B C Forbes Quotes

The way to make a true friend is to be one. Friendship implies loyalty, esteem, cordiality, sympathy, affection, readiness to aid, to help, to stick, to fight for, if need be. … Radiate friendship and it will return sevenfold.-B C Forbes

 

 

Are you doing the kind of work you were built for, so that you can expect to be able to do very large amounts of that kind and thrive under it? Or are you doing a kind of which you can do comparatively little.-B C Forbes

 

 

If the deal isn’t good for the other party, it isn’t good for you.-B C Forbes

 

 

There is no fun equal to the satisfaction of doing one’s best. The things that are most worthwhile in life are really those within the reach of almost every normal human being who cares to seek them out.-B C Forbes

 

 

If you do the best and the most you can today, don’t worry about tomorrow.-B C Forbes

 

Kill time and you will kill your career.-B C Forbes

 

Time mends all, ends all things earthly.-B C Forbes

 

 

Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other fellow will in the end prove unprofitable for you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.-B C Forbes

 

 

It is when things go hardest, when life becomes most trying, that there is greatest need for having a fixed goal.-B C Forbes

 

 

Golf is an ideal diversion, but a ruinous disease.-B C Forbes

 

 

Search and you will find that at the base and birth of every great business organization was an enthusiast, man consumed with earnestness of purpose, with confidence in his powers, with faith in the worthwhileness of his endeavors.-B C Forbes

 

 

We must learn that to enjoy happiness we must conscientiously and continuously seek to spread happiness. Selfishness is suicidal to happiness.-B C Forbes

 

When it comes to betting on yourself… you’re a chicken-livered coward if you hesitate.-B C Forbes

 

 

The human being who lives only for himself finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies.-B C Forbes

 

 

…the incontestable truth is that America has been built up by optimists, not by pessimists, but by men possessing courage, confidence in the nation’s destiny, by men willing to adventure, to shoulder risks terrifying to the timid.-B C Forbes

 

 

To succeed, we must have the will to succeed, we must have stamina, determination, backbone, perseverance, self-reliance, and faith.-B C Forbes

 

 

The man without religion is as a ship without a rudder.-B C Forbes

 

 

It is not a case of whether we want to wash our hands of Europe or want to help her to regain her feet. The troubles of Europe have been laid on our doorstep, so to speak, and will plague us, if we do nothing to cure them, whether we like it or not.-B C Forbes

 

 

Accuse American businessmen of being responsible for radicalism and they would indignantly deny the accusation. Yet, in one fundamental sense, they are responsible. They are responsible in the sense that they have utterly neglected to take part in the work and the organization which precede the choosing of candidates for political office. Local political organizations all over the land are conducted and controlled, as a rule, by politicians…. Businessmen have shirked such responsibilities, leaving an untrammeled field to others less capable of carrying on the administration of government.-B C Forbes

 

 

I have never seen people who could do real work except under the stimulus of encouragement and enthusiasm and the approval of the people for whom they are working.-B C Forbes

 

 

The real friend is he or she who can share all our sorrow and double our joys.-B C Forbes

 

 

Madame Curie didn’t stumble upon radium by accident. She searched and experimented and sweated and suffered years before she found it. Success rarely is an accident.-B C Forbes

 

 

Many of the most successful men I have known have never grown up. They have retained bubbling-over boyishness. They have relished wit, they have indulged in humor. They have not allowed ‘dignity’ to depress them into moroseness. Youthfulness of spirit is the twin brother of optimism, and optimism is the stuff of which American business success is fashioned. Resist growing up!-B C Forbes

 

 

The person who renders loyal service in a humble capacity will be chosen for higher responsibilities, just as the biblical servant who multiplied the one pound given him by his master was made ruler over ten cities…-B C Forbes

 

Cheerfulness is among the most laudable virtues. It gains you the good will and friendship of others. It blesses those who practice it and those upon whom it is bestowed.-B C Forbes

 

 

It is well for civilization that human beings constantly strive to gain greater and greater rewards, for it is this urge, this ambition, this aspiration that moves men and women to bestir themselves to rise to higher and higher achievement. Individual success is to be won in most instances by studying and diagnosing the kind of rewards human hearts seek today and are likely to seek tomorrow.-B C Forbes

 

 

