Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Business

"Liberty is always unfinished business." - American Civil Liberties Union NULL

"The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in business. You've got to keep working that talent." -

"Love is the business of the idle, but the idleness of the busy." -

"Punctuality is the stern virtue of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes." -

"Business leaders today can’t shrink from their obligation to set a moral example." - Willard C. Butcher, fully Willard Carlisle Butcher

"Whoever undertakes a long Journey, if he be wise, makes it his Business to find out an agreeable Companion. How cautious then should He be, who is to take a Journey for Life, whose Fellow-Traveler must not part with him but at the Grave; his Companion at Bed and Board and Sharer of all the Pleasures and Fatigues of his Journey; as the Wife must be to the Husband! She is no such Sort of Ware, that a Man can be rid of when he pleases: When once that’s purchas’d, no Exchange, no Sale, no Alienation can be made: She is an inseparable Accident to Man: Marriage is a Noose, which, fasten’d about the Neck, runs the closer, and fits more uneasy by our struggling to get loose: ‘Tis a Gordian Knot which none can unty, and being twisted with our Thread of Life, nothing but the Schyth of Death can cut it." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute." - Thomas Chalmers

"The vital force in business life is the honest desire to serve. Business, it is said, is the science of service. He profits most who serves best. At the very bottom of the wish to render service must be honesty of purpose, and, as I go along through life, I see more and more that honesty in word, thought, and work means success. It spells a life worth living and in business clean success." - Abba Eban, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban

"“Desiderata" Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy." - Max Ehrmann

"A man knows how to mix pleasures with business, is never entirely possessed by them; he either quits or resumes them at his will; and in the use he makes of them he rather finds a relaxation of mind than a dangerous charm that might corrupt him." - Charles de Saint-Évremond, fully Charles Marguetel de Saint-Denis, seigneur de Évremond

"Whether it's marriage or business, patience is the first rule of success." - William Feather

"No one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or get rich in business by being a conformist." - J. Paul Getty, fully Jean Paul Getty

"It is one thing when business is interested in young people as students. Quite another when they are interested in students as consumers. It is one thing when the marketplace supports the schools. Quite another when the schools become a marketplace." - Ellen Goodman

"The business of philosophy is to circumnavigate human nature." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Show me the business man or institution not guided by the sentiment and service; by the idea that "he profits most who serves best" and I will show you a man or an outfit that is dead and dying." - B. F. Harris

"The principles we live by, in business and in social life, are the most important part of happiness. We need to be careful, upon achieving happiness, not to lose the virtues which have produced it." - Harry Harrison

"Ninety percent of all human wisdom is the ability to mind your own business." - Robert A. Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald

"Gossip is always a personal confession either of malice or imbecility; it is a low, frivolous, and too often a dirty business. There are neighborhoods where it rages like a pest; churches are split in pieces by it, and neighbors made enemies for life. Let the young avoid or cure it while they may." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"Life is a romantic business. It is painting a picture, not doing a sum; but you have to make the romance, and it will come to the question how much fire you have in your belly." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"Our business in life is not to get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselves - to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our today, to do our work with more force than ever before." - Stewart B. Johnson

"There is no depression for good deeds, and that is all that business consists of, and that is our real business." -

"We enter our studies, and enjoy a society which we alone can bring together. We raise no jealousy by conversing with one in preference to another; we give no offense to the most illustrious by questioning him as long as we will, and leaving him as abruptly. Diversity of opinion raises no tumult in our presence: each interlocutor stands before us, speaks or is silence, and we adjourn or decide the business at our leisure." - Walter Savage Landor

"Acting without design, occupying oneself without making a business of it, finding the great in what is small and the many in the few, repaying injury with kindness, effecting difficult things while they are easy, and managing great things in their beginnings: this is the method of Tao." -

"Modern man - whether in the womb of the masses, or with his workmates, or with his family, or alone - can never for one moment forget that he is living in a world in which he is a means and whose end is not his business." - Alberto Moravia, Pen name of Alberto Pincherle

"The great business of life is to be, to do, to do without and to depart." -

"The time-man in us does not know now. He is always preparing something in the future, or busy with what happened in the past... All decisions that belong to the life in time, to success, to business, comfort, are about ‘tomorrow’. All decisions about the right thing to do, about how to act, are about tomorrow. It is only what is done in now that counts, and this is a decision always about oneself and with oneself, even though its effect may touch other people’s lives ‘tomorrow’. Now is spiritual... Spiritual values have nothing to do with time." - Maurice Nicoll

