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20 Nelson Mandela Quotes That Apply to Business

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a political leader, an anti-apartheid revolutionary, and a philanthropist. He is best known as a former President of South Africa, a position he held from 1994 to 1999. He was born in Mvezo, South Africa, in 1918, and he died in Johannesburg in 2013. He famously served 27 years in prison after being sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to overthrow the state after the Rivonia Trial. Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 due to growing domestic and international pressure. Many people consider this man to be an inspirational person, so his quotes are often used to inspire and motivate people. Here are 20 Nelson Mandela quotes that apply to business.

20. On Putting Ideas into Action

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

This Nelson Mandela quote listed on Awaken the Greatness Within is all about putting your ideas into action. Having an idea is the easy part, and it will come to nothing if you are unwilling to put your ideas into action. You may feel a fear of failure, but you will a life full of regrets if you do not try to put your ideas into action.

19. On Appreciating Your Team

“If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel important, and you do that by being genuine and humble.”

The way that you treat your team can have a significant impact on your chances of success. They will only support you in your endeavors and put in their best effort to every task if they feel that their work is appreciated. Show your appreciation for the effort and achievements of individuals in your team, and you will find that everyone is motivated and working efficiently.

18. On Turning Negatives into Positives

“The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Both business and life, in general, are full of highs and lows. Everyone will hit a low point at some time or another. How you handle these situations, and your ability to pick yourself up says a lot about your character. To move forward from the difficult times, you must turn the negatives into positives. See it as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes you made and to improve in the future.

17. On Having Determination

“When people are determined, they can overcome anything.”

A key trait that every businessperson needs to become successful is determination. You need to know where you want to go in life, and to have the determination to take any steps necessary to get there. This will also involve overcoming any challenges that come your way.

16. On Keeping Going

“Difficulties break some men but make others. No ax is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

This Nelson Mandela quote is listed by Forbes. Things do not always happen straight away, and you may need to make several attempts before you achieve success. Those who eventually become successful are those who are willing to keep trying.

15. On Taking Control of Your Own Destiny

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”

It is essential that you recognize that other people are not responsible for your destiny. The only person who has control over your success is yourself. If you want to become successful, then it is your responsibility, and nobody else, to do everything in your power to make it happen.

14. On Facing Your Fears

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Everyone has fears, and these differ from one person to the next. Some common fears in business are the fear of failure and a fear of what other people think. As a businessperson, you need to acknowledge these fears and then face them head-on. Not doing things because you fear failure or because you are worried about what other people think will hamper your progress. Ultimately, it could prevent you from ever achieving the level of success you desire.

13. On Looking at Things from a Different Perspective

“I like friends with independent minds because they tend to make you see your problems from all angles.”

When you face a problem, finding the solution as quickly as possible is essential. The solution is not always immediately obvious. You may need to look at things from a different perspective to find the answers you seek. Sometimes, you may need to ask the opinion of others as they may take a completely different approach to find the solution that could help you out of a sticky situation.

12. On Perseverance

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

The starting point for all people who become successful in business is having a dream. It is only those who act on their dreams and take steps to make them a reality who will eventually achieve success. This is not always an easy ride, but those who are the most successful are those who do not give up.

11. On Facing Challenges

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

It is almost impossible to run a business without facing challenges. These can vary from minor issues to serious problems. Sometimes, you can feel like you have climbed a mountain to overcome a situation. Just as you are recovering, another situation arises. It is important that you can keep going through the highs and lows of business.

10. On Self Improvement

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”

If you want to succeed, then it is vital that you can recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. Most people are aware of their strengths, but they prefer not to think about their weaknesses. Identifying your weaknesses is essential, as this is how you decide ways to make self-improvements. Working on your weaknesses is beneficial to both yourself and your business.

9. On Making the Right Choices

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

Success is often about making the right choices, and many factors can influence the decisions you make. Both your hopes and your fears can influence your choices. Using your fears in decision-making can prevent you from taking risks, but it can also prevent you from succeeding. Your hopes can act as motivation when making your choices, and this will help you to keep moving forward with your business.

8. On Fulfilling Your Potential

“There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Listed by, this quote is all about fulfilling your dreams and reaching your potential. To become successful, you need to aim high. Settling for anything less will mean that you will only enjoy average achievements in life. If you aim to low, you are less likely to have significant achievements and you may feel disappointed in yourself.

7. On Using Time Effectively

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

In any business, time is a valuable commodity. It is something that you must use well. Once your time has gone, you will never get that time back again. One of the best ways of using your time effectively is to plan ahead. For every project, identify the tasks that need completing, allocate a timeframe to the tasks, and set both short-term and long-term goals. This will help you to work effectively and efficiently.

6. On Picking Yourself Up

“Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I feel down and got back up again.”

If you only look at where a person ends up in life, it tells you very little. On the other hand, the journey they have taken to get to that place will tell you everything. Someone may appear to have success, but the things they have in life, they have potentially had them handed to them on a plate. Those who have worked hard and overcome challenges along the way are those who are genuinely successful. If people have faced challenges and still come out on top, they deserve respect for their achievements.

5. On the Importance of Learning

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Like many people who achieved success in life, Nelson Mandela says that education is a powerful weapon. This quote highlights the importance of learning. Although Mandela is referring to making changes in the world in this quote, it also applies to business. Education is something that you should seek, and there are many ways you can learn. Although your academic education has probably ended, you can also learn from your experiences, by your own research from observation of others, and by attending training courses. The more you learn, the more weapons you have to hand to tackle different situations.

4. On Not Giving Up

“There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give up to despair. That waylays defeat and death.”

You may hit a point where you feel like it is not worth carrying on with your business. If it is taking time, effort, and energy, but you are making little progress, you may not see the point in continuing. Before making this decision, think about how you will feel if you give up. It is likely that you will have many regrets and will always wonder what you could have achieved if you had carried on. Never give up unless there is no hope.

3. On Having a Positive Attitude

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”

Having the right attitude is something that is often overlooked when assessing what makes a good businessperson and what it takes to succeed. However, a positive attitude is essential if you want to achieve big things in life. It is having the right attitude that will keep you motivated, help you to find solutions rather than looking for problems, and improve your overall chances of success. Having a positive attitude can also impact the attitudes of others and make them feel more positive and motivated.

2. On Having Self-Belief

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.”

Self-belief is a key element to success. Nobody else will believe that you can achieve success if you do not believe this yourself. Sometimes, things may seem difficult, but you need to have the self-belief that you can do things. This will keep you motivated to work your way through problems to achieve your goals. Believing that you can do something is the first step to making this a reality.

1. On Having Passion

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

According to The European Sting, this is one of the best Nelson Mandela quotes that apply to business. It is all about having a passion for everything you do. If you do not have passion for your work, then it will become unenjoyable and you will lose the motivation to carry on. Having passion is a vital aspect of becoming successful. If you are not passionate about your product or services, then you will not inspire your team or customers to feel passion for them.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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