96 Success quotes offering more than inspiration.

This list of quotes about success will motivate, instruct, and strengthen your resolve.

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Success quotes that give shape to bigger dreams.

Everything we do can be called a “success” if we achieve the desired outcome. We can be successful in eating ice cream, successful in starting a business, or successful in winning an Olympic medal.

Is eating ice cream or successfully getting the laundry done something these famous success quotes talk about, though? How do we define the kind of success these historic quotes refer to?

Fortunately, many of these quotes about success start by defining success. Even if you aren’t sure what success means for you, you’ll form an opinion while reading through this list.

Quotes about success do more than inspire us. They teach us what goes into success, and they give us reasons to push through when the going gets rough. Choose the success quotes that mean the most to you and use them in posters, flyers, social media graphics, letters to a loved one, and more.

Overall best success quotes defining success.

The best way to define success is through the lens of history’s most successful people. Famous businesspeople, artists, philosophers, authors, and political leaders all left us with the legacy of success defined in their words.

Curiously, the definitions differ. There are some common threads, though, and the most famous quotes about success pull on those threads to see which ones hold real success together. For starters, failure makes regular appearances as a necessary step toward whatever success we’re after.

Choose your favorites from these famous quotes and think about what success looked like for the people behind them.

Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.”

Wilfred Peterson

This is where things like successfully eating ice cream and successfully starting a business really differ. Success follows our deepest desires, not our whims.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

Thomas Jefferson

This tongue-and-cheek quote takes the mysticism out of success. There are no secrets to success, just hard work.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Henry Ford
The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.”
Epicurus
Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”

George S. Patton

For anyone who’s spent time training in any sport, it’s easy to relate here. Sometimes, after periods of rest (technically, “detraining”), our bodies respond better than ever to renewed efforts, and we succeed in new goals.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
C.S. Lewis
Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you.”

Zig Ziglar

Successful people face a lot of criticism. You could make a practice of asking yourself what someone’s motive might be when criticism comes your way. Filter out the productive from the unproductive criticism.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”

Mark Twain

In the face of fear, sometimes the only thing that empowers us to try is naïveté about what we’re getting into. When we surprise ourselves coming out the other end, that ignorance ends up being key to our success.

The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.”

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Success is not synonymous with innovation. Passion, on the other hand, is always part of success.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Motivational quotes for success to get started and keep going.

Motivation is inconsistent. Like the pulse of your heart, it speeds up and slows down. It can suffer attacks, and it feels strained with too much stimulation.

Motivational quotes for success are like the electric paddles that revive you when you most need it. Think about how hard it is to get started sometimes, and how hard it can be to keep going when motivation fails. Those are critical moments.

When things seem impossible, use these motivational success quotes to re-energize.

Which of these quotes could you benefit from seeing every day on a poster? What coworker could benefit from seeing one of these quotes in a card? Choose your favorite motivational quotes for success, then let Adobe Express help you use them—no experience required.

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”
Mark Caine
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”

Robert Collier

When we lose momentum toward a goal, we look for massive motivation to make up for lost time. Sometimes, however, the best approach is to make small steps to dependably keep going.

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

Jim Rohn

Use this motivational success quote on aposter or aflyer in a classroom. Motivation isn’t a magic bullet; it’s a tool to refocus your desires and goals.

Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
Napoleon Hill
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will.”
Vince Lombardi
Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”

Bill Bradley

Imagine this metaphor on a poster. Would it show an expansive, open road before you? Or would it show the vehicle that takes you where you’re going?

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
Henry David Thoreau
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Zig Ziglar

To add to this Zig Ziglar quote, it’s helpful to remember that you won’t be great at the start. We seem to forget that in our eagerness to quickly reach the summit of our success.

Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.”
John F. Kennedy
However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Stephen Hawking

When you can’t seem to get closer to success in one thing, look for something you know you can succeed doing. Some days, that might be washing the laundry. Defining smaller successes can build momentum toward more success.

Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.”
Wayne Huizenga
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”

Arthur C. Clarke

To discover your limits, you have to reach them. On the other side of your limits is an abyss of failure, which means you’ll inevitably fail if you push hard enough.

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Success quotes for women, by women.

Different groups of people have faced different challenges historically, and unique challenges shape unique definitions of success. Through most of recorded history, in most of the world, women have faced specific limitations imposed by society. The jobs they could work were limited; they couldn’t vote; and they were confined to strict gender roles (and were dehumanized if they did not fit the mold).

As a result of these challenges, success quotes for women show courage in the face of adversity. They show enormous comfort with failure, too, that bitter price paid at every toll on the road to success.

These success quotes for women are also by women, each of whom pushed limits and redefined what success for women could look like.

Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

Virginia Rometty

The popular saying “no pain, no gain” can be cliché, but this quote sends the same message in a more interesting way. This quote would be memorable and motivating on a poster.

attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”
Florence Nightingale
I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.”
Estée Lauder
Success is not the absence of failure, it’s persistence through failure.”

Aisha Tyler

Failure is inevitable, but success isn’t. This quote could be blazed across a banner at an academic institution.

Survival was my only hope, success my only revenge.”
Patricia Cornwell
Don't settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had.”

Angela Bassett

Could you use this quote to rally past the “all or nothing” mindset trap? When success won’t look the way we wanted, if we keep pushing and give something our best, we can end up satisfied anyway.

If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

Erica Jong

When the going gets rough and it’s a struggle to continue at all, ask yourself: what do you risk if you don’t keep going?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given a ‘no.’ Only to find that a better, brighter, bigger ‘yes’ was right around the corner.”
Arlan Hamilton
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

If you’re working toward a goal you share with others, your own effort can form part of something you find truly amazing.

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.”
Ariana Huffington
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller
What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.”

Madeleine Albright

Think of a goal you have. Every step you take along the way, you have the choice to keep going—or not. It takes many steps to get there, but you always have the power to take one more step.

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Success quotes for men, by men.

There’s no shortage of success quotes for men, by men. Historically, men have dominated recorded philosophy, political roles, and even fine arts. The level of privilege men historically had and continue to have does present surprising unpleasantries, though. For example, there’s a pervasive dog-eat-dog pressure in environments like business and sports that make most paths to success a constant struggle against competing forces.

Success quotes for men empower men to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. They also normalize failure and recognize its place in the process of finding success.

Choose your favorite success quotes that depict how success looks and feels for you, then think about how you want to share those quotes, and with whom..

It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
Bill Gates
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.”

Confucius

You know what they say about making the same mistake twice.

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

Do you compare yourself to others? Success doesn’t come from talent alone. Devotion—or, as Bruce Lee put it, a “laser-like focus”—is much more important.

Have no fear of perfection—you'll never reach it.”
Salvador Dali
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Henry Ford

Even starting from zero again can be gratifying if you’re beginning with the benefit of lessons learned.

Don't count the days, make the days count.”

Muhammad Ali

This short success quote is perfect for a flyer, banner, or poster.

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
David Brinkley
Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
Albert Einstein
Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.”
W.P. Kinsella
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down.”

Abraham Lincoln

This quote is a little tongue-and-cheek, but there is something to be said about having people close to you expect great things. Our desire not to let them down helps us dig deeper when motivation wanes.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”
James Froude
Let the improvement of yourself keep you so busy that you have no time to criticize others.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

It’s common to fall into a judging pattern when looking outward at others, especially when you feel judged by them. Don’t waste time or energy on judgment. Focus energy instead on your own success.

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Success quotes for students for the most satisfying studies.

Success quotes for students pull back the layers of student dreams. The closest horizon is to successfully finish school, and then there’s success in finding work, building a career, and experiencing other milestones.

From grade school studies to applied studies at work, these success quotes for students cover all aspects of student goals and motivation. Choose your favorites and imagine what they could do on a poster in the dorm, in an open letter to graduates, or on a banner in a classroom.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Benjamin Franklin

Does patience come easily when working toward success? No. This quote reminds us, though, that success is only satisfying when time and effort are behind it.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.”
Bill Gates
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

Stephen R. Covey

What recent decisions of yours had the biggest impact on who you are today?

There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.”
Ray Goforth
If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.”

Jim Rohn

We rarely reach success with Plan A.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston S. Churchill

Here's a little Philosophy 101 in a funny, memorable, and surprisingly didactic quote.

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
Dale Carnegie
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Arthur Ashe
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

Earl Nightingale

You can either spend your time working toward your goals or doing nothing at all.

Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”
Pema Chodron
If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.”

Tory Burch

When was the last time you put your dreams into words? When did those words form a meaningful goal? Do the goals you’ve articulated scare you enough?

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Success quotes for business to dig deeper and get personal.

For many people, success quotes make us think first of business success. We think about how to run a business, how to turn a bad year around, or how to define our own success by the success of a business.

Success is talked about so much in business that it’s become a catch-all for goals, teamwork, and regular day-to-day practices. These success quotes for business dig deeper and redefine what success means—and how to reach it. The best part about these quotes are the people behind them. In the context of their own extraordinary success stories, we start to break away from the buzzword sense of “success” thrown around today.

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

John D. Rockefeller

Have you ever caught yourself in a complacent state because things were “good enough?” Take a page out of Rockefeller’s book and be willing to sacrifice the good to go for the great.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

Herman Melville

Whether you hold a job at a company or have your own business, are you in the rat race with similar firms or are you aiming for a unique sort of success?

