40 inspirational and motivational quotes for small business owners

As a small business owner, you often have to wear many hats and be a Jack or Jill of all trades. Some days, it can be difficult to stay motivated and inspired, but it’s important to keep your head up and push through. To help you out, we’ve compiled 40 inspirational and motivational quotes for small business owners, plus incredible visual templates and graphic content available on Wepik. Read on for some much-needed words of wisdom and encouragement quotes!

Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.— Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter

Elon Musk has become the poster child for trailblazing, risk-taking, and innovation. From SpaceX to Tesla and his infamous Twitter declarations, Musk is usually at the top of his mind whenever the words “disruptive technology” are uttered.  No one can ignore that Musk is a force to be reckoned with – whatever he touches seems destined for success and stands as a great force of inspiration! Check out his TED talk if you want to get your mind all set

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.— Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple Inc

Steve Jobs knew the power of encouragement like few and was never too shy to give it out. A vocal champion against conformity, he often asked others to “Think Different” and embraced creativity as a way of making waves in any arena. Such advice wasn’t merely theoretical, Jobs sought to practice what he preached throughout his life through speeches, writings, and expressions of encouragement towards his colleagues — a great tool to implement in your day-to-day life!

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs, Founder Apple Inc

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If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.— B.C. Forbes, Financial Journalist, and Author Forbes Magazine

Bertie Charles Forbes is a real business tycoon as he single-handedly founded Forbes magazine, which to this day is one of the most influential business magazines around. Not only was he smart when it came to business, but he also had a great sense of humor. He even joked that his own children would have to work hard to be successful like him if they wanted food on the table. Of course, Forbes magazine continues to inspire business success, so people can still heed B. C. Forbes’ advice!

A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” — Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Everyone’s heard of Jeff Bezos — founder of Amazon, a multi-billionaire, and consistently on any list of the world’s most influential people. With his wealth and success comes great speech, with each address dubbed a ‘motivational speech’ over any other kind. The thing is, Jeff Bezos could talk about anything—he could encourage us to invest in stocks while simultaneously retelling what happened in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, and it would still be inspiring! When he speaks, it’s like a spark has entered the room that leaves the audience feeling invigorated to go out into the world and make things happen.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft 

Bill Gates has always been an impressive figure in the world of philanthropy. His understanding of the many issues affecting our world, coupled with his immense wealth and unparalleled empathy for those afflicted by poverty, have made him a living legend. Despite the magnitude of his accomplishments, it seems there’s never been any desire from Mr. Gates to receive recognition or acknowledgment; he merely puts in the work to make a difference in as many people’s lives as possible. Truly an inspiration to live by!

 “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”— Albert Einstein, Physicist

Albert Einstein was one of the most revered scientists of all time, and his work revolutionized the way we understand the universe. But what made Einstein great wasn’t just his genius, it was his willingness to try something new. He was a truly fearless explorer in life, constantly pushing himself and trying to answer questions no one else had asked before. His inquisitive spirit led him to uncover untold mysteries of the natural world. za As we move forward into a future that’s increasingly uncertain, let us remember these important characteristics of Albert Einstein as an example for us all!

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft

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Most of all, I discovered that in order to succeed with a product, you must truly get to know your customers and build something for them.” — Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

Getting to know the customer is what Marc Benioff does best. He believes that empathy and an understanding of the customer should be the foundation of all business decisions. Armed with a philosophy based on putting people first,  Benioff has grown Salesforce, his enterprise cloud computing company, from a one-man show to a multi-billion dollar industry leader. Many respect him as a modern-day business leader and credit his success to his true commitment to delivering results based on understanding customers’ needs.

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney, Animator, Film producer, and Entrepreneur

Walt Disney was an inspiring figure that set out to make dreams come true. His animated films were loved by generations of children and adults alike throughout the world, creating a sense of joy and wonder in viewers’ hearts. It seemed like there was nothing Walt Disney couldn’t do—he changed the way people experienced entertainment and inspired us to always strive for greatness. He left behind an incredible legacy that will continue to awe and delight those who discover his work, broadening our imaginations and taking us on wondrous adventures.

