B C Forbes Quotes & Wallpapers

B C Forbes
Total Quotes: 194


The British have their own conception of what constitutes the typical American. He must have a flavor of the Wild West about him. He must do spectacular things. He must not be punctilious about dignity, decorum and other refinements characteristic of the real British gentleman. The Yankee pictured by the Briton must be a bustler. If he is occasionally flagrantly indiscreet in speech and action, then he is so much more surely stamped the genuine article. The most typical American the British ever set their eyes on was, in their judgment, Theodore Roosevelt. 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

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

Bragging often precedes begging. 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. Youthfulnesss 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

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

There are two brands of discontent: the brand that merely fosters greed and snarling and back-biting, and the brand that inspires greater and greater effort to reach the desired goal. Which is your brand? B C Forbes

There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than a tenth-rate executive. B C Forbes

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. B C Forbes

The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck. B C Forbes

The truth doesn't hurt unless it ought to. B C Forbes

Books are like a mirror. If an ass looks in, you can't expect an angel to look out. 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

Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiselingand scraping and polishing. 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

No man can fight his way to the top and stay at the top without exercising the fullest measure of grit, courage, determination, resolution. B C Forbes

Opportunity can benefit no man who has not fitted himself to seize it and use it. Opportunity woos the worthy, shuns the unworthy. Prepare yourself to grasp opportunity, and opportunity is likely to come your way. It is not so fickle, capricious and unreasoning as some complain. B C Forbes

Has your work become very easy? Do you find you can do it with little effort? Has it ceased to impose any strain or fatigue upon you? Do you no longer feel loss of vitality after a long spell of it? Can you now do it as easy as water rolls off a duck's back? If so, look out! Do some stock-taking. Examine your output.... Work done with little effort is likely to yield little result. Every job can be done excellently or indifferently. Excellence necessitates effort-hard, sustained, concentrated effort. B C Forbes

Ugliness, squalor are breeding grounds for revolution. Beauty is conducive to tranquillity, happiness. Beautifying of homes and places of worship began with the dawn of civilization. Beautifying of workplaces is only in its infancy. Yet, since men normally spend more than half of their waking hours at work, surely it is important that adequate attention be devoted to elevating their working environment, whether office or factory, foundry or machine shop, mine or warehouse. Beautiful surroundings subtly encourage beautiful living. Drab surroundings, bad air, bad light, evoke bad reactions. B C Forbes

The most famous self-made man in the world today is our own Edison. Talk with Mr. Edison and he will tell you he owes much if not most of his success to omnivorous reading. Forbes is one of his favorite publications. How closely he reads it can be gathered from a letter just received from him in which he asks the editor to forward a long analytical letter to the writer of a series of articles which contained two figures Mr. Edison questions, and he wants to know exactly on what authority or investigation they were based. Both letters were the product of Mr. Edison and were signed by him. 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

Here's a pointer culled from the careers of men who have attained notable success: Don't sit in your office during the hours prospects can be seen. Do your office work before or after the hours during which possible customers can be reached. This may mean adding an hour or two quite often to your day's work; but in times like this particularly, the securing of a satisfactory amount of business through the expenditure of an extra hour or two a day is not an unreasonable price to pay. B C Forbes

It is easier to start taxes than to stop them. A tax an inch long can easily become a yard long. That has been the history of the income tax. Would not the sales tax be likely to have a similar history [in the U.S.]? ... Canadian newspapers report that an increase in the sales tax threatens to drive the Mackenzie King administration out of office. Canada began with a sales tax of 2%.... Starting this month the tax is 6%. The burden, in other words, has already been increased 200% ... What the U.S. needs is not new taxes, is not more taxes, but fewer and lower taxes. B C Forbes

Judgment can be acquired only by acute observation, by actual experience in the school of life, by ceaseless alertness to learn from others, by study of the activities of men who have made notable marks, by striving to analyze the everyday play of causes and effects, by constant study of human nature. B C Forbes

Without self-respect there can be no genuine success. Success won at the cost of self-respect is not success ? for what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own self-respect. B C Forbes

Don't forget until too late that the business of life is not business but living. B C Forbes

Success consists of being and doing, not simply accumulating. 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

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

Enthusiasm is the electric current that keeps the engine of life going at top speed. Enthusiasm is the very propeller of progress. B C Forbes

Inflationary trends are under way. Wage increases, through strikes or threatened strikes, are rampant. Government expenditures are ballooning ominously. Hoarding has contributed unconscionably to price-boosting. The Government should institute measures calculated to arrest inflation. America's commitments are already so mountainous, international and domestic, that the pruning knife should be applied. You and I, all American taxpayers, don't possess limitless resources-our pockets are not bottomless. Curb inflation at every turn! B C Forbes

Ideas are the raw material of progress. Everything first takes shape in the form of an idea. But an idea by itself is worth nothing. An idea, like a machine, must have power applied to it before it can accomplish anything. B C Forbes

Lady Luck generally woos those who earnestly, enthusiastically, unremittingly woo her. B C Forbes

