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quotations about business

The chief business of the American people is business.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jan. 17, 1925

Few people do business well who do nothing else.

EARL OF CHESTERFIELD, letter to his son, Aug. 7, 1749

A man's success in business today turns upon his power of getting people to believe he has something that they want.


No nation was ever ruined by trade.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Thoughts on Commercial Subjects

No one on his deathbed ever said, "I wish I had spent more time on my business."

PAUL E. TSONGAS, New York Times, Jan. 14, 1987

In business -- every business -- the bottom line is understanding the process. If you don't understand the process, you'll never reap the rewards of the process.

DONALD TRUMP, How to Get Rich

No scheme pays as well as legitimate business.

EDGAR WATSON HOWE, Country Town Sayings

Business on a money-making basis is most insecure. It is a touch-and-go affair, moving irregularly, and rarely over a term of years amounting to much. It is the function of business to produce for consumption and not for money or speculation. Producing for consumption implies that the quality of the article produced will be high and that the price will be low--that the article be one which serves the people and not merely the producer. If the money feature is twisted out of its proper perspective, then the production will be twisted to serve the producer.

HENRY FORD, introduction, My Life and Work

Hurried business is bad business.

PATRICK DEWITT, The Sisters Brothers

Companies, as they grow to become multi-billion-dollar entities, somehow lose their vision. They insert lots of layers of middle management between the people running the company and the people doing the work. They no longer have an inherent feel or a passion about the products. The creative people, who are the ones who care passionately, have to persuade five layers of management to do what they know is the right thing to do.

STEVE JOBS, Playboy, Feb. 1985

Never joke at funerals, or during business transactions.


Many leaders of big organizations, I think, don't believe that change is possible. But if you look at history, things do change, and if your business is static, you're likely to have issues.

LARRY PAGE, CNNMoney interview, May 1, 2008

In poker, as in business, the secret is in knowing how to manage risk and capitalize on opportunity.

LOU KRIEGER, More Hold'em Excellence

There are two kinds of second class men in business. There is the man who puts money first and service second. There is the man who puts service first and money second, who never has any money. The first class man in business is the man who is made up out of rolling the other two kinds into one man and working them together.

GERALD STANLEY LEE, The House of Twenty Seven Gardens

Clothes don't make the man, but they make all of him except his hands and face during business hours, and that's a pretty considerable area of the human animal.

GEORGE HORACE LORIMER, Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

Business is but a means. To forget this, and to live for it and in it, as an end, is a cardinal and pernicious mistake, to which much of the want of elevation in the mercantile character is to be ascribed.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

There is no better ballast for keeping the mind steady on its keel, and saving it from all risk of crankiness, than business.

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, New England Two Centuries Ago

To those men and women in business, remember the ultimate end of your work: to make a better product, to create better lives. I ask you to plan for the longer term and avoid that temptation of quick and easy paper profits.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, address to joint session of Congress, Feb. 9, 1989

It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Statement on the National Industrial Recovery Act, Jun. 16, 1933

A successful business maximizes the present value of future earnings. The first requirement, therefore, of business success is sustainable profits. One-time winnings, in business as in casinos, are disappointing. We expect more from our investments than that.

STEPHEN YOUNG, Moral Capitalism: Reconciling Private Interest with the Public Good

A business man's conversation should be regulated by fewer and simpler rules than any other function of the human animal. They are: Have something to say. Say it. Stop talking.

GEORGE HORACE LORIMER, Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

As I visualize it, the business of the future will be a scientific, social and economic unit. It will be vigorously creative in pure science where its contributions will compare with those of the universities.

EDWIN H. LAND, statement to the U.S. Senate Military Affairs Committee at the Joint Hearings on Science Bills, October 1945

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.

HENRY FORD, attributed, News Journal, Aug. 3, 1965


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