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11 inspiring quotes from National Small Business Week

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Today marked the end of National Small Business Week, a five-day celebration of the entrepreneurs and SMBs that power the American economy. We had a great time kicking off SBW 2014 at Twitter HQ on Monday. The event featured a diverse group of inspirational speakers, including Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and a 10 year old who is changing the world with her compassionate take on lemonade stands. The Small Business Administration also hosted events in Kansas City, Boston and Washington DC, each boasting a unique lineup of successful entrepreneurs and advocates. Here are our 11 favorite quotes from week’s speakers.

1. “There’s nothing more optimistic a person can do than start a small business.”

Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives

2. “Stick with it, even on the bad days.”

Vivienne Harr, 10-year-old Founder of Make A Stand

3. “You must have an honest conversation with yourself about the vision you have for the future of your small business.”

Donna Levin, co-founder and VP of Operations at

4. “Nothing will happen unless you take the initiative to do it.”

Akhil Nigam, Founder and President of MassChallenge

5. “Mentoring makes a difference. If you don’t have one, get one.”

Ken Yancey, CEO at SCORE

6. “The sad truth is that the customer experience bar is low, and small businesses can easily rise above that without it being expensive. It just needs to be real. It’s all about bringing a smile to the face of your customer.”

Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact

7. “Your customers are on social media to be engaged with, not sold to, so have a conversation.”

Jamie Walker, Founder and CEO of SweatGuru

8. “It’s not about making money, it’s about doing the right thing for your customers and enjoying what you’re doing.”

Henry Bloch, CEO of H&R Block

9. “When opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.”

Eddie Kennison, NFL Wide Receiver and Founder of Cellar & Loft

10. “Sometimes you have to get rid of something that’s good, and tinker with something that’s better.”

John Schnatter, CEO of Papa Johns

12. “They don’t teach you this at Harvard Business School, but it’s all about people. Everything happens by, with or through people. Nothing just happens on its own. Small businesses know this because we actually have to get things done.”

James Koch, Co-Founder and Chairman of Sam Adams

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these 10 legendary quotes from famous entrepreneurs.

Photo by Twitter

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  • What Papa John said is exactly why I moved my site and business to BigCommerce.

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