50 inspiring quotes on business growth and success
Updated: Jan 6, 2022
If you thought starting a new venture is nerve-racking and complex, then think again. In reality, launching a business is the easy part. The tricky aspect is how you plan to expand and stay relevant in a competitive world. One of the main challenges owners face is keeping the business growth ball rolling. It’s safe to say, all businesses want to be number one (not two or last). The pressure to succeed and compete with other businesses is complicated and risky on its own.
While there are infinite ways to grow your business and succeed, be it customer relationship marketing or offering live chat - one of the most difficult aspects of growth, even for established businesses, is losing focus and motivation.
One way to understand this challenge is by listening to those who have traveled the same winding path. Without further ado, here are 50 quotes about business growth and success from world leaders, entrepreneurs, poets and more to spark inspiration for your teams and business alike. These quotes have been divided into thematic categories, tackling common business hurdles, from grappling with change to taking risks, and from working together to (gasp) failing.
Change to succeed
Businesses have to constantly live on the edge and adapt. The reality is evident in the response to new technologies or the latest customer service trends reshaping our business world. But quite often, we are resistant to change, something which come[s back to bite us in the end. Without advancement, businesses can lose their competitive edge and fail to live up to customer expectations. To overcome this, your organization must never settle for the status quo, instead consistently finding new opportunities to prosper.
"The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Socrates, Philosopher
"It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change." Charles Darwin, Naturalist
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." Andy Warhol, Artist
"Dragons take on many forms – the hardest task of the day, a new responsibility, an impending deadline, or even dealing with conflict – and the trick is to just slay the dragon and move on. Don’t overthink it. To succeed, you have to have the confidence to take things head on and keep moving forward." Sarah Mannone, Executive VP of Trekk
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America
"Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it." William Durant, Co-founder of General Motors
"Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong." N. R. Narayana Murthy, Co-founder of Infosys
Risk-taking leads to success
When looking back at the last few years of our personal and professional lives, many of us would have done things differently. If only we had been more outspoken and courageous. So why are we not willing to take risks? Truthfully, because we are afraid of being vulnerable and feel comfortable, safe and stable with the status quo.
But sometimes big business risks do pay off. When FedEx was on the verge of bankruptcy, the company’s founder and CEO Fred Smith was denied a much needed business loan and needed to fuel their planes. His solution? He took the company’s last $5,000 to a blackjack table in Las Vegas and came out with $27,000, enough to keep the company running for another week.
So if you’ve quit your well-paying job and started a new venture of your own, you are definitely a risk-taker. Most people will only dream of the latter, but never fulfill it. Understandably, some of the chances you do take won’t pay off - the key is to embrace it.
"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." John D. Rockefeller, Business Magnate
"Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion." Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anaïs Nin, Writer
"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don’t." Frank Howard Clark, Screenwriter
"Don't give up, don't take anything personally, and don't take no for an answer; you never know what you're going to learn along the way." Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal
"Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. 'Here, open it, it's perfect. You'll love it.' Opportunities - the good ones - are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They're risky. They challenge you." Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
Teamwork makes the dream work
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), only half of small businesses survive past the five-year mark. One of the top reasons for failure is not having the right team. There’s a common proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The general idea of a team is cooperation towards a common goal. This can be anywhere from discussing about how to fix a complex bug, to brainstorming new ideas. Having a strong team can in fact increase productivity due to a combination of experience level and skill sets.
No matter your company size, there's a demonstrated direct correlation between businesses who value teamwork and empower their employees to work efficiently and organizational success. So next time someone asks you if two heads are better than one: The answer is definitely yes.
"If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large." Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon
"Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea." Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga
"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
"Incredible things in the business world are never made by a single person, but by a team." Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Chairman & CEO of Apple
"When entire companies embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation." Carol S. Dweck, Researcher & Professor
Feeling inspired? Check out these 10 customer service quotes.
Don’t fear failure
When the stakes are high, many first-time business owners try (very hard) not to make mistakes. This alone can be emotionally and physically exhausting, and, as a result, time-consuming. The reality for most successful businesses today is they are where they’re at because mistakes happened. They can all tell you that success does not happen overnight.
In business, slip-ups happen more often than you think. This could be everything from money-related to projects going awry. When these things do happen, your first thought may be to scream or throw in the towel. Acknowledging your failures is actually okay, even more so then sweeping them under the carpet. The best thing to do is embrace your mistakes, take responsibility (if needed) and learn to accept it. Chances are you won’t make the same mistake twice and you’ll learn a whole lot about decision-making for your brand.
"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." Winston S. Churchill, Former British Prime Minister
"It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable." Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx
"I do not know the word ‘quit.’ Either I never did, or I have abolished it." Susan Butcher, Sled-dog Racer
"I've missed more than 9000 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, Basketball Player
"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it." Andy Rooney, Journalist
"Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle." Napoleon Hill, Author
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas A. Edison, Inventor
"You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." Louise L. Hay, Author
Think ‘out of the box’
What does it mean to think ‘outside of the box?’ Basically it means to explore everything you’re not doing to reach your goals. No, your imagination doesn’t have to run wild like in the Dr. Suess books. However, questioning the way things have been done on everything related to your business (e.g. products, services, marketing, sales) can lead to success.
For example, Zappos takes customer service very seriously. So much so, that’s its part of their company’s mission statement. Not only are their customer support staff trained to a ‘T’, they go to great lengths to make it up to a clients in surprising and delightful ways.
"Best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch." Michael Arrington, Founder & Co-editor of TechCrunch
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." Albert Einstein, Physicist
"Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." George Hérbert, Educator
"There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder." Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America
You may just be a small business, but that shouldn’t stop you from succeeding. Developing a business from an idea you had in your parents’ basement can in fact be multifaceted. People simply don’t say ‘believe in yourself’ for no reason.
Understanding what’s required to mature an idea is vital for business growth. Before you open your doors, make sure to create a business plan that covers each crucial step: research, company profile, marketing strategy and what needs your business intends to solve. Make sure to utilize small business tips such as creating a website all the way to understanding your brand identity and core values. Luckily, we live in a world where vital aspects of starting a business are at our fingertips.
"Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead." Nelson Mandela, Former South African President & Activist
"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States of America
"Someone once told me growth and comfort do not coexist. And I think it’s a really good thing to remember." Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
"Building a business is knowing how to do something, being proud, is to create something that will make a real difference in other people's lives." Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
"Don’t stress about not having it all figured out. Social media can make us think that we’re the only one not “trending up and to the right.” Focus intently on where you are at now and use this as leverage while everyone else is focused on projecting where they want to be rather than where they actually are." Angela Benton, Entrepreneur
"Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping." Julia Margaret Cameron, Photographer
"You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety." Abraham Maslow, Psychologist & Creator of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
"I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest." Venus Williams, Tennis Player
"If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs." Dhirubhai Ambani, Founder of Reliance Industries Limited
"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic." Peter Drucker, Management Guru & Author
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