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25 Quotes That Tell the Story of Starting a Business

Cat LeBlancSometimes, being an entrepreneur feels lonely.

Especially for the entrepreneurs I work with, who tend to at least start out as solopreneurs, the path to success can feel long at the beginning, and it feels like something they have to do all alone.

But the truth is, many, many people have walked that path ahead of us! Even if you have a completely unique business (which most of us don’t), other entrepreneurs have gone through so many of the same things that you are experiencing. And, lucky for us, some of the most successful ones have really insightful things to say about it.

I collected some of my favorite quotes about business, and organised them into what I see as the five stages of business. See where you’re at and see if these excellent words speak to you.

Stage 1: When you have no idea what you are doing. There’s so much fear in this stage, but the key is to move past the fear and just start.

  1. You are not your resume, you are your work. – Seth Godin
  2. Beware of any enterprise requiring new clothes. – Henry Thoreau
  3. Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try. – Unknown
  4. Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you. — Tony Hsieh
  5. Are you a serial idea–starting person? The goal is to be an idea–shipping person. – Seth Godin

Stage 2: You’ve got your idea you’re full of enthusiasm. Fabulous! Dream big. But don’t let the dreaming overcome the doing.

  1. Business is more exciting than any game. – Lord Beaverbrook
  2. I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big. – Donald Trump
  3. To succeed… You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you. – Tony Dorsett
  4. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss
  5. Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. — Guy Kawasaki

Stage 3: You’re making a plan. The key here is to balance the big picture with the details.

  1. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  2. The golden rule for every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place. – Orison Swett Marden
  3. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison
  4. Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect. — Jack Dorsey
  5. Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success. — Biz Stone

Stage 4: Getting through overwhelm. Whew! This stuff is hard work, and everybody gets overwhelmed sometimes.

  1. The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. – Carlos Castaneda
  2. There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them. – Seth Godin
  3. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. – Theodore Roosevelt
  4. We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. Fear is nature’s way of warning us to get busy. – Dr. Henry Link
  5. See things in the present, even if they are in the future. — Larry Ellison

Stage 5: Breakthrough stage. You’re finally making some breakthroughs! Congrats! And use those breakthrough moments to continue to define your vision of success.

  1. Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. – Vince Lombardi
  2. Your time is precious, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. – Steve Jobs
  3. Your income is directly related to your philosophy, NOT the economy. – Jim Rohn
  4. Nothing works better than just improving your product. —Joel Spolsky
  5. The last 10% it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90%. — Rob Kalin

Do these quotes speak to you, or do you have a favorite quote about business?

I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

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