Uncertainty hurts business. It annoys individuals. Why keep the whole country, including business and individuals, in uncertainty over the extent of the tax burdens to be placed upon us? How many of those who voted for Calvin Coolidge imagined for a moment that would do nothing to bring about tax relief before 1926?…. But if the Administration persists in opposing a special session then it will inevitably be 1926 before action is taken…. Coolidge and Congress should ease our minds and grease our activities by reforming and reducing taxation as soon as feasible after March 4.-B C Forbes

 

 

For my part, I rather distrust men or concerns that rise up with the speed of rockets. Sudden rises are sometimes followed by equally sudden falls. I have most faith in the individual or enterprise that advances step by step. A mushroom can spring up in a day; an oak takes 50 years or more to reach maturity. Mushrooms don’t last; oaks do. The real cause for an enormous number of business failures is premature over-expansion, attempting to gallop before learning to creep. Sudden successes often invite sudden reverses.-B C Forbes

 

 

There is more genuine joy in climbing the hill of success, even though sweat may be spent and toes may be stubbed, than in aimlessly sliding down the path to failure. If a straight, honorable path has been chosen, the gaining of the summit yields lasting satisfaction. The morass of failure, if reached through laziness, indifference or other avoidable fault, yields nothing but ignominy and sorrow for self and family and friends.-B C Forbes

 

 

The fittest, not the richest, make the most enviable mark. Pampered sons of plutocrats may shine for a time in society, but not in the world of affairs and of service unless they rip off their coats and get to work early and stay late. To be born with a golden spoon in the mouth is more of a handicap than a help in attaining worthwhile success in this age.-B C Forbes

 

 

Genius is often a short way of spelling hard work. Poverty, obscurity, struggle and ambition formed the foundation for many careers of transcendent achievement. Few marks are made in the world’s history by eight-hour-day men…. Sir Joshua Reynolds had but one maxim for success: Work, work, work. Is not rigid and continuous training necessary for the making of strong athletes? Hard work is not fatal to real success. Vouloir c’est pouvoir.-B C Forbes

 

Whimpering never kept a leaking vessel from foundering. Vigorously manning the pumps has. Get busy with your head and hands, not your chin.-B C Forbes

 

 

That which is useless dies. Animals that fail to serve some useful purpose in the scheme of things slowly but surely become extinct. Let any part of the human body cease to perform its ordained function, and it withers-as when an arm is kept long in a sling. This same decree, that nothing useless is permitted to survive, runs through the mind of the industrial world.-B C Forbes

 

 

Jealousy is an inner consciousness of one’s own inferiority. It is a mental cancer.-B C Forbes

 

 

A willing, cheerful worker, with his heart in his job, will turn out more work and more satisfactory work in 44 hours than an unwilling worker, dissatisfied with his conditions, will turn out in 54 hours. It is good business, therefore, for every employer to go as far as he possibly can in reaching a schedule agreeable to his people.-B C Forbes

 

 

Vitally important for a young man or woman is, first, to realize the value of education and then to cultivate earnestly, aggressively, ceaselessly, the habit of self-education.-B C Forbes

 

 

An idea, like a machine, must have power applied to it before it can accomplish anything.-B C Forbes

 

 

The majority of America’s colossal fortunes have been made by entering industries in their early stages and developing leadership in them…. Think of what opportunities the present and the future contain in such fields as ship-building and ship-owning, aircraft, electrical development, the oil industry, different branches of the automotive industry, foreign trade, international banking, invention, the chemical industry, moving pictures, color photography, and, one night add, labor leadership.-B C Forbes

 

 

Managing the other fellow’s business is a fascinating game. Trade unionists all over the country have pronounced ideas for the reform of Wall Street banks; and Wall Street bankers are not far behind in giving plans for the tremendous improvement of trade union policies. Wholesalers have schemes for improving the retailer; the retailer knows just what is wrong in the conduct of wholesale business-and we might go through a long list…. Yet for some reason the classes that ought to be helped keep on stubbornly clinging to their own method of running their affairs….-B C Forbes

 

 

Vacations for wage earners have proved both popular with workers and profitable for employers. Unfortunately, the majority of large employers have not yet followed the example set by a number of progressive corporations. I don’t know of a single company that has abandoned vacations for wage earners after having tried the experiment. But I do know many that are delighted with the fruits they have gathered. Under some of the plans vacations with pay must be earned by good behavior, punctuality, etc…. The best results have come where the treatment has been regarded as most liberal.-B C Forbes

 

 

Whenever possible, I like to have the supreme head of a company show me over the works. It is extremely illuminating to note the attitude of workers towards their boss, and equally interesting to note the attitude towards the workers. It is tragic to notice how many chief executives of large concerns are absolutely unknown, even by sight, to the rank and file of their workers.-B C Forbes

