Business may refer to many differing activities, such as the activity of buying or selling in trade, a commercial firm or enterprise, one's personal affairs or concerns, one's regular occupation, employment, or profession, something acquiring attention, or a situation, matter or happening.
- A mission statement should define the business that the organization wants to be in, not necessarily what it is in.
- Russell L. Ackoff (1999) Re-Creating the Corporation. p. 83.
- When a business is bought, it is bought for its potential—for its future, not its past.
- Russell L. Ackoff (1999) Re-Creating the Corporation. p. 133.
- Business tomorrow.
- Founded on the words of Archias of Thebes. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- The people who believe most that our greatness and welfare are proved by our being very rich, and who most give their lives and thoughts to becoming rich, are just the very people whom we call the Philistines. Culture says: “Consider these people, then, their way of life, their habits, their manners, the very tones of their voice; look at them attentively; observe the literature they read, the things which give them pleasure, the words which come forth out of their mouths, the thoughts which make the furniture of their minds; would any amount of wealth be worth having with the condition that one was to become just like these people by having it?”
- Matthew Arnold, “Sweetness and Light,” Culture and Anarchy (1869), p. 16.
- We were sinning by writing or reading or studying less than our assigned lessons. For I did not, O Lord, lack memory or capacity, for, by thy will, I possessed enough for my age. However, my mind was absorbed only in play, and I was punished for this by those who were doing the same things themselves. But the idling of our elders is called business; the idling of boys, though quite like it, is punished by those same elders, and no one pities either the boys or the men. For will any common sense observer agree that I was rightly punished as a boy for playing ball—just because this hindered me from learning more quickly those lessons by means of which, as a man, I could play at more shameful games?
- Augustine, Confessions, Book 1, Chapter 9
- Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.
- Jane Austen, John Knighley, in Emma Ch. 34 (1815).
- In civil business: what first? boldness; what second and third? boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts.
- Francis Bacon. 'Of Boldness', Essays (1625).
- Come home to men's business and bosoms.
- Francis Bacon, Essays (1625), Dedication of edition 9. To the Duke of Buckingham. Also in Ed. 1668.
- Consequently, American businesses must meet the challenge of poorly- educated people in today's workforce by strengthening employee training programs.
- Gregory Balestrero Public power (1990) Volume 48. American Public Power Association. p. 9.
- However successful a man may be in his own business, if he turns from that and engages ill a business which he don't understand, he is like Samson when shorn of his locks his strength has departed, and he becomes like other men.
- P. T. Barnum, 'Beware of Outside Operations', The Art of Money Getting (1880).
- Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbour remains poor for life, because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business.
- P. T. Barnum, 'Whatever You Do, Do With All Your Might', The Art of Money-Getting.
- Where is Christ, the King? In heaven, to be sure. Thither it behooves you, soldier of Christ, to direct your course. Forget all earthly delights. A soldier does not build a house; he does not aspire to possession of lands; he does not concern himself with devious, coin-purveying trade. … The soldier enjoys a sustenance provided by the king; he need not furnish his own, nor vex himself in this regard.
- Basil of Caesarea, “An introduction to the ascetical life,” Saint Basil: Ascetical Works, M. Wagner, trans. (1950), p. 9
- The business changes. The technology changes. The team changes. The team members change. The problem isn't change, per se, because change is going to happen; the problem, rather, is the inability to cope with change when it comes.
- General Systems Theory, as originally intended by Von Bertalanffy, is an ideal framework for the modeling of a business enterprise. Work, in its most civilized form should enrich, empower and emancipate. Thus we must continue to find ways to support work as a humanistic, not mechanistic endeavor. We must continue to seek out new models of business that support and enhance the individual as well as the collective whole. Given all this new technology, we need new institutions for handling it.
- Anthony Stafford Beer (1974) Designing Freedom.
- Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
- Proverbs xxii. 29.
- Business has continued to be more interested in thinking, in general, than any other sector of society. The explanation for this is because there is a reality test. There is a bottom line. There are sales figures and profit figures. There are results.
- Edward de Bono. 'Leadership and the need for creative thinking', 3 June 2010, an article of his on Management-Issues.com website.
- Formerly when great fortunes were only made in war, war was a business; but now, when great fortunes are only made by business, business is war.
