20 Inspirational Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Read When They Feel Like Giving Up

Arianna Huffington is one of the most powerful media moguls in the world.

But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, after writing a bestselling book at the age of 23, her second book attempt was rejected by 36 publishers. The co-founder of The Huffington Post went on to endure more disappointing failures, including being dropped from hosting a BBC show, and losing epically to Arnold Schwarzenegger when she ran for governor of California.

Still, she didn’t give up.

As Entrepreneur points out, today The Huffington Post gets millions of visitors every month, Arianna’s had a successful book career, and she’s a very wealthy woman. For Arianna Huffington, failure has been a stepping stone to success.

Entrepreneurs are no strangers to failure, but it’s how they react to that failure that determines their success. If you’re battling fear and doubt and seriously considering throwing in the towel, read the following inspirational quotes to renew your determination and follow through with your dream:

1. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill

2. “You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”  Mary Pickford

3. “Treat failure as a lesson on how not to approach achieving a goal, and then use that learning to improve your chances of success when you try again. Failure is only the end if you decide to stop.” Richard Branson

4. “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” John C. Maxwell

5. “Success is not the absence of failure; it’s the persistence through failure.” Aisha Tyler

6. “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” B. F. Skinner

7. “Without failure there is no achievement.” John C. Maxwell

8. “You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” LeBron James

9. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” J. K. Rowling

10. “Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Oprah Winfrey

11. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill

12. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell

13. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” Coco Chanel

14. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Denis Waitley

15. “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important. “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.”  Ellen DeGeneres

16. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Henry Ford

17. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” C.S. Lewis

18. “No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” Chris Hardwick

19. “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” Eloise Ristad

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

The Takeaway

Today, Oprah Winfrey is worth more than $3 billion.

But that didn’t happen until she experienced failure. At one point in her career, a Baltimore TV producer called her “unfit for television” right before he fired her. She later went on to host a successful TV show that ran for more than 20 seasons.

Like Forbes says, no great success was ever achieved without failure. Whether it’s one epic failure or a series of failures, “failure is a necessary stepping stone to achieving our dreams.”


Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.