 

 

It is a great mistake for presidents and other leading executives of organizations having branches throughout the country to chain themselves to their desks at headquarters and send out rigid instructions to those in charge of distant branches and offices. Because a man sits in a palatial office in New York or Chicago or Philadelphia or Detroit and draws a big salary, it does not necessarily follow that he knows better than the man on the spot what ought to be done…. Paul, Caesar, Napoleon did not merely sit at home and issue long-range instructions.-B C Forbes

 

 

Do too many executives still indulge in the short-sighted habit of issuing orders without taking the slightest pains to explain to those responsible for carrying them out the whyfor and wherefor of the orders? Where employees come in daily and hourly contact with the public, surely it is important that care be taken to fit them to reply intelligently to courteous questions. “”Because them are orders”” isn’t a satisfying reply-even less satisfactory to the management than to the public.-B C Forbes

 

 

After visiting several of America’s most fashionable playgrounds, I have reached the conclusion that men who work hard enjoy life most. The men at such places can be divided into two classes, first, busy men of affairs … and, second, rich loafers. I was impressed by the obvious enjoyment corporation heads and other important executives were deriving from their vacation activities…. The idle rich fellows, on the other hand, although indulging in exactly the same activities, palpably were bored.-B C Forbes

 

 

The more I move among workers and factories and other plants, the stronger I become convinced that it is advisable to have as [a company] president a practical man, preferably one who has risen from the very bottom of the ladder. Workmen, I find, have far more respect for such men than for collar-and-cuff executives knowing little or nothing about the different kinds of work which have to be done by the workers. Wherever circumstances call for placing a financier or lawyer or a papa’s son at the head of a large organization, he should be made chairman or some other title, but not president.-B C Forbes

 

 

Are soft-hearted people handicapped in business? You have heard a businessman say of someone else, He’s all right, but he’s too soft-hearted…. To be soft-hearted may be handicapping, in a sense. But on the whole, a soft heart is to be preferred to a hard heart. Hard-hearted, severe, dominating giants sometimes manage to get further and to amass more money. But they get less genuine joy out of life…. It is the hard-boiled employer, not the soft-hearted species, that incites most of our strikes and does most to endanger the harmonious progress of democracy.-B C Forbes

 

 

Many men who do creditable things refuse to let it be known. This is a mistake. While we all admire modesty, nevertheless there is a great national need to do everything possible to bring home to the rank and file of the people that all employers and all wealthy men are not grinding, mercenary, selfish skinflints, but that many of them take delight in doing helpful things for others … Shortcomings of employers are constantly paraded. Why not let the public become acquainted with the better side which most present-day employers possess?-B C Forbes

 

 

Employers, have you ever stopped to reckon what the goodwill of your workers is worth? … In most large concerns it would be worth more in dollars and cents to have the goodwill of the working force than of those on the outside. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the average working force is capable of increasing its production 25% or more whenever the workers fell so inclined. Workers animated by ill will cannot possibly give results equal to those of workers animated by goodwill. The tragic fact appears to be that a tremendous number of working forces are not so animated….-B C Forbes

 

 

Talking things over has its place in an organization [but] so-called conferences are being grossly overdone. One executive stops at the desk of another to tell him, perhaps, about the wonderful score he made at golf on Saturday afternoon. This chin-chin immediately becomes a conference, and neither the office boy nor the telephone operator must disturb either gentleman. More idle gossip is indulged in at many business conferences these days than an old wives’ sewing circle would be guilty of.-B C Forbes

 

 

A magazine editor recently asked me to sit down on my 40th birthday and write an article on the most important things I had learned in my first 40 years. I told him that the chief thing I had learned was that the copybook maxims are true, but that too many people forget this once they go out into the heat and hustle and bustle of the battle of life and only realize their truth once one foot is beginning to slip into the grave. The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.-B C Forbes

 

 

Henry Ward Beecher, so the story goes, was once asked by a young preacher how he could keep his congregation wide awake and attentive during his sermons. Beecher replied that he always had a man watch for sleepers, with instructions, as soon as he saw anyone start nodding or dozing, to hasten to the pulpit and wake up the preacher. Aren’t you and I usually less sensible? Would we not be inclined to have the watcher wake up not ourselves but the fellows caught sleeping? In other words, aren’t we disposed always to blame others?-B C Forbes

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