- Christian Nestell Bovee (1862) Intuitions and Summaries of Thought Vol 1. p. 82.
- Loose ideas on the subject of business will not answer. It must be reduced to something of a science. It has its principles, upon a knowledge and an application of which, success in it mainly depends.
- Christian Nestell Bovee (1862) Intuitions and Summaries of Thought Vol 1. p. 83.
- The performance of business leaders during the next decade will play a major role in determining not only business but political and social trends for a long time to come. Here are some of the principal reasons:
- Business leaders control the economic well-being of and stockholder.
- The course of business shapes public opinion.
- Business leaders shape public opinion.
So, in addition to his or her prime responsibility of managing his or her enterprise at a profit, the business leader of today is faced with new and larger responsibilities. And, at the same time, the job of managing his or her enterprise at a profit is increasing in complexity. Consequently, the imposition of additional responsibilities makes the nation’s task of developing an adequate number of properly equipped executive leaders a staggering one indeed.
- Marvin Bower (1949) The development of executive leadership. Harvard University. Graduate School of Business Administration. p. v.
- I believe that leaders and leadership teams working together in a proper design will run the business more effectively than by hierarchical, command-and-control managing. But I can't prove that. And there are no models.
- Marvin Bower (1966) The Will to Manage p. 7.
- A business of high principle generates greater drive and effectiveness because people know that they can do the right thing decisively and with confidence.
- Marvin Bower (1966) The Will to Manage p. 25
- In the field of modern business, so rich in opportunity for the exercise of man's finest and most varied mental faculties and moral qualities, mere money-making cannot be regarded as the legitimate end. Neither can mere growth of bulk or power be admitted as a worthy ambition. Nor can a man nobly mindful of his serious responsibilities to society view business as a game; since with the conduct of business human happiness or misery is inextricably interwoven.
- Louis Brandeis, "Business — The New Profession", La Follette's Weekly Magazine, Volume 4, No. 47 (November 23, 1912), p. 7.
- Real success in business is to be found in achievements comparable rather with those of the artist or the scientist, of the inventor or statesman. And the joys sought in the profession of business must be like their joys and not the mere vulgar satisfaction which is experienced in the acquisition of money, in the exercise of power or in the frivolous pleasure of mere winning.
- Louis Brandeis, "Business — The New Profession", La Follette's Weekly Magazine, Volume 4, No. 47 (November 23, 1912), p. 7.
- If you can run one business well, you can run any business well.
- What I must understand is why someone will continue to get out of bed in the morning once they have all the money they could want. Do they love the business, or do they love the money?
- Warren Buffett, 'The Warren Buffett You Don't Know', Business Week article, 5 July 1999.
- Business dispatched is business well done, but business hurried is business ill done.
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Caxtoniana, Essay XXVI, Readers and Writer. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure and pleasure my business.
- Aaron Burr, Letter to Pichon, reported in: Marshall Brown (1899), Wit and Humor of Bench and Bar , p. 67.
- Sometimes when I am alone in my beautiful apartments, brooding over these things and nursing my loneliness, I say to myself: "There are cases when success is a tragedy." There are moments when I regret my whole career, when my very success seems to be a mistake. I think that I was born for a life of intellectual interest. I was certainly brought up for one. The day when that accident turned my mind from college to business seems to be the most unfortunate day in my life. I think that I should be much happier as a scientist or writer, perhaps. I should then be in my natural element, and if I were doomed to loneliness I should have comforts to which I am now a stranger. That's the way I feel every time I pass the abandoned old building of the City College. The business world contains plenty of successful men who have no brains. Why, then, should I ascribe my triumph to special ability?
- Abraham Cahan, The Rise of David Levinsky (1917)
- Everybody knows by now, all businessmen are completely full of shit; just the worst kind of low-life, criminal, cocksuckers you could ever wanna' run into – a fuckin' piece of shit businessman. And the proof of it, the proof of it is, they don't even trust each other. They don't trust one another. When a business man sits down to negotiate a deal, the first thing he does is to automatically assume that the other guy is a complete lying prick who's trying to fuck him outta his money. So he's gotta do everything he can to fuck the other guy a little bit faster and a little bit harder. And he's gotta do it with a big smile on his face. You know that big, bullshit businessman smile? And if you're a customer – Whoah! – that's when you get the really big smile. Customer always gets that really big smile, as the businessman carefully positions himself directly behind the customer, and unzips his pants, and proceeds to service...the...account. 'I am servicing this account. This customer needs service.' Now you know what they mean. Now you know what they mean when they say, 'We specialize in customer service.' Whoever coined the phrase 'let the buyer beware' was probably bleeding from the asshole. That's business.
