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8 Steve Jobs Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Live By

Brittney Morgan
Brittney Morgan
Executive Director
Business News Daily Staff
Updated Dec 14, 2021

All entrepreneurs need a little inspiration now and then to help them start or grow their businesses. And few famous entrepreneurs are as inspiring as the late Steve Jobs.

As the co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Apple — one of the biggest companies in the world — Jobs became a household name long before his death in 2011. He was known for his charisma, and throughout his life gave many motivational speeches and interviews, full of great quotes that entrepreneurs and leaders can learn a thing or two from.

Here are eight Steve Jobs quotes every entrepreneur should know.

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” (Source)

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in trying to make your idea successful that you think failure is not an option. But being so hard on yourself won’t get you anywhere. This quote is important because it’s a reminder that you’re only human, and humans make mistakes. Instead of letting it get to you, accept it, admit it and keep traveling on your path to success.

“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.”  (Source)

Being an entrepreneur usually means taking a lot of risks — sometimes you have to leave a great job to pursue what you love, or invest a lot of money into your ideas. Jobs knew that at the end of the day, no matter how scary it may be to take that leap, following your heart is always the best course of action, and that’s how he became so successful. 

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”  (Source)

Along with risks, entrepreneurship can come with a lot of challenges and obstacles. This quote couldn’t be more true — those who are cut out to make it in the business world won’t let these hardships get to them, but rather use them as motivation to get better. Perseverance is key. [35 Inspiring Leadership Quotes ]

“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. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  (Source)

Jobs knew that to truly be successful, you need to be happy. And to be happy, you need to do what you love every day and stand behind your work. If you’re not happy sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 working the day away, there may be a better option out there for you — you just have to find it. Settling for something that doesn’t make you happy or inspire you can only lead to regret.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”  (Source)

Anyone can be a manager, but being a good leader means never being afraid to share and pursue your ideas. If you want to stand out as a leader, you need to be willing to share your creativity with others. And you need to work with your employees to keep molding your ideas until those ideas either solve the problem at hand or improve what you’re already doing.

“I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.”  (Source)

Sometimes, as a business owner, you just have to say “no.” Whether it’s rejecting a less-than-stellar idea from an employee or turning down a potential business deal, the truth is, you can’t say “yes” to everything. This quote is a great reminder that being a good leader means recognizing when turning something down might actually be the best course of action — and then accepting and standing by your decision.

“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”  (Source)

No matter what the situation, Jobs knew that putting out quality work is much more important than putting out a lot of work. It can be tempting to take the easy way out and churn out content or products, but taking the time and putting in the effort to make the best content or products you can make is what will make you successful in the end.

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”  (Source)

Most importantly, as an entrepreneur and a leader, you need to set an example and practice what you preach. Your employees and clients won’t respect you if you say one thing and do another, and you can’t hold workers accountable for things they do wrong if you’re making the same mistakes yourself. To set an environment where excellence is expected, as Jobs said, you need to be excellent, too.

Image Credit:

Anita Rahman

Brittney Morgan
Brittney Morgan
Business News Daily Staff
Brittney Q. Morgan is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor, as well as a graduate of Drew University, where she majored in History. Her work can be found all across the web at Apartment Therapy, HuffPost, and more. You can also find her on Twitter at @brittneyplz.