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100 Business Quotes To Renew Your Perspective On Doing Business

As people turn, in great numbers, to starting business ventures of their own, it is a good idea to look at words of wisdom from individuals with prior experience in this taxing yet rewarding approach to work.

As people turn, in great numbers, to starting business ventures of their own, it is a good idea to look at words of wisdom from individuals with prior experience in this taxing yet rewarding approach to work. The following is a list of 100 business quotes that should refresh your perspective on how to do business in increasingly competitive global markets.

  • “I actually had someone say to me, ‘Lynn, you’re going to have very good days, and you’re going to have very bad days. But it’s rare that things are as good as they look, and it’s rare that things are as bad as they seem.’ So, having perspective, and challenging perspective, is important to making good decisions.” — Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy
  • “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
  • “Every time you make the hard, correct decision you become a bit more courageous, and every time you make the easy, wrong decision you become a bit more cowardly. If you are CEO, these choices will lead to a courageous or cowardly company.” — Ben Horowitz, CEO of Opsware
  • “The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’… Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time. And that’s what this company is.” — Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
  • “We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.” — Richard Branson, Founder, and Chairman of Virgin
  • “Women are working more, men are understanding their value as caregivers, women are primary breadwinners—I mean, we could go on and on and on. Things are different. So we can’t keep operating like everything is the same, and that’s what many of us have done. And I think it’s up to us to change the conversation.” – Michelle Obama, Former First Lady
  • “You have to be very nimble and very open minded. Your success is going to be very dependent on how you adapt.” — Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp
  • “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” — Seth Godin, Founder of Squidoo
  • “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” —.Marissa Mayer, Former CEO of Yahoo
  • “Businesses that are too inflexible to accept are already seeing cracks in their company systems. You cannot continue to put the onus of running economies on the labor market. The pandemic forced the world to adapt and move on…Every other small business is recruiting at least a part of their tech team remotely now…Those who don’t adapt now will suffer later ” — Mustafa Najoom, VP of Sales.

With side hustles being a major choice of income for a huge number of people since the pandemic, it may help many aspiring entrepreneurs to take a leaf out of the books of those that succeeded at it.

  • “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.” — Mark Cuban
  • “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” — Seth Godin
  • “Never ever compete on prices. Instead, compete on services and innovation.” — Jack Ma
  • “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.” — Steve Jobs
  • “It is within everyone’s grasp to be a CEO.” – Martha Stewart
  • “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman, But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates
  • “The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.” – Sergey Brin
  • “Many companies get trapped by the paradox of hitting numbers ‘now’ versus improving sales for future quarters or years ahead.” – Tiffani Bova
  • “Companies that invest more in digital transformation actually outperform their peers over time. These companies are more prepared for disruption, better able to monetize new digital channels, and better able to build a bigger user base. What’s more, this phenomenon exists regardless of industry” — Geoff Cubitt
  • “AI is about enabling machines to augment humans – in other words, to complement human skills – rather than merely replace them. In most cases, AI’s skills are different to a human’s, so we are moving towards a symbiosis of the two.” — Robin Bordoli

Failure is an inevitable part and parcel of doing business. It is our reaction and takeaways from it that determine our success as a business owner.

  • “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” — Thomas Edison
  • “It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. You only have to be right once.” — Martha Stewart
  • “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough”. — Elon Musk
  • “Failure is the best driver of success out there” — Ahmed Muzammil
  • Failure and invention are inseparable twins. — Jeff Bezos
  • “In my experience, each failure contains the seeds of your next success. If you are willing to learn from it.” — Paul Allen
  • ‘Don’t let rejection create self—doubt. The founder of Starbucks was turned down by 217 of the 242 investors he initially spoke with.’ — Elizabeth Galbut
  • “You don’t have to hold yourself hostage to who you used to be.” — Oprah Winfrey
  • “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” — John Wooden
  • “The phoenix must burn to emerge.” — Janet Fitch
  • “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” — Denis Waitley

You may think you have everything under control on your own, but remember: perceived self—sufficiency becomes counterproductive real quick. After a while, it is the people you surround yourself with, and who help you in your business become a key factor in your success. Don’t underestimate the power of a good team.

  • “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” – Henry Ford
  • “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan
  • “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Teresa
  • “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie
  • “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth
  • “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
  • “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler
  • “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” – Jim Stovall
  • “A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of others.” – Norman Shidle
  • “In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, products, and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.” — Lee Iacocca, President, CEO of Chrysler

As oft-repeated as it may seem, nothing, and absolutely nothing beats good old hard work. It is the primary fuel of any successful venture, business or otherwise. History is witness to this.

