Being a successful entrepreneur is about approaching your success journey as a marathon, not a sprint. However, if you’ve actually run a marathon, you know the high of the excitement at the starting line and the low of mile 18 when you think you just can’t take one more step.
The path of entrepreneurship has distinct peaks and valleys, so here are 10 quotes to keep you motivated for wherever you are in the marathon.
1. "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." -- Benjamin Franklin
Franklin, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was also one of the most successful business entrepreneurs in America of his time with his printing press. His Poor Richard’s Almanac is still a business book to be relished today with timeless wisdom about wealth and planning. One of the success-building principles is proper planning. Get a plan and know where you’re going.
2. "Quality is not an act, it is a habit." -- Aristotle
As an entrepreneur, you need a winning strategy based on a quality service offering. Quality doesn’t develop overnight. Through relentlessly putting your best into everything you do, you’re sure to finish the marathon of success.
3. “You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it.” -- Elon Musk
How is quality achieved? By constantly improving. Musk is one of the most brilliant risk-taking entrepreneurs in the market and he says this comes from constant feedback on how you can improve the quality of something. Live it, learn it and do it for success.
4. “I think failure is nothing more than life's way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying at all.” -- Sara Blakely
How could a recent failure you’ve experienced open up the doors for a different opportunity? Always see the ways that mistakes or failures are trying to re-shape your product or service to improve.
5. "The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake -- you can't learn anything from being perfect." -- Adam Osborne
Making mistakes is part of the marathon. You trip, you fall down, but you get back up and keep going. Those stumbles and mistakes can be the most important thing you ever do as they lead to making everything better. You get better from failures -- products get better from improving on shortcomings. You can always do better by learning from the mistakes.
6. "Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the troublemaking individual." -- Natalie Clifford Barney
Maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit is an important step in the marathon. Have some fun, stir up some trouble, be a disruptor if you feel like it -- that’s where the magic happens. Go start causing some good-natured trouble in your industry.
7. "You are not your resume, you are your work." -- Seth Godin
What people have or haven't done in the past doesn't always determine whether they will be successful entrepreneurs. Don’t fixate on a perfect resume, just be prepared to learn from your mistakes and share your true work with the world.
8. "I like thinking big. If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big." -- Donald Trump
Never think of yourself as being too small to carry out a great idea. There are countless numbers of successful people who got their start from a much humbler set of circumstances than your own. Never let that be an excuse to stop or not take action to begin with -- there’s always a way, find it!
9. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other people's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." -- Steve Jobs
This is the why of your marathon. Why are you an entrepreneur? Why are you even in this race? Don’t start running unless you know what you’re running for. What awaits you at the finish line? Knowing that answer and being true to your desires will see you out in the low times to get you through to the successful end.
10. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” -- Tony Hsieh
Hsieh’s quote says it all.