No business owner, executive leader, or hardworking professional experiences success without moments of failure. When roadblocks present themselves on the journey toward achieving success, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing these accomplishments are just too difficult. During these times, it’s more important than ever to remember that the keys to success are hard work and perseverance. One of the best ways to be reminded of this is to read success quotes. These inspirational quotes provide bite-sized advice from some of the world’s most admired leaders. Furthermore, they teach us that the ability to never give up and accept defeat is what truly determines how successful we can be in business and life.
Whether you’re looking to share inspiration with your team or need a quick boost of motivation, check out the top 50+ success quotes below. They’ll help provide different perspectives on what success is, challenge negative thoughts, and encourage you to remain resolute in your attaining your objectives.
Top 50+ Inspirational Quotes from Famous Leaders
1. “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” —Benjamin Franklin
2. “Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” —Napoleon Hill
3. “There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” —Seth Godin
4. “We entrepreneurs are loners, vagabonds, troublemakers. Success is simply a matter of finding and surrounding ourselves with those open-minded and clever souls who can take our insanity and put it to good use.” —Anita Roddick
5. “Success is . . . knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” —John C. Maxwell
6. “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” —Wayne Huizenga
7. “We were all born with a certain degree of power. The key to success is discovering this innate power and using it daily to deal with whatever challenges come our way.” —Les Brown
8. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” —Zig Ziglar
9. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” —Abraham Lincoln
10. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” —Albert Schweitzer
11. “Failure to me became not trying versus not succeeding.” —Sara Blakely
12. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill
13. “Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.” —Meg Whitman
14. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” —Vince Lombardi
15. “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” —Michael Jordan
16. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy looking for it.” —Henry David Thoreau
17. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” —Jeff Bezos
18. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.” —Madam C.J. Walker
19. “Once you have figured out what to do, be unstoppable about getting your small handful of priorities accomplished quickly. I have yet to meet a slow-moving person who is very successful.” —Sam Altman
20. “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” —Robert T. Kiyosaki
21. “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” —Oprah Winfrey
22. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” —Helen Keller
23. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” —Biz Stone
24. “The secret of business, especially these days, is to focus relentlessly on your unfair advantage—the thing you do that others don’t.” —John Rollwagen
25. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston Churchill
26. “Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” —Robert Collier
27. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” —Napoleon Hill
28. “I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” —Estee Lauder
29. “You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.” —Sheryl Sandberg
30. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” —Jim Rohn
31. “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” —Michael Dell
32. “I wonder how many times people give up just before a breakthrough—when they are on the very brink of success.” —Joyce Meyer
33. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” —Colin Powell
34. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” —Conrad Hilton
35. “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.”—Confucius
36. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” —Steve Jobs
37. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” —John Wooden
38. “Dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” —Shonda Rhimes
39. “There is simply no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving success.” —Heather Bresch
40. “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” —Theodore Roosevelt
41. “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” —John C. Maxwell
42. “The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It’s part of the job description.” —Caterina Fake
43. “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” —Pele
44. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” —Thomas Watson Sr.
45. “There is no success without hardship.” —Sophocles
46. “Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” —Thomas Edison
47. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” —John Wooden
48. “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.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
49. “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” —Dale Carnegie
50. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” —Maya Angelou
51. “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” —Steve Jobs
52. “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” —Elon Musk
53. “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” —Bill Bradley
54. “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” —James Cameron
55. “The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.” —John D. Rockefeller Jr.
The Greatest Takeaway from Quotes on Success
Think about the different leaders providing inspirational quotes on this list. Their wisdom comes from the lived experience of running into obstacles. Instead of deciding their dreams and ambitions were simply too ambitious, they chose to shift into a growth mindset, problem-solve, and create a plan to overcome what got in the way of their success.
You can do the same, too.
Remember, failure, while painful, is temporary. Choosing to give up can haunt someone for a lifetime. Trust your calling as an entrepreneur or leader. During tough times, give yourself a moment to reflect on how to get back on the path of success. This might look like meeting with your team to work through a 5-step problem-solving process. Additionally, when you put your heart and soul into a business, feeling unsuccessful can be particularly draining. Because of this, take some time to recharge before spiraling into a state of work burnout.
Check out the articles listed below to learn how to recharge and get back in alignment with doing the work you feel passionate about.
Work Burnout: What It Is and How to Fight It