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50 Quotes From Entrepreneurs That Will Inspire You

50 Quotes From Entrepreneurs That Will Inspire You

1. Be humble

“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

2. Don’t pass up opportunities

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Richard Branson

3. Focus your energies on yourself

“We are really competing against ourselves. We have no control over how other people perform.” – Pete Cashmore

4. Put in the effort to make things happen

“It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing.” – Mark Cuban

5. Never ever give up

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

6. Don’t be afraid to mess up

“Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.” – William Rosenberg

7. Let your dreams run wild

“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

8. Take charge

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

9. Remember that nothing is too big to shoot for

“Whatever you are thinking, think bigger.” – Tony Hsieh

10. Think big

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

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11. Know what you can and can’t do

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.” – Henry Ford, Founder

12. Don’t be quick to give up

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

13. Always try

“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

14. Winning isn’t everything

“I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.” – Oprah Winfrey

15. Get past your fears

“If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen.” – Marissa Mayer

16. Set your own goals and dreams to reach for

“Define success in your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney

17. Don’t let anyone stand in your way

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?” — Ayn Rand

18. Don’t let others get into your head

“Don’t let others define you. You define yourself.” – Virginia Rometty

19. There is always a silver lining to look forward to

“Today is cruel. Tomorrow is crueler. And the day after tomorrow is beautiful.” – Jack Ma

20. Take control of what you want

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray

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21. Don’t give up on whatever dreams you may have

“When you cease to dream you cease to live.” – Malcolm Forbes

22. Don’t pay attention to the naysayers

“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz

23. You’ll never know if you don’t try

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

24. Don’t waste time being afraid

“I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not trying.” – Jay Z

25. You are the master of your own universe

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey

26. Always be looking ahead

“See things in the present, even if they are in the future.” – Larry Ellison

27. You know whats best for you

“Trust your instincts.” – Estee Lauder

28. Don’t be afraid to be the first person to do it

“Everything’s impossible until someone does it.” – Bruce Wayne

29. Always be working on your dream

“It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.” – Paul Graham

30. Don’t just talk – do

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

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31. Always be shooting further

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

32. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Nancy D. Solomon

33. With failure sometimes comes success

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

34. Don’t be afraid of some hard work

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon

35. Believe in the strength of your spirit

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Joseph P. Kennedy

36. Failure along the way is inevitable

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston

37. Never give up

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

38. Let failure make you stronger

“Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki

39. Nothing is too great for you to shoot for

“High expectations are the key to everything.”  – Sam Walton

40. It is your decision alone, should you choose not to act on your dreams

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J. K. Rowling

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41. Stay hopeful

“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel

42. Don’t give up

“All my life people have said that I wasn’t going to make it…You can never quit. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” – Ted Turner

43. Keep reaching for more goals as you achieve them

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” – J.P. Morgan

44. Stay positive

“The way you begin each day defines how you’ll live each day.” – Robin Sharma

45. Don’t overthink

“Learn to let your thoughts exist on their own without getting too involved in them.” – Russell Simmons

46. Hard work perseveres

“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” – Ray Kroc

47. Always be your best you

“Prove someone wrong every day.” – Jason Sadler

48. Keep trying and you’re bound to get somewhere

“Fail enough and you’ll win eventually.” – Eric Bahn

49. Don’t let negative reviews discourage you

“Beware of your critics. Mediocre minds are the greatest enemy of innovation.” – Robert Sofia

50. Dream as big as possible

“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” – Donald Trump

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Last Updated on October 21, 2019

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is a reminder of why I am so drawn to leadership as a topic. Whenever I think it is impossible for me to be more impressed with her, she proves me wrong.

Earlier this week, a former marine suggested that he had been in a long-term sexual relationship with the Senator. She flipped the narrative and used the term “Cougar,” a term used to describe older women who date younger men, to reference her alma mater.

Rather than calling the young man a liar, or responding to the accusations in kind, she re-focused the conversation back to her message of college affordability and lifted up that “Cougar” was the mascot for her alma mater. She went on to note that tuition at her school was just $50 per semester when she was a student. Class act.

But by the end of the week, news broke that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, another contender for the presidency, had a heart attack. Warren not only wished Sanders a speedy recovery but her campaign sent a meal to his staff. She knew that the hopes of staff, donors and supporters were with the Senator from Vermont and showed genuine compassion and empathy.

To me, she has proven time and time again that she is more than a presidential candidate: she belongs in a leadership hall of fame.

What makes some people excel as leaders is fascinating. You can read about leadership, research it and talk about it, yet the interest in leadership alone will not make you a better leader.

You will have more information than the average person, but becoming a good leader is lifelong work. It requires experience – and lots of it. Most importantly, it requires observation and a commitment to action. Warren observed what was happening with Sen. Sanders, empathized with his team and then took action. Regardless of the outcome of this election, Sanders’ staff will likely never forget her gesture.

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You would have had to work on a political campaign in order to appreciate the stress and anxiety that comes with it. In this moment, staff may not remember everything that Warren said throughout the lengthy campaign, but they will remember what she did during an unforgettable time during the campaign.

