7 Quotes From Muhammad Ali That Embody The Entrepreneurial Spirit

This post by By John Nettles and Elizabeth Macke originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.

Entrepreneurs: sometimes you’re throwing punches, often times you’re getting pummelled. It usually feels like a struggle and a game at the same time.

That’s probably why the wisdom of Muhammad Ali resonates so deeply with entrepreneurs. The athlete spoke eloquently about the success factors that business owners are so familiar with – risk-taking, determination, resilience, etc. – that one can’t help but be inspired.

Here’s our favorite Muhammad Ali quotes that inspire entrepreneurs:

1. “Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

With very few exceptions, success doesn’t come overnight. Since you’ve got to put in the hoursto make your business successful, remember this quote when you’re feeling jaded.

2.“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

Did you ever leave the security of a 9-5 job, take a bet on positive cash flow, or pony up some of your own resources for the sake of your business? Then you know how daunting taking risks feels. Use these words to help you tough it out.

3. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Books have been written about the importance of imagination in business success. Whether you’ve dived into the blue ocean or simply executed an old idea better, you know that a healthy dose of imagination will help you get there.

4. “I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

Many entrepreneurs have failed so many times they lost count. But most of the successful ones don’t believe they are failures themselves. For example, here are four companies that entrepreneur Max Levchin founded:

  • SponsorNet New Media (FAILED)
  • NetMomentum Software FAILED)
  • NetMeridian Software (FAILED)
  • ListBot/PositionAgent (FAILED)

The 5th company was Paypal. Despite his failures, Levchin was still able to convince both others as well as himself that he had what it takes to be successful.

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