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney, Animator, Film producer and Entrepeneur

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“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” — Nelson Mandela, political leader

Nelson Mandela is a truly awe-inspiring figure whose bravery and fearlessness helped shape the world we live in today. He was an ardent believer in justice and human rights, and he led a revolution tasked with fighting these injustices. His bravery and persistence allowed him to persevere amidst oppression and become the leader who unified the people of South Africa. Indeed, Nelson Mandela’s fearless spirit did not waver, even when he was behind bars for 27 years. It is his bravery that inspired others to find that same bravery within themselves, thus sparking a global movement which continues to this day.

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” — Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist

With resilience and determination in her heart, Oprah Winfrey is a shining example of what can be achieved without giving up. Her success story is well known—from growing up under difficult circumstances to becoming one of the most influential people in media—and she has consistently shown the world that it’s not where you come from, but rather how you use your resilience and willpower to get ahead. As an empowered woman who opened opportunities for countless others, Oprah is a living testament to the truth that impossible is nothing when it comes to resilience.

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” — Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

Sam Walton was a titan in the retail industry, and his belief in the customer is what made him so successful. He had an uncanny ability to empathize with his customers, understanding their needs and wants and utilizing that insight to create his signature stores. Walton has since become one of the biggest success stories of all time, inspiring legions of entrepreneurs who want to take a page out of his iconic book. To this day, people are still drawn to this visionary’s belief in treating customers right.

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." - Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

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If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.” — Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Assembly

Henry Ford lived life in the fast lane; using the knowledge and experience he obtained from working on farms and machining, he unlocked the power of the automobileHis knowledge and commitment to automobiles revolutionized both industry and culture; although he was not the first to construct an automobile, his development of the assembly line launched its mass production. As a result, for better or for worse, cars became firmly entrenched in our daily routines. Without him, we would still be lacing up our bonnets and cranking up those horseless carriages!

The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook (Meta)

Just a few years younger than Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg stands as its poster child, taking risks and implementing innovative steps toward taking the company to great heights. Sitting atop Forbes’ list of billionaires since a young age, it’s clear through his past successes that he has an unparalleled level of adaptability. Whether taking on the ever-changing dynamics of the tech industry or trying out ambitious projects such as Internet.org, Zuckerberg clearly knows how to achieve success in any situation.

You make the right decision for the long run. You manage for the long run, and you continue to move to a higher value.” Ginni Rometty, CEO at IBM 

Ginni Rometty is a business superstar who’s made waves in the corporate world and beyond. She’s the first woman CEO at IBM and is an inspiration to businesspeople everywhere who strive for excellence. With not only a business background but a complete vision for how technology can improve businesses, she’s become a thought leader who pushes boundaries and encourages others to push their own. Her passion for what she does has propelled her to new horizons within the business realm, where innovation rules the day!

"You make the right decision for the long run. You manage for the long run, and you continue to move to higher value." Ginni Rometty, CEO at IBM

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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill, politician, and writer

Winston Churchill was the epitome of success, yet he never shied away from embracing failure. He famously declared that success is the ability to go from one failure to another—with no loss of enthusiasm. While his successes throughout his life are quite well known, it is often forgotten that he also experienced defeat during his military career, as well as during a run in the 1900 General Election. Ultimately, however, these failures can be said to have helped shape him as one of the most successful statesmen ever seen and an inspirational leader who continues to encourage generations.

My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society. As a world, we’re doing a better job of that. My goal is for Google to lead, not follow that.” Larry Page, co-founder of Google

Larry Page is an icon in leadership and inspiration, as the co-founder of Google. His remarkable leadership style has famously been compared to a kind of mad genius, with flair, intuition, and boldness all part of his intense leadership repertoire. In addition to revolutionizing the way people around the world search for information on the internet, he has consistently inspired others with his innovation and vision — even with dreams! Indeed, Larry Page’s leadership lessons will continue to profoundly shape business culture for many years to come.