If this model of leadership is appealing, and if you are searching for how to up your own leadership game, read on for six characteristics that good leaders share:

1. Good leaders are devoted to the success of the people around them.

Good leaders are not self-interested. Sure, they want to succeed, but they also want others to succeed.

Good leaders see investing in others just as important as they see investing in themselves. They understand that their success is closely tied to the people around them, and they work to ensure that their peers, employees, friends and family have paths for growth and development.

While the leaders may be the people in the spotlight, they are quick to point to the people around them who helped them (the leaders) enter that spotlight. Their willingness to lift others inspires their colleagues’ and friends’ devotion and loyalty.

2. Good leaders are not overly dependent on others’ approval.

It is important for managers to express their support for their teams; good leaders must be independent of the approval of others. I explained in an article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, that:[1]

“While a desire to be loved is natural, managers who prioritize approval from subordinates will become ineffective supervisors who may do employees harm. For example, a manager driven by a need for approval may shy away from delivering constructive feedback that could help an employee improve. A manager fearful of upsetting someone may tolerate behavior that degrades the work environment and culture.”

In yet another example, a manager who is dependent on the approval of others may not make decisions that could be deemed unpopular in the short run but necessary in the long run.

Think of the coaches who integrated their sporting teams. Their decision to do so, may have seemed odd, and even wrong, in the moment, but time has proven that those leaders were on the right side of history.

3. Good leaders have the capacity to share the spotlight.

Attention is nice, but it is not the prime motivator for good leaders. Doing a good job is.

For this reason, good leaders are willing to share the spotlight. They aren’t threatened by a lack of attention, and they do not need credit for every accomplishment. They are too focused on their goal and too focused on the urgency of their work.

4. Good leaders are students.

In the same way that human beings are constantly evolving, so too are leaders. As long as you are living, you have the potential to learn. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you think you have; you can always learn something new.

I have the experience of thinking I was doing everything right as a manager, only to receive conflicting feedback from my team. Perhaps my approach was not working for my team, and I had to be willing to hear their feedback to improve.

Good leaders understand that their secret sauce is their willingness to keep receiving information and keep learning. They aren’t intimidated by what they do not know: As long as they maintain a willingness to keep growing, they believe they can overcome any obstacle they face.

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As both masters and students, good leaders read, listen and study to grow. They consume content for information, not just entertainment purposes. They aren’t impressed with their knowledge; they are impressed with the learning journey.

5. Good leaders view vulnerability as a superpower.

It means “replacing ‘professional distance and cool,’ with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure,” said Emma Sappala in a Dec. 11, 2014, article, “What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable” for Harvard Business Journal.[2] She went on to note the importance of human connection, which she asserts is often missing at work.

“As leaders and employees, we are often taught to keep a distance and project a certain image. An image of confidence, competence and authority. We may disclose our vulnerability to a spouse or close friend behind closed doors at night but we would never show it elsewhere during the day, let alone at work.”

This rings so true for me as a woman leader. I was raised believing that any show of emotion in the workplace could be used against me. I was raised believing that it was best for women leaders to be stoic and to “never let ‘em see you sweat.” This may have prevented me from connecting with employees and colleagues on a deeper, more personal level.

6. Good leaders understand themselves.

I am a huge fan of life coach and spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant. In addition to her hit show on the OWN network, Vanzant has authored dozens of books. In her books and teachings, she underscores the importance of knowing ourselves fully. She argues that we must know what makes us tick, what makes us happy and what makes us angry.

Self-awareness enables us to put ourselves in situations where we can thrive, and it also enables us to have compassion when we fall short of the goals and expectations we have for ourselves. Relatedly, understanding ourselves will allow us to know our strength. When we know our strengths, we will be able to put people around us who compliment our strengths and fill the gaps in our leadership.

Final Thoughts

Being a good leader, first and foremost, is an inside job. You must focus on growing as a person regardless of the leadership title that you hold. You cannot take others where you yourself have not been. So focusing on yourself, regardless of your time or where you are in your career will have long term benefits for you and the people around you.

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Further, if you want to become a good leader, you should start by setting the intention to do so. What you focus on grows. If you focus on becoming a better leader, you will research and invest in things that help you to fulfill this intention. You will also view the good and bad leadership experiences as steppingstones that hone your character and help you improve.

After you set the intention, get really clear on what a good leader looks like to you. Each of us has a different understanding of leadership. Is a good leader someone who takes risk? Is a good leader, in your estimation, someone who develops other leaders? Whatever it is, know what you’re shooting for. Once you define what it means to be a good leader, look for people who exemplify your vision. Watch and engage with them if you can.

Finally, understand that becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. You must continually work at improving, investing in yourself and reflecting on what is going well and what you must improve. In this way, every experience is an opportunity to grow and a chance to ask: ‘What is this experience trying to teach me?’ or ‘what action is necessary based on this situation?’

If you are committed to questioning, evaluating and acting, you are that much closer to becoming a better leader.

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Featured photo credit: Sam Power via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Why Good Managers Overcome the Desire to Be Liked
[2] Harvard Business Journal: What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable

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