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Start Your Business Entrepreneurs

50 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Inspirational Songs

50 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Inspirational Songs
Credit: Africa Studio

Music is a powerful motivator. Whether you need an energy boost or you want to wind down at the end of a long day, the right playlist can do the trick. Need a song to motivate you on your way to success? We asked entrepreneurs to share the tunes that inspire them most. In nearly every genre, from rock and rap to country and classical, here are 50 songs that entrepreneurs love.

No. 1: "On difficult days, the song I blast from my speakers is 'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack. It reminds me that bravery is an option I choose, in business and in life. The lyrics 'Never settle for the path of least resistance. Livin' might mean taking chances, but they're worth takin'" inspire me to take the next step, reach out to the next person, keep trying to be heard over the noise that surrounds us." – Hope Saidel, president, Golly Gear

No. 2: "'Don't Get Tired' by Kevin Gates. The reason this song inspires me is because it talks about never giving up no matter hard things are or how many times you fail." – Jordan Sizelove, CEO, Conquer Your Now

No. 3: "I cannot think of a song that fires me up and encourages me to dig deeper more than Frank Sinatra's 'My Way.' As entrepreneurs, sometimes we bite off more than we can chew. We have regrets, but too few to mention, as we are people who are willing to take risks and put ourselves out there. I guess the ending is most appropriate. 'To think, I did all that. And may I say, not in a shy way. Oh, no. Oh, no, not me. I did it my way.' There's not much more of an entrepreneur-spirited line than that." – Julia Busha, CEO, Slawsa

No. 4: "One song that really inspires me, and which is still on my workout playlist, is 'Going the Distance' by Cake. I've always liked the song, but I've identified with it more and more as I've really learned what it is to be an entrepreneur over the last four years. I'm sure some teams get lucky quickly, but usually endurance and determination are the biggest keys to success. Entrepreneurship is usually no trophies, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no wine. But going the distance in the face of adversity will eventually lead to reward." – Tadd Spering, founder and CEO, Stylinity

No. 5: "Being an entrepreneur means being all-in, every day, despite the odds, because the reward is worth the effort. One song that reminds me to literally never give up is George Benson's 'Never Give Up On a Good Thing.'" – Alison O'Brien, CEO and co-founder, JWalking Designs

No. 6: "My go-to song for getting pumped up and staying superproductive is Eminem's 'Lose Yourself.' I think this one should be on every entrepreneur's playlist, because sometimes you really do have just one shot, one opportunity. I'm not about to let that go ... or the day slip by!" – Crystal Ponti, founder, Forewordz

No. 7: "'Vienna' by Billy Joel. It's from one of the greatest albums ever, but was a B-side track, so it's an underdog song to begin with. And I feel, as an entrepreneur, you are playing the role of underdog a lot against bigger, more established companies. Also, the song is about remembering to enjoy the journey that is life and not getting burnt out, and that, to me, is the essence of being an entrepreneur." – Scott Paladini, founder, Bear Mattress

No. 8: "Whenever my twice-daily dose of coffee runs out and all of my daily stress catches up to me, I like to listen to 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong. It has such a beautiful message and reminds me why I decided to start my company in the first place: to spread positivity to everyone's day. It inspires me to continue doing what I love, no matter how hard it can be at times. The world is a beautiful place, as Mr. Armstrong says, and this song reminds me of that when I need it most." – Arianna DiMatteo, owner, Aria Bella Candles

No. 9: "I'm a fan of Hold Steady's 'Stay Positive.' Despite the title, it's a pretty depressing song. If you listen to the lyrics, it's about how one day all the accolades you have will probably go away. And that's what it's like at [the] early stage: In a single moment, everything you've built so far can go away. But you keep at it because, as Hold Steady sings, "It's one thing to start it with a positive jam, and it's another thing to see [it all] through … we gotta stay positive." – Terena Bell, co-founder and CEO, TVRunway

No. 10: "The song that inspires me is '9 to 5' by Dolly Parton. It's a great, upbeat song, [and it] makes me laugh. I pour myself a cup of ambition — aka coffee — and get to work." – Kelly Martin, president, Promotional Bridge

