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15 Favorite quotes from successful people to inspire entrepreneurs

There’s nothing like a good quote to inspire you and brighten your day! Today we’re sharing some of our favorite quotes to inspire YOU on your entrepreneurial journey.

As entrepreneurs, we are often busy juggling a million things at once, and sometimes we can lose our way or get stuck on road blocks that bring us down. Some days, success may feel like a far-off dream.

We’ve all been there, but what always really brightens my spirits when I’m in need of a motivational push, is reading quotes from people who have “made it.”

Below are some of our personal favorite quotes from successful people in a broad range of industries and eras.

The only thing consistent with these successful people is that they never gave up – despite the bouts of self-doubt, depression, anxiety and every other sentiment we feel in the course of our personal and professional journeys.

We hope these quotes will inspire you to push on toward your dreams and career goals!

15 Favorite quotes to inspire entrepreneurs

1. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”
Oprah Winfrey, media proprietor

2. “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 Mary Kay Cosmetics

3. “ Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.

4. “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, president and editor in chief The Huffington Post Media Group

5. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Walt Disney, founder Disney

6.  “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling”
Anita Roddick, founder The Body Shop

7.  “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”
John Lewis

8. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”
Caterina Fake, co-founder Flickr

9. “Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”
– William Rosenberg, founder Dunkin’ Donuts

10.  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison

11. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Mark Twain

12.  “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.”
Reid Hoffman, co-founder LinkedIn

13. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

14. “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”
Debbi Fields, found Mrs. Fields Cookies

15. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

Share some of your own favorite quotes with us in the comments down below or on social media! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Almirca Santiago on forging and choosing a career path that fulfills YOU

Almirca Santiago is the Senior Director for Grantmaking and Operations at the Hispanic Federation (HF), with 15 years experience working in the nonprofit sector. At the Hispanic Federation, Almirca helps to empower and advance the Hispanic community, support Hispanic families, and strengthen Latino institutions through work in the areas of education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment, & the environment. 

Following her family’s footsteps

Almirca Santiago, Senior Director for Grantmaking and Operations at the Hispanic Federation. (Photo courtesy Almirca Santiago)

Almirca has a clear vision of her work now, but it was not always this way. Growing up and throughout college, Almirca was not quite sure where her career path would take her. She knew she wanted to help others, especially fellow Latinos within her community, but what exactly her career would be, remained a mystery for some time. 

For a while, she thought she might follow in her family’s footsteps and become a business owner. Growing up in the Bronx and later in Northern Manhattan, Almirca was surrounded by immigrant and Spanish-speaking communities. Within these communities, small businesses were everything and Almirca’s own family was a family of entrepreneurs, pursuing business in all areas. 

“From owning bodegas to salons, check cashing/remittance, hardware stores, establishing home businesses, etc,” Almirca describes. “My mother, whose parents were business owners in the Dominican Republic, came to this country with the same desire while raising 3 kids, going to school and working a regular job.  She taught me what it means to be una mujer emprendedora.”

As a child, Almirca would accompany her mother as she purchased merchandise to sell from her home business. Everywhere she went, Almirca was known as “Rosa’s Daughter” by the vendors and clients. She was her mother’s little helper and this experience was both fun and incredibly educational and later inspired her to go to Norman Thomas High School for Commercial Business as a teen. 

“Throughout my childhood, I helped my mother with inventory, organization, and numbers. While she was always practicing her English, I also helped with paperwork and translation when necessary. She was the expert and talent; I was her operational support,” says Almirca. 

Growing up, she not only helped her mother, but also friends and family with a variety of tasks. Some of these tasks included helping immigrants navigate a system that was not immigrant-friendly. These formative experiences affected Almirca’s decisions and helped prepare her professionally for her future career in the nonprofit sector. 

Taking the unconventional path

Following her high school career at Norman Thomas High School for Commercial Business, Almirca then went off to Syracuse University to study International Business. Here she began to wander off the entrepreneurial path, into new territory. 

“Within my first year of studies, my major changed to International Relations.  I joined a sorority, Señoritas Latinas Unidas/Sigma Lambda Upsilon, because my mother instilled in me the importance of empowering ourselves and others as women and engaging in community involvement,” says Almirca. 

