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Eager to build a successful business? Here are the quotes of those who have made it, and the DNA and definition of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Bookmark them, screen shot them, and use them to fuel your own journey.
1) Success is No Accident
Famous soccer athlete, Pele who appeared to be born with plenty of natural talent, continues this quote by adding “It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.”
2) Success is Not Final, Failure is Not Fatal: it is the Courage to Continue that Counts
This quote by Winston Churchill really puts the life cycle of an entrepreneur in perspective. Failure won’t kill you, if you don’t let it. Experiencing this can give you more courage to try again. Even when you ‘make it’ and raise a lot of money or sell your company, life isn’t over. You might unfortunately, have a much clearer picture of the struggles, but then you get to start again with a new startup, or become an angel investor yourself.
I have the pleasure of interviewing on the DealMakers Podcast some of the most successful entrepreneurs. Josh Hix, cofounder of Plated, was a recent guest and a real example of this quote. He was rejected over 200 times by investors and went on to sale his company for $300 million (listen to the full episode here).
3) Don’t Count the Days, Make the Days Count
Don’t worry so much about how long you’ve been doing it. Make today count. Focus on what you can do right now. That advice seemed to work well for Muhammed Ali. It can serve you well too, by keeping you in motion and not worrying about the past or future, of which you have no control over.
4) He Who is Not Courageous Enough to Take Risks Will Accomplish Nothing in Life
Another great quote by Muhammad Ali. As a founder of a company it is wise to try and de-risk your venture by learning as much as you can and testing as much as you can, step by step. Yet, at some point you will have to take calculated risks. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with fear or doubt. You just have to act anyway.
5) Don’t Wait for Opportunity, Create it
This quote by George Bernard Shaw is a critical one for every entrepreneur who will succeed through both good and bad times and bull runs and recessions. Sometimes business and revenues will come easy. Other times you need to create it.
6) Either Run the Day or the Day Runs You
Quote by Jim Rohn. There is enough junk and busy work that will pop up every single day to keep you busy and prevent you from taking action on your goals for many lifetimes. If you are going to get anywhere you’ve got to learn to master your time, and take control of your own schedule. No matter what is going on out there.
7) When You Feel Like Quitting, Remember Why You Started
It doesn’t matter how strong, tough, intelligent or positive you are. There will be days you are tempted to quit. The difference in the successful is they are the few that don’t. This is why knowing your core why is so important upfront. Remind yourself of it daily. Pivot, change tactics, get help, take a break, just don’t quit.
I recently covered this piece on Forbes on how several entrepreneurs were able to bring in billions by not quitting.
8) Great Things Never Come From Comfort Zones
When you stop stepping out of your comfort zone, you stop growing, and stop doing the most amazing work you can. If you just can’t drag yourself off the couch, get a permit, take it outside and burn it along with your TV then do what you really want to.
9) The Real Risk is Doing Nothing
Quote from Denis Waitley. The truth is that what you think is your comfort zone is probably the riskiest place you can be sitting. Watch out. One day you’ll find out just how risky it is. Unless you get moving now.
10) Success is Walking from Failure to Failure
Another great quote by Winston Churchill. You may not see all the failures your idols go through, but you can bet there are a lot of them. In fact, the more successful, the more failures that have been clocked up. This is especially true for startup entrepreneurs. Just ask Elon Musk. It’s all about being willing to try something, even if you expect it to fail.
Sam Yagan went from shutting down his venture to leading a $400 million IPO that completely transformed the world of online dating (listen to the full episode here)
11) Action is the Foundational Key to Success
This quote by Pablo Picasso is as true today as when he began painting. Imagine if he kept all those images in his head instead of putting pain to canvas? What a tragedy that would have been.
12) In the End We Only Regret the Chances We Didn’t Take
In a recent episode of the DealMakers podcast I interviewed Eugenio Pace. He had a cushy job at Microsoft. Then he and his wife decided that by not trying their dream of building a company from the ground up it would be too much of a regret to live and die with. He quit, launched Auth0, and the rest is history. He has since raised over $110 million from top venture capital firms (listen to the full episode here).
This quote is from Lewis Carroll.
13) Success isn’t Always about Greatness. It’s about Consistency
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson adds that “Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” Sometimes even the consistency itself is the greatest success and what people remember. Dream big, start doing the small stuff well. Repeat every day.
14) Success is Where Preparation & Opportunity Meet
This quote from race car driver Bobby Unser comes from someone you’d guess just got there from putting their put all the way on the gas. Not so. It is especially important today for entrepreneurs to be prepared. There are always opportunities. You can’t make the most of them unless you are ready.
15) 80% of Success is Showing Up
This quote is from Woody Allen. Sometimes all you need to win is to be the one to show up. Sometimes it is just showing up at the right time and place. Other times it is showing up again and again. At networking events, at pitch nights, with email updates for investors, and with your sales pitch for B2B and B2C users.
Likewise, it doesn’t matter how great you and your product is if you are not continuously showing up. Show up, show up, show up. Close the deals, get the money, scale it.
Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and author of best-seller The Art of Startup Fundraising, a book that offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs.