35 Startup Quotes to Inspire Future Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur sharing startup quotes.

An inspirational entrepreneur quote is, ideally, equal parts motivation and wisdom. Most founders and CEOs have a lesson or two from their entrepreneurial experience that you can learn from before launching your startup. We believe the best business advice is given by people who have experienced entrepreneurship themselves. That’s why we gathered 35 of the most impactful entrepreneur quotes from successful startup founders, CEOs, and chairmen to inspire future entrepreneurs to launch a startup of their own.

35 Entrepreneur Quotes for Startups

Ready to get motivated? We’ve got you covered with our top 35 entrepreneur quotes about learning from failure, optimizing for success, and what makes up the anatomy of an entrepreneur to motivate and inspire you.

  1. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc.
  2. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” — Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, Inc.
  3. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” — Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, Inc.
  4. “If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful.” — Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay, Inc.
  5. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” — Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, Inc.
  6. “Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.” — William Rosenberg, founder of Dunkin’ Donuts, LLC
  7. “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.” — Tim Westergen, founder of Pandora Media, Inc.
  8. “If you know too much before the start, then you will get overwhelmed. Come up with an original idea, and don’t copy because there will be no passion. You need that otherworldly passion. Just start.” — Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, LLC
  9. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
  10. “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” — Oprah Winfrey, media executive and philanthropist
  11. “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.” — Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, Inc.
  12. “When you are building a startup, it’s difficult. Particularly, a startup that is expanding at the rate of Tinder. You have to give 100%, and you have to be committed. Solving the problem has to be personal or else you’re going to disintegrate.” — Sean Rad, co-founder of Tinder, Inc.
  13. “If something is important enough, or you believe something is important enough, even if you are scared, you will keep going.” — Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies, Inc. (SpaceX)
  14. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, Inc.
  15. “[The] best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.” — Michael Arrington, founder and co-editor of TechCrunch.com
  16. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” — Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and chairman of AXS TV
  17. “Always deliver more than expected.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google, LLC
  18. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” — Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, Inc.
  19. “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.” — Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Gifting and Licensing, LLC
  20. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” — Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, Inc.
  21. “A vision is something you see and others don’t. Some people would say that’s a pocket definition of lunacy. But it also defines entrepreneurial spirit.” — Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, Inc.
  22. “I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. Since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google, LLC
  23. "Don’t let others convince you that the idea is good when your gut tells you it’s bad." — Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg, Inc.
  24. "Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets." — Jas Bagniewski, Co-Founder of Eve Sleep
  25. "One of the greatest skills of leadership is being unflappable. Anytime you do anything in the world; there’s going to be criticism." — Arianna Huffington, Co-founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group
  26. "It’s important to realize that brand is much more than a logo and slogan. A brand is who your company is: how you function and make decisions." — Joanna McFarland, Co-founder of HopSkipDrive
  27. "You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end." — Jessica Herrin, Founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, LLC
  28. "No matter how many customers you have, each is an individual. The day you start thinking of them as this amorphous ‘collection’ and stop thinking of them as people is the day you start going out of business." — Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder of HubSpot. Inc.
  29. "Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey." — Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Malone, Inc.
  30. "If you start thinking you are good at something, that's often the day you stop trying to be better and open the back door for someone to come after you. That's why we always aim higher. We never feel like we're done." — Drew Houston, Co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, Inc.
  31. "It starts with not having a hangover with the way things used to be." — Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, Inc.
  32. "It’s very important for entrepreneurs to look for people in the company who are not afraid of failures, for example, intrapreneurs. They make a business more successful by thinking like an entrepreneur -- but within a company." — Chirag Kulkarni, Founder of Taco, Inc.
  33. "I'm always tweaking, always trying to make it better, constantly moving the levers and dials." — Steve Ells, Founder and Co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
  34. "There is something artificial when everyone is agreeing with each other. It's useful to indulge people who don't agree, and see their viewpoint or force yourself to explain things better." — David Sack, founder of Yammer, Inc.
  35. "Selling is not a pushy, winner-takes-all, macho act. It is an empathy-led, process-driven, and knowledge-intensive discipline. Because, in the end, people buy from people." — Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder of Mindtree, Inc.