Top 5 Inspirational Quotes From Successful Business Leaders

There are a lot of business quotes in which we can find inspiration
. While they are no substitute for passion, hard work, vision, and creativity, they remind us...

Photo: Norman Arvidsson; Credit: © Norman Arvidsson
Photo: Norman Arvidsson; Credit: © Norman Arvidsson

Success in business can come in many different ways, especially today. Consider Dong Nguyen, Vietnamese developer of the game app, Flapping Birds. It was
 an instant success, making him a millionaire quickly, and giving him a residual income of approximately $50,000 a day from the ads embedded in the app.

He has since pulled his app from stores stating that it is too addictive and that was not his intention. Wow! A successful entrepreneur who is worried about the negative societal impact of a project he created—that seems rare.

Consider as well, Warren Buffett, a billionaire who has accumulated his fortune over time through his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway. Now he has organized The Giving Pledge to encourage the world’s wealthiest families to donate half of their fortunes to charitable work.

Both of these individuals are successful – one “overnight”, one over time. And both of these paths are doable today.

It takes passion, vision, and may involve 18 hour work days, 7-days a week or it may involve a great idea that takes just a few weeks to develop. Regardless of the path taken, successful people today and in the future will have some common traits, and most of them are encapsulated in the 5 quotes below – inspirational quotes that keep you going when things get tough.


1. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” – Henry Ford

This may be truer today than at many other times in recent history. What Ford was telling other businessmen is that they must have purposes other than personal wealth. They must offer something of real value to consumers.

Ford focused on quality and affordability and, in so doing, made a fortune. Today, entrepreneurs must also focus on quality and affordability, of course, because smart consumers demand it, and consumers have far more ways to determine quality and to share their views about that quality with the rest of the world with a few clicks.


2. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

Here, Buffett is reminding business owners that no matter how far they go, and no matter how much success they achieve, there are others who came before them for whom they need to be grateful.

Photo: © Ivan Kruk, YFS Magazine
Photo: © Ivan Kruk, YFS Magazine

The government built a railroad so that Carnegie could transport its steel; the interstate highway system was built during the Eisenhower years, and businesses were then able to truck their products rapidly.

The Internet has transformed business, and e-commerce entrepreneurs are now able to market their products and services in extremely effective ways and
 to reach a global audience. Business owners work hard, no doubt, but they are able to take advantage of all of the benefits of hard-working people, entrepreneurs, and their government that have gone before them.

Perhaps this is why Buffett is so earnest in his efforts to convince the wealthy that they do need to give back. And millennials obviously agree with him. They now represent the largest purchasing generation, and they insist that companies with whom they do business have social responsibility and contribute to societal improvement.


3. “Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.” – Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo

Wise words indeed. Success can be quite fleeting. Just ask the founders of Commodore and Gateway Computers, the Palm Pilot, Vonage, Pan Am and Polaroid.

As you build a business and then maintain that business, you must remain current in your niche; you must continue to learn every day; you must always employ creatives with new ideas, and you must change your business model to stay current.

Consider the service tech companies who began by developing software and selling it to companies, even providing installation and training. Today these services are based in the cloud. Companies who have not or do not soon change their business models will be out of business in the near future. Even businesses who sell products are changing their models. Consider companies who now sell subscription-based razors or diapers.


4. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

Photo: © Ivan Kruk, YFS Magazine
Photo: © Ivan Kruk, YFS Magazine

If you are determined to go into business, you had better find a niche that you love, because only then will you do truly great work. Passion for the product or service you produce is the only way you will achieve success. If you don’t really have the passion, and if that passion is not consuming you day and night, you need to wait until you find it.


5. “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist –– while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!” – Lori Greiner, “The Queen of QVC”


Photo: © vadymvdrobot, YFS Magazine
Photo: © vadymvdrobot, YFS Magazine

Opportunity presents itself to many. Unfortunately, there are three types of responses to that opportunity which will result in nothing – the pessimist who thinks of all that could go wrong and passes; the optimist who jumps on board without a plan, and the realist, who spends too much time until the opportunity is no longer available. The key to success is to find that sweet spot – a great opportunity, the ability to see the potential, and then the guts to make the jump.


There are a lot of business quotes in which we can find inspiration
. While they are no substitute for passion, hard work, vision, and creativity, they remind us that these things have to be present for success.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Norman Arvidsson, is a freelance web developer with more than two years of experience behind him and also a contributing blogger. Interest in such areas as web-design, web development, personal growth, leadership, business and eLearning. Connect with @NormanArvidsson on Twitter.


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