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A Month of Quotes to Keep Inspiring Your Entrepreneurial Independence

A spirit of independence is critical to entrepreneurial success. Hear what “the great minds” have to say about it.


Independence seems to be in the air lately with the Brexit result, talk of another Scottish (and possibly Northern Ireland) referendum to leave the UK as a result, and of course, our US Independence Day coming up within the week. No matter what your opinion of the Brexit results is, there’s no denying that quest for independence is a huge part of what motivates us serial entrepreneurs.

So what is independence, really? It’s the willingness to be different; to think and create in innovative ways. It’s taking calculated risks without knowing what the future will hold. It’s being courageous and standing your ground when everyone else sees a situation differently. It’s being true to yourself with a maverick disregard for cultural norms. It’s perseverance; pushing through when you know in your gut it’s the right thing to do, despite everyone else telling you you’re crazy.

Being independent is a tough road. It’s our nature as mammals to group together with other like ourselves (and those whose skills compliment our own), so in honor of that spirit the pushes us to excel, I give you a month of quotes to keep you inspired and recognize the innate challenges in your entrepreneurial journey.

  1. “Once you get your toe in the water of entrepreneurship, it’s hard. It’s pretty addictive because if you like it, it’s just such a challenging, wonderful, exciting experience. So for me what keeps me in it, I think first of all is I just love the fact that I am having to wear so many different hats, and I’m challenged in so many different ways.”–Victoria Ransom, founder/CEO Wildfire
  2. “Do not pay too much attention to rules set by other people. Entrepreneurs are inventors. They are successful when they make something work for the very first time.”–Reid Hoffman, founder LinkedIn
  3. “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is.”–Anita Roddick, founder The Body Shop
  4. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”–Jerry Rice, Wide Receiver for the San Francisco 49ers
  5. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.”–Seth Godin, founder Squidoo
  6. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle. It defines you. Forget about vacations, about going home at 6 p.m. Last thing at night you’ll send emails, first thing in the morning you’ll read emails, and you’ll wake up in the middle of the night. But it’s hugely rewarding, as you’re fulfilling something for yourself.”–Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder Skype
  7. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently… A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”–Henry Ford, founder Ford Motor Company
  8. “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.”–Brian Tracy, CEO Brian Tracy International
  9. “Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.”–Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” Judge
  10. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”–Mark Twain
  11. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes–understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”–Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of The Huffington Post
  12. “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” -Brian Tracy, Entrepreneur and Author
  13. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”–Napoleon Hill, Writer
  14. “When you cease to dream you cease to live.”–Malcolm Forbes, Entrepreneur
  15. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”–Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
  16. “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’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.”–Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Fame Player
  17. “My whole career has been one rejection after another and then going back and back and pushing against everything and everybody. Getting ahead by small, ugly steps.”–Joan Rivers, Actress
  18. “I learned I’m not a good executive. I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m creative. I have to go with my gut and do what I want to do.”–Jerry Weintraub, film producer
  19. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”–Confucius
  20. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Player
  21. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”–Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter
  22. “I did not particularly set out to be an entrepreneur or dream of it. However, I always wanted to do something that would drive myself to be independent and do things my own way.”–Rashmi Sinha, co-founder/ CEO Slideshare
  23. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader
  24. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”–Peter Drucker, Management Consultant
  25. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?”–Ayn Rand, Author
  26. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”–Walt Disney, founder Disney
  27. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”–Napoleon Hill, Writer
  28. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”–Steve Jobs, co-founder Apple
  29. “How do you tell if you’re independent-minded enough to start a startup? If you’d bristle at the suggestion that you aren’t, then you probably are.”–Paul Graham, co-founder Viaweb / Y Combinator
  30. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”–Mark Twain, Writer
  31. “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”–Coco Chanel, fasion designer

This article was originally published on in June 2016.
Ariana Ayu is the author of the Business Mojo column on (a website and magazine geared toward entrepreneurs) which was published between 2014-2016. Ariana is the CEO and founder of several companies, including Ayutopia International, LLC, which develops profitable collaborative corporate cultures, personal celebrity brands, and custom branded websites. Her press and media appearances include USA Today, International Business Times, ABC, CBS, CBS Money Watch, the CW, Eyewitness News, FOX, NBC, Newsday,Virtual-Strategy Magazine, World’s Luxury Guide,, Miami Herald, BlogTalkRadio, and Hollywood Industry, among others.

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