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Dose of Motivation: 52 Inspirational Quotes About Success By Influential CEOs

Alan Rabinowitz
Alan Rabinowitz
at SEO Image
Updated Jun 29, 2022

Inspirational quotes and business advice from uber successful CEO’s. Bookmark it now to keep the inspiration flowing!

In business, inspiration and experience often leads to wisdom and success. With nine of 10 businesses failing in the first year, it’s almost natural for founders and CEOs to do just about everything possible to improve their performance. 

A great way for any entrepreneur to improve the chances at becoming a success is to study the habits and consider the advice given from other successful founders and CEOs.

Below are 52 inspirational pearls of wisdom taken from founders and CEOs from different trade backgrounds and verticals.

Take a look and let us know if your favorite quote about success made this list.

Words of wisdom

1. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  – Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

2. “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, CEO of Apple

3. “To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.” – Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group

4. “Every time you make the hard, correct decision you become a bit more courageous, and every time you make the easy, wrong decision you become a bit more cowardly. If you are CEO, these choices will lead to a courageous or cowardly company.” – Ben Horowitz, CEO of Opsware

5. “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.” – David Ogilvy, Founder of Ogilvy & Mather

"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals" David Ogilvy

6. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

7. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  – Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

8. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox

9. “Any time is a good time to start a company.” – Ron Conway, Founder of Angel Investors

Getting priorities straight

10. “The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’… Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time. And that’s what this company is.” -Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

11. “High expectations are the key to absolutely everything.” – Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart

12. “Life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you’ve got.” – Tim Cooke, CEO of Apple

13. “Without passion, you don’t have any energy, and without energy, you simply have nothing” – Donald Trump, CEO of the Trump Organization

14. “Rule No. 1: Never lose money; Rule No. 2: Don’t forget Rule No. 1.” – Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

15. “No man can be successful, unless he first loves his work.” – David Sarnoff, CEO of RCA

"No man can be successful, unless he first loves his work." - David Sarnoff

16. “It’s not about having a specific set time; both personal and professional lives are 24/7. It’s simply, more about making the right allocation to each one and recognizing that it’s going to be different every single day” – Ellen Kullman, CEO of Dupont

17. “You don’t need to be a genius or a visionary, or even a college graduate for that matter, to be successful. You just need framework and a dream.” – Michael Dell, CEO of DELL

18. “The heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation.” – Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney

Getting to the heart of the matter

19. “You have to be very nimble and very open minded. Your success is going to be very dependent on how you adapt.” – Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp

20. “It’s not about how to get started; it’s about how to get noticed.” – Steve Case, CEO of America Online

21. “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas, Co-Founder of 

22. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” – Anthony Volodkin, Founder of Hype Machine

23. “If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon

24. “Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.” – Jeffrey Zeldman, Founder of A List Apart Magazine

25. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” – Thomas Edison, Co-Founder of General Electric

"The Value of an idea lies in the using of it." Thomas Edison

26. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and CEO of Twitter

27. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” – Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA 

Related Article: Inspiring Success: 12 Motivational Quotes That We Loved in 2015

28. “Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t find one, it’s you.” – Mark Cuban, Owner of Dallas Mavericks

29. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” – Jason Fried, Founder of 37signals  

30. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” – Tom Kelley, Founder of Ideo

31. “Nothing works better than just improving your product.” – Joel Spolsky, Co-Founder of Stack Overflow

32. “Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors.” – Chris Dixon, Co-Founder and CEO of Hunch

33. “An entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.” – David Karp, Founder of Tumblr

Digging down deep

34. “Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.” – Tony Hsieh, Founder and CEO of Zappos

35. “Stay self-funded as long as possible.” – Garrett Camp, Founder of Expa, Uber and StumbleUpon

36. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter  

37. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” – Seth Godin, Founder of Squidoo

38. “Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” – Bob Parsons, Founder of GoDaddy

39. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.“ – Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

40. “Data beats emotions.” – Sean Rad, Founder of Adly and Tinder

41. “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn

42. “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” – Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn

43. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” – Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX

44. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”  – Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

45. “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” -Arianna Huffington,  Co-Founder of The Huffington Post Media Group

46. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, Founder and CEO of Starbucks

47. “Always deliver more than expected.” – Larry Page, CoFounder of Google

48. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics 

49. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group 

"You dont learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over." - Richard Branson

50. “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” – Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft

51. “Don’t take too much advice. Most people who have a lot of advice to give with a few exceptions generalize whatever they did. Don’t over-analyze everything. I myself have been guilty of over-thinking problems. Just build things and find out if they work.” – Ben Silbermann, Founder of Pinterest

52. “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”  – Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors


And there you have it. 52 quotes about success taken from famous founders and CEOs, all offer pearls of insight on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. If you think we missed out on your favorite quote about success from your favorite founder or CEO let us know, and float us note in the comments section below. Until next post.

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Alan Rabinowitz
Alan Rabinowitz
Alan is the CEO of the Award Winning SEO Firm SEO Image ( He has been marketing websites since the late 90's and has optimized small to mid-size firms for extremely competitive keywords. Alan has optimized brands such as Sotheby's, Related, and many others. Specializing in SEO, PPC, Social Media and Reputation management, Alan has a wealth of knowledge and strategy.