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120+ of the Best Motivational Quotes

 

Let’s face it, entrepreneurship can be frustrating, overwhelming and even downright depressing at times. So, since we can all use some extra motivation during those down times, we have asked our inspirational CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own favorite motivational quotes. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

*Please note that the quotes and attributions are written in the words of the submitter and may not be portrayed exactly or as originally stated.

1. Best Motivational Quote

"If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."
-Michael Jordan
Thanks to: Mike Walsh of www.mikewalshguitarlessons.com.

2. The Value of Being Innovative

"The first candle in a dark room makes the most difference."
-My Dad (and probably someone else too).

My Dad always reminded me that it's important not only to do things well, but also to do them first. Particularly in pursuit of creative or business success, innovation is key. Of course, being "first" requires courage and confidence -- which, conveniently, are two of the other main ingredients of success.
Thanks to: Elura Nanos of Lawyer Up.

3. Charm, Do You Have it?

"Charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are wonderful." -Edgar Magnin, Rabbi & Spiritual Leader
Thanks to: Marla Harr of Business Etiquette International.

4. Paddle Your Own Canoe

"Love everyone, trust a few and paddle your own canoe." -Unknown
Thanks to: Barry Moltz of www.barrymoltz.com.

5. Face Up to Fear

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

I love this quote because it is timeless. Every one of us has experienced fear; the fear of trying something new, the fear of not being our best self, the fear of failure. This quote reminds me that I need to face up to the fear and do something.
Thanks to: Cynthia Kay of Cynthia Kay and Company.

6. Get On the Twain

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."
-Mark Twain


Thanks to: Michael Becce of MRB Public Relations, Inc.

7. Yes, You Can Change the World!

"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead
Thanks to: Bobbi Baehne of Think Big Go Local, Inc.

8. Hard Work Pays Off

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -Thomas Jefferson
Thanks to: Susan Greene of Greene Marketing, LLC.

9. A Quote for Social Media Fans

"You never become a howling success by just howling." -Bob Harrington
Thanks to: Sue Koch of Soaring Solutions.

10. Impossible's a DARE Not a Fact

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
-Muhammad Ali

This quote inspired me to write my 10th book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World.
Thanks to: Shel Horowitz of Going Beyond Sustainability.

11. "No matter where you go..."

"...there you are." -Buckaroo Banzai from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

What we need in business is to be mindful and in the present moment, flexible and adaptable and to stop taking ourselves so seriously. This quote reminds me to consider the consequences of my decisions, and at the same time, is light-hearted enough to keep me from getting sucked into a vortex of unproductive perfectionism.
Thanks to: Karen Southall Watts of Karen Southall Watts.

12. The Obvious at Times Eludes Us

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." -Peter Drucker
Thanks to: Laura Morales of Energize Your Outlook.

13. Think Different

The quote that is the most motivational for me is from the Apple "Think Different" Ad campaign. Although the full version is really long, the last sentence really sums it up. It has always given me strength to do things which others around me would not dare to. Make decisions which people are generally scared to make.
"...Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - Apple
It has been a constant fuel for me since I started my company.
Thanks to: Srajan Mishra of TSI International.

14. Quote About Difficult Tasks

"If it were easy, everyone would do it." -Unknown

This quote of unknown origin strongly relates to the products I regularly design as an electrical engineer.
We generally do the hard jobs that other companies can’t/won’t do. I use this quote to motivate myself and my team, and to remind customers of the reason they selected our company to build the product.
Thanks to: Mark Mason of Aegis Power Systems, Inc.

15. Don't Be First

My favorite business quote is, "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." It is an unattributed quote that originated on Usenet in the 1990s. And it is an important lesson - you are much more likely to succeed by following business ideas and models that already work.
Thanks to: Rich Gallagher of Point of Contact Group.

16. Quote That I Live By

"God alone knows the secret plan
Of the things he will do for the world, Using my hand."-Toyohiko Kagawa
Thanks to: Kathleen Anderson of ONCI.

17. Up, Up and Away?

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

-Albert Einstein
Thanks to: Jacob Singer of www.jacobashersinger.com.

18. Take Care of Your People

"If you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself." -JW Marriott
Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.

19. Good Old Ralph

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks to: Rachel Sentes of Gal-friday publicity.

20. Can't Find Yourself?

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -George Bernard Shaw
Thanks to: Louise Hendon of Paleo Flourish Magazine.

21. Having Time

My favorite quote and the only motivational quote I can remember all the way through is the only one I think any of us need. It's from the great 6th century Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. He said “Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying, 'I don't want to.”
I think of this quote when the voice in my head says "don't workout today" or "you can do that tomorrow" or during the numerous times each day I hear a friend or colleague say "I didn't have time for that".
Thanks to: Jim Josselyn of School of Music and Drama .

22. My Favorite Unusual Quote

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming .... WOW what a ride.”

-Originally by Mark Frost, tweaked by anonymous
Thanks to: Ibanrilin Diengdoh of WiseCalvin.

23. Rocket Rides!

"If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on."

-Sheryl Sandberg
Thanks to: Beth Bridges of The Networking Motivator.

24. Are You Pregnant?

"Sometimes the best laid plans get pregnant!"
-Andy Greenberg
Thanks to: Andy Greenberg of Speaking of Andy Greenberg.

25. Optimism, Creativity & Systems

Tom Ziglar says, “There’s a sequence to change. Not just a random turn of events and not just something that we happen upon, change takes three steps. Optimism, creativity and systems. You cannot have success without having the other three pieces of the puzzle.” This is called Three Steps to Success!
Thanks to: Shawn-Sudershan Chhabra of Winning the Game of Life Podcast.

26. Work Like Hell and Advertise

My favorite motivational quote is from Ted Turner. He was talking about the secret to success. He said "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell and advertise!"
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M. Barrows Advertising & PR.

27. Why You Must ALWAYS Try

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

-Wayne Gretzky
Thanks to: Jason Myers of The Content Factory.

28. Shoot for the Moon

"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars."
-Les Brown
Thanks to: Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis of Executive Women's Success Institute.

29. Do Better

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better."

-Maya Angelou
Thanks to: Paul Scheatzle of Bailey Rehabilitation.

30. Motivational, Yoda Speaks

"Do or do not. There is no try." —Yoda

Ever "try" to pick up a glass of water? Ever try to take a "selfie?" When you use stronger thoughts about your capabilities, you actually "do" what you want rather than think about it.
Thanks to: Roz Wolf of Roz Wolf PR.

31. Don't Have to Stop

"You can always smell the roses if you're running with them in your hand." -Garth Brooks
Thanks to: Jeff & Deadrea Clemmensen of MiPhone Doctor of Fresno.

32. "Run Your Own Race, Baby!"

As Marlo Thomas related in many interviews, as a young actress sharing disappointment in the slow progress of her acting career, she received a florist’s box from her father, famed comedian/St. Jude’s founder Danny Thomas. It contained a pair of horse blinders and a note: “Run your own race, Baby.” A thoroughbred wears blinders to only see ahead without distraction. This never fails to motivate me.
Thanks to: Flo Selfman of Words à la Mode.

33. Success = Breath

“When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”

-Eric Thomas
AKA E.T. The Hip Hop Preacher
Thanks to: J. Colin Petersen of J - I.T. Outsource.

34. A Great Definition of Success

"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal." -Earl Nightingale. As long as you're working your way toward something that's important, that's success. It's not measuring yourself against other people, your capabilities, or even your past self.

I find this quote so impactful because it affects everyone, regardless of what they're doing with their lives. Entrepreneurs, corporate employees, and retirees can all create a worthy ideal and make continual progress toward it.
Thanks to: Spencer Smith of Spencer X Smith Consulting.

35. The Nature of Reality Revealed

"Consciousness and energy create the nature of reality." -Ramtha, through J.Z. Knight
Thanks to: Bill Gluth of Creative Thinking for Business.

36. Master in the Art of Living

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both."
- L.P. Jacks
Thanks to: Frank Buck of Frank Buck Consulting, Inc.