"'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." - Thomas Paine

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." - Thomas Paine

"Clear therefore thy head, and rally, and manage thy thoughts rightly, and thou wilt save time, and see and do thy business well; for thy judgment will be distinct, thy mind free, and the faculties strong and regular." - William Penn

"Success in business does not depend upon genius. Any young man of ordinary intelligence who is normally sound and not afraid to work should succeed in spite of obstacles and handicaps if he plays the game fairly and keeps everlastingly at it." - J. C. Penney, formally James Cash Penney

"The successful person is one who is able to take his talents and invest them in the business of living in a manner that leads to the accomplishment of a full life of service... The medium of exchange is not the dollar but services rendered." - Sol Roth

"It is only luxury and avarice that makes poverty grievous to us; for it is a very small matter that does our business; and when we have provided against cold, hunger, and thirst, all the rest if but vanity and excess." -

"It was the saying of a great man that if we could trace our descents, we should find all slaves to come from princes, and all princes from slaves; and fortune has turned all things topsy-turvy in a long series of revolutions; beside, for a man to spend his life in pursuit of a title, that serves only when he dies to furnish out an epitaph, is below a wise man’s business." -

"Men of splendid talents are generally too quick, too volatile, too adventurous, and too unstable to be much relied on; whereas men of common abilities, in a regular, plodding routine of business, act with more regularity and greater certainty. Men of the best intellectual abilities are apt to strike off suddenly, like the tangent of a circle, and cannot be brought into their orbits by attraction or gravity - they often act with such eccentricity as to be lost in the vortex of their own reveries. Brilliant talents in general are like the ignes fatui; they excite wonder, but often mislead. They are not, however, without their use; like the fire from the flint, once produced, it may be converted, by solid, thinking men, to very salutary and noble purposes." - John Trusler

"Neither the tenuous things of the human spirit nor the gross material needs of human life can come in contact with this business enterprise [Big Business] in such a way as to deflect its course from the line of least resistance, which is the line of greatest present gain within the law." - Thorstein Veblen, fully Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen

"He that has a "spirit of detail" will do better in life than many who figured beyond him in the university. Such an one is minute and particular. He adjusts trifles; and these trifles compose most of the business and happiness of life. Great events happen seldom, and affect few; trifles happen every moment to everybody; and though one occurrence of them adds little to the happiness or misery of life, yet the sum total of their continual repetition is of the highest consequence." - Daniel Webster

"Life is the acceptance of responsibilities or their evasion; it is a business of meeting obligations or avoiding them. To every man the choice is continually being offered, and by the manner of his choosing you may fairly measure him." - Ben Ames Williams

"There is a single reason why 99 out of 100 average business men never become leaders. That is their unwillingness to pay the price of responsibility. By the price of responsibility I mean hard driving, continual work... the courage to make decisions, to stand the gaff... the scourging honesty of never fooling yourself about yourself... And the grooves that lead to the heights are not made between nine and five. They are burned in by the midnight oil." - Owen D. Young

"Facts, when combined with ideas, constitute the greatest force in the world. They are greater than armaments, greater than finance, greater than science, business and law because they constitute the common denominator of all of them." - Carl William Ackerman

"The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure; and he that hath little business shall become wise." - Apocrypha NULL

"Bureaucracies are designed to perform public business. But as soon as a bureaucracy is established, it develops an autonomous spiritual life and comes to regard the public as its enemy." - Brooks Atkinson, fully Justin Brooks Atkinson

"Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business, and a third let him keep in reserve." - Babylonian Talmud

"It calls in my spirits, composes my thoughts, delights my ear, recreates my mind, and so not only fits me for after business, but fills my heart, at the present, with pure and useful thoughts; so that when the music sounds the sweetliest in my ears, truth commonly flows the clearest into my mind." - William Beveridge

"Men err when they think they can be inhuman exploiters in their business life, and loving fathers and husbands at home." -

"Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does." - Stuart Henderson Britt

"Life is too short to be unhappy in business." -

"Business dispatched is business well done, but business hurried is business ill done." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business." - Aaron Burr

"For good or ill, your conversation is your advertisement. Every time you open your mouth you let men look into your mind. Do they see it well clothed, neat, business-wise?" - Bruce Burton