No one ever said it was easy running a small business. Whether you are in the early stages of your start-up, just secured funding for your start-up or you are ready to launch your first product. What motivates you to wake up and open your doors to customers each day?
The problem with business today: there is no definite path you can follow to mirror the success of others – each path is different, and each path leads down a different road.
As the path is hard to follow, what we can do is learn from them – the successful business founders of the past and present – their values, their motivations. So keep your head up and look to the following six quotes to inspire and motivate you during any tough time.
“There is nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.”
“Don’t grow” is the last advice you’d expect to hear from a successful entrepreneur. But that was the first bit of advice from Jason Fried, founder, and CEO of Basecamp (formally 37Signals). Fried explained that if a company chooses to grow, it should be a “grow slow” approach to business. Growth should not be the goal of every business. Anyone who runs a business that’s sustainable and profitable, whether it’s big or small, should be proud.
- Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister
“Never give in-never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
In his 90 years as a soldier, journalist, prolific author, politician and statesman during the first half of the 20th century, Winston Churchill had many opportunities to influence world events. He was also very good at putting his wisdom to encourage people to drive ahead.
- Seth Godin, American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker
“People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves”.
Marketing guru Seth Godin is also a firm believer in standing out. From his perspective, it doesn’t matter what you do as along as you do it differently, and better than everyone else. If you need a push to blaze your own bold trail, read his quotes and think and do great things. Do the tough stuff, because it’s worth it.
- Thomas J. Watson Sr, the American businessman who built the fabulous International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.”
Often called “the world’s greatest salesman”, Watson turned IBM into a highly effective selling organization. To a great extent, the company is a reflection of the character of the man who led it to a position of eminence among the business machine manufacturers of the world.
- Ted Turner, the American media mogul and philanthropist, the founder of the Cable News Network (CNN).
“All my life, people have said that I wasn’t going to make it.”
When Turner realized that he would have to be the one to pioneer the 24-hour news platform, he made sure to think through what it would take and all the possible problems. At that time, few industry experts thought CNN would succeed. But when he made the decision to go forward with 24-hour news, he didn’t think twice.
- Shiv Singh, Senior VP, global head of digital and marketing transformation at VISA, Inc.
“The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.”
Customer service excellence has always been and will always be one of the critical competitive advantages for any business across all verticals, big or small. There are many quotes that support this premise.
Which of these quotes inspired you the most? Share your favorites with us in the comment below.