37. Motivation to Be Yourself

My favorite quote of all time is from my favorite singer of all time:

"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else."- Judy Garland

The only way to be truly successful in anything is to be yourself - anything less isn't real success.
Thanks to: Lisa Young of LisaRobbinYoung.com.

38. Don't Settle for Mediocrity

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." - John D. Rockefeller
Thanks to: Jerry Krull of Aristo Associates, Inc.

39. Passionate Pursuit

"Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something. Not even me. All right?
You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period."
-Chris Gardener, The Pursuit of Happyness Movie
Thanks to: Kristie Kennedy of KKEE, LLC.

40. Playing Small Doesn't Serve

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson
Thanks to: Heather Finley of Inner Solutions, LLC.

41. Get Back Up!

"If you're flat on your back, you're looking up. And if you're looking up, then you can get up! So, get up and keep on going." - Les Brown
Thanks to: Randy Peyser of Author One Stop, Inc.

42. Motivational Quote

This was something I accidentally said, but made sense in the film The Opus.

"Top achievers are not perfectionists, they are improvisers. Don't worry about getting it perfect. Just get it started." - Douglas Vermeeren
Thanks to: Douglas Vermeeren of High Profit Speaker.

43. You Gotta Drive the Train!

From "Train of Life", by Marv Harding. The final verse goes:

Tried and Failed? Then try again!
Never, ever, from that refrain.
If you will have a Great Life,
You really must drive the Train!

If you ride in the last car, you only see what's gone and is past. Be the Engineer and sit up front. You see it first and you're in charge! I used to work for others and was a part of what they were doing. Now, I run my own business, and I've never been richer or happier!
Thanks to: Gary Christensen of Christensen's Delivery Service.

44. Manage and Change Yourself

Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips, spoke at a conference I attended. One of her quotes has stuck with me ever since: "The role of a leader is not to manage and change others; it is to manage and change themselves.”

As leaders grow, we see the sort of environment we want our team to work in, but the only way to create that environment is to become that person ourselves. When we change our own behavior, our surroundings will automatically evolve to match.
Thanks to: Vladimir Gendelman of Company Folders, Inc.

45. Best Advice Ever

"It's easier to ride the horse in the direction it's going." -Werner Erhardt
Thanks to: Joan Meijer of Itty Bitty Publishing.

46. This Above All

My favorite quote, which I have had up on various social profiles and websites over the years, is from Shakespeare. In Hamlet, Polonius offers some parting advice to his son:

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

The first line of that advice is my favorite quote.
Thanks to: David Leonhardt of THGM ghostwriters.

47. Make That Change

"If you want world peace, first you must find inner peace. For world peace is just inner peace on a world scale."

-Leo Willcocks
Thanks to: Leo Willcocks of DeStress to Success.

48. This Has Kept Me Afloat

I have heard so many quotes from so many speakers. And yet one speaks loudest to me. It has kept me afloat in bad times and desperate times, and has also grounded me in abundant and flourishing times. What is it? It's from Proverbs 3:5-6 and says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Thanks to: Chris Goegan of Engineered Marketing Solutions.

49. Impossible says I'M Possible

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" -Audrey Hepburn

I came across this quote when I was in school and found it to be pertinent and highly motivational. It's quite ironic that words are spelled this way and motivates us to say that everything is possible and the only thing one needs is belief in themselves and a strong desire to succeed. Things don't come easy and look impossible many times, but it is important to carve out your path and set your eyes on the goal.
Thanks to: Surender K of Furniture48.com.

50. How to Start Your Day

"Go forth, and set the world on fire."

-Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
Thanks to: Paul Dillon of Dillon Consulting Services LLC.

51. Keeping Things in Perspective

"Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex." -Fred Rogers
Thanks to: Gregory Ostrowski of Scarborough Capital Management.

52. Lou Holtz Motivational Quote

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
Thanks to: John Bodrozic of HomeZada.