- George Carlin, You Are All Diseased (1999)
- The man of business knows that only by years of patient, unremitting attention to affairs can he earn his reward, which is the result, not of chance, but of well-devised means for the attainment of ends.
- Andrew Carnegie, American Industrialist. 'The Road to Business Success', The Empire of Business (1913).
- It is not size that counts in business. Some companies with $500,000 capital net more profits than other companies with $5 million. Size is a handicap unless efficiency goes with it.
- Herbert N. Casson as cited in: Alfred Armand Montapert (1964) Distilled Wisdom. p. 68.
- There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state — Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality — one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.
- A rational, moral being cannot, without infinite wrong, be converted into a mere instrument of others’ gratification. He is necessarily an end, not a means. A mind, in which are sown the seeds of wisdom, disinterestedness, firmness of purpose, and piety, is worth more than all the outward material interests of a world. It exists for itself, for its own perfection, and must not be enslaved to its own or others’ animal wants.
- William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture” (1838).
- Despatch is the soul of business.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, letters (Feb. 5, 1750). in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- You foolish man, you don't even know your own foolish business.
- Lord Chesterfield to John Anstis, the Garter King of Arms. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- This business will never hold water.
- Colley Cibber, She Wou'd and She Wou'd Not, Act IV. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- The chief business of the American people is business.
- A business with an income at its heels.
- William Cowper, Retirement, line 614. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Part of America's industrial problems is the aim of its corporate managers. Most American executives think they are in the business to make money, rather than products or service...The Japanese corporate credo, on the other hand, is that a company should become the world's most efficient provider of whatever product and service it offers. Once it becomes the world leader and continues to offer good products, profits follow.
- W. Edwards Deming (1982) Out Of The Crisis, p. 99.
- Here's the rule for bargains: "Do other men, for they would do you." That's the true business precept.
- Charles Dickens. Joanas Chuzzlewit, in Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter 11 (1843-44).
- Talk of nothing but business, and dispatch that business quickly.
- On a placard placed by Aldus on the door of his printing office.
- Charles Dibdin, Introduction, Volume I, p. 436. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Your company may have a reputation for brilliant leadership, outstanding innovation, clever branding and effective change management, but the business could fail if the world changes and you are unprepared.
- Patrick Dixon (1998) Futurewise
- Business strategy is the battleplan for a better future.
- Patrick Dixon (2005) Building a Better Business.
- Free enterprise cannot be justified as being good for business. It can be justified only as being good for society.
- Peter Drucker (1954) The Practice of Management, p. 41.
- The basic definition of the business and of its purpose and mission have to be translated into objectives.
- Peter Drucker (1973) MANAGEMENT: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, Chapter 8, pg.99.
- Business has only two basic functions: marketing and innovation.
- Peter Drucker (1999) Management: tasks, responsibilities, practices. p. 57.
- Business? It's quite simple: it's other people's money.
- Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824-1895), French dramatist. Giraud, in, La Question d'Argent, Act 2, sc. 7 (1857).
- Business was his aversion; pleasure was his business.
- Maria Edgeworth, The Contrast, Chapter 2.
- Do not craze yourself with thinking, but go about your business anywhere.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. 'Experience', Essays, Second Series (1844).
- The technical and commercial functions of a business are clearly defined, but the same cannot be said of the administrative function. Not many people are familiar with its constitution and powers; our senses cannot follow its workings - we do not see it build or forge, sell or buy - and yet we all know that, if it does not work properly, the undertaking is in danger of failure.
- Henri Fayol (1900) Henri Fayol addressed his colleagues in the mineral industry 23 June 1900.
- According to the dictionary, to administer is to govern, or to manage a public or private business. It means, therefore, to seek to make the best possible use of the resources available in achieving the goal of the enterprise. Administration includes, therefore, all the operations of the enterprise. But as a result of the usual way of organizing things to facilitate the running of the business, a certain number of activities constitute the special departments; the technical department, the commercial department, the financial department, etc., and the scope of the administrative department is found to be reduced accordingly. (p.911)
- Henri Fayol (1900).