  • “Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke
  • “We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Ariana Huffington
  • “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie, American business icon
  • “Someone once told me growth and comfort do not coexist. And I think it’s a really good thing to remember.” – Ginni Rometty
  • “Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.” – Helena Rubinstein
  • “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it”. — Thomas Jefferson, former President of the United States
  • “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame coach
  • “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” — Henry Ford, American industrialist
  • “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” — Margaret Thatcher, former UK Prime Minister

If there is one thing that the past decade taught us, it is the realization that things change and will continue to change at a much faster pace than ever before. This necessitates consistent learning for every single person engaged in any kind of work — entrepreneurial or otherwise. Lagging behind even by a few months’ worth of learning will set us back years. Gone are the days when a college degree was enough to secure your career for life.

  • “Every single one of us has a duty to teach and learn. There is no collective progress without a mutual exchange of knowledge.” – Mustafa Najoom
  • “There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” – Peter Drucker
  • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Albert Einstein
  • “One learns from books and example only that certain things can be done. Actual learning requires that you do those things.” – Frank Herbert
  • “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
  • “Formal education will make you a living; self—education will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn
  • “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.” – Nikos Kazantzakis
  • “If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance.” — Howard Gardner
  • “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler
  • “Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.” – Thomas Szasz

An underrated area of learning is money. Businesses are created to earn it, but how many entrepreneurs (new and old) actually know how to deal with it in a prudent manner? It’s not just about balance sheets and Excel spreadsheets.

  • “I don’t pay good wages because I have a lot of money; I have a lot of money because I pay good wages.” – Robert Bosch
  • An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ——Benjamin Franklin
  • “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” — Jim Rohn
  • “I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy.” – Warren Buffett
  • “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand
  • “Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it.” — Tim Ferriss
  • “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shuts down for ten years.” — Warren Buffett
  • “He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

The pandemic brought with it a barrage of unforeseen change, most of which businesses were not prepared for. Now that we’re emerging from those exogenous shocks, it is essential that our businesses have a built-in capability to adapt to change and be as flexible as possible. Whether this means adopting better hiring processes or flexible work systems, it is essential to have cushions against sudden changes.

  • “There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.” — Washington Irving
  • ‘The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude’ — Oprah Winfrey
  • “Our ability to adapt is amazing. Our ability to change isn’t quite as spectacular. “ — Lisa Lutz
  • “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” — Socrates
  • “People are very open-minded about new things, as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.” — Charles F. Kettering
  • “In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffett
  • “The time we live in is characterized by constant change. Nothing seems to stay the same for long. Why then do we insist on letting our guard down by being so resistant to change?” — Mustafa Najoom, VP of Sales, Gaper.io
  • “After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.” — Alfred Edward Perlman
  • “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama
  • “The most damaging phrase in the language is it’s always been done that way.” — Grace Hopper, Pioneering Computer Scientist
  • “Our only security is our ability to change.” — John Lilly

Leadership is one aspect of business that almost everyone is interested in. But perhaps this role is less about domineering over people and more about working, and learning with them on the same footing.

  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy
  • “If you are only bossing people around but not learning anything from them, you are not a leader. Keeping yourself grounded is the only key to being a good leader” — Mustafa Najoom
  • “I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.” — Darwin E. Smith
  • “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders, and continually develops them.” — John Maxwell
  • “If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself.” — Jim Rohn
  • “If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself, and the organization gets pulled up with you.” — Indra Nooyi
  • “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch
  • “As we look ahead to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates
  • “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self—importance.” — J. Donald Walters

In 2022, resisting the incorporation of equality and diversity in your business is nothing but a regressive mistake. It withholds talent from your company and promotes a myopic approach to doing work.

  • “There is nothing more empowering for a business than having its roots in equality and equity.” — Ahmed Muzammil
  • “As AI becomes ever more entwined into everyone’s daily life, it is crucial that we as Trailblazers take our responsibility seriously — to build out AI that empowers people and that fosters equality, not inequality.” — Rana el Kaliouby, Entrepreneur, Scientist, Co-Founder and CEO of Affectiva
  • “Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation”. – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • “We have a very diverse environment and a very inclusive culture, and those characteristics got us through the tough times. Diversity generated a better strategy, better risk management, better debates, and better outcomes.” — Alan Joyce
  • “Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers.” — Josh Bersin
  • “The future is all of us… We need to add seats to the table. We’re not taking away seats. We need to include everyone. This is for the betterment of everyone’s world.” – Natalie Portman, Actor and Activist
  • “What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.” — Edward Kennedy
  • “Business leaders benefit from having unique platforms and positions of influence, and I believe that using these tools to create positive social change is not just important – it is imperative. We have a responsibility to give back.” — Cherie Blair, Lawyer and Women’s Rights Activist

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