Business, Entrepreneur, Productivity, Start Up

10 Phrases Successful Entrepreneurs Will Never Say, and the 10 Things They Do


What you say can effect what you do more than you might think. Harbouring negative thoughts and making negative statements not only brings you down, but can bring your company along for the ride. Being successful in what ever you do starts with thinking you’re already successful. Entrepreneurs know this better than anyone and we’ve compiled a list of phrases you will never hear them say in order to keep their successes rolling. We’ve also included some of their favourite mantras to keep them positive, no matter what sort of things start hitting the fan.

Phrases successful entrepreneurs never say

Phrases successful people will never say:

1. “That’s impossible.”

Let’s start this list by saying nothing is impossible. Sure, it might take a little longer for you to perfect your time machine than to finish that 20 page report you haven’t started yet (and is due tomorrow), but neither are impossible.

What is “possible” is relative. Everyone will look at the same problem from a different perspective and come up with unique solutions. What sets successful entrepreneurs apart is their ability to consider what could make these situations possible, and even easy.

For example, it may be “impossible” to fill a 1000 orders by yourself by Friday, but perhaps hiring 2 or 3 talented and dedicated workers could make this possible. Instead of thinking “1000 orders?! That’s never going to happen!”, a successful entrepreneur will look outside the box and make it happen. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

2. “I know everything there is to know about this.”

Most of us already know that no one knows everything about anything. Even if you dedicate your life to studying a particular topic, you will never know all there is to know. Having this sort of arrogant attitude isn’t going to get you anywhere, and smart entrepreneurs know this.

A successful entrepreneur is always curious and always willing to learn new things. They understand that things are always evolving and changing and keeping up to date on new information is the best thing you can do to become, and stay, an “expert” in your field.

3. “If I could just get the capital I need.”

Generally speaking, no company is ever going to have “enough” capital. Every new business could use some more money to get started, but most of the time, you have to work with what you have.

[pullquote]”Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe[/pullquote]

According to the Census Bureau, 30% of small businesses were started with less than $5000 and many used a credit card to fund this either partially or fully. If you have the determination and dedication to get where you need to go, you won’t need any more capital than this. The key is to focus on the capital you do have and use it in the best way possible to get the best results for your business.

This will probably require you to do a lot of thinking outside the box. Coming up with creative and inexpensive ideas is how you’re going to get ahead. Use what you have, and do what you can.

4. “All I need is one great idea.”

A great idea is just that, an idea. Everyone has creative and unique ideas everyday that could result in the next big thing, but the only successful people are the ones that take these ideas and run with them.

It may not even be you that comes up with the idea. Maybe it’s been done before, or maybe it’s a newer concept, what matters is your ability to execute it better than anyone else. If you take a minute to think about it, many successful people didn’t invent anything groundbreaking. They simply perfected the existing concept and did it the best. 

5. “I give up.”

A successful entrepreneur (or any successful person for that matter) will never say “I give up”. There are going to be many times along the way that this will seem like the easier way out or even the most logical solution but you have to pick up and keep going.

[pullquote]”97% of the people who quit too soon are now employed by the 3% that never gave up.”[/pullquote]

Arriving at the “brink of no return” is a normal part of the entrepreneurial process and will happen more than once. You can’t let your doubts get the better of you. Trust your gut and work harder, think smarter and figure out the best solution.

6. “It’s a bad time to start a company.” 

There’s never going to be a good time to start a company. While it is important to consider the best time to start, successful entrepreneurs won’t wait for the perfect time. If that were the case, many people would be waiting around their entire lives and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.

This can also be seen as a type of excuse to not face your fears. Maybe you want to start a business but deep-down you’re afraid of the responsibilities and possible failure that comes with it. In this case, you’ll probably use every excuse in the book to not start on your big idea or dream career. Successful entrepreneurs simply don’t let these fears stand in their way. Taking risks is part of the game.

7. “It’s not my fault.”

One of the best things you can do is taking ownership of your own mistakes. Not only will this help you to learn from them, but it will show everyone the strength of your character. Pointing the finger at someone else will never lead to a successful solution and will severely impact your office popularity ranking, because no one wants to work with someone who shifts the blame!

8. “I don’t follow my gut instinct.”

[pullquote]”Your intuition knows what to do. The trick is getting your head to shut up so you can hear it.” – Louise Smith[/pullquote]

A successful entrepreneur knows they have to follow their gut. Many times, you’re going to be faced with important and urgent obstacles that need a quick decision. Using your intuition to back these choices is a key component of what makes a successful entrepreneur.

While there are times where you’re going to be able to make your decision based on proven data and results, you aren’t always going to have the luxury of having such facts. Listening to your gut is what is going to propel you to make these often difficult, but life changing, decisions.

