20 best quotes about being an entrepreneur

Start Series

One of the biggest hurdles when running a small business is not talked about much – that of self-belief. All of us need some inspiration and encouragement, so here are the 20 best quotes about being an entrepreneur.

How many of us working 12-hour days and then collapsing exhausted into bed wake up in the middle of the night, wondering if our business idea is worth it, do we have the gumption to slog on, given the myriad roles the small business owner/manager has to deal with – recruiting staff, fulfilling orders, juggling with bookkeeping and cash flow. Is your business idea robust enough? Can you keep going, day-in day-out?

20 best quotes about being an entrepreneur

Of course, each of these 20 best quotes about being an entrepreneur is different, yet there are some common threads

You have to be brave

Or, as Richard Branson put it on the cover of his autobiography, “Screw it, let’s do it.” You have to be brave and bold when it comes to business decisions.

“You cannot learn to be an entrepreneur by reading a book. You can only find out by giving it a try,” agreed Alan Sugar.

>See also: Top tips for entrepreneurs looking to launch a new product

The importance of persistence

It takes a hammer multiple strikes to drive home a nail. In the same way, a lot of business involves just repeatedly doing thing until you achieve a breakthrough. In the case of Thomas Edison, the American inventor of the cheap lightbulb, it took him over 10,000 attempts before he discovered that bamboo was the right material to create the delicate filament in the electric lightbulb. When asked by a newspaperman what it felt like to have failed 10,000 times, Edison snapped back, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Minimum viable product

One idea that has come out of the whole digital disruption ethos is launching as basic a product or service as possible and growing from there. There’s no shame in launching as barebones as possible. This is called a minimum viable product. As Ryan Holmes, co-founder of social media marketing manager Hootsuite put it, “When in doubt, bootstrap.” Internet e-commerce entrepreneur Gretta Rose van Riel goes even further, saying you should embarrassed by the first version of your product. “If you’re not, you’ve already launched too late,” she said.

Learn from failure

In Britain there seems to be a stigma attached to business failure, whereas in the States entrepreneurs shrug and move on. Yet entrepreneurs from James Dyson to Ben Francis of the Gymshark fitness wear brand all agree that you learn from failure, not success. Motor car tycoon Henry Ford regarded failure as “an opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.

Solve somebody’s problem

A truism in the world of venture capital is that a good business idea solves somebody’s problem. It’s something that Stelio Haji-Ioannu found when his easyJet airline made cheap European air travel and it’s a mantra that digital tycoon Alex Chesterman follows, whether it was saving people from having to visit their local video store (LoveFilm) or today having to haggle over the price of a second-hand car (Cazoo).

Start Series
  1. Clive Humby and Edwina Dunn
  2. James Caan
  3. Simon Cowell
  4. Ben Francis
  5. Alex Chesterman
  6. Stelios Haji-Ioannou
  7. Duncan Bannatyne
  8. Deborah Meaden
  9. Walt Disney
  10. Alan Sugar
  11. James Dyson
  12. Brian Chesky
  13. Henry Ford
  14. Conrad Hilton
  15. Gretta Rose van Riel
  16. Jo Malone
  17. Ryan Holmes
  18. Roy Ash
  19. Thomas Edison
  20. Richard Branson