53. Do It Now!

As the author of the personal development book "The Success Formula for Personal Growth" and the founder of LetsGetDivorced.com, my best advice for anyone to be able to develop unstoppable motivation to take action to achieve any goal and improve their life is to always remember the following quote from my book:

"To change your life is really very simple; all you have to do is ask yourself: 'What can I do right now to improve my life?' And then start to do it -- NOW!"
Thanks to: Jerry Bruckner of LetsGetDivorced.com.

54. It Doesn't Matter

"Every morning, in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows, it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning, in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows, it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will be starved.
It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. But when the sun comes up, you better be running!" -Quora
Thanks to: Mansi Mendiratta of Wise Calvin.

55. Be a Fearless Rule-breaker

"No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed." -Erma Bombeck
Thanks to: Jane Perdue of Braithwaite Innovation Group.

56. Do It No Matter What

"Maybe it's for nothing, but we gotta try," -Dee Snider, Twisted Sister. Though I was a teenager, this quote had a huge positive impact on how I looked at life's challenges. I have held on to these words through the years and attribute them to the success I have enjoyed in business.
Thanks to: Ken Kilpatrick of Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations.

57. Replace Hope With Intention

"We can live reactively and any road will do, or we can live on purpose, design our future, and become intentional about getting somewhere. We get what we intend, not what we hope for.”

-Chuck Blakeman, Founder/Chief Transformation Officer at Crankset Group
Thanks to: Krista Valentine of Crankset Group.

58. One Reason to Do What You Want

"Some men (women) have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can" - Willis R. Whitney
Thanks to: Diane Hoffmann of Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications.

59. Choose Happiness

“Happiness is a choice." - Aeschylus

Happiness is one of the main drivers for business success. Remembering that the keys to this all-powerful emotional state of being lie within the reach of our own capable grasp is what I see as being the ultimate inspiration.
Thanks to: Haj Carr of TrueLine Publishing LLC.

60. Always Evolving!

"Finished Never Is!"

-by Greg Provenzano
Thanks to: Barbara Kaberna of All Communications Network.

61. Lead with Confidence

“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

I turn to this quote when faced with business challenges that seem insurmountable or frightening. When employees sense that I have the confidence to take on new challenges, they follow me to the depths of uncertainty with enthusiasm and optimism. That one quote has served me and my employees so many times, it's become a mantra for the teams I lead, as well as our competitive advantage.
Thanks to: Jim Morris of The Alternative Board Tennessee Val.

62. Change it Up

"If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten." –Mark Twain


Throughout my life, this quote has pushed me to go outside my comfort zone and grow, whether in my personal life or in my freelancing career. When I’m unhappy with my situation, I change my approach so I can see the results I want, rather than the lack of results I’d continue to see if I were too stubborn or fearful to change my ways.
Thanks to: Brynne Conroy of Femme Frugality.

63. Fake it 'Til...

I've always heard the saying Fake it 'til you make it. A week ago, I had a revelation when I saw Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk about how body language shapes you. Her talk & more importantly her quote has begun to reshape me! She said "Fake it 'til you become it". As a woman business owner, this had a powerful message because so many times as an entrepreneur, I have doubts about "making it". "Fake it 'til you become it" resonated with me because I will do whatever it takes enough times until I become it.
Thanks to: Lori Bruhns of Lori Bruhns, LLC.

64. Be Fully Self-expressed

"In a world full of copies, here's to the originals." -Unknown

Be creative and embrace your personality to differentiate yourself. Don't deprive the world of your unique gifts.
Thanks to: Jamie Broderick of Network Now®.

65. Motivational Quote

"It’s not how far you fall, it’s how high you bounce." - Sheila Wellington
Thanks to: Ron Katz of Penguin Human Resource Consulting.

66. What Does It Matter?

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." -William James
Thanks to: Megan Dixon of Rescue Me.

67. Message From The Sioux

"I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man (woman) to depend simply upon himself (herself) Lone Man." -Teton Sioux
How true this is, especially with the impact speakers have had on me in business and Native American music has had on me in relaxation.
Thanks to: Ernie Boxall of Balance Health and Fitness.

68. Standout

“The one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.”