“In any leadership position, you’re always going to be disappointing somebody.” — Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter

Biz Stone, the inspiration behind multiple businesses, is known as one of the most influential and forward-thinking entrepreneurs of our time. A man that has forever changed the way we use technology for communication and innovation. He is a serial innovator with an envious portfolio to boast, having been involved in world-renowned services such as Twitter and Medium. His success has inspired many hopeful entrepreneurs to start their own innovative endeavors.

"In any leadership position, you're always going to be disappointing somebody." - Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter

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“One misconception is that entrepreneurs love risk. Actually, we all want things to go as we expect. What you need is a blind optimism and a tolerance for uncertainty.” — Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox

Drew Houston is known for his optimism and forward-thinking, not just in technology, but also as a leader. He started off showing early signs of brilliance when, as a child, he taught himself to code computers. From there, his innovative spirit soared; he co-founded one of the world’s most successful and recognizable cloud storage companies – Dropbox. But despite this massive success, Drew still believes that great things can come from optimism and perseverance. His optimism speaks volumes to the fact that almost anything is possible to solve with enough dedication.

If I had learned more about business ahead of time, I would have been shaped into believing that it was only about finances and quality management.” — Anita Roddick, founder of the British version of The Body Shop

Timing is usually everything. But in Anita Roddick’s case, timing is less important than organization and entrepreneurial drive, which are the reasons for her success and accomplishments. In 1976, the British businesswoman founded The Body Shop to promote green products, creativity, and fair trade. Today, The Body Shop is a globally recognized leader when it comes to advocating human rights and environmental sustainability. That achievement is still associated with Anita Roddick’s name; she was a great thinker who established a much-needed, successful organization.

When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.” — Meg Whitman, American business executive and former gubernatorial candidate for California. 

Meg Whitman is undoubtedly an inspiration for many, having achieved success as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and before that leading eBay to unmatched sales records. She is a Princeton and Harvard graduate and a wonderful example of how vital it is to rise to the top despite all the challenges. Her philanthropy and business acumen continue to make her a leader with relevance in the tech industry today.

"When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable." - Meg Whitman, American business executive and former gubernatorial candidate for California.

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“Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.” — Seth Godin, American author, and former dot com business executive

Seth Godin is the success master. This prolific author, entrepreneur, and marketer truly understand success. He has written 19 successful books on success, entrepreneurship, marketing and more. His insights on success have always been ahead of their time and still hold true today. He believes success comes from understanding what and who you are fighting for in life, and that the key to success can be found in our everyday decisions and actions. Listening to Seth Godin speak will leave you feeling inspired and ready to take control of your success – he’s guaranteed to become one of your favorite speakers!

If you’re doing business, not that simple to only buy. You have to create something. You have to create something that never exists for the future.” — Jack Ma, co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group

Jack Ma is a leading Chinese entrepreneur, tech mogul, and philanthropist who has created a global impact. He co-founded China’s largest e-commerce marketplace, Alibaba Group, and has been credited for his creativity in business strategy and problem-solving. As a result of his success, he has also become one of the wealthiest men in the world. In 2019, he reportedly donated $2 billion to a philanthropic education fund that will focus on teaching creativity to students. With this generous act, we can see that Jack Ma practices what he preaches: creativity is key in business—and life!

What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” — Margaret Thatcher, the first female British prime minister

Margaret Thatcher is undoubtedly one of the most influential politicians of our time. After becoming the U.K.’s first female prime minister in 1979, she went on to prove that success can be attained with sheer dedication and purpose. Her tenure saw many drastic changes in British society, and she will continue to be remembered for her success in various fields over the next few decades. Undoubtedly, Margaret Thatcher set an example for all those aspiring to reach great heights during her lifetime.

