[Year in Review 2021] ‘Magic happens when the vision is shared’ – Top 50 quotes of the year on entrepreneurship and leadership

From a wide range of entrepreneurship articles this year, we present you 50 inspiring quotes on founders and leaders. Happy launching, happy leading!
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Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our earlier articles. Share these gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

From ideation to implementation, the changemakers in this compilation have memorable words for us all. See also our quotes compilations from 2020, 2019 and 2018. We hope these quotes inspire you as well to do your bit (and more!) to make India and the world a better place.

We have divided these 50 quotes into eight sections: Foundations, grit, scale, leadership and culture, customer focus, finance and wealth, giving back, and the road ahead.

Check out YourStory’s Book Review section with over 325 titles on entrepreneurship, innovation, startups, leadership, and tech trends. See also our list of Top 10 Books of the Year for Entrepreneurs for 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

YourStory wishes our readers all the very best for the holiday season, and a year of successes and progress ahead in 2021!

Foundations

Dare to dream big and dare even more to make that dream come true. - Nupur Garg, WinPE

Don’t cut yourself short. You are everything you think you can be. - Lakshmi Manchu, Lakshmi Talk Show

Problem finding comes before problem solving. - Itu Chaudhuri and Lisa Rath, ICD

Start now. There is no perfect time or place or idea, so do it now. You can figure it out while building it. You will either have an experience or an experiment. - Arjita Sethi, New Founder School

Starting out early has its own challenges, but it also helps you learn so much early on in life. You will realise the power of self-belief, and that there is no right age to start a business, just the right skill set, which makes all the difference. - Satyam Mehta, Rural Invest

What really matters, is making your passion your profession. - Raamdeo Agrawal, MOFSL

Be patient and be focused and you will see the magic. Believe in yourself first for the world to believe in you! - Ritu Phogat

Wear the badge of a societal rebel with pride. - Shashank Kumar, Razorpay

It's not about ideas, it's about making ideas happen. - Satvik K J, Vitra.ai

There are many ideas but it’s ultimately about execution. - Anjali Bansal, Avaana Capital

 It’s important to run the entire ship when it comes to entrepreneurship. - Durlabh Kumar Rawat, Barosi

There is no right or wrong pitch — each one is as unique as a snowflake. - Sanjot Malhi, Matrix Partners India

People who take extreme risks tend to make the most progress in society. That’s because they are inherently unhappy about the status quo. - Deepak Shenoy, Capitalmind

To be one’s own boss is the best thing in the world. You can never go on a holiday and be turned off from work completely. - Alicia Souza, Auntie Alie

Being a subject matter expert (SME) is not the same as being an entrepreneur. - Rajesh Mohan Rai

Grit

As a founder, you hear a no every day…you develop a thick skin and understand that nobody is seeing what I am seeing. - Deepti Yenireddy, Phenom People

Hard work compounds over quarters of execution. - Farid Ahsan, ShareChat

There’s no failing as an entrepreneur; only learning. Believe in yourself and your idea, and deliver your best every day; the rest will fall in place. - Arjeeta C Singhvi, ekSlate

You will have to listen to everybody telling you that you’re an idiot, and still go after it. - Sandeep Murthy, Lightbox Ventures

A challenge brings in adrenaline and excitement. - Tushar Vashisht, HealthifyMe

Anything you treasure cannot be rushed. - Kalki Koechlin

Anything good and meaningful takes decades to build. - Deepinder Goyal, Zomato

Scale

Scale the culture and you can get the rest under control easily. - Anand Jain, CleverTap

Your vibe attracts your tribe. - Yatin Shah, IIFL

Hustle doesn't scale, playbooks do. - Akansha Kumari, Dunzo

To grow, you need to have the right attitude of acceptance and learning. - Sakshi Chhapolia, Aaiena

Product-market fit is a lifelong journey for a startup - you are constantly innovating, and you need to bring PMF at every stage. - Harsha Kumar, LightSpeed Venture Partners

Leadership and culture

Building a brand is about values and purpose. Values create value in the long term. - Ajay Piramal, Piramal Enterprises

Magic happens when the vision is shared. - Rachana Gupta, Gynoveda

When you empower people, magic happens. - Namita Thapar, Emcure Pharmaceuticals

Organisational purpose is not a one-time conversation. It creates a value-system that gets reinforced on a daily basis through coaching conversations, growth discussions, and experiential training. - Abhishek Geol, CACTUS

A North Star metric captures the fundamental value created by your business. It is the core unit that fundamentally shows the direction you need to pursue your business. - Amit Somani, Prime Venture Partners

While culture doesn’t guarantee success, a company without culture cannot build a sustainable business. - Krishna Kittu Kolluri, NeoTribe Venture

Innovation works with diversity. - Manish Jain, Comviva

Trust is a two-way street. – ElsaMarie D’Silva, Safecity

Customer focus

Customers are the greatest product managers. - Baskar Subramanian, Amagi Media Labs

The ‘why’ of the product matters much more than just ‘what’. - Bala Sarda, VAHDAM India

The modern customer is not just a buyer but a communicator. - Harsha Solanki, Infobip

People, purpose, passion, and product define today’s brands and govern customer preference. - Nitin Agarwal, GlobalBees

The simplest formula is to focus on the customer. - Suparna Mitra, Titan Company

Customers validate your model and investors validate your vision; getting both at all times is critical for a company at all stages. - Prasanna M, Aqgromalin

Finance and wealth

Get the customer’s money, the investor’s money will come. The customer’s money is more important than the investor’s money. - Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Info Edge

Wealth has to be shared with the people who created it. It’s not just for the founders to get rich or the investors to get rich. - Girish Mathrubootham, Freshworks

One indication of an enduring company is a company going public. - Mohit Bhatnagar, Sequoia India

Money is essentially a fuel but it's not the vehicle or driver. If you have extra fuel, you can drive at an accelerated pace. - Kushal Nahata, FarEye

Giving back

With great ‘brand’ power, comes great responsibility. - Divya Gupta, Aavishkaar Capital

Innovation and entrepreneurship must serve the society beyond profitability. - Aastha Mehta, MediBrace

Work for a good cause, and any kind of support will come to you automatically. - George Rakesh Babu, Good Samaritans Trust

There is nothing better than giving the next generation a better chance, especially those who work hard at making ends meet. - Aakanksha Bhargava, PM Relocations

You are always more than what you do. - Abhilash Thapliyal, Aspirants

The road ahead

Today’s outliers become tomorrow’s mean. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'

Founders are shapers of our tomorrow. - Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

The more you know of many fields, the more you can see the similarities and connections. -   Ramon Vullings, ‘Great Leaders Mix and Match’

Do something that scares you a little. Resilience and confidence are muscles that you can build over time. - Eva Wong, Borrowell

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti