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75 Business Quotes to Inspire Hard Work, Grit and Leadership

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The journey in business and entrepreneurship is rife with obstacles and opportunities. On both the good and bad days, it can serve us well to lean on inspiring business quotes. Sayings about business from leaders who have been through it serve as a reminder: while the path to success may be full of challenges, it is also ripe with possibilities for growth.

Within every successful venture lies an understanding of corporate dynamics, where decisions are made and risks are weighed. Business quotes, drawn from the firsthand experiences of visionary thinkers and corporate leaders, distill years of wisdom into memorable, short and powerful phrases.

From startups to multinational corporations, these motivational quotes about business are meant to inspire and serve as guideposts for those charting their course in the business world. 

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75 Best Business Quotes

1. "If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time." –Steve Jobs

2. "Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them." –Madam C.J. Walker

3. "It’s important that leaders are consistent. You can change your mind, but change your mind against a consistent framework." –Indra Nooyi

4. "Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming." –Richard Branson

5. "There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them." –Seth Godin

6. "No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t." –James Cash Penney

7. "The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to, every evening, think, 'What can be done better tomorrow?'." –Ingvar Kamprad

8. "It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then, everyone can tell you how lucky you are." –Mark Cuban

9. "The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same." –Colin R. Davis

10. "Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision." –Peter F. Drucke

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11. "In business 'professionalism' is not a tactic but a moral value." –Amit Kalantri

12. "In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination." –Steve Case

13. "The golden rule for every business is this: put yourself in your customer’s place." –Orison Swett Marden

14. "We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success." –Arianna Huffington

15. "If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business." –B.C. Forbes

16. "Magic happens when you connect people. I credit much of my success to always making it a point to truly get to know people and help them whenever I can. It’s become the backbone of our firm’s success. Women founders in particular are often highly skilled at making connections that can help advance their businesses." –Susan Macpherson

17. "Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want." –Dianne Feinstein

18. "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary." –Vidal Sassoon

19. "The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first." –Sergey Brin

20. "The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have." –Padmasree Warrior

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21. "Great things in business are never done by one person." –Steve Jobs

22. "If you’re clear on what you believe, you have a great foundation to go make a market." –Ginni Rometty

23. "Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers." –Elizabeth Arden

24. "Patience: This is the greatest business asset. Wait for the right time to make your moves." –J. Paul Getty

25. "Capital isn’t scarce. Vision is." –Sam Walton

26. "Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too ‘emotional’ about your business. A founder’s passion … [is] the biggest asset a business can have — a founder that sees the business through the eyes of a customer and truly loves the product." –Sahar Hashemi 

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27. "Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve." –Mary Kay Ash

28. "You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing." –Dale Carnegie

29. "You can’t do it all. You have to give what you’ve got for the day and leave the rest for tomorrow." –Beatrice Dixon

30. "If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances." –Sallie Krawcheck

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31. "Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you." –Margaret Thatcher

32. "Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference." –Alison Pincus

33. "Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that." –Anthony Volodkin

34. "If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you." –Zig Ziglar

35. "The value of an idea lies in the using of it." –Thomas Edison

36. "Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good." –Joanne Ciulla

37. "When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue." –Josh James

38. "Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell." –Lisa Stone

39. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." –Helen Keller

40. "Know what you bring. Know what you don’t bring. And build a team that covers everything you need." –Angie Hicks

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41. "An obstacle is often a stepping stone." –William Prescott

42. "The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows." –Aristotle Onassis

43."If you can dream it, you can do it." –Walt Disney

44. "Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships." –Henry Ross Perot

45. "The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business." – Aruna Bhayana

46. "There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." –Paulo Coelho

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47. "Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." –Sam Levenson

48. "Don’t worry about failure: You only have to be right once." –Drew Houston

49. "Business is all about relationships, how well you build them determines how well they build your business." –Brad Sugars

50. "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

51. "Don’t give up, the beginning is always the hardest." –Kemmy Nola

52. "If you don't build your own dreams someone will hire you to build theirs." –Tony Gaskins

53. "It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure." –Bill Gates

54. "If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." –Martin Luther King, Jr.

55. "The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda." –John C. Maxwell

56. "To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart." –Thomas Watson

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57. "The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world." –Marc Benioff

58. "You don't need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea." –Larry Page

59. "It’s not an experiment if you know it’s going to work." –Jeff Bezos

60. "A big business starts small." –Richard Branson

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61. "The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It's part of the job description." –Caterina Fake

62. "Always give your best effort, even when the odds are against you." –Arnold Palmer

63. "You have to work on the business first before it works for you." –Idowu Koyenikan

64. "My best advice to entrepreneurs is this: forget about making mistakes, just do it." –Ajaero Tony Martins

65. "The secret to getting ahead is getting started." –Mark Twain

66. "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." –Stephen King

67. "There's nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team." –Jason Fried

68. "Timing, perseverance, and 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success." –Biz Stone

69. "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work." –Steve Jobs

70. "One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals." –Michael Korda

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71. "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business." –Henry Ford

72. "Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else." –Sara Blakely

73. "Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create." –Oprah Winfrey

74. "Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop." –Jeffrey Zeldman

75. "Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be." –Lakshmi Mittal

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