30 Business Quotes to Memorize for Success

There’s a lot to learn from collaboration.  While several high-profile business gurus have been anointed as the “be-all end-all” of entrepreneurial thought, you can learn a lot from people who are slaving away in the trenches alongside you.  Knowing this, here are thirty inspirational quotes to help you make the most of your business from the highly-successful people who have been in your shoes before:

On Branding

“You need to think about the customer experience all the way through, from buying a ticket to arriving in the parking lot to watching the movie to leaving…  If they don’t have a good time, you’re going to lose them.” – Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse.

“We’re not building a company—we’re building a cult.” – William Hurley, general manager of the labs at Chaotic Moons.

“It’s easy to focus on what the big guys have—established brands, tested products, years of experience. But while larger businesses have size, scale, and a whole host of other advantages at their disposal, they have two enormous disadvantages:  complexity and complacency.” – Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO or Futurethink.

“When you introduce something new to the marketplace, presentation and communication are critical.” – Leslie Smolan, founder of CSA.

“You need to go in with the right intentions behind the money.” Taryn Goodman, director of impact investing at RSF Social Finance.

“Brands evolve. Apple changed quite a bit, but those changes are always planned and have been very well-nurtured over the decades.” – Ken Carbone of the Carbone Smolan Agency.

Lead Generation

“Know your market really, really broadly and your customers really, really narrowly.” – Michael Kestenbaum, CEO of Crowded Room.

“Having an emotional connection with a business in some way is what fosters true loyalty.” – Logan LaHive, CEO of Belly.

“Today consumers want their brands to matter more; they’ll support the brands that align to                                                                                             their values and are meaningful to them.” – Tracy Lloyd of Emotive Brand.

“Our customers do our PR. Our brand was built on buzz.” – Gale Epstein, founder of Hanky Panky.


“You have to have faith in yourself. If you are brave enough to have an entrepreneurial venture, then you should have the courage to do things you really want to do.” – Kelly Utt-Grubb, co-owner of California Farmhouse.

“Overnight, an R&D project turned into a business, and I’ve been trying to keep up ever since.” – Matt Liotta, founder of PodPonics.

“…Ideas alone aren’t worth squat. To turn ideas from air into something of value, you first have to admit that you’re not special.” – Erioka Napoletano, author of “The Power of Unpopular.”

“I don’t like little ideas. The ones that captivate me are people that really are thinking big, thinking long-term—what I characterize as more built-to-last ideas rather than built-to flip ideas.” – Steve Case, co-founder of the Revolution Growth venture capital firm.

“Do one thing a day that scares you.” – Lululemon Manifesto

Managing (and Encouraging) Employees

“We are in an era of handmade insights, of human beings who touch other human beings in some way, making change happen.” – Seth Godin.

“New businesses are about finding the right people and execution” – Brad Keywell of the Lightbank venture capital firm.

“People are doing more with less, so great employees are critical. The way you treat employees determines the way employees treat customers.” – John Boynes, productivity expert with the Boynes Group.

On saying no:  “You want to make a connection, then say something positive that values the person making the request, then say no.” – Dr. Lind D. Tillman, clinical psychologist.

“Success is the result of a million tiny experiments…You have to find people who can bring your idea to life—and beyond that you originally envisioned.” – Tyler Hartung, VP of Finance and Operations at the Unreasonable Institute.

“He was never hesitant to have people maybe smarter than he thinks he is around him.” – Jean Case, CEO of Revolution Growth, speaking of her husband and co-founder of their venture capital company.

“We’re so focused on productivity that thinking has become a daring act. Leaders have to create the space for thinking.” — Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of Futurethink.


“If the driver of agility is conversation, then meetings are the drivers of conversation.” – Mike Richardson, author of “The Agile Executive’s Manifesto—Accelerate Your Growth, Leverage Your Value, Beat Your Competition.”

“I want people to be productively paranoid.” – Mike Richardson

“We believe that paperwork is fundamentally inefficient.” – Austin Allison, founder and CEO of Dotloop.

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck, author of “Of Mice and Men.”

“If you design your solution in artificial conditions, then it’s not designed for reality.” – Teju Ravilochan, co-founder and CEO of the Unreasonable Institute.


“Conventional MBA programs train the wrong people in the wrong ways with the wrong consequences.” – Henry Mintzberg, Professor of Management Skills at McGill University.

“I think a small business plan should focus on a few simple, essential things. One, what is the product or service? Two, who will buy it? Three, how will you get paid?” – Chris Guillebeau, author of “The $100 Startup.”

“Some personality types want to leave things open-ended; having fewer things nailed down gives greater flexibility.” –Cynde Margritz, CEO of Peak Neurofitness.

Do you have any other favorite business quotes that drive you to success?  Share your best inspirational sayings in the comments section below!

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  • François - Freelance seo says:  (@francoismasclef)

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