9. “The competition is too strong.”

Successful entrepreneurs don’t see competition as a negative. In fact, they see it as something to drive them to do better and become the best. No matter what market you are trying to break into, there’s always going to be a way to do it if you’re dedicated enough. Trust that you have the power to be there best their is and you’re half way there.

10. “It’s good enough.”

While many people use this mentality in their day-to-day lives, it’s something you will never see in an entrepreneur. When starting a business, there is an incredible amount of competition and you’ve got to break through and be the best. Good enough, won’t be good enough.

There will always be ways you can improve upon even the greatest of ideas. Being able to see the areas that can be improved on will keep you driven to create a product or business that’s truly successful.
phrases successful entrepreneurs always say

What successful people do say:

1 .“I can do this!”

[pullquote]”Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t. You’re right.” – Henry Ford[/pullquote]

There are going to be a lot of situations in your life where you begin to second guess yourself. Taking a second to say “I can do this” will give you the motivation to need to face the situation head on and do the best you can!

2. “I don’t care what others think.”

Every so often you’re going to find yourself wondering what others think about your idea, abilities etc. The truth is, people don’t actually think about you as much as you might assume. Remind yourself that the only thing that matters is being true to yourself, not what everyone else thinks.

3. “It’s my fault.”

Taking responsibility for something you did wrong is the best way to solve the problem and learn from your mistakes. Don’t shift the blame but also don’t take the rap for anyone else’s mistakes!

4. “I’m not perfect, but that’s okay.”

No one is perfect! You’ll know when you’re doing the best you can and it will show in your work. Don’t be discouraged when something doesn’t go perfectly, nothing ever will.

5. “No one else wants to do that – so I will.” 

Doing something that others won’t will quickly set you apart from the crowd. This can be as small as taking out the garbage in the office or as big as developing a completely new way of doing something. Whatever it is  others don’t want to do or have to deal with, do it! Soon you’ll be looked on as special and incredible.

6. “That wasn’t so bad.”

How many times have to procrastinated doing something because you think it will be downright awful? And how many times have you done that thing and though, “hey, that wasn’t so bad” or “that didn’t take as long as I thought”? Lots, we’re sure! Taking the time to recognize this will make undesirable tasks less undesirable in the future because you can remember that they really “weren’t that bad”.

7. “I can’t do everything today, but I can start.”

You may be overwhelmed at the amount of things scribbled down on your daily to-do list, but you need to remember that it doesn’t all have to be done right this second. Getting started is often the hardest part of any task so make sure you pat yourself on the back for diving in head first. This will help you keep this positive habit and positive way of thinking.

8. “You’re awesome.”

It’s true, you are, and not enough people are going to tell you that, so tell yourself!

9. “I got started!”

Getting started on something you don’t necessarily want to do is always hardest part. For example, how many times have you thought “I should go to the gym”, only to find yourself whizzing past the gym and driving straight home to your couch. Probably more than once. But, think about a time when you did get there. Once you were in the gym and on the treadmill it really wasn’t that bad! All it took was that little kick to get your butt in the door.

10. “They’re no different than I am.”

Whether you’re a successful business tycoon or someone who just has an idea, you’re really no different from each other. The more you realize this, the more confidence you will have and you’ll see that everyone had to go through the same things to get to where they are, and they did it. So you can too.


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In 2010 I became infatuated with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, in 2012 I decided to quit my job and joined the “Entrepreneur Club”. Fast forward a couple years and now we have Data Nerds. We specialize in internet marketing, growth hacking, direct response, web development and design. We are always hiring geeks to join our team in Kelowna, BC. Email me at

52 comments on “10 Phrases Successful Entrepreneurs Will Never Say, and the 10 Things They Do

  1. These are good bases to go by and you’re right we often hear that negativity all around us as entrepreneurs of whatever sort, heck I’ve said it so many times to myself and others about myself…I shall no more…lol

  2. I love your positive attitude it shows in you’re writing. How refreshing to come across another person that has some similarities.
    # 7 is my favorite ownership not being afraid to take a stand is crucial blaming others is a no . Successful people accept their fault can’t is not in their vocabulary.

  3. I definitely agree with this. Spot on, once again, Joshua. Successful people never stop until they know that they’ve given their best.

  4. Very motivational post. It really helps me thinking like those second group of phrases. I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. Thank you for giving me more inspiration.

  5. Great article. Well said and I can pretty relate as I am into Networking business. Yes, everyday is a learning. We should not stop learning and growing.

    Always be positive and stay away from negative people *winks

  6. Omg love this! I hate it when people tel me things are impossible! I can have the whole world if I truly wanted it 😉

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