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Entrepreneurs: sometimes you’re throwing punches, often times you’re getting pummelled. It usually feels like a struggle and a game at the same time.

That’s probably why the wisdom of Muhammad Ali resonates so deeply with entrepreneurs. The athlete spoke eloquently about the success factors that business owners are so familiar with – risk-taking, determination, resilience, etc. – that one can’t help but be inspired.

Here’s our favorite Muhammad Ali quotes that inspire entrepreneurs:

1. "Don’t count the days; make the days count."

With very few exceptions, success doesn’t come overnight. Since you’ve got to put in the hoursto make your business successful, remember this quote when you’re feeling jaded.

2.“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

Did you ever leave the security of a 9-5 job, take a bet on positive cash flow, or pony up some of your own resources for the sake of your business? Then you know how daunting taking risks feels. Use these words to help you tough it out.

3. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Books have been written about the importance of imagination in business success. Whether you’ve dived into the blue ocean or simply executed an old idea better, you know that a healthy dose of imagination will help you get there.

4. “I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

Many entrepreneurs have failed so many times they lost count. But most of the successful ones don’t believe they are failures themselves. For example, here are four companies that entrepreneur Max Levchin founded:

  • SponsorNet New Media (FAILED)
  • NetMomentum Software FAILED)
  • NetMeridian Software (FAILED)
  • ListBot/PositionAgent (FAILED)

The 5th company was Paypal. Despite his failures, Levchin was still able to convince both others as well as himself that he had what it takes to be successful.

5. “What keeps me going is goals.” 

Sometimes you feel invincible, sometimes you feel doomed. But if you set proper goals, you’ll always have something to navigate by.

6. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

Are you too old to be a successful entrepreneur? Too young? Does it matter? If you’re not feeling as nimble or as Gen Y’ers or as seasoned as the business veterans, keep this bit of wisdom in mind.

 7.  “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

Personal growth is as important to your success as is capital. A business, as well as the people within it, must always be learning and adapting for the better. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, serves as a great example of being open and adapting to change.

Keep fighting the good fight, entrepreneurs, and seek inspiration where you can find it. Let Muhammad Ali’s legacy continue to motivate you in your pursuit of success.

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Stephen Loy