No. 11: "A song that inspires me is 'Supergirl' by Anna Naklab. I always listen to it, and I think it's the mental visualization of being a 'supergirl' and having strength to continue. I do think the song is more about love in some parts, but it's very melodic and her voice is beautiful. I think this song is very inspiring, especially for young women entrepreneurs." Julia Avalon, founder and owner, Avalon Medical Spa

No. 12: "The song that inspires me the most is 'Let it Go, Let it Flow' by Dave Mason. There are too many times when I am doing everyone else's decision-making for them, because they are not doing it for themselves. It cuts into my day, my work and my thought patterns. When it gets too much, I blast that song at full volume and remind everyone else that they have to do it, and I have to let it go. Let them make the choices. Let the ideas flow from someone else. They always get my point." – Roberta Perry, president and owner, ScrubzBody

No. 13: "The song that most inspires me to keep bringing it every day — especially the tough ones — is 'Run the World (Girls)' by Beyoncé. I want my daughter to look at what I'm doing when she grows up and recognize that women can achieve their career dreams and still be great moms. It's not always framed the way you first thought it would be, but it's possible. Beyoncé reminds me that being a girl is an asset and that 'my persuasion can build a nation.'" – Angela Lanahan, founder and designer, Chocolate Milke

No. 14: "I've been an entrepreneur for over five years now, and Britney Spears' 'Work Bitch' is most definitely my inspirational jam. The beat pumps me up, and the message is clear: If you want results, you've got to hustle, in life, in love and most certainly in business." – Petrina Hamm, owner, Petrina Hamm Fitness

No. 15: "As an entrepreneur, my most inspiring song is 'Drive' by the group Incubus. The lyrics are all about being independent, facing uncertainty, fearing to take action, going along with the crowd or doing what you're meant to do." – Francesca Montillo, owner, Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures

No. 16: "The song that inspires me is Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight.' The beat of this song just inspires me to push and never give up. I listen to it when I feel like giving up on a project or am unmotivated to do something that I am suppose to do." – Zondra Wilson, president and CEO, Blu Skin Care

No. 17: "I start the day off right by listening to a short playlist of inspiring songs that power my day. My current favorite is 'Paris' by Erica Chase. It's powerful, personal, heartfelt and helps me take on the day." – Jaimie Hilfiger, co-founder, The Jaimie Hilfiger Collection by La Curcio

No. 18: "A song that inspires me is 'Smile' by Kirk Franklin, because owning a business has its successful and challenging moments. Even when I feel like giving up or question why I started my business, I am reminded to smile and keep moving forward when I listen to [that song.]" – Ashley Hill, CEO, College Prep Ready

No. 19: "Mine is a little more old-fashioned, but it's 'A Man and a Train' by Marty Robbins. I love old country music, it just reminds me to go get, go do and keep doing." – Lewis Daniels, founder, Salvador Partners

No. 20: "Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' inspires me because it's an oldie that [reminds me of] my past, when I set goals that were dreams, and today my dreams are a reality as a business owner." – Kelley Kitley, owner and therapist, Serendipitous Psychotherapy

No. 21: "I have go-to rally songs for many events in my life, from business to marathon training. As an entrepreneur, my inspiration song for several years has been 'All the Above' by Maino featuring T-Pain. I identify with nearly every line and lyric — and who doesn't love an underdog story?" – Jessica Mehta, owner, MehtaFor [See Related Story: Want to Feel Powerful? Turn Up the Music]

No. 22: "A song that inspires me is 'How Far We've Come' by Matchbox 20. As a song about the end of the world, it might seem a little depressing, but it's actually a song that inspires me to make the most of my life. At the end of my life, I want to be able to see how far I've come, and be proud of what I accomplished and the work that I put into my endeavors. The song reminds me that a person never really knows when their end is coming, so I try to do what I can right now instead of later, so that I can live with as few regrets as possible." – Kate Delossantos, owner, Pandy Apparel

No. 23: "I've been a dating and relationship coach for over eight years, and one of the songs that keeps me inspired and also helps inspire my clients is 'Believe' by Cher. I like the themes she includes: taking care of yourself by leaving a relationship that isn't good for you, knowing you qualify for a relationship that's so much better [and] believing you can finally have a great relationship." – Christine Baumgartner, owner, The Perfect Catch

