Inspiration depends on where you look. Stare out a window on an overcast day and you might feel gloomy, but watch a sunrise and you might get a burst of new ideas.

These famous entrepreneurs did the hard work of building a lasting company, persevered through failures and adversity, and created something brilliant. They can provide that small burst of inspiration to help you stay with an idea and find success.

1. "I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in." Anita Roddick, The Body Shop

2. "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough." Elon Musk

3. "If we were motivated by money, we would have sold the company a long time ago and ended up on a beach." Larry Page

4. "It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure." Bill Gates

5. "I enjoy the competition and the process of learning as we compete. The whole thing is just fascinating. I don't know what I'll do when I retire. When I go sailing, I look around ... anyone want to race? I just love competing as opposed to just going out and watching the sunset." Larry Ellison

6. "Everyone has ideas. They may be too busy or lack the confidence or technical ability to carry them out. But I want to carry them out. It is a matter of getting up and doing it." James Dyson

7. "Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself." Oprah Winfrey

8. "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes--then learn how to do it later!" Richard Branson

9. "An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down." Reid Hoffman

10. "The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that's changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." Mark Zuckerberg

11. "Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It's the mastery of fear. It's about getting up one more time than we fall down." Arianna Huffington

12. "Don't let what you don't know scare you, because it can become your greatest asset. And if you do things without knowing how they have always been done, you're guaranteed to do them differently." Sara Blakely, Spanx

13. "Never give up, because you never know if the next try is going to be the one that works." Mary Kay Ash

14. "The job of a manager is to support his or her staff, not vice versa, and that begins by being among them." Bill Hewlett

15. "Avoid openly trying to reform people. Every man knows he is imperfect, but he doesn't want someone else trying to correct his faults. If you want to improve a person, help him embrace a higher working goal--a standard, an ideal--and he will do his own 'making over' far more effectively than you can do it for him." Dave Packard

16. "If you've got an idea, start today. There's no better time than now to get going. That doesn't mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there's always small progress that can be made to start the movement." Kevin Systrom, Instagram

17. "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not making decisions." Catherine Cook, MyYearbook

18. "I think not focusing on money makes you sane, because in the long run it can probably drive you crazy." Kevin Systrom

19. "We led with our conviction rather than rational, because rational said it was impossible." Daniel Ek, Spotify

20. "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." Walt Disney

21. "Micromanage the process, not the people." Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

22. "If you don't define yourself and proactively maintain your identity, someone else will do it for you. The idea that you can be invisible is a myth." Patrick Ambron,

Published on: Oct 8, 2014
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of