It requires a lot to be successful in business: a good product or service, financial acumen, the right connections and capital to keep things running are just a few of the tangible requirements.
But the soft-skills required to maintain resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, overcome adversity and recover from failure cannot be discounted.
What are the mindsets that keep entrepreneurs going against all odds?
We reached out to the wide-world of business owners for their mantras, inspirational quotes and advice about how to do what they do.
The Power of Passion, Purpose and Creativity
Entrepreneurs and business owners have the rare opportunity to do something they truly love – the opportunity to be a force for good in the world instead of a cog in the machine.
Keep this in mind when the journey inevitably gets tough.
1. “Everyone has their own reasons for starting their own business. But don’t choose other people’s reasons; choose your own.”
Simon Dlugowski, Founder of MySocialNerd.com
2. “If you do what you love, you are more likely to be better at what you do. Don’t choose your career path based on other people’s expectations. Have faith in yourself and your judgement. Work hard and do what you enjoy. If not, you will have to live with the lingering feeling of wondering what could have been.”
Charles Dugan, Founder of American Image Displays
3. “The passion and desire you have to bring something into this world was given to you for a reason. You were meant to do the work that drives you and compels you to create. Never forget that the world needs exactly what you have to give, and it won’t be complete without it.”
Jessica Kinsey, Founder of Prodigy & Co
4. “Let your mind wander at the right time. Daydreaming makes people more productive because it taps into the subconscious and encourages creativity. You just have to learn how to do it well. Think of as many things as you can for an hour, when you do that, you find solutions to problems.”
5. “Go out into the world. Go into the homes and workplaces and quiet places of real people with real challenges. Watch and listen. There we will learn what the actual challenges are we as founders can help solve.”
Matthew Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO of EarnUp
6. “When you start a business, the goal is not to make money. That should be the last goal on your mind actually. Instead, you should start a business because you love what you do.”
AJ Saleem, Academic Director at Suprex Tutors Houston
7. “You are never too small and ordinary to make a difference. A seamstress named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus. A shipyard electrician named Lech Walesa led the movement that threw the Russians out of Poland and later became its president. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield knew nothing about ice cream or business and they started a company that showed it was possible for businesses to change the world. I own a one-person social entrepreneurship consulting business based in a farmhouse, and I personally started the movement that saved a mountain. If you think you’re too small to have impact, hang out with a mosquito. Step into your greatness—it’s waiting for you!”
Shel Horowitz, Going Beyond Sustainability
The Power of Your Mindset
Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!” The power of your mindset when it comes to your success cannot be dismissed. Keep these quotes in mind:
8. “Entrepreneurs face obstacles from all sides, day in and day out, but the greatest battle entrepreneurs fight is over mindset. No competitor is as dangerous as your own doubts or complacency. Make positivity and enthusiasm your highest priority, and you’ll find ways to take care of all the rest. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the days I’ve gotten up and attacked my work with a positive attitude, I’ve made progress. On the days when I’m feeling low, letting the doubts and frustrations eat away at my mindset, I see only a fraction of the results. Entrepreneurship is a battle waged in the mind.”
Brian Davis, Director of Education, SparkRental
9. “The only difference between fear and excitement is the story that you tell yourself. Tell yourself a story that will move you forward.”
Laura Huckabee-Jennings, Owner of Transcend
10. “I’m a true believer in the Laws of Attraction. What you think about, you bring about. Say to yourself, ‘In 2018, I will…’ and write it in a notebook or somewhere you’ll see it often. Remind yourself that running a small business is something that you want.”
Denise Marcelin Pringle of Denmar Consulting LLC
The Power of Your People
The reason many entrepreneurs start a business is because they have a natural inclination to go it alone. This quote is a reminder not to let that be your downfall.
11. “Don’t let your doubts get in the way of your success. As a business owner, it’s important to utilize a support group who shares the same vision as you. This network is what will help you get through the difficult times, and help you celebrate your wins.”
Katie Krawcyzk, Founder of 19 IDEAS
Prepare to Persevere
No matter how lucky you are, no matter how talented you are, your business will not succeed unless you keep going.
