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OWNER'S MANUAL

40 Best Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Don't just read them. Live them, and make your dreams a reality.
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Sometimes, all you need is a little push. A little nudge. A little burst of inspiration.

Here are 40.

Tweet 'em. Share 'em.

But most important, pick the one that makes your skin tingle, your heart race, your motor rev, and place it somewhere you'll see it every day: your monitor, your screen saver, your background...

...and let it help take you to places you've always wanted to go.

  1. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Chinese proverb
  2. "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse." Florence Nightingale
  3. "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." Amelia Earhart
  4. "Do it or not. There is no try." Yoda
  5. "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Mark Twain
  6. "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." Lao Tzu
  7. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." Alice Walker
  8. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon
  9. "Eighty percent of success is showing up." Woody Allen
  10. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot
  11. "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." Henry Ford
  12. "You can't fall if you don't climb. But there's no joy in living your whole life on the ground." Unknown
  13. "Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." Joshua Marine
  14. "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." Booker T. Washington
  15. "Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy." Jimmy Spithill
  16. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." Steve Jobs
  17. "I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions." Stephen Covey
  18. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  Maya Angelou
  19. "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."  Mark Twain
  20. "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  21. "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
  22. "There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing." Aristotle
  23. "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have." Teddy Roosevelt
  24. "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." George Addair
  25. "Fall seven times and stand up eight." Japanese proverb
  26. "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Robert Frost
  27. "The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland." (OK, that one's mine)
  28. "What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do." Bob Dylan
  29. "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." Albert Einstein
  30. "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." Chinese proverb
  31. "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." Maya Angelou
  32. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky
  33. "Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs." Farrah Gray
  34. "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." Confucius
  35. "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." Tony Robbins
  36. "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills
  37. "Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him." Booker T. Washington
  38. "Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt
  39. "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." Ayn Rand
  40. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs

And a bonus: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." Dean Wormer

I haven't overcome the stupid part, but I'm trying.

Any quotes you'd like to add to the list?

Last updated: Jun 11, 2014

JEFF HADEN | Columnist

Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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