If you believe something needs to exist, if it's something you want to use yourself, don't let anyone ever stop you from doing it.”
Tobias Lütke
The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”
John C. Maxwell
Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
John Wooden
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Muhammad Ali

Taking risks is a requisite part of reaching success. What makes good business is taking calculated risks.

There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.”
George Shinn
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing–that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar

Motivation is not an elusive force, but it’s also not a dependable support. Instead, it’s like an electric current you generate by cranking the wheels and moving forward every day. It becomes self-sustaining when it’s self-produced.

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Is there some type of success that you’re waiting for instead of seeking?

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
George Bernard Shaw
In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.”
Lewis Carroll
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

Theodore Roosevelt

What are you even in business for, if not to succeed?

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Team success quotes to boost morale in a big way.

Team success quotes look at collective success. In business, sports, and any other team, there’s something to get done, and it gets done faster and with better results as a team.

Teams work together to cheer each other on and to use each team member’s strengths. Team success quotes first look at the best frame of mind to make that possible. Setting aside competitiveness and our need for control, success in a team is a different kind of achievement.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Henry Ford

Perhaps one of the most iconic quotes about teamwork, this quote defines success as a team at work.

A team is not a group of people who work together but a team is a group of people who trust each other.”
Simon Sinek
I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I sure can pick smart colleagues.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s helpful to practice a little humility in a team. There are things our teammates are better at than we are, and that’s why it’s satisfying to work together.

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.”
Napoleon Hill
A major reason capable people fail to advance is that they don’t work well with their colleagues.”
Lee Iacocca
The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”

Stephen McCranie

Teamwork can mean working with people across levels in a hierarchy or with people of different skill levels. Working alongside a higher-up or someone who’s more skilled can be intimidating, but with the right mindset, everyone is an equal on the team.

To build a strong team, you must see someone else’s strength as a complement to your weakness and not a threat to your position or authority.”
Christine Caine
Many hands make light work.”

John Heywood

Teamwork means the job will get done faster and with less effort, which is good news for everyone.

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”

Napoleon Hill

If you help your teammates, you help yourself.

You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.”

Doug Floyd

Teamwork doesn’t mean patting everyone on the back or pumping fists in the air for every success. It means doing good work together and, at times, challenging ideas in a productive way.

Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.”
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha
No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
Reid Hoffman
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Short quotes about success for instant motivation.

When you want to share a success quote with someone, the best quote is sometimes the shortest. Short quotes about success can be easily memorized and they fit onto any project—from posters and banners to cards and letters.

Short quotes about success offer some of the cleverest insights, too. In a dozen words or less, successful people from every part of human history have made memorable observations and imparted necessary wisdom using very few words. Choose your favorite short success quotes and use Adobe Express to see how perfectly they fit on your next card or poster.

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

Vince Lombardi

You only need to get up one more time than you get knocked down to be successful.

The road to success is always under construction.”

Lily Tomlin

Can you imagine what might accompany this on a poster?

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
Og Mandino
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Vidal Sassoon
Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities.”

Robert H. Schuller

Everything is impossible until someone makes it possible.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison
Do today what others won't and achieve tomorrow what others can't.”
Jerry Rice
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”

Bruce Feirstein

Success requires failing so many times that, from the outside, withstanding so much failure can look a little like insanity.

There’s no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”
Zig Ziglar
For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”

Harry F. Banks

If you put this quote in a card, could it be used for a pat on the back for someone at graduation? How about when a coworker gets a promotion?

It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Eliot
Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Babe Ruth

This quote has been used extensively on posters and in social media, and its popularity is not surprising. This is a short, memorable mindset quote that we all benefit from at some point.

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Tips when using quotes on success.

If you’re using a quote about success in a project, you’re probably looking to motivate. Perusing history’s most successful people to collect inspiring quotes is fun, but it’s not the only reason to use success quotes.

Quotes about success are also great for:

Exercise: Before and after.

Some success quotes are so famous—and have been used in many business meetings, motivational posters, and social media posts—that they’ve become cliché.

If you want to use a quote about success in a way that genuinely gets people thinking, look at your favorite success quotes through the lens of this key question:

How do you think people will feel before they see your success quote quote, and then after they see it?

Whatever change in their feelings you want to evoke, that tells you whether to use your success quote in personal projects like cards, collages, or letters, or attention-grabbing projects like banners, flyers, and posters.

Adobe Express can help.

Adobe Express has templates and customization tools to put your favorite success quotes to work. If you want to use success quotes in cards, letters, posters, banners, collages, flyers, or other creative projects, Adobe Express makes it as simple as picking a template and personalizing it, or making your own idea with easy-to-use tools. Whatever message you want to transmit, Adobe Express brings it to life, no experience required.

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