Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

P.T. Barnum, fully Phineas Taylor Barnum

American Showman, Circus Founder, "Father of original advertising and event promotion"

"If I shoot at the sun, I may hit a star."

"Engage in one kind of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until your experience shows that you should abandon it."

"I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right. "

"If he owned the Museum, and you had paid him for the privilege of visiting it, and he had then insulted you, there might be some reason in your resenting it, but in this instance he is the man who pays, while we receive, and you must, therefore, put up with his bad manners."

"Let your motto then always be 'Excelsior', for by living up to it there is no such word as fail."

"The noblest art is that of making others happy "

"The truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the patronage bestowed upon him."

"There's a sucker born every minute. "

"Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed."

"Many persons are always kept poor, because they are too visionary. Every project looks to them like certain successes, and therefore they keep changing from one business to another, always in hot water, always 'under the harrow'."

"Never give a sucker an even break. "

"Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public. "

"Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly."

"Men who drive sharp bargains with their customers, acting as if they never expected to see them again, will not be mistaken. They will never see them again as customers. People don't like to pay and get kicked also."

"Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant."

"Without promotion something terrible happens, nothing!"

"Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now... Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business."

"Advertising is like learning -- a little is a dangerous thing."

"More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much."

"Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done."

"Every crowd has a silver lining."

"Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now."