No. 24: "The song that inspires me is 'The Prayer' by Celine Dion. It's a song of grace, hope and faith, all of which have kept me going on this journey." – Sheila Duncan, co-creator, Trouble the Dog

No. 25: "My hype song is 'Just Fine' by Mary J. Blige. It puts me in the right state of mind, helps me not stress about the dumb crap and dance past the stupid people. It always reminds me that I am my own compass and that at the end of the day, I have to trust my instincts. Sometimes I'm right. Sometimes I'm wrong. But either way, I go with my gut." – Joy Donnell, chief operating officer and editorial director, Vanichi Magazine

No. 26: "Miley Cyrus's 'The Climb' inspires me to look past my own troubles and seek and celebrate everyday women [who] are pulling up their boot straps and putting one foot in front of the other, no matter the crap they are standing waist deep in, and share their stories with the world." – Donna Marie Post, founder, I Admire U

No. 27: "'Happy' by Pharrell Williams. As [entrepreneurs], we are moving really fast, stressing out, always looking ahead, and this song reminds me that we need to be present and take stock of the goodness in our life." – Tara Tiger Brown, co-founder, KitHub

No. 28: "'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor inspires me because it reminds me that even in the hardest of times, you have to believe in yourself and your ability to get through whatever difficulties are in your path." – Marianne O'Connor, CEO, Sterling Communications

No. 29: "A song that really resonates with me as an entrepreneur is Jay Z's 'Moment of Clarity.' It's inspirational because, even with the hard-knock life he had, Hova raps about how he channeled those negative experiences into an opportunity to learn and grow, never taking a victim mentality and instead just facing and embracing the challenges, which definitely mirrors the entrepreneurial experience!" – Han Chang, co-founder, InvestmentZen

No. 30: "'You Gotta Be' by Des'ree is my entrepreneurial anthem. The lyrics seem to sum up what being an entrepreneur means to me. When I left my job to pursue my private speech practice full-time, this was part of the playlist I created of songs to drive me." –Jann Fujimoto, speech therapist and owner, SpeechWorks

No. 31: "'Bathtime in Clerkenwell' by The Real Tuesday Weld, because it is simply impossible to be anything but giddy while listening to it, no matter what kind of day you're having.' – Maria Rapetskaya, founder and creative director, Undefined Creative

No. 32: "A song that totally inspires me and my business is 'Exactly' by Amy Steinberg. Not only does the song totally rock all aspects of my life, [but] it [also] inspires and reminds me that I have an amazing purpose in life, and that purpose is helping people through the work I do in my business. No matter how frustrated I may get at times with my business, I still know this is exactly what I need to be doing." – Dina Garcia, owner, Vida Nutrition

No. 33: "The song that inspires me is 'Survivor' by Destiny's Child. Owning a business can be tough, with many highs and lows. Only the strong survive, and when you do, it is the most rewarding feeling, knowing that you did not give up." – Tosi Ufodike, CEO, HairYum

No. 34: "'With My Own Two Hands' by Jack Johnson. The song speaks to the notion that we can change the world with our own two hands, but we have to take action. We can make the world better, brighter and safer if we all take accountability for the energy we put into the world. My career and purpose for being is to inspire people to create the life they want to lead, and this song inspires me to do so." – Merrick Rosenberg, CEO, Take Flight Learning

No. 35: "A song that I play often in the mornings is Nico & Vinz's 'When The Day Comes.' This song has been on constant rotation ever since I first heard it on the First Lady's Spotify playlist. It's upbeat, positive, motivating, and I find that it really gives me the drive to attack my day!" – Ronnette Cox, owner, Ronnette Cox Design

No. 36: "Most Taylor Swift songs get me through breakups, but 'Shake It Off' gets me through entrepreneurship. The lyrics are the perfect inspiration for those hard days that are inevitable with running a business. This song is always the reminder I need to focus on my own brand and shake off any haters." – Hope Brookins, owner, The Brookins Agency