- There is no one doctrine of administration for business and another for affairs of state; administrative doctrine is universal. Principles and general rules which hold good for business hold good for the state too, and the reverse applies.
- Henri Fayol (1917) "Préface à Administration industrielle et générale" in: Dunod and Pinat eds. (1918) l’éveil de l’esprit public. p. 6.
- We believe that there is one economic lesson which our twentieth century experience has demonstrated conclusively—that America can no more survive and grow without big business than it can survive and grow without small business…. the two are interdependent. You cannot strengthen one by weakening the other, and you cannot add to the stature of a dwarf by cutting off the legs of a giant.
- Benjamin Franklin Fairless, president of United States Steel Corporation, Congressional testimony (April 26, 1950); reported in Study of Monopoly Power, hearings before the Subcommittee on Study of Monopoly Power of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, 81st Congress, 2nd session, part 4A, "Steel" (1950), p. 466.
- Do not become involved in the business world. Do not become entangled in the world's initiatives and the corruption you have fled through knowledge of the Savior.
- The Sacred Exchange of Saint Francis with Lady Poverty, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, Volume 1, p. 543.
- You can hardly have too much harmony in business. But you can go too far in picking men because they harmonize.
- Henry Ford (1863-1947), American automobile industrialist. 'Democracy and industry', Chapter XVIII, My Life and Work (1922), written in collaboration with Samuel Crowther.
- Some day the ethics of business will be universally recognized, and in that day business will be seen to be the oldest and most useful of all the professions.
- Henry Ford. 'What we may expect', Chapter XIX, My Life and Work (1922), written in collaboration with Samuel Crowther.
- Somewhere in the past. organizations were quite simple, and 'doing business' consisted of buying raw material from suppliers, converting into products, and selling it to customers... For the most part owner-entrepreneurs founded such simple business and worked along with members of their families. The family-dominated business still accounts for a large portion of the business start today.
- R. Edward Freeman (2007) Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach p. 5
- There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.
- Milton Friedman. From, "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits", an article in The New York Times Magazine, 13th September 1970.
- Business is other people's money.
- Delphine de Girardin (1804-1855), French authoress. Marguerite ou deux amours, Vol. ii. (1852).
- I think any man in business would be foolish to fool around with his secretary. If it's somebody else's secretary, fine!
- Attributed to Barry Goldwater in: Conference Board (1978) Across the board. Vol. 15. p. 74.
- All businesses operate below their true potential. That is unavoidable, given the fallibility of human beings.
- Robert Heller, British management journalist and author. 'The Competitors', Chapter 10, The Decision makers (1989).
- The more truth you can get into any business, the better. Let the other side know the defects of yours, let them know how you are to be satisfied, let there be as little to be found as possible (I should say nothing), and if your business be an honest one, it will be best tended in this way.
- Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875), English writer. Friends in Council (First Series), (1847), 'Truth', Chapter 1.
- Those that are above business.
- Mathew Henry, Commentaries, Matthew XX. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours.
- A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise.
- Hillel the Younger Pirkei Avot 2:5
- It is probably true that business corrupts everything it touches. It corrupts politics, sports, literature, art, labor unions and so on. But business also corrupts and undermines monolithic totalitarianism. Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment.
- Eric Hoffer (1902–83), "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely,'" The New York Times Magazine, 25th April 1971, p. 50.
- Quod medicorum est
Promittunt medici, tractant fabrilia fabri.
- Physicians attend to the business of physicians, and workmen handle the tools of workmen.
- Horace, Epistles, II. 1. 115. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Aliena negotia curo,
- I attend to the business of other people, having lost my own.
- Horace, Satires, II. 3. 19. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- The Businessman is one who supplies something great and good to the world, and collects from the world for the goods.
- Elbert Hubbard. 'George Peabody', Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen (1916).
- We now say that the Science of Economics, or Business, is the chief concern of humanity. Business is intelligent, useful activity. The word "busy-ness" was coined during the time of Chaucer by certain soldier-aristocrats, men of the leisure class, who prided themselves upon the fact that they did no useful thing. Men of power proved their prowess by holding slaves, and these slaves did all the work. To be idle showed that one was not a slave. But this word "business," first flung in contempt, like Puritan, Methodist and Quaker, has now become a thing of which to be proud. Idleness is the disgrace, not busy-ness.
