Words of Wisdom – inspiring quotes from the world’s greatest go-getters

Published on 10th August 2017

“The upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, author and activist

To put it mildly, the world of business is one that attracts a varied bunch. It’s here where the idealist and the dreamer is as prevalent as the pragmatist and the planner. What unites these characters – and unites also those occupying the space in between – is belief, drive and an indomitable appetite to achieve.

Along the way most, if not all, successful businesspeople, leaders and entrepreneurs, have had something to say about their journey.


“To do more for the world than the world does for you – that is success.”

Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, industrialist, pioneer

Often their words are powerful. Sometimes humorous. Occasionally disarming. Whatever the tone, whatever the topic, for the aspiring businessperson – or for those who love a good quote – there is real value in reading the compelling thoughts offered by the likes of Bill Gates and Anita Roddick, Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington.

Here, then, is a pick of pronouncements from the determined-to-succeed and, perhaps surprisingly, the unafraid-to-fail.

On… taking risks…

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder


“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.”

Richard Branson, serial entrepreneur



A post shared by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

John D. Rockefeller, legendary US oil magnate and philanthropist


On… success… (and failure…)

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple


“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it”.

Estée Lauder, founder of eponymous cosmetics company


“Accept that some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue.”

Scott Adams, Dilbert comic strip creator, author



A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos_official_) on


“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

Conrad Hilton, hotelier


“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”

Victor Kiam, entrepreneur


In 1931 October 18 Edison died in a town of West Orange New Jersey

A post shared by Thomas Edison (@thomas_edison__) on


“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, businessperson and writer



“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

Farrah Gray, businessman, author, investor and motivational speaker


“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky, former ice hockey player, businessman


“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”

Charles F. Kettering, inventor, businessman, engineer


“If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late.”

James Goldsmith, business magnate, politician, campaigner


“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.”

Tony Hsieh, internet entrepreneur


“Because, you know, resilience – if you think of it in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But the good thing is, with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, investor, philanthropist


Said with a smile…

“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, philanthropist


“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder, activist, campaigner


“I could buy companies, tart up their products and put my name on them, but I don’t want to do that. That’s what our competitors do.”

James Dyson, inventor and designer



“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

Vidal Sassoon, hairstylist, businessperson and philanthropist


Anonymous advice…

Online philosophers vary hugely in quality of thought – I’m not here to be average. I’m here to be awesome. – for example, is unlikely to be carved in stone anytime soon.

But voyage far enough into the vast reaches of cyberspace and you can find some funny and thoughtful gems of anonymously authored insight.

“Compete until your haters brag they know you.”

“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.”

“Don’t let a win get to your head – or a loss to your heart.”

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur.”

Feeling inspired? Take a look at these sites.

Staying online, but moving from inspiring quotations to inspiring content, worth-your-time business news and advice are easily found. Here’s a few sites to consider:

BBC Business

Business news and topical features – including blogs from the BBC’s business experts. Find it here


Unearth a ton of advice and useful content on this popular resource for all things entrepreneurial. Check out entrepreneur.com here


A world-famous name, Forbes hardly needs an introduction. The go-to site for business leaders – established and aspiring – is found here


What’s the best advice you have received? #forbesat100

A post shared by Forbes (@forbes) on



This vibrant community of business owners and entrepreneurs keeps users up to date with business news – and can lead to invaluable insight, information-sharing and useful contacts. Visit the forums here

Women in Business Network

Advice, tips, articles and blogs abound on this online space for businesswomen looking to make new contacts and advance their career. Find it all here

One more unmissable business quote

For inspiring quotes of a different kind, check out the latest Dreamhouse rates here

Ideal for business trips, each one of our fully serviced apartments enjoys a terrific city location and everything you need to work, rest, and relax.