-Diane Sawyer, Iconic Television Journalist
Thanks to: Kelly Isley, Author of Adapt Now.

69. Faith is...

This quote by Mother Angelica is one of my favorites of all time: "Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach."

-Mother M. Angelica, Television personality and Founder, Eternal Word Television Network
Thanks to: Mary Anne Kochut of Champions for Success, LLC.

70. Believe in Yourself!

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt
Thanks to: Ashley Leavy of Love & Light School.

71. My Definition of Excellence

One of the most memorable motivational quotes I have embraced is:

"Excellence is the eloquent execution of the basics."

I learned this from my mentor and former supervisor at KeyBank, Mr. Herb Knoll in 1997. He also taught me about the value of understated elegance as means of differentiation.

Teams that execute the right behaviors well will reduce variability in their performance and desired outcomes.
Thanks to: Randy Mitchelson of iPartnerMedia, Inc.

72. Favorite Motivational Quote

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
-Søren Kierkegaard

Photographer: Wonwoo Lee © All rights reserved.
Thanks to: Evan Berglund of Gonzberg Agency.

73. Embrace Failure

"Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners." –Robert T. Kiyosaki, author, entrepreneur, investor
Thanks to: Lori Cheek of Cheekd.

74. Kaizen Every Day

My favorite business quote is "Where there is no standard, there is no Kaizen", by Taiichi Ohno. I love this quote because, as a growing business, it reminds me that in order to grow, I must align people, process, and systems or else things will break internally in the company and the customer will be impacted. And, I love the concept of Kaizen, for it motivates me to always improve a little bit, every day.
Thanks to: Pete Abilla of Find Tutors Near Me.

75. Make $, Help People, Have Fun!

My favorite motivational quote is by, well, ME. It brought me, then a young geek, from my dad's basement to being traded on NASDAQ, and retired before Tech Crash 1.0. It's "The best work allows you to make money, help people and have fun" by Jonathan Kendall. And it did! We served education and healthcare clients with converged networks before it was cool. We enabled smarter and healthier kids, and it was a BALL! I'm still at it, helping Millennials with the secret skill of success... sales.
Thanks to: Jonathan Kendall of #PopUpSelling.

76. Stop Dreaming, Start Being!

"Don't dream it, be it" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been my motivational quote since I was a teenager. Though "dreaming" carries a lot of value in our culture (i.e. "never stop dreaming"), it can also keep us waiting for permission and perfect circumstances which may never come. "Don't dream it, be it" is an actionable commandment for a Creative who, by nature and profession, spends a lot of time imagining things as they could be, but must still deliver what they can be.
Thanks to: Lian Amaris of LianAmaris.com.

77. It's All About Your Habits

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” - John C. Maxwell
Thanks to: Sam Farrington of Sound Mind Financial Planning.

78. Which Person Will You Be?

"There are those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wake up and say... what happened?"
-Adapted from Jim Lovell
Thanks to: Margo Schlossberg of JumpIt Pass.

79. Never Stop Learning

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
-Zig Ziglar

This quote motivates me to never stop learning – my trade, my passions, my hobbies – anything. It also reminds me that I can be an inspiration to others if I take opportunities to teach those who are willing in my field and in my personal life.
Thanks to: Melissa Reese of Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations.

80. Success Really Can Be Simple

"In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways." -Edith Wharton.

Whenever work or life or even my thoughts start to get out of hand, I'm grounded by this brilliant quote. It's a bona fide recipe for a contented soul.
Thanks to: Janice Holly Booth of the Anxious Adventurista.

81. Favorite Motivational Quote

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks to: Mike Solow of Idea Harvest.

82. Beware of Inconsistencies

"Active minds detect opportunities because stable values connect them to their environment. In contrast, those with shifting views cannot tell the blur from the colours. Without distinct goals, there are no workable plans. Inconsistent convictions lead to wasteful contradictions."

-John Vespasian
Thanks to: John Vespasian of John Vespasian.