No. 37: "My inspirational song comes from my birthplace of South Africa. It's called 'Weeping,' and it's not only the music, but also the message that inspires me as an entrepreneur. I often play it in my car, and I have it on my running mix too! My favorite recording of it is by Vusi Mahlasela, but it was written by Dan Heymann, and was a commentary and protest against the apartheid government and the 1985 state of emergency in South Africa." – Alexia Bregman, co-founder, Vuka

No. 38: "'Children' by Robert Miles. It's a trance song with no lyrics. It has so much energy and it gets me going and motivated. I have it as my ringtone as well." – K.B. Lee, founder and CEO, Ever Bamboo

No. 39: "Beethoven's fifth and seventh symphonies. [They] get my blood pumping and mind working, almost better than espresso." –Aaron Keller, CEO and founding partner, Capsule

No. 40: "My entrepreneur wake-up song is 'I Lived' by One Republic. It reminds me to take risks, put my day in perspective of my entire life and never regret the mistakes that inevitably befall a young business owner." – Gabrielle Jackson Bosche, founder and president, The Millennial Solution

No. 41: "'Fight Song' by Rachel Platten.­ I love being the underdog because it gives you the opportunity to prove to yourself that you can win or build something great when the odds are against you. This song portrays that struggle perfectly." – Chris Cardillo, owner, Castle Windows

No. 42: "I listen to REO Speedwagon's 'Roll with the Changes' right before big meetings and presentations. This song pumps me up, puts me in a positive frame of mind and reminds me to roll with whatever changes come my way — and there [are] always changes! After listening to that song, I walk into those meetings with a smile, as well as a secret relief that I can still remember all words and air guitar solos."  - Jennifer Love, president, Love Consulting

No. 43: "'Live and Let Die' by Wings. This song has been with me throughout every stage in my entrepreneurial career and reminds me to live my life the way I want, and to approach every situation all or nothing. 'When you got a job to do, you gotta do it well, you gotta give the other fellow hell,' inspires me to always be the best that I can be, and to always disrupt the competition." – Chad Hetherington, CEO, The Stable

No. 44: "Whenever I'm in need of motivation or encouragement, I turn to Katy Perry’s 'Firework.' The fast-paced song instantly lifts my mood, but the inspiration goes even deeper. I greatly value hard work, perseverance and a no-excuses attitude. Sometimes I need a reminder that 'there's a spark' in me. I do have the ability to dig a little deeper and go the extra mile — I just need to ignite the motivation." – Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and chief operating officer, Chargebacks911

No. 45: "One of my favorite songs is Bjork's 'It's Oh So Quiet.' It's less about the lyrics and more about the crazy, creative, unusual energy. It's the kind of song that motivates me to dance like no one is watching." – Katy Martin, co-founder, Web Designer Beauty School

No. 46: "I've been an entrepreneur for a little over year, and a song that inspires me is 'Hold On' by the Alabama Shakes, because it's a song of perseverance and patience." – Melissa Golebiowski, founder and head publicist, Lost Literati PR

No. 47: "The song that has inspired me the most in my life is by country artist Travis Tritt, entitled 'I’m Gonna Be Somebody.' Being from a very small farming community in Kansas, I listened to this song while cruising Main Street in high school and dreamed of being a big success one day. Well, by the standards I grew up with, that has happened many times over." – Gregory Serrien, author and business consultant

No. 48: "'Shake It Out' by Florence and the Machine is my go-to song when I need to smile, when I need motivation or [when I] feel overwhelmed during my day. The lyrics in conjunction with the instrumentals are nothing less than invigorating. When I rock out to that song, I stay in the present, and positive. I feel empowered, young and ready to show the world what I am made of." – Sophia Hyder, founder and CEO, Papilia

No. 49: "Rolling Stones' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want.' As an entrepreneur, regardless of what doesn't go your way, you can't give up." – Graeme Gordon, CEO and founder, SneakGuard

No. 50: "One of the greatest rock songs ever written — and in the news lately! — is 'Stairway to Heaven' [by Led Zeppelin]. 'Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.' So, whatever’s wrong, whatever's not working out, whatever you're not happy with — in yourself or a situation — take the initiative and fix it." – Shaun Breidbart, comedian and executive director, The Ivy League of Comedy