Being a small business owner isn't for the faint of heart. You've taken a passion and turned it into a business—and whether you're a new startup or have been in business for years, you've likely faced your fair share of challenges.
Everyone has different ways to stay motivated through those challenges—but positive small business quotes are a great place to start. The right quote at the right time can help you push through low or challenging points in your business—and come out on the other side stronger, more motivated, and more inspired than when you started.
So what are some positive quotes that can help you grow your business? Let’s take a look at some of the best advice from famous entrepreneurs, including the founders of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and The Virgin Group, motivational speakers, political figures (including former Presidents and a former Prime Minister), and other small business experts.
Positive Quotes for When You Need a Dose of Inspiration
Are you feeling stuck? Whether your business has reached a plateau or you're facing a creative block, here are some small business quotes to deliver a dose of inspiration when you need it most:
"Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision." - Peter Drucker
All successful people once felt uncertain and took a leap—so even if you’re feeling unsure, make the leap anyway. You’re in good (and successful!) company.
"Risk-taking is the cornerstone of empires." - Estee Lauder
When it comes to building a thriving business, it's as simple as the old adage: No risk, no reward.
"Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
A positive mindset goes a long way. Believing in yourself is half the battle!
"The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Tomorrow’s success comes from the work and effort you put in today—so show up at work every day ready to do your best.
"Opportunities don't happen. You create them." - Chris Grosser
You can't sit around waiting for an opportunity to happen. Instead, you need to make it happen.
"There's no luck in business. There's only drive, determination, and more drive." - Sophie Kinsella
Every successful entrepreneur has gotten there through their own power of will. So if you want success? Keep pushing.
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"Success is a decision. Dare to choose it." - Jill Konrath
While there are a lot of factors that go into success, choosing to believe that you’re capable of success is one of the most basic—and most important.
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." - Colin Powell
It’s important to remember that there is no magic formula or quick fix for success; instead, it’s about putting in the work and showing up every day—even when it’s hard.
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy." - Dale Carnegie
As a business owner, it’s important to identify what fears are holding you back—because chances are, the success you’re after will only come after you take action and overcome that fear.
Positive Quotes for When You—Or Your Business—is Struggling
Struggles are an unavoidable part of owning and running a business. But the good news? Whether you're dealing with a major roadblock or a minor setback, you're not alone.
These positive motivational quotes will inspire you to keep going, no matter what struggles or setbacks you may find yourself facing:
"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't." - Rikki Rogers
You don't get stronger by doing the same thing over and over again. You (and your business) will be stronger and more successful with each new challenge or obstacle you overcome.
"An obstacle is often a stepping stone." - William Prescott
Though you might not realize it in the moment, an obstacle—and learning how to navigate that obstacle—could be exactly the lesson you need to take your business to the next level.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein
Hard times are…well, hard. But they’re also opportunities for growth and change. If you're going through a hard time, pause and reflect on what changes you can make to better support your business.
"You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be." - Napoleon Hill
You are not a victim of your circumstances. If you—or your business—are going through a tough time, you have the power to change it.
"Good ideas are always crazy until they're not." - Larry Page
People may question your business ideas. They might even call them crazy. But that doesn’t mean your ideas aren’t great—or that you shouldn’t pursue them.
"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." - C.S. Lewis
Going through hardships in your business is never fun. But those hardships will teach you invaluable lessons—lessons that will set you up for success in the future.
"Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don't fight them. Just find a new way to stand." - Oprah Winfrey
Change is inevitable. But the more you’re willing to go with the flow and adapt to those changes, the easier the process will be.
"I have not failed 10,000 times—I've successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work." - Thomas Edison
How you perceive things makes all the difference. You can look at something in your business as a failure—or you can look at it as taking you one step closer to success.
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou
You can't have control over everything all the time—and trying to have that control is a surefire way to get frustrated. Focus on what you can control in your business—and let go of what you can’t.
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
When you’re faced with adversity, take a deep breath and remember: when it comes to dealing with it, your outlook is everything.
Positive Quotes for When You Need to Think Big
Your business might be small—but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking big. Get inspired and start thinking bigger with these positive quotes for small business owners:
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs
To be a leader—of your business or your industry—you can’t do what’s already been done. True leaders think outside of the box, innovate, and do their own thing—and so should you.
"The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business." - Aruna Bhayana
You don’t need a big business to think big.
"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." - John D. Rockefeller
Don't get too comfortable. Even if things are steady for your business, dreaming big and stepping outside of your comfort zone is a must to continue growing.