- Elbert Hubbard. 'The American Philosophy', The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard (1916).
- The duty of government is to leave commerce to its own capital and credit as well as all other branches of business, protecting all in their legal pursuits, granting exclusive privileges to none.
- Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), United States president. Letter, 28 December 1841, to William B. Lewis, Jackson, Lewis Papers, New York Public Library.
- Jesus ... combines all duties (1) in one universal rule (which includes within itself both the inner and the outer moral relations of men), namely: Perform your duty for no motive other than unconditioned esteem for duty itself, i.e., love God (the Legislator of all duties) above all else; and (2) in a particular rule, that, namely, which concerns man’s external relation to other men as universal duty: Love every one as yourself, i.e., further his welfare from good-will that is immediate and not derived from motives of self-advantage. These commands are not mere laws of virtue but precepts of holiness which we ought to pursue, and the very pursuit of them is called virtue.
- Immanuel Kant, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, Book IV, Part 1, Section 1, “The Christian religion as a natural religion”
- In business the 80/20 principle is behind any innovation, any extra value. It is an entrepreneurial principle, a formula for value creation utilized not only by entrepreneurs, but by most managers and organizations.
- Richard Koch (2003) The 80/20 Individual Chapter: The 80/20 Principle Is at the Heart of Creation
- One should never let pleasure interfere with business.
- Business before pleasure.
Context: I see that his Britannic Majesty will not marry Hortense — I see that Hortense will marry Meilleraye. Business before pleasure, I am ready to grant; but when there is none, il faut s'amuser.
- A man's success in business today turns upon his power of getting people to believe he has something that they want.
- Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book II, Chapter IX.
- Business today consists in persuading crowds.
- Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book II, Chapter V. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- There is no better ballast for keeping the mind steady on its keel, and saving it from all risk of crankiness, than business.
- James Russell Lowell, Among My Books, New England Two Centuries Ago. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- In business everyone is out to grab, to fight, to win. Either you are the under or the over dog. It is up to you to be on top.
- Alice Foote MacDougall (1867-1945), American businesswoman. The Autobiography of a Business Woman (1928), Chapter 3.
- Everybody's business is nobody's business.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, essay on Hallam's Constitutional History. Quoted as an old maxim. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- You silly old fool, you don't even know the alphabet of your own silly old business.
- Attributed to Judge William Henry Maule. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Most American men of affairs have learned well the rhetoric of public relations, in some cases even to the point of using it when they are alone, and thus coming to believe it.
- C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (1956), p. 5.
- We all learn by imitating, as children, as students, as novices in the world of business. And then we grow up and learn to blend our innate abilities with the rules or principles we have learned.
- Akio Morita (1986) Made in Japan p. 161.
- I don't think that corporations are these big bogeymen that a lot of people paint them to be. … A corporation is a group of people, and if you want to come together for profit or nonprofit, that's your business—whatever you want to do.
- Krist Novoselic, interviewed by Nick Gillespie, "Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on Punk, Politics, & Why He Dumped the Dems", ReasonTV (19 June 2014), 15:30–15:37, 17:10–17:20.
- Curse on the man who business first designed,
And by't enthralled a freeborn lover's mind!
- John Oldham, Complaining of Absence, 11. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- It is very sad for a man to make himself servant to a thing, his manhood all taken out of him by the hydraulic pressure of excessive business. I should not like to be merely a great doctor, a great lawyer, a great minister, a great politician—I should like to be also something of a man.
- Theodore Parker As quoted in A Dictionary of Thoughts : Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors, Both Ancient and Modern (1891) edited by Tryon Edwards. p. 326.
- Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No man, being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses.
- 2 Timothy 2:3-4
- Negotii sibi qui volet vim parare,
Navem et mulierem, hæc duo comparato.
Nam nullæ magis res duæ plus negotii
Habent, forte si occeperis exornare.
Neque unquam satis hæ duæ res ornantur,
Neque eis ulla ornandi satis satietas est.
- Who wishes to give himself an abundance of business let him equip these two things, a ship and a woman. For no two things involve more business, if you have begun to fit them out. Nor are these two things ever sufficiently adorned, nor is any excess of adornment enough for them.