12. “A small boy or girl selling lemonade has a business. A creative entrepreneur with a business plan only has a paper.”
Katie Smith, CEO of Skip Hire Isleworth
13. “Many refuse to step up to life’s plate for fear of striking out. However only those willing to risk a strike out are given the opportunity to hit a home run. Whatever you do, just keep swinging.”
Kelly Bertog, Founder of Six-Figure Sponsorships
14. “No matter how hard it gets, continue providing value upfront and continue delivering on your promises, and eventually you will be successful.”
Simon Dlugowski, Founder of MySocialNerd.com
15. “Entrepreneurship is being on a mission where nothing can stop you. It will take twice as long as you’d hoped, cost exceedingly more than you’d ever budgeted and will be more challenging than anything you’ll ever try but if you give it your all and refuse to give up, you can trust it will be the ride of a lifetime.”
Lori Cheek, Founder/ CEO of Cheekd
16. “Persistence and ambition almost always beat out talent. Many startups and companies fail simply because they give up too early. Success isn’t achieved by avoiding failure, but instead finding the determination to work past it.”
Sophie Knowles, Founder & CEO of PDF Pro
The Power of Failure
You are going to fail before you truly succeed. Your perspective, and understanding failure’s role in success, is paramount to overcoming it.
17. “You don’t know how far you can rise until you are knocked to the ground.”
Ted Jenkin, Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial
18. “Failure happens not when you don’t succeed the first time but when you stop trying the last time.”
David Burckhard, PicturePoint On-line
19. “Fear of failure is something as an entrepreneur I am constantly battling against. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly trying new things and pushing the envelope. If you are not failing, you aren’t trying hard enough. Often when my team is hesitant to take action in fear of failure, I am known to say ‘It might not work. You might fail. But I rather fail at something that has potential than succeed as something with none.’”
Warren Struhl, Owner of Successories
20. “The best way I know to recover from entrepreneurial failures is to rely on your support group. This could be any combination of friends or family. They might not be able to give you any game-changing solution to your problem, but as long as they aren’t there to question or criticize you, they should help you at a personal level with their love and support. Simply getting away from your problem for a day or even a few hours could prove invaluable.”
Peter Carson, President, Extranet User Manager
21. “Let rejection be the fuel for your motivation because on the road to your dreams, nothing should stop you.”
Dale Noelle, Founder & CEO of TRUE Model Management
Enjoy the Journey
As a business-owner, it’s only natural for you to focus on results. But focusing only on the results is one of the fastest ways to burn out.
22. “Entrepreneurship is like a bike ride. Some paths are familiar, others take you through new or rocky terrain. Some people seem to travel very far quickly, while others struggle to make it up the first hill. Each journey is different, sometimes by choice (like where to ride) and sometimes by chance (like inclement weather). Every rider has a different set up uphill climbs and downhill cruises ahead of them. Sometimes you’ll ride uphill and into the wind and it’ll feel like the world is fighting against you. Every forward motion will be hard fought and difficult to achieve. But that only makes the crest of the mountain that much more sweet of a victory when you get there. Other times you’ll be pedaling downhill and feel invincible, like you own the streets and nothing can stop you. These are the times to stay humble and keep pedaling. Realize that you’ve worked hard to get here, but just because the path is working in your favor right now doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. Keep your head down and pedal because you could be riding into another uphill battle and need to keep your momentum.
We all have different paths and some of us will go a lot farther than others. It’s not always fair that some people have better bikes than others, but that’s how the world works. Keep your eyes focused on the riders going faster than you and learn from them. But remember that no matter how fast you go, there will always be someone out there passing you, don’t let that discourage you. And lastly remember, while it’s important to travel far, at the end of the road it’s more important to enjoy the path that got you there.”
Matt Ham, President / Owner of Computer Repair Doctor
You Know What’s Even Better Than Business Quotes?
Now that you’re feeling inspired and ready to take your business to the next level, let us help connect you to a lender who might be able to get the resources you need to expand your company or launch your startup.
Good luck, and keep these words in mind!