83. Be Inspirational!

"Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring."
-Unknown
Our actions can inspire many others.
For example, our video that shows a Korean boy being surprised by a foreign Korean speaker inspired 1500 likes, 70K views, 1000 shares on Facebook, 100K views on Youtube, a willingness to learn a new language & share experiences.
This is why it is a favorite of mine.
Thanks to: David James of Business Growth Digital Marketing.

84. Seize the Moment

"There is no security on the earth, there is only opportunity." – General Douglas MacArthur

Explanation: I think this rings so true with people who are apprehensive about ideas and execution based on risk. Once you realize that simply walking down the street carries risk, you realize that building a business, investing earnings and rapid expansion are the only way to truly seize opportunities and that security just doesn't deliver results.
Thanks to: Ivan Ciraj of IVAN Real Estate.

85. Don't Play It Safe

"The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."
- Neil Gaiman

Starting and growing a business will push you outside of your comfort zone. This quote reminds me not to shrink from those moments, but to embrace them.
Thanks to: Pam Bauer of Pam Bauer Coaching.

86. Drink the Wine of Life

“It is not the critic that counts, the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end of the triumph of high achievement, and … if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks to: Betty Brennan of Taylor Studios, Inc.

87. Quote by Bill Gates

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates

Listen to your customers all the time. As the CEO of a fast-growing tech company, I still read our incoming support tickets on a daily basis.
Thanks to: Weiting Liu of Codementor.

88. Mastering Time

"The biggest waste of time is to do perfectly what need not be done at all."

I'm sure it's paraphrased from someone, but I heard/read it in a book by Roger Seip.
Thanks to: Tim Thoelecke of InOut Labs.

89. Can You Make People Great?

My favorite motivational quote is from Mark Twain: “Great people make you feel that you too can become great,”

That certainly motivates me and believe me, if you make people feel they can become great—or at least very good—you might not be a great person, but you’ll certainly get great results.
Thanks to: Barry Maher of Barry Maher & Associates.

90. How To Find Inspiration? Be...

...Happy! Andy Warhol said, “We have to be willing to get happy about nothing." That's commitment to presence. If you're happy about nothing, you know success comes from within. And you know you can get happy about anything -- anything worth doing with all your heart, even through the tough times and the good times. Acknowledging and accepting these natural highs and lows is what life is about -- and my book, too.
Thanks to: Jimmy Tomczak of Wet Star.

91. Motivational Quote

My favorite quote: "A year from now you will wish you had started today."
- Karen Lamb
Thanks to: Kevin Adkins of Kenmore Law Group.

92. Master of Vision Helen Keller

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” -Keller
Helen Keller is an inspiration for many reasons. A world-famous speaker and author, she is remembered for advocating women’s rights, for peace and for those with disabilities. With Presidential awards, friendships with Charlie Chaplin, Mark Twain and having met every President during her life, Keller was a superstar. Despite her handicap, Keller is one of the most inspirational human beings in history.
Thanks to: Max Cron of Online Optimism.

93. Favorite Motivational Quote

"The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one."

- Maxwell Maltz
Thanks to: Brian Lincer of The Internicola Law Firm.

94. Rise Early, Conquer the World!

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." -Benjamin Franklin

I have become so much more productive since I started waking up earlier. My day starts with a run, a swim, and a good breakfast after which I feel ready to conquer the world! Going to bed early gives me plenty of time to read and relax, which also helps productivity.
Thanks to: Pauline Paquin of Reach Financial Independence.

95. My Favorite Motivational Quote

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." - Vince Lombardi

If I've found any success in business, it is not because I'm a genius, or because I'm a phenomenal marketer (I am neither), but rather because I am willing to work tirelessly to improve my businesses. And, so, based on my experience, I must agree with coach Lombardi in that success is determined more by sheer will than by any individual talent.
Thanks to: Brent Hale of Income Addon.

96. Favorite Quote

This Michael Jordan quote neatly sums up this seeming paradox to success:

“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed….”
Thanks to: James Goodnow of Fennemore Craig.

