A list of inspiring quotes for small business owners

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Owning a small business is an exciting and incredibly rewarding time full of new opportunities. Starting and running your own business can be challenging, especially if you're still figuring out what you're doing in the early stages. But you can put things into perspective and remind yourself of why you're on this journey by reflecting on quotes from others in similar positions. In this article, we are going to discuss what are inspiring quotes for small business owners and share some examples that relate to several scenarios.

What are inspiring quotes for small business owners?

The power of listening to quotes for small business owners is in their ability to inspire. Different quotes will evoke unique responses in different people. Other small business owners can give you the best advice due to their own experience. As a small business owner, you have no one managing you so it can be difficult to get people to understand how challenging running your own company can be. This makes receiving words of encouragement from other entrepreneurs even more meaningful.

Quotes about being your own boss

Being your own boss can be difficult at times. Below, you can find a list of inspirational quotes that relate to being your own boss:

  • 'If you don't build your own dreams someone will hire you to build theirs.' — Tony Gaskins

  • 'There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.' — Denis Waitley

  • '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

  • 'To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.' — Thomas Watson

  • 'Motivation is the catalysing ingredient for every successful innovation.' — Clayton Christensen

  • 'If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.' — John Quincy Adams

  • 'Find a great mentor, someone who has already been through the many challenges of being an entrepreneur.' — Jodi Levine

  • 'Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life.' — Michael LeBoeuf

  • 'Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.' — Anthony Volodkin

Related: Taking ownership in the workplace: a comprehensive guide

Small business quotes about freedom

One of the main advantages of owning a small business is having the freedom to do what you want with it. Below, you can find a list of inspirational quotes relating to this:

  • 'The only way to do great work is to love what you do.' — Steve Jobs

  • 'Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.' — John F. Kennedy

  • 'What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people's lives.' — Oprah Winfrey

  • 'Either you run the day, or the day runs you.' — Jim Rohn

  • 'In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.' — Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • 'Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.' — T.S.

  • Eliot 'Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.' — Herbert Hoover

  • 'The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.' — Michael Altshuler

Quotes about building a team

Building a strong team is key to running a small business. Below, you can find a list of inspirational quotes relating to building a team:

  • 'Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.' — James Cash Penney

  • 'Don't try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important.' — Chieu Cao

  • '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

  • 'Employees want to feel inspired by their leaders…hire individuals who will lead by example.' — Jody Kohner

  • '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

  • 'If you look at history, innovation doesn't come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.' — Steven Johnson

Related: What is an employee retention strategy and why is it important?

Quotes to motivate you through difficult days

Everyone has their difficult days, even small business owners. Below are some inspirational quotes that can help to motivate you during these moments:

  • 'Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.' — Napoleon Hill

  • 'Every problem is a gift. Without problems we would not grow.' — Anthony Robbins

  • 'Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.' — Bill Gates

  • 'You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.' — Jessica Herrin

  • 'Think big and don't listen to people who tell you it can't be done. Life's too short to think small.' — Tim Ferriss

  • 'Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.' — Henry Ford

  • 'I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.' — Thomas Edison

  • 'You shouldn't focus on why you can't do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.' — Steve Case

  • 'Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.' — Conrad Hilton

Quotes about work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important for your mental well-being. Below are some inspirational quotes that relate to this topic:

  • 'Work 9-to-5, spend a couple of hours with your family, 7 to 2 am is plenty of time to do damage.'—Gary Vaynerchuk

  • 'Five days a week, I read my goals before I go to sleep and when I wake up. There are 10 goals around health, family and business with expiration dates, and I update them every six months.'—Daymond John

  • 'Don't spread yourself too thin… focus trumps freneticism any day.'—John Coleman

  • 'Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, and integrity are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.'—Gary Keller

  • 'Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.'—Dolly Parton

  • '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.'—Arianna Huffington

  • 'You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.'—Heather Schuck

  • 'The problem is that technology has become an extra limb for some of us. It's important to utilize this technology, but at the same time it's important to know when to take a break from it.'—Alex Broches

Related: What is an entrepreneur and what are the 9 types?

General quotes about small business ownership

Below, you can find a list of quotes that relate directly to small business owners:

  • 'A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.' — Nicole Snow

  • 'A big business starts small.' — Richard Branson

  • 'Do not focus on numbers. Focus on doing what you do best. It's about building a community who want to visit your site every day because you create value and offer expertise.' — Cassey Ho

  • 'You don't build a business, you build people, then people build the business.' — Zig Ziglar

  • 'If you can offer a free tier that provides a lot of value, it will naturally help your product to spread much more rapidly.' — Melanie Perkins

  • 'The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It's part of the job description.' — Caterina Fake

  • 'Chase the vision, not the money. The money will end up following you.' — Tony Hsieh

  • 'It's very easy to be different but very difficult to be better.' — Jonathan Ive

  • 'If you don't try at anything, you can't fail. It takes backbone to lead the life you want.' — Richard Yates

Explore more articles