- Plautus, Pœnulus, I. 2. 1. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Socrates makes me admit to myself that, even though I myself am deficient in so many regards, I continue to take no care of myself, but occupy myself with the business of the Athenians.
- Alcibiades in Plato, Symposium, 216a
- A man of business may talk of philosophy; a man who has none may practice it.
- Alexander Pope, Thoughts on Various Subjects (1727).
- A friendship founded on business, which Mr. Flagler used to say was a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (2012) Random Reminiscences of Men and Events.
- The mechanism of modern business is so delicate that extreme care must be taken not to interfere with it in a spirit of rashness or ignorance.
- Theodore Roosevelt, First Annual Message to Congress (1901).
- We demand that big business give people a square deal; in return we must insist that when any one engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right, he shall himself be given a square deal.
- When men are rightly occupied, their amusement grows out of their work, as the colour-petals out of a fruitful flower;—when they are faithfully helpful and compassionate, all their emotions become steady, deep, perpetual, and vivifying to the soul as the natural pulse to the body. But now, having no true business, we pour our whole masculine energy into the false business of money-making; and having no true emotion, we must have false emotions dressed up for us to play with, not innocently, as children with dolls, but guiltily and darkly.
- John Ruskin, “Sesame and Lilies” (1865)
- The first mistake belonging to business is the going into it.
- George Savile, Marquess of Halifax, “Moral Thoughts and Reflections,” Complete Works (Oxford:1912), p. 231.
- Men make it such a point of honour to be fit for business that they forget to examine whether business is fit for a man.
- George Savile, Marquess of Halifax, “Moral Thoughts and Reflections,” Complete Works (Oxford:1912), p. 231.
- It is not a reproach but a compliment to learning, to say, that great scholars are less fit for business; since the truth is, business is so much a lower thing than learning, that a man used to the last cannot easily bring his stomach down to the first.
- People are a thousand times more concerned to become wealthy than to acquire mental culture, whereas it is quite certain that what we are contributes much more to our happiness than what we have. Therefore we see very many work from morning to night as industriously as ants and in restless activity to increase the wealth they already have. Beyond the narrow horizon of the means to this end, they know nothing; their minds are a blank and are therefore not susceptible to anything else. The highest pleasures, those of the mind, are inaccessible to them and they try in vain to replace them by the fleeting pleasures of the senses in which they indulge at intervals and which cost little time but much money. If their luck has been good, then as a result they have at the end of their lives a really large amount of money, which they now leave to their heirs either to increase still further or to squander. Such a life, though pursued with a very serious air of importance, is therefore just as foolish as is many another that had for its symbol a fool’s cap.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, “Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life,” Parerga und Paralipomena, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 321.
- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in a mordant protest written soon after the election, found the intellectual “in a situation he has not known for a generation.” After twenty years of Democratic rule, during which the intellectual had been in the main understood and respected, business had come back into power, bringing with it “the vulgarization which has been the almost invariable consequence of business supremacy.”
- Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1974), p. 4.
- A cloud masses, the sky darkens, leaves twist upward, and we know that it will rain. We also know that after the storm, the runoff will feed into groundwater miles away, and the sky will grow clear by tomorrow. All of these events are distant in time and space, if they're all connected within the same pattern. Each has an influence on the rest, and influence that is usually hidden from view. You can only understand the system of rainstorm by contemplating the whole not any part of the pattern.
Businesses and other human endeavors are also systems. They, too, are bound by invisible fabrics of interrelated actions, which often take years to fully play out their effects on each other. Since we are part of that lacework ourselves, it's doubly hard to see the whole pattern of change. Instead we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system, and wonder why our deepest problems never seem to get resolved.
- Peter Senge (1990) The Fifth Discipline. p. 7.
- To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to 't with delight.
- In business affairs, it is the manner in which even small matters are transacted that often decides man for or against you.
- Samuel Smiles. 'Men of business', Chapter 9, Self-Help (1859).
- It is held that one fulfils his whole duty when he is industrious in his business or vocation, observing also the decencies of domestic, civil, and religious life. But activity of this kind stirs only the surface of our being, leaving what is most divine to starve; and when it is made the one important thing, men lose sense for what is high and holy, and become commonplace, mechanical, and hard. Science is valuable for them as a means to comfort and wealth; morality, as an aid to success; religion, as an agent of social order. In their eyes those who devote themselves to ideal aims and ends are as foolish as the alchemists, since the only real world is that of business and politics, or of business simply, since politics is business.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), p. 14.