"What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose." - Margaret Thatcher, the first female British prime minister

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A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” — Michael LeBoeuf, business author and former management professor at the University of New Orleans

Michael LeBoeuf was an American happiness enthusiast and customer advocate, who made it his life mission to convince organizations of all sizes that a happy customer is the key to long-term profitability. He was an optimist at heart, teaching executives how to design customer experiences tailored to happiness, encouraging them to focus on delighting customers and having a bit of fun with them along the way. His philosophy was simple: happiness is the key business differentiator, so if you want your business to succeed, put happiness at its core.

Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” —  David Karp, founder and former CEO of Tumblr

David Karp has certainly made an impact on the tech world, as he was the vision behind Tumblr, the popular microblog social network. His vision, fueled by his creativity and enthusiasm, made it possible for users to share their thoughts and ideas in a unique way – all enabled by a simple platform. The success of David’s vision was quickly noticed and resulted in Yahoo acquiring Tumblr for $1.1 billion dollars. This vision continues to have a lasting impact today, inspiring countless young people to explore new opportunities for sharing information with others through creative means.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” — Martin Luther King Jr., former American Baptist minister, and activist 

Martin Luther King Jr, a name that has gone down in history amidst hope and aspiration. He was an influential figure, leading people with poise and grace toward the hope of equality for all. His significance as an advocate for civil rights will be remembered for years to come, thanks to his passionate speeches and encouraged the pursuit of justice. Even after his death, his legacy lives on in those that continue to fight for the same hope he instilled in others during his lifetime.

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King Jr., former American Baptist minister and activist

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“If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former lawyer, and jurist

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has certainly earned her place in the annals of history. An outspoken advocate for change, she fiercely championed rights not only for women but all Americans. Her influence on the law and society cannot be overstated—tackling tough topics with wit and insight while never shrinking away from a fight. We owe so much to her tenacious dedication to justice and fairness that protected minorities and individuals everywhere. In many ways, Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped change the course of history—for which we can give thanks each and every day.

There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is in win.” — Michael Jordan, businessman, and former professional basketball player

Michael Jordan has been considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, and it’s not hard to understand why. Besides being an impressive basketball player, he is a win machine. With six championship titles behind him, nobody can doubt that he knows how to win both on and off the courtHis legacy also lives on through various brands, his own basketball team, and charitable endeavors—just more evidence that MJ will always be remembered as a winner.

The success of each is dependent upon the success of the other.” — John D. Rockefeller Jr, financier, and philanthropist

John D. Rockefeller Jr. was a success story like no other. He was born into a very wealthy family, but instead of just relying on his inherited wealth, he worked hard for success in the fields of real estate and philanthropy. Not only did he manage to grow his family’s fortune exponentially, but he also became an advocate for social reform and set up many charitable foundations that still exist to this day! It would be fair to say that John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s success was as unstoppable as his ambitious spirit!

"""The success of each is dependent upon the success of the other."" - John D. Rockefeller Jr, financier and philanthropist"

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Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” — Coco Chanel, French fashion designer, and businesswoman 

Coco Chanel’s success story is one for the books! Not only did she become an iconic fashion designer, but her success inspired many to follow in her footsteps. From timeless silhouettes to daring and innovative designs, Chanel was a trendsetter who truly revolutionized the fashion industry. Her name is synonymous with success, and those inspired by her achievements strive to make her proud.

Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” — Muhammad Ali, professional boxer

The most legendary boxer was not just known for his skills in the ring but also for his profound wisdom. Ali’s determination and relentless pursuit of greatness are lessons for entrepreneurs who often face challenging times. Instead of focusing on the daunting journey ahead, he encourages us to make every day matter. It’s not about how long you’ve been in business, but what you’ve achieved during that time. Success, like boxing, is not for the faint-hearted, but for those who dare to make each day count.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain, American writer and publisher

In the realm of American literature, few names shine as brightly as Mark Twain. Renowned for his sharp wit and keen insights into human nature, Twain’s words regularly carry profound commonsense. One such nugget of insight is especially relevant for small business owners, a group that Twain greatly admired for their tenacity and spirit. In his eyes, the essence of progress lies in taking the first step, a crucial action that sets the wheels of success in motion. This principle, deeply ingrained in Twain’s writings, serves as a beacon for entrepreneurs venturing into the complex world of business.