"Play by the rules, but be ferocious." - Phil Knight
It’s important to follow the business rule book and “play nice”—but when it comes to building and protecting your business, it’s also important to be fierce when necessary.
"If you decide that you're going to do only the things you know are going to work, you're going to leave a lot of opportunities on the table." - Jeff Bezos
You won’t know if something is going to work until you try it—and if you avoid trying things because you’re afraid they won’t work, you’re sure to miss out.
“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t." - Michelle Obama
When making decisions for your business, it can be easy to go the safe route. But don’t be afraid to take risks. Often, the riskier choice leads to much better outcomes than playing it safe.
"Take risks. Failure is a stepping stone to success." - Arianna Huffington
At some point, you're going to fail. It’s inevitable. But since you know you’re going to face failure at some point, why let the fear of failure stop you from taking chances?
"When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are." - Oprah Winfrey
People will only take you and your business as seriously as you do—so don't sell yourself short.
"Fall seven times and stand up eight." – Japanese proverb
It's not about how many times you fail. It's about how many times you get back up and persevere.
"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." - Henry David Thoreau
Let your imagination run wild. Always be open to new ideas, insights, and ways of doing things. That imaginative approach can help you bring your business to life.
Positive Quotes for When You Need Motivation
Finding it hard to get motivated to get things done or move your business forward? These motivational quotes will inspire you to take action:
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain
Starting something is often the hardest part—but once you make the leap and just start, the motivation (and success!) will follow.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." - Lao Tzu
Beginning a new chapter can feel overwhelming. But don’t get caught up in how far you have to go; instead, just focus on taking the first step. The rest of the steps will follow.
"Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens over time—as the result of the dedication, perseverance, and effort you put in every day.
"Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." - Sam Levenson
It doesn't matter if things are taking longer than you thought they would. Time will pass either way, so just keep moving towards your goals—and eventually, you’ll get there.
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do." - Bruce Lee
It doesn’t matter if you know how to build a successful business; actually building that business requires acting on that knowledge.
"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett
If you need motivation to keep going, think about something your future self would be proud of—and then do that thing.
"It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen." - Scott Belsky
You can have the best ideas in the world—but ideas will only drive results if you turn those ideas into reality.
"A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in." - Nicole Snow
Your business is more than an opportunity to make money; it’s an opportunity to make a real impact on your community—and the world at large.
"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin
Don’t get too caught up in planning to make sure things are perfect. Getting things done will always be a better move than thinking or talking about getting things done.
Positive Quotes to Help You Overcome Failure
As mentioned, failure is inevitable. But that doesn’t make it any easier! If you’re looking for some support and motivation to help inspire you to get back on your feet, check out these quotes:
"Failure is an attitude, not an outcome." – Harvey Mackay
In business (and in life!), attitude is everything. If you rise up, learn from your mistakes, and keep going, you'll never be a failure.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." – Winston Churchill
Failing at something doesn't mean that you, yourself, are a failure. Finding the courage and drive to get back up in the face of failure means you’re already a success.
"Don't worry about failure…you only have to be right once." - Drew Houston
It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You will find success—and really, that one success is all that matters.
"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: The fear of failure." - Paulo Coelho
You can achieve anything in your business, big or small—as long as you don’t allow the fear of failure to stop you from trying.
More Inspirational Quotes for Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Need just a few more positive quotes before you get started incorporating this advice into your business? Let’s take a look at some parting words of wisdom—courtesy of some of the biggest minds in the business world:
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates
Sometimes, decisions you make in your business will fall flat—and your customers will let you know. But those lessons can be the springboard to make better decisions in the future.
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." - Zig Ziglar
When you define your goals, you're setting your business up for success.
"To me, business isn't about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It's about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials." - Richard Branson
If you want to not only build a successful business but find happiness as you do so? Build it in a way that feels authentic to who you are and what you want to build.
"When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do." - Walt Disney
If you keep a curious mind, there will always be a new, interesting way to grow your business.
"The secret to being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn't fatal." - Seth Godin
Every business owner, no matter how successful, is wrong sometimes—but it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Use These Quotes as Inspiration to Build Your Business
For small business owners, building a business can be exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative—but it can also be scary, frustrating, and challenging.
And sometimes, you need some words of inspiration or encouragement to push you through those times of fear, frustration, or challenge.
So next time you need that inspiration or encouragement? Just read until you find the quote you need—and then use its message to help propel your business forward.