It was during her time with her sorority that Almirca’s passion for nonprofit work truly began to flourish. Within her sorority, she began working on social and political justice issues and helping underserved communities. 

“To serve the mission of the organization, we worked on educating students and providing resources to the community within the city of Syracuse.  We talked about social and political issues as Latinas and people of color. I completed an internship with the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights.” 

Later, while studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, Almirca completed an internship with an organization that created community awareness on the issue of domestic violence. Each year and semester at university became a new exploration on how to merge her acts of service to the community with a potential career track. 

“As a student who did not receive much assistance from the university on an advisory level, it was very difficult to find direction,” Almirca says. 

I was on an unconventional track. Not pursuing law school, medicine, or accounting. Those were the common tracks my family would speak of but those were not the subjects that inspired me.”

However, a career path soon became clearer as she continued her service work. While her mother had always instilled in her the responsibility to help those in need, it was not until her sorority experience that she was able to envision a career based on her community service work. 

It was not the entrepreneurial path she originally thought she would take, and it was not the conventional paths her family spoke of, but it was something entirely her own. 

Searching for the right fit

Almirca forged her own career path into the world of nonprofit and service work. Post-graduation, with a Liberal Arts Bachelor’s degree, she began working for the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR) after months of a challenging job search. 

“I began as a program associate and worked my way up to functioning as the Executive Director’s right hand. For 8.5 years, I worked on developing and running programs to help the community with their immigration needs and advocating on a political level.  I also learned a lot about the organizational functions which are essentially the same as running a small business.”

Almirca forged her own career path into the world of nonprofit and service work. (Photo courtesy Almirca Santiago)

 Her time at NMCIR helped her to grow and develop a diverse list of skills. Almirca learned to wear “all the hats” working at the nonprofit. She could tackle anything. 

“As a Latina who is trying to show off her talents and ‘prove her worth’ as we are often taught to do growing up, I made sure I was able to take on whatever task came my way,” Almirca says. “I can write proposals, provide immigration-related application assistance, run a payroll and hire all in the same day!” 

Still, while these diverse skills were incredibly useful, Almirca was searching for her “niche.” She would ask herself, “What can I see myself doing for the next 10 – 20 years?” As she began applying for other jobs, she soon found that many considered her “over-qualified” or “too green.” She had the skills and the drive, but there seemed to be no specific area of work that fit her variety of skills and interests. Once again she would have to forge her own way to land her dream career. 

Forging your own path

Almirca continued on her own career path, going after what she wanted out of her career, not what others thought she should pursue. 

 “As a Latina in the USA there are all types of pressures and milestones people try to impose on us but I have learned it is okay to forge and choose the path that fulfills YOU,” she says. 

Now at the Hispanic Federation (HF) since February of 2015, Almirca works as the Senior Director for Grantmaking and Operations. This position allows her to pursue all her interests and utilize her skills to help the Hispanic community. Her prior experiences working for nonprofit organizations on all levels has also given her an advantage in her current position as she now works extensively with Latino-led nonprofits and small businesses. Through her work, she helps to connect these businesses and organizations to resources and opportunities for institutional growth. On some occasions she also consults with small organizations and businesses to address the fundamentals of business management. Being able to help her fellow Latinos and business owners is the fulfilling work she has always been seeking since childhood. 

Almirca leading a workshop. (Photo courtesy Almirca Santiago)

“Helping the Latino community feels like helping my family which I continue to do both professionally and personally,” Almirca says. 

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Her early childhood experiences sent her down one career path, toward entrepreneurship, but these experiences also paved a way for another path to emerge: a path of service work. 

Over the years she has learned the importance of being a quick learner who is able to adapt. These traits have been essential to her career growth and to finding her personal career path to professional fulfillment. 

The unstoppable Latina says she has had moments throughout the years where she would analyze the path she was on, check-in with herself, and make sure the path she was on was the right one for her, even if those around her did not understand her work. 

Now, after almost 15 years, she says, “ I think my family finally understands my work even though I am not in a traditional field or a business owner.” 

Almirca’s story is a reminder to us all that we each have our own paths in life, both professionally and personally. Only you know which path is truly right for you, so always remember: “It is okay to forge and choose the path that fulfills YOU.”