- O brave youth, how good for thee it were couldst thou be made to understand how infinitely precious are thy school years—years when thou hast leisure to grow, when new worlds break in upon thee, and thou fashionest thy being in the light of the ideals of truth and goodness and beauty! If now thou dost not fit thyself to become free and whole, thou shalt, when the doors of this fair mother-house of the mind, close behind thee, be driven into ways that lead to bondage, be compelled to do that which cripples and dwarfs; for the work whereby men gain a livelihood involves mental and moral mutilation, unless it be done in the spirit of religion and culture. Ah! well for thee, canst thou learn while yet there is time that it will profit thee nothing to become the possessor of millions, if the price thou payest is thy manhood.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), pp. 58-59.
- No man tastes pleasures truly, who does not earn them by previous business; and few people do business well, who do nothing else.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, 7 August 1749, in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son (1774).
- Despatch is the soul of business.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773). Letter, 5 February 1750.
- Of course, there's a different law for the rich and the poor: otherwise, who would go into business?
- E. Ralph Stewart, reported in Christina Stead, House of all nations (1966) , p. xi.
- Organizations are defined from the inside out: they are described by who reports to whom, by departments and processes and matrices and perks. A business, on the other hand, is defined from the outside in by markets, suppliers, customers, and competitors.
- Thomas A. Stewart, American business writer, management consultant. 'Introduction to the Paperback Edition', Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations (1998).
- Men of great parts are often unfortunate in the management of public business, because they are apt to go out of the common road by the quickness of their imagination.
- Jonathan Swift (1812) The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift. p. 181.
- Par negotiis neque supra.
- Neither above nor below his business.
- Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), VI. 39.
- Omnibus nobis ut res dant sese, ita magni atque humiles sumus.
- We all, according as our business prospers or fails, are elated or cast down.
- Terence, Hecyra, III, 2, 20. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- Cujuslibet tu fidem in pecunia perspiceres,
Verere ei verba credere?
- Do you fear to trust the word of a man, whose honesty you have seen in business?
- Terence, Phormio, I, 2, 10. in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 85-87.
- I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
- Henry David Thoreau, "Life Without Principle", Atlantic Monthly (October 1863), p. 485.
- Most are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a vacume and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.
- Henry David Thoreau, Odell Shepard (1961) The Heart of Thoreau's Journals. p. 129.
- Most of those who say so easily that this is our way out do not, I am convinced, understand that fundamental changes of attitude, new disciplines, revised legal structures, unaccustomed limitations on activity, are all necessary if we are to plan. This amounts, in fact, to the abandonment, finally, of laissez faire. It amounts, practically, to the abolition of "business".
- Rexford Guy Tugwell, "The Principle of Planning and the Institution of Laissez Faire", paper presented at the 44th annual meeting of the American Economic Association; reported in The American Economic Review (March 1932), vol. 22, no. 1, supplement, p. 76.
- I have laid aside business, and gone a-fishing.
- Izaak Walton, (1593-1683), 'Epistle to the Reader', The Compleat Angler (1653-1655).
- I remember that a wise friend of mine did usually say, "That which is everybody's business is nobody's business."
- Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler (1653-1655), Part I, Chapter II. Quoted.
- The best way to support dreams and stretch is to set apart small ideas with big potential, then give people positive role models and the resources to turn small projects into big businesses.
- Jack Welch (2001) Jack: Straight from the Gut Ch. 3.
- Business has to be fun. For too many people, it's "just a job."
- Jack Welch (2001) Jack: Straight from the Gut Ch. 24.
- Every great man of business has got somewhere a touch of the idealist in him.
- Woodrow Wilson (1972) The papers of Woodrow Wilson. Vol 14. p. 244.
- Go, go to your business, I say, pleasure, whilst I go to my pleasure, business.
- William Wycherley (1640-1716), British dramatist. In, The Country Wife, Act II (1675).
- “What of the man who is such a keen man of business that he has no leisure for anything but the selfish pursuit of gain?”
- “We must avoid him too, I think.”
- Xenophon, Socrates and Critobulus in Memorabilia, 2.5.3