Quotes from iconic figures in their industry can express profound truths in a way that makes people think deeply about the sentiments – a good quote can make you stop to take in the wisdom that has been expressed so eloquently. Such quotes can inspire you to change your life.

Read on to discover some of the most inspirational personal development quotes from well-known figures that can help you develop as a person and can assist you in your quest to improve your business acumen.


1. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates – billionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

You may see it as a negative factor when a customer expresses extreme dissatisfaction with your product or service but in truth, it can teach you where you’re going wrong. Never dismiss a complaint without consideration. Instead, think about what has been said and where the problem lies. This helps you to rectify the issue and learn not to make the same mistake again.


2. Avon founder, David H McConnell: “Be courageous and seek change.”

David H McConnell, born in 1858, started out as a salesman in 1879. Originally selling books, he began manufacturing his own perfumes and started selling them door-to-door… the rest, as they say, is history. In the late 19th century women generally didn’t have careers, with only one in five working outside the home. As an intrepid salesman, Mr McConnell challenged the norm and invented the Avon representative, encouraging women to have their own career. His vision is still a global success to this day.


3. Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Viktor E Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning: “When we’re no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

This means that sometimes in life it’s impossible to change what someone else does or how they behave; you can’t make people assist in situations to aid your own personal direction and development. Hence, if you have a problem with something, you must take a step back and look at yourself because that’s the only thing you have the power to change.


4. Leader of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in this world.”

Gandhi was calling for people to take full responsibility for their own lives. Practice what you preach. In order to see changes in the world, we must actively do something ourselves – complaining, theorising or criticising isn’t enough. We must take responsibility for ourselves and our environment, invoking the positive change that we desire.


5. Spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama: “In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.”

In order to be truly free, you must stay true to yourself. The truth isn’t always comfortable but it’s the way to make progress as a person. Ask yourself whether recent decisions, current situations and future long term goals are actually what you want in life. Don’t rationalise. Instead, be conscious of your first, instinctual answer.


6. American author, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer, Mark Twain, speaking about how you will feel in the future, 20 years from now: “You’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did.”

This quote encourages you to seize the day, to be courageous and to take up those opportunities that thrust you into the unknown. Don’t be afraid of doing things just because you don’t know how it will turn out. Stop thinking, “maybe another time,” because it seems a more comfortable option. Instead, take a chance to see where it leads.


Guiding principles such as these remain true, not only for any successful business venture but also for the shaping of our lives – they inspire us to become bett