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Best Small-Business Quotes

A little inspiration goes a long way. And when you’re a small-business leader, getting encouragement and inspiration from successful business folks goes even further. Especially when it’s business inspiration from leaders who’ve faced challenges much like those you face—and have overcome them. So if you need wisdom and guidance to conquer your mountains, you’re in the right spot.

We’ve gathered some of our favorite leadership and small-business quotes from successful entrepreneurs, businesspeople and other notable figures to celebrate your hard work and remind you that your purpose matters. Stay focused and climb on!

Small-Business Inspirational Quotes

“People follow courage. Lead.” ­­­— Dave Ramsey

“If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” — Patrick Lencioni

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” — Dolly Parton

“What [makes] CEOs so CEO-y? This irrational belief in themselves. They can do anything in any capacity. . . . That irrational belief comes from failing a whole lot and getting back up and failing and getting back up. . . . This irrational belief was not irrational.” — Dr. John Delony

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder

“Bringing good communication, bringing good clarity ultimately helps people stay on track and unified.” — Daniel Ramsey

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay

“Small business is 54% of the gross domestic product in America. . . . You can talk about your big companies all you want to, but they don’t amount to spit.” — Dave Ramsey

“I will persist until I succeed. To this day, that is my mantra.” — Brian Buffini

“When you delegate leadership, it’s just like delegating tasks, only the task is leading people. . . . If you can learn how to do this, you can scale your business 10x.” — Dave Ramsey

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Unknown

“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top—it is willpower that is most important.” — Junko Tabei

“People follow courage. Lead.” ­­­— Dave Ramsey

“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.” — Malcolm Gladwell

“When you realize what’s holding your organization back is you, it’s depressing. . . . Until you have the next moment, which says, ‘If I'm the problem, that also means I can be the solution.’” — Dave Ramsey

“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.” — Ted Lasso, Ted Lasso

Entrepreneur Inspirational Quotes

“Entrepreneurship is two steps forward, one step back. But no matter what, you have to keep stepping.” — Daymond John

“Nobody wants to take needless risks, but if we think we can make life better by eliminating risk entirely, then we’ve lost something that goes right to the guts of humanity.” — Mike Rowe

“I always tell people who think they want to be entrepreneurs you need a combination of stubborn relentlessness and flexibility. . . . You need to be stubborn on your vision, because otherwise it’ll be too easy to give up. But you need to be very flexible on the details because as you go along pursuing your vision, you’ll find that some of your preconceptions were wrong, and you’re going to need to be able to change those things.” — Jeff Bezos


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“There are times in your life where you just have to step up even if you feel like you aren’t ready.” — Alison Levine

“It is worth the trouble to become the person that God made you to be.” — Dave Ramsey

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” — Steve Jobs

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” — James Clear

“The future of life as we know it is being determined by everything we’re doing—and not doing. Now.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Time is one of your most precious commodities. So managing it well is a normal exercise for successful people.” — Dave Ramsey

“When you assume you will face challenges, you prevent your emotions from getting the best of you and stay focused on the path ahead.” — Ken Coleman

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” —Bernard Shaw

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.” — Vince Lombardi

“If you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there. And that will be the greatest feeling in the world.” — Taylor Swift

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” — Henry Ford

“The future of life as we know it is being determined by everything we’re doing—and not doing. Now.” — Oprah Winfrey

“We’re in the land of opportunity. Fortunes are going to be made in the next five, 10, 15 years, and if people . . . want to do it, they can.” — Brian Buffini(Brian adds that you’ve got to embrace these seven principles for any fortune to be made: be open to learn, do whatever it takes, out work others, be grateful, have a boldness to invest, delay gratification, and appreciate where you came from.)

