaac Rubin, Psychiatrist
Being challenged is an important part of any job. Challenges help keep us engaged and push us to learn more. The feeling of overcoming obstacles can be rewarding and can help maintain a sense of motivation for the long term. So the next time you face an inevitable challenge, focus on the end goal and the satisfaction that comes with completing a project.
10. “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, Founder of Wendy’s
Don’t overthink the ingredients in the recipe to success. By understanding what customers need and identifying the best way to provide that for them, you may just be on your way to building something great.
9. “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” – Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company
Even though advertising may seem like a big expense upfront, it holds the potential to boost your profits in the long run. If your advertisements are working well, there’s no real reason to stop.
8. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist
Short, sweet, and profound—these words by Einstein urge us to focus on doing high-quality, innovative work rather than aiming to seek fame and fortune. Regardless of your field, bringing value to your business is a way to find satisfaction in your work.
7. “When hiring, if forced to choose between virtue and talent, choose virtue.” – Charles Koch, CEO, Koch Industries
The most talented candidate in the world will do you no good if they can’t work well with others. Honesty, integrity, and humility are some of the most valuable traits you can find in an employee. Plus, by employing people you can trust, the less likely your risk of damage to your reputation—which is more valuable than money.
6. “Maintain a culture of respect.” – Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Novell, Google
Respect works both ways. Try to foster a company culture of mutual respect that incudes everyone from executives to interns. This is heavily reliant on honest communication, patience, and trust.
5. “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” – Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States
Everyone… even Ben Franklin… gets things wrong. The key is to learn from mistakes and to persevere.
4. “Here’s how I stay relevant: I read. I listen. I try to surround myself with smart people of all ages and backgrounds.” – John Doerr, venture capital Midas
Always stay open to new information and ideas. Every industry changes. The best business leaders are the ones who can not only roll with the punches, but who can predict those changes and think of new solutions to stay ahead of the curve. The more you can expose yourself to diverse thoughts, the better your chances of gaining a fuller understanding of a given industry.
3. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
Of course nobody wants their customers to be unhappy. But rather than panicking, a more productive approach is to learn from negative experiences. Always try to focus on finding a solution and explore some ways the situation could have been handled better.
2. “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO, Apple
While it’s true that one person can be a leader, the best leaders empower their team to reach the best results.
1. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
We’ve all missed the bus at some point. The key to being a successful business owner is not to dwell on missed opportunities, but always be looking forward and stay ready for the next opportunity to come your way.
No matter the size of your business, every entrepreneur can use some inspiration now and then. By reading inspirational quotes, you may find some wisdom that you can apply to your business model, culture, or vision. If we must summarize the messages provided by all the talented people on this list, themes of innovation, honesty, and perseverance shine through. Don’t forget that mistakes often lead to learning and there are always new opportunities on the horizon. Keeping these lessons in mind while making decisions for your business can help guide you and provide a valuable focus that might just lead you on a profitable path.