Next to the dog, the wastebasket is your best friend. B C Forbes

Real riches are the riches possessed inside. B C Forbes

The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated. B C Forbes

A price has to be paid for success. Almost invariably those who have reached the summits worked harder and longer, studied and planned more assiduously, practiced more self- denial, overcame more difficulties than those of us who have not risen so far. 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

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

Which is more worthwhile earning: a large fortune or the esteem and gratitude of the nation? This question is prompted anew by the death of ex-Secretary of the Interior [Franklin K.] Lane. He remained in public service, doing most noble work, until his means became absolutely exhausted, and he died before having had the opportunity to reaccumulate any bank account.... He died leaving no estate whatsoever. Is what he did leave more to be desired, more to be coveted, than a fortune reaching into six or seven figures? B C Forbes

I have known not a few men who, after reaching the summits of business success, found themselves miserable on attaining retirement age. They were so exclusively engrossed in their day-to-day affairs that they had no time for friend-making.... They may flatter themselves that their unrelaxing concentration on business constitutes patriotism of the highest order. They may tell themselves that the existing emergency will pass, and that they can then adopt different, more sociable, more friendly habits. [But] such a day is little likely to come for such individuals. B C Forbes

Frank W. Woolworth once told me that the turning-point in his career did not come until he was thrown flat on his back by illness. He was sure that his business would go to pieces during his long, enforced absence. Instead, he discovered that he had in his employ men who could overcome difficulties when given power to exercise initiative. After that Woolworth left many problems and difficulties to be solved by subordinates and turned his attention to big things. 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

The Christmas spirit brings home to us-or should bring home to us-the profound Biblical truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Anything which inspires unselfishness makes for our ennoblement. Christmas does that. I am all for Christmas. B C Forbes

Which class is happiest, the rich, the middle class or the poor? A very successful executive of a large organization touches upon this vital subject in a long letter to all his salesmen. He uses as his text a passage from Robinson Crusoe which included this: ""My Father bid me observe it, and I should always find that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and were not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind. B C Forbes

Call the roll in your memory of conspicuously successful [business] giants and, if you know anything about their careers, you will be struck by the fact that almost every one of them encountered inordinate difficulties sufficient to crush all but the gamest of spirits. Edison went hungry many times before he became famous. 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

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

Our future and our fate lie in our wills more than in our hands, for our hands are but the instruments of our wills. B C Forbes

I resolve for 1920 to sit down all by myself and take a personal stock-taking once a month. To be no more charitable in viewing my own faults than I am an viewing the faults of others. To face the facts candidly and courageously. To address myself carefully, prayerfully, to remedying defects. B C Forbes

A price has to be paid for success. Almost invariably those who have reached the summits worked harder and longer, studied and planned more assiduously, practiced more self-denial, overcame more difficulties than those of us who have not risen so far. B C Forbes

If the deal isn't good for the other party, it isn't good for you. 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

Diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs. 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

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

It's so much easier to do good than to be good. B C Forbes

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

The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure. B C Forbes

What you have outside you counts less than what you have inside you. B C Forbes

Many of the most successful men I have known have never grown up. Youthfulness of spirit is the twin brother of optimism... Resist growing up! B C Forbes

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

How you start is important, but it is how you finish that counts. In the race for success, speed is less important than stamina. The sticker outlasts the sprinter. B C Forbes

Honesty is the cornerstone of character. The honest man or woman seeks not merely to avoid criminal or illegal acts, but to be scrupulously fair, upright, fearless in both action and expression. Honesty pays dividends both in dollars and in peace of mind. B C Forbes

A certain ultra-dignified gentleman of unusual prominence carried himself so stiffly that nobody felt free to call him by his first name. He quarreled with a friend of earlier days and from then on the two never spoke. The day the friend died an associate found the ultra-dignified gentleman staring through the window. When he came out of his reverie, he soliloquized with a sigh, ""He was the last to call me John."" Is any man really entitled to regard himself a success who has failed to inspire at least a goodly number of fellow mortals to greet him by his first name? B C Forbes

A nation's economic salvation does not lie in the amount of money its rich inhabitants can squander recklessly. A nation's economic salvation lies in the amount of money its inhabitants can save and invest after providing themselves with all the necessaries and all the reasonable comforts of life. B C Forbes

The bell of public opinion is today making the Morgan-Rockefeller-Vanderbilt class jump. Nor are the strongest of our corporations immune. The railroads have had to jump pretty lively, and certain gigantic industrial combinations are also being put through their paces. B C Forbes

A big business man was telling Henry Ford about a coach driver of super-expertness with his whip. The driver was telling how he could flick a fly off his horse's ear with his whip-and, a fly alighting just then, he promptly did so. Next he spied a grasshopper beside the road, and he flicked it off with equal dexterity. A little further along the road the passenger noticed an insect on a bush, and nudged the driver to get him. Not on your life, replied the master of the whip. That there insect is a hornet sitting on his nest with an organization behind him. I leave him alone. B C Forbes

To get the most out of the world one must conscientiously strive to put the most into it. Life without worthy ideals becomes wholly unsatisfying, sour. If our supreme objective is to serve, no blow fate may administer can daunt us. B C Forbes

The men who have done big things are those who were not afraid to attempt big things, who were not afraid to risk failure in order to gain success. B C Forbes



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