When I used to look at small business owners, I used to think about how they had it made. Here they were, running their own company, setting their own schedule, calling their own shots. They had it all and weren’t even breaking a sweat!
It wasn’t until I started my own business that I learned that what I thought I saw and reality were two very different things.
These top industry leaders didn’t get where they were easily. They scrimped and scraped and worked long, stressful days to create their empires. They spent weeks, months, and sometimes years to create the business that stood larger-than-life before me. No doubt they gave it all (and then some) to be able to run their own company, set their own schedule, and call their own shots. And surely that wasn’t always easy either, because having that type of position comes with a lot of responsibility, stress, and working around what others want, need, and expect.
No, owning your own business isn’t always as great as it seems, which is why a little motivational lift is sometimes necessary to help push you to continue foraging ahead. So if you’re in need of that push yourself right now, here are my top 20 lesser known business-related quotes that I look to for inspiration when I just need to keep going (but don’t really feel like it).
#1: “In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” Harold S. Geneen
#2: “Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets.” Henry Ford
#3: “We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.” Alexis de Tocqueville
#4: “The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you’re playing by somebody else’s rules while quietly playing by your own.” Michael Korda
#5: “Ideas pull the trigger, but instinct loads the gun.” Don Marquis
#6: “The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘Why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘Why not?’” Jeff Bezos
#7: “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” Mary Kay Ash
#8: “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
#9: “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” W. Clement Stone
#10: “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” Tom Brokaw
#11: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Dale Carnegie
#12: “What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.” Gary Ryan Blair
#13: “Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.” Thomas J. Watson
#14: “Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse pulling a sturdy wagon.” Winston Churchill
#15: “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” Napoleon Hill
#16: “Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.” Walter Scott
#17: “Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn’t always have to be their top priority.” William Arthur Ward
#18: “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.” Robert Kiyosaki
#19: “Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.” Robert Orben
#20: “If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” Robert H. Schuller
I’m always interested in learning other small business owners’ thoughts on relevant topics and issues, so if you have a comment or unique article idea, feel free to contact me at [email protected] (put “Businessing Magazine” in the subject line, please). If I use it, it’s a free link to your website!