Always give your best effort even when the odds are against you.” — Arnold Palmer, American professional golfer

A sportsperson always epitomizes the spirit of perseverance, and the exceptional career of Arnold Palmer is a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence, regardless of the circumstances. This ethos is particularly relevant to startups, as they navigate the challenging world of entrepreneurship. Palmer’s indomitable spirit serves as an inspiration, encouraging people to persist and give their best, even when faced with daunting odds. His life and career are reminders that success often lies on the other side of adversity.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” — Thomas Jefferson, Former U.S. president

The path to success is not just via business, but also through politics, and someone who has fought his entire life for the prosperity of a nation that has managed to become a world power is  one of America’s founding fathers and a former U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson. His achievements weren’t merely a product of good fortune, but rather the result of relentless dedication and hard work. Jefferson’s approach serves as a powerful reminder that a company triumph isn’t about luck, it’s about the unwavering commitment to your vision and goals.


“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” — Thomas Jefferson, Former U.S. president

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A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.” — Nicole Snow, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author

Nicole Snow holds a deep appreciation for the potential of small businesses. Her achievement story is not rooted in mere chance, but in her belief in the power of individual initiative to shape society. Her guidance serves as a beacon for business owners, nudging them to view their efforts as more than a financial endeavor, but as a significant catalyst for societal change.

You don’t build a business. You build people and people build the business.” — Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker

Speaking of authors, Zig Ziglar also held a unique perspective on success in business. He posited that the key to a thriving enterprise isn’t solely about the venture itself, but rather the individuals within it. Ziglar championed the notion of investing in human capital, nurturing their growth, and empowering them to contribute significantly to the organization’s growth. His teachings serve as a potent reminder for entrepreneurs, advocating for the value of their teams in shaping the trajectory of their companies.

You need to spend all of your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value to the people you’re asking for money!” — Gary Vaynerchuk, Belarusian-American entrepreneur, author, speaker

Gary Vaynerchuk embodies the ethos of pouring time and energy into building something truly meaningful for your audience. His motivation for business progress transcends mere profit, rooted in the belief that genuine value begets lasting prosperity. In a world saturated with noise, Vaynerchuk’s approach underscores the importance of authenticity and a relentless commitment to delivering solutions that resonate.

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” — Donald Porter, actor

Seasoned actor Donald Porter draws parallels between the world of performance and the company stage, emphasizing the inevitability of imperfection. Porter’s insight is a reminder that customers don’t demand flawlessness; rather, they crave responsiveness and commitment to resolution when hiccups occur. His motivation for success in business echoes the dedication required in the entertainment industry – where adaptability and problem-solving take center stage.


“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” — Donald Porter, actor

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Customers may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” — Anonymous

There’s no need for someone in high places to tell us what we should do with our business, because it is our end goal that keeps us motivated. This timeless insight underscores the enduring impact of cultivating positive experiences and leaving an indelible, positive impression. As you delve into the world of entrepreneurship, consider the profound influence of emotions in forging lasting connections—where customer satisfaction transcends mere transactions, becoming a hallmark of business excellence.

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” — Harold Geneen, President of the ITT Corporation

Harold Geneen philosophy echoes through the corridors of the business world, emphasizing the priceless currency of experience. He suggests that in the intricate dance of commerce, the knowledge gained in the trenches of entrepreneurship is a richer reward than immediate financial gain. This perspective underscores the significance of embracing challenges, learning from setbacks, and viewing every endeavor as a stepping stone toward mastery. For those navigating the labyrinth of business, Geneen’s legacy serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize the cultivation of expertise as the true cornerstone of lasting success.

Regardless of what you’re aiming for in life, it’s key to maintain motivation. As you continue pursuing your dreams, we hope that these quotes will help to inspire and motivate you. These uplifting phrases will help you stay motivated and on track to accomplish your goals, and success is assured with the help of Wepik’s templatesexplore our selection now and start shaping your small business.