97. Do the Impossible

My favorite motivational quote is by Francis of Assisi. "Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and then suddenly you are doing the impossible."
Often, the fear of starting something unknown inhibits the ability to take action. This quote is a great reminder to start with what you know and build on it. The results will compound and you will be doing what once seemed impossible.
Thanks to: Jennifer Kurko of Kiss Freely.

98. Sum of Small Efforts = Success

As a small business owner and someone who has been dealing with depression for a long time, there is one quote that has helped me keep going when it comes to doing everyday tasks that don't give me instant results but are for the long term success of my business, and that quote is:

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." Robert Collier
Thanks to: Saeed Darabi of Money Pantry.

99. Owner & President

Don't copy the world, be a different person with a fresh newness in all you do & think! -Adapted from Romans 12:2
Thanks to: Dana Humphrey of Whitegate PR INC.

100. Are You a Giver?

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

-Sir Winston Churchill
Thanks to: Carol Coots of Success Beyond School.

101. Yours or Theirs?

Posted in my bedroom so I can see it first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed

If you don't build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs. -T. Gaskins
Thanks to: Rachel Maxwell of Maxwell Biometrics, Inc.

102. Kill Negative Self-Talk

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
-John Wooden


People often get so wrapped up in the roadblocks that they procrastinate and fail to take action.
Thanks to: Mike McRitchie of Critical Path Action.

103. Your Passion is Your Calling

In college, I found my calling to enter the financial planning field because I love helping people find solutions and reach their financial goals. As with any business, there are ups and downs, so I often go to my favorite quote to keep me going. When I see this quote I feel empowered, because no matter what comes my way, I find comfort in the fact that I am exactly where I should be.

"The things that you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling." - Fabienne Fredrickson
Thanks to: Breanna Reish of TriCord Advisors, Inc.

104. Motivational Quote

"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary lives."

-C.S. Lewis
Thanks to: David Mercer of SME Pals.

105. True to Plan

No-one expects a business quote from a poet like Emily Dickinson, yet this is one of the most inspiring quotes I've come across.

I've used it sparingly to great effect in a few presentations:

"We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise
And then, if we are true to plan
Our statures touch the skies."
Thanks to: Ken McGaffin of McGaffin.com.

106. "Do it, Afraid!" - Joyce Meyer

"Do it Afraid!" was what propelled me into accepting the career change of my dreams offered to me after a two-year layoff as a single mom years ago, over remaining in the same lame meaningless job I'd been doing for years because at least I knew I could do it.

I pole-vaulted into the biggest leap of faith in my life in taking the new job, so afraid I couldn't do it because I had no college degree, formal training, "foot in the door" and no mentor.

But I had faith and now, courage. I did it!
Thanks to: Mary Kaarto of Oaks Bough Publishing LLC.

107. Strive to Be an Optimist

"When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective." - Harvey Mackay

As a business owner, I strive to be an optimist, because an optimist knows that even though he will get knocked down sometimes, he will always find his way up again. This optimism motivates me to take the risks necessary to build up my business.
Thanks to: Matthew Brosious of FreightCenter, Inc.

108. It's Never Too Late!

With my high school dropout past, I have always been a late bloomer. This is why, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” by George Eliot resonates. There are many successful late bloomers from the recent late Alan Rickman to Colonel Sanders. They could have given up and settled. People who stay the course will find the most success and happiness.
Thanks to: Nancy Stampahar of Life in Nancy's Kitchen.

109. Chains of Habit Weigh Heavy

"The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken." -Samuel Johnson
Thanks to: Bob McIntosh of DoneBP.com.

110. Start With What You Have!

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt

I am a local business owner in Scottsdale, AZ age 25 and at that time of my life, I was 20 and I had a dream of owning my own taco shop. So, at the time I could only afford a hot dog cart and started with that, then 3 years later after having 3 taco stands, I eventually opened my first walk up taco shop, Wadaa!

The quote was insane from dreaming to making it happen with the little I could afford. It's not where you start, but where the VISION IS!
Thanks to: Miguel Sanchez of Wadaa Street Tacos.

