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18 best business quotes of all time

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We all love to give great advice, but how about taking a few hints from business’ best and brightest? We searched high and low for a few of the best business quotes from entrepreneurs, startup adventurers, business magnates and economic gurus. As a bonus, we also have a few quotes from past American presidents, scientists and overall brilliant thinkers.

Which ones have we missed? Add them to our list by leaving them in the comments section below.

Warren buffett


“Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.” — Warren Buffett, business magnate, investor

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Albert Einstein

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.” — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

(AP Photo/Jan. 14, 1931)

Henry Ford

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

(In this Dec. 10, 1936 file photo, Henry Ford, right, stands with his first car built in 1892, assembled in the brick barn in the background in Detroit. At left is James Bishop. AP Photo.

benjamin franklin


“They that will not be counselled cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason, she will rap you on the knuckles.” — Benjamin Franklin, author, politician, scientist, inventor

(A figure of Benjamin Franklin is seen before the opening of the traveling exhibit on Benjamin Franklin that ran from April 16 – July 31, 2011. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic.)

john quincy adams

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  — John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the U.S.

(An undated portrait of John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the U.S., from 1825 to 1829. Adams’ portrait was painted by artist John Singleton Copley. Adams lived from 1767 to 1848 and was the son of the second president of the United States, John Adams/AP Photo.)

abraham lincoln

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”  — Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S.

(In this photo provided by the Library of Congress, President Abraham Lincoln, seated and holding his spectacles and a pencil on Feb. 5, 1865. AP Photo/Library of Congress/Alexander Gardner.)


“When you delve deep enough, you find that practically every great fortune and great enterprise in America has sprung from the courage enterprise of some individuals. It was Commodore Vanderbilt’s enterprise in switching first from running a ferryboat to running other ships, and then, when he was well along in years, his enterprise in switching into railroading that created what was to become one of the most notable fortunes in the history of the world.”  — B.C. Forbes, journalist and founder of Forbes magazine

Image credit: The Sept. 21, 2012 edition of Forbes showcased 12 of the leading philanthropists in the United States. (AP Photo/Forbes, Michael Prince)



“No one is born a CEO, but no one tells you that. The magazine stories make it sound like Mark Zuckerberg woke up one day and wanted to redefine how the world communicates [by creating] a billion-dollar company. He didn’t.”  — Andrew W. “Drew” Houston, founder and CEO of Dropbox

Image credit: David Rowan (L) of WIRED and Drew Houston of Dropbox speak during the Digital Life Design conference (DLD) at HVB Forum on January 23, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Biz Stone

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”  — Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder

(AP Photo/Jelly)


“Stay self-funded as long as possible.” — Garrett Camp, Canadian entrepreneur who co-founded StumbleUpon and Uber.

Image credit: In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 file photo, New York City taxis drive through New York’s Times Square. The car-hailing service Uber is taking on New York City’s taxis, temporarily dropping some of its prices by 20 percent starting Monday, July 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

sir richard branson

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” — Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

bill gates

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Jeff Bezos

“Any business plan won’t survive its first encounter with reality. The reality will always be different. It will never be the plan.” — Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Reid Hoffman

“All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.” — Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Tony Hsieh

Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO, American entrepreneur

(Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh during a forum. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)


“Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day.”  — Joel Spolsky, software engineer and Stack Overflow co-founder

 dave thomas

“What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” — Dave Thomas, Wendy’s founder

*Dave Thomas, Wendy’s restaurant founder and senior chairman of the board for Wendy’s International Inc., flips hamburgers at one of the company’s eateries in downtown Atlanta, Ga., Wednesday, July 19, 1989. AP Photo/John Bazemore)

mark zuckerberg

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”  — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder


(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)