There is something special about motivational quotes. No matter how many times you read and re-read them, they never cease to help you reassess, refine and freshen up your place in the universe. They are like mini-books, authored just for you by people who have achieved some level of influence and success in their chosen fields. When read in the context of the person to whom a quote is attributed, it can take on even more meaning.
There are quotes to inspire greatness in all aspects of life, and you can find them all over the Internet and in your favorite books and magazines. The quotations in this post, displayed in no particular order, are a few of the ones that I live by, and are featured here for their ability to inspire and encourage Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs. Which one of these best motivational quotes is your favorite?
Best Motivational Quotes
“There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.”
— Jason Fried, Founder of 37signal
Personal significance: Size is less important than intention.
Makers in business are surrounded by instructions to go big or go home, but you don’t have to do either. You don’t have to lead your company into bigness, and you don’t have to curl up in a ball because you are not breaking all kinds of entrepreneurial records. You can decide that size is irrelevant.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need a big team to accomplish your specific business goals. Create a team that has the perfect number of members for where you are right now — and adjust down or up as you go.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
— Chinese Proverb
Personal significance: Unless you’re dead, it’s never to late to do things you want to do.
Maybe it would have been better if you’d launched your newsletter or upgraded your website, or (insert thing you should have done last year here), but that’s no excuse not to do it today.
“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
— Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn
Personal significance: The pursuit of perfection is dangerous.
Business moves at lightning speed, and you do not get a pass because you’re a Maker. If you know what you want to do, you must do it as quickly as you possibly can, before the opening to do so closes forever.
There are only two things you need to guarantee before launching a new product: quality and safety. It does not have to be perfect, and it probably never will be. Waiting for perfection feeds fear and disables all forward progress.
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
— Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Famer
Personal significance: Effort counts.
Not making that sales call because you’re afraid the buyer will reject your offer? Avoiding using video because you don’t think people will like the way your hair looks? Refusing to spend money on your packaging because you’re afraid you’ll not be able to recover the costs quickly? You can keep thinking like that, but as Wayne said, you’ll stay stuck where you are forever. I don’t want that for you, and I’m sure you don’t want it for yourself.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
— African Proverb
Personal significance: Community is power.
I have witnessed this time and again in the Indie Business Network and in my life personally. Entrepreneurship is a lonely and relentless journey, and even more so when you go it alone. Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs in particular thrive in community. If you are not a member of a community, join one today. If you cannot find one that suits you, create it yourself.
Quote Number 6: “The person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
— Chinese Proverb
Personal significance: Focus … or else.
Trying to make your products, take a personal call, and write a blog post at the same time? The more plates you are simultaneously spinning in the air, the more will shatter into a million pieces all around you. Multi-tasking will kill your business faster than anything else, and you won’t even notice it. Focus relentlessly on one thing at a time, get traction and get it done. Then move onto the next thing. You’ll be more successful, and your output will be far superior to what is created when you try to do everything at once.
Quote Number 7: “The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
— Steven Furtick, Founder and Lead Pastor at Elevation Church
Personal significance: Never compare yourself or your achievements to those of others.
This is harder today than ever. Social outlets like Facebook and Instagram bombard us with the happy faces of people dropping off thousands of dollars worth of product at a retail outlet, and surfing on Monday morning because they have a fabulous team of people doing all the grunt work back in the office. Don’t get sidetracked by someone else’s success. Focus on creating your own and what everyone else is doing will fade into the background.
Quote Number 8: “It is better to make lots of sales of a few products than to make a few sales of lots of products.”
— Donna Maria, Founder and CEO at Indie Business Network
Personal significance: Do not have too many products in your line.
I learned a long time ago that having a ton of products in your line quickly sucks resources, including time, energy, and money. Not only that, you end up looking at a bunch of cool products on a shelf that are not translating into cash because you spend so much time making things that you don’t have time to market them. Keep the number of products in your line to a number that allows you to market and sell them effectively. While you may have fewer offerings, you’ll be more focused and make more money.
Quote Number 9: “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Personal significance: Prepare for the opportunity before it’s staring down your face.
Want to get your products into a nationwide chain of stores? Study how others have done it, then rinse and repeat as you pursue the opportunity. Want to get the attention of a publisher for your book? Blog your buns off and make yourself an attractive target for a publisher.
I don’t mean to oversimplify this, and I’m sure Oprah didn’t either. The bottom line is that you cannot always predict when or what types of opportunities will come your way. You will get results, however, if you identify what opportunities you want the most and invest your resources preparing to capitalize on them when they show up.
Quote Number 10: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
— Peter Drucker
Personal significance: If you cannot find it, make it.
If you want to be prepared for the future, decide what you want it to look like and then start taking actions that create that exact future, one step at a time. This is a lifestyle approach that does not apply solely to business.
If you are not happy in your current neighborhood, either work to make it better or move to a new one. If you are not happy with your current sales statistics, learn some new sales strategies and put them to work in your business.
It’s amazing how something as simple as a quote, read and repeated over and over again, can change your life. I encourage you to select the quotes that are most meaningful to you and feed yourself with them daily.
What are your favorite quotes, and why? Please share below so we can all be inspired and motivated to achieve more of what we were created to achieve!
Gretzky Photo via Shutterstock