“If you’re passionate about something and thinking of following that idea or that career path or that endeavor or business, do your homework. Figure out why you’ll be a success, and then go after it.” — Maneet Chauhan

"You cannot invent and pioneer if you cannot accept failure." — Jeff Bezos

Small-Business Quotes for Hope

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” — John Wayne

“Identity drives my habits, and my good habits reinforce my identity. . . . To change is one small change at a time, and you start getting the cumulative, exponential power of a totally transformed life.” — Craig Groeschel

“Trust is the fuel of life. Nothing works without it.”— Dr. Henry Cloud

“The bad news is, your success is up to you. The great news is, your success is up to you. So go win.” — Dave Ramsey

“I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself.” —Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

“What really counts in life is the quiet meeting of every difficulty with the determination to get out of it all the good there is. I am not advocating a passive resignation to things as they are, but a cheerful resolve to make the best of them.” – Helen Keller

“God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business.” — Proverbs 16:11 (MSG)

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” — Karle Wilson Baker

“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand-new day . . . and it's yours.” — Zig Ziglar

“Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. You’re either giving up or getting up. It’s your choice.” — John Maxwell

“Don’t feel like you’re losing just because someone else is winning.” — Rachel Cruze

“All the best things that happened to me, happened after I was rejected. But I just kept swinging to even the score.” — Barbara Corcoran

“The path to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear!” — Craig Groeschel

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” — Winston Churchill

“Focus is the art of knowing what to ignore.” — James Clear

“If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

“Don’t feel like you’re losing just because someone else is winning.” — Rachel Cruze

“One isn’t born with courage. One develops it. And you develop it by doing small, courageous things.” — Maya Angelou

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Richard Branson

Small-Business Quotes for Health

“There’s no differentiation between mental health and physical health and spiritual health and relational health and emotional health. . . . You can’t be mentally well . . . and just destroy your body with what you put in it, with what you listen to all day, with what you consume all day. And you can't get in tip-top physical shape if you don’t sleep and you don’t have friends. . . . It all works together.” — Dr. John Delony

“It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether our work fulfills us.” — Malcolm Gladwell

“[Conflict] is absolutely required and essential. . . . But without trust, it doesn’t work. . . . When you trust somebody . . . conflict is nothing but the pursuit of truth or the best possible answer.” — Patrick Lencioni

“When you’re at work, you have to be 100% dialed in. . . . And when you’re at home, the same thing—turn the work off. . . . It’ll be there when you get there in the morning.” — Dave Ramsey

“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.” — John Maxwell

“I’ve found that the stress goes away the second I take the first step to identify the source.” — Jeff Bezos

“Regularly and intentionally do hard things.” — Dr. John Delony

“Attitude follows action far more often than action follows attitude. We change our mood as a result of how we act. If you want to feel a certain way, begin by acting as if you do. On the other hand, if you truly want to accomplish something, waiting for the mood to strike is ineffective.” — Seth Godin

“Get around people that will push you forward, lift you up, and hold you accountable.” — Ken Coleman

“Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.” — Proverbs 16:13 (MSG)

“Your problems adjust to their true level of importance after a hard workout and a good night of sleep.” — James Clear

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off

“Wish not so much to live long as to live well.” — Benjamin Franklin

“Making shots counts, but not as much as the people who make them.” — Mike Krzyzewski

“Regularly and intentionally do hard things.” — Dr. John Delony

“Just be yourself, because no one is like you. If you’re a little weird, own it. The right people will like you for it.” —Vanessa Van Edwards

“Sometimes you have to take a break from being the kind of boss that’s always trying to teach people things. Sometimes you just have to be the boss of dancing.” — Michael Scott, The Office

Small-Business Quotes for Leaders

“You were brought here for this time. . . . God knew where you’d be and when you’d be there, and this is the time for you.” — Patrick Lencioni

“Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people.” — Brian Tracy

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor but without folly.” — Jim Rohn

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.” — Douglas MacArthur

“Fearless leaders lead with integrity. They do the right thing, are honest, and stay trustworthy.

Those three ideas aren’t innovative or new. Yet this supposedly commonsense stuff is far from common. It takes resolve, wisdom and the audacity to do the right thing.” — Carey Lohrenz

“A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself.” — Maya Angelou

“You were brought here for this time. . . . God knew where you’d be and when you’d be there, and this is the time for you.” — Patrick Lencioni


What’s Next: Go From Inspired to Prepared

Inspiration is great, but now you need a plan to move the needle in your business. What really counts is working hard and smart every day. The EntreLeadership System gives you a road map to do both so you can scale your business, build an all-star team and live out your mission.

Take the guesswork out of growth.

Explore the EntreLeadership System

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About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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