Starting a Business? Quotes for Staying Inspired & Motivated When the Going Gets Tough

Do a web search of inspiration when starting a business, and you’ll realize there’s no lack of advice for entrepreneurs or strange metaphors for what starting a business is like. Yet sometimes nothing helps a small business owner navigating tough times better than knowing others have struggled through it too. Here are just a few thoughts we’ve collected to inspire and motivate when those inevitable challenges roll in!

Overcoming Fear and Uncertainty

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

“Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote.” – Travis Kalanick

“As ever, the accountant in me saw the risk, the entrepreneur saw the possibility. So, I split the difference and kept moving forward.” — Phil Knight, chairman emeritus of Nike

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar

When You Just Need an Attitude Check

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –  Henry Ford

"Ignore the hype of the startups that you see in the press. Mostly, it’s a pack of lies. Half of these startups will be dead in a year. So, focus on building your business so you can be the one left standing." – Jules Pieri, Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet

"Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey." – Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Malone

When You’re Stumped on Selling and Understanding Customers

“Everyone is not your customer.” – Seth Godin

“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” – Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO BlogHer

"No matter how many customers you have, each is an individual. The day you start thinking of them as this amorphous ‘collection’ and stop thinking of them as people is the day you start going out of business." – Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder of HubSpot

"Selling is not a pushy, winner-takes-all, macho act. It is an empathy-led, process-driven, and knowledge-intensive discipline. Because, in the end, people buy from people." – Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder of Mindtree

Facing Change with Resiliency & Perseverance

"It starts with not having a hangover with the way things used to be." – Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour

"Don’t try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important." – Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox

"If Plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters." – Claire Cook

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek, motivational speaker

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki, co-founder Alltop

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Star