111. Success

"Success is ... knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others." -John C. Maxwell
Thanks to: Debbie Goetz of Debbie Goetz Media Connections.

112. Favorite Motivational Quote

Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune. -Jim Rohn
Thanks to: Jennifer Krosche of Blue Frog Communications.

113. Prioritize and Work Smart

One of my favorite motivational quotes is from Tim Ferris, author, entrepreneur and speaker.

"If you don't have time, the truth is, you don't have priorities. Think harder; don't work harder."

Given that we have a limited number of hours in a day, entrepreneurs need to prioritize and execute well to reach their goals. Time is of the essence as startups have a limited lifespan to conquer their market.
Thanks to: Nirupama Mallavarupu of MobileArq.

114. Freedom Waiting for You

"What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" is part of a poem written by 19 year old Erin Hanson. She lives in Australia and has a passion for writing and crafting. The quote is about putting doubt in the dirt and spreading your wings for endless possibilities and freedom. There is no time like now, tomorrow is not guaranteed, kick doubt to the curb and take off!
Thanks to: Shelby Gogulski of --Yourself Expression.

115. Don't Aim Too Low!

Favorite Quote:

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
-Michelangelo

People get so caught up in negative self-talk and doubt that they often make less lofty goals than are in their hearts.
Thanks to: Richard Shane, Ph.D of Sleep Easily.

116. Going All the Way

As a lawyer, professor, entrepreneur, runner and mom, my favorite motivational quote by far is "If you aren't going all the way, why go at all?" - Joe Namath

I think of this quote in my everyday life and it helps me maintain my focus and be in the present moment. If I'm wearing my lawyer, professor, entrepreneur, runner, or mom hat that day, I'm going to be the best damn one I can be!
Thanks to: Jennifer Magas of Magas Media Consultants, LLC.

117. Motivational Quote

"Winners do daily what others do occasionally."
-Author unknown
Thanks to: Nanette Miner of The Training Doctor, LLC.

118. Be Passionate About Your Work

“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
Thanks to: Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.com.

119. Self-imposed Limitations

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

This nugget of truth resonates so strongly with me, because it's true that the only thing holding most people back from doing great things are their own perceived weaknesses— what others say can only bring you down if you let their words affect you.
Thanks to: Kristina Quinones of thevaluemetric.com.

120. You Are My Sunshine

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." - Sir James Barrie

As a career consultant, I am privileged to support individuals in their job search and career. However, as a mom, wife, AND entrepreneur, life is hectic. I ask myself why I am doing this. But when you give, you receive. It is rewarding to encourage and renew confidence along the career journey. This quote brings me joy and reminds me that “what I do” is just an extension of “who I am”.
Thanks to: Elaine Krehmeyer of Career Revelations.

121. My Own Motivational Quote

"The true reward in work is bringing your passion to communities who then find the inspiration to succeed. The bonus becomes being launched into the status of 'expert' that then attracts larger audiences to fuel sales." - Elinor Stutz
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale.

122. Try, Try, Try Again

"The very first company I started failed with a great bang.

The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed.

The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly.

Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay.

Number five was PayPal."

- Max Levchin, PayPal Co-founder
Thanks to: Patrick Shea of AdDaptive Intelligence.

Do you have a great motivational quote that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

And if you would like to become a part of the CarolRoth.com contributor network and find out about opportunities to contribute to future articles, sign up here: http://www.carolroth.com/carolroth-com-blog-contributor-sign-up/

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the preeminent name in business news. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth
6 comments
NamrataDiengdoh
NamrataDiengdoh

I feel honored to be a part of the list. Every quote is motivating and remindful of our hidden strengths


mccochran
mccochran

Thank for including Dr. Shane from @sleepeasily in your blog! Fun article!

RonHRKatz
RonHRKatz

Great post, thanks for collecting and sharing so many inspirations!

JerryBruckner
JerryBruckner

Hi Carol,

Thank you for gathering and publishing this awesome list of motivational quotes. It's a great 1st and last read of the day to set a winning mindset. Also, thank you so much for including my motivational quote in the list.

 
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