B. C. Forbes Quotes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Are your desires purely selfish? Do your tastes run to a grand
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Are your desires purely selfish? Do your tastes run to a grand home, automobiles, fine clothes, an abundance of amusements, and so forth? If so, look around you at people who have such things in superabundance. Are they any happier, do you think, than you are? Are they any better morally? Are they any stronger physically? Are they better liked by their friends than you are by your friends? ... Carnegie said, Millionaires rarely smile. This is substantially true.

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: It is a great mistake for presidents and other leading executives of
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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

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: What one thing does the world need most today-apart, that is, from
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What one thing does the world need most today-apart, that is, from the all-inclusive thing we call righteousness? Aren't you inclined to agree that what this old world needs is just the art of being kind? Every time I visit a factory or any other large business concern, I find myself trying to diagnose whether the atmosphere is one of kindliness or the reverse. And somehow, if there is palpably lacking that spirit of kindness, the owners ... have fallen short of achieving 24-carat success no matter how imposing the financial balance sheet may be.

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Is America becoming decadent? Do we no longer regard our promises and
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Is America becoming decadent? Do we no longer regard our promises and pledges as sacred? ... We promised to make peace with Germany only in conjunction with the Allies; but we brought forward a separate peace, demanding for ourselves all the advantages of the Treaty of Versailles but rejecting all the responsibilities embodied in the Treaty. It was America's President who induced Europe to form a League of Nations; and then America was the first country that refused to joint it.... If these are not the symptoms of national decadency, what are they?

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Henry Ford has several times sneered at unproductive stockholders…. Well, now. Let’s
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Henry Ford has several times sneered at unproductive stockholders.... Well, now. Let's see. Who made Henry Ford's own automobile company possible? The stockholders who originally advanced money to him. Who makes it possible for you and me to be carried to and from business by train or street car? Stockholders.... Who made our vast telephone and telegraph service possible? Stockholders.... Were stockholders all over the country to withdraw their capital from the enterprises in which they are invested, there would be a panic ... on a scale never before known.

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: He is a wise man who seeks by every legitimate means to
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Debt Quotes, Money Quotes

He is a wise man who seeks by every legitimate means to make all the money he can honestly, for money can do so many worthwhile things in this world, not merely for one's self but for others. But he is an unmitigated fool who imagines for a moment that it is more important to make the money than to make it honestly. One of the advantages of possessing money is that it facilitates one's independence and mental attitude. The man head over heels in debt is more slave than independent.

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Vacations for wage earners have proved both popular with workers and profitable
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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

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: For my part, I rather distrust men or concerns that rise up
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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

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: The more I move among workers and factories and other plants, the
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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... Read more »

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: The most famous self-made man in the world today is our own
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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... Read more »

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: If the World War [I] demonstrated anything it was that government ownership
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If the World War [I] demonstrated anything it was that government ownership is fraught with the gravest dangers and usually leads to disaster. Take Britain. The two problems which have caused the greatest trouble since the war ended have been transportation and coal. The government seized both industries when the war broke out. It got them into such a hopeless mess that it does not know how to turn [In] coal; the government now realizes, it took hold of the tail of a wild animal and is afraid to let go.

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Managing the other fellow’s business is a fascinating game. Trade unionists all
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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

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: It is easier to start taxes than to stop them. A tax
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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,... Read more »

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Frank W. Woolworth once told me that the turning-point in his career
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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

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: A certain ultra-dignified gentleman of unusual prominence carried himself so stiffly that
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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... Read more »

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: Had I not gone through the ordeal, in more than one country,
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Had I not gone through the ordeal, in more than one country, of landing a job, I would he tempted to lose patience over the number of letters pouring in from fellows who want me or someone else to hand them a job on a silver platter with a guarantee that they will receive the wonderful promotion their talents warrant.... But a tragic number of young men and even older men have a notion that it is not up to them to prosecute the bettering process. They look to someone else to perform the trick for them.

B. C. Forbes

B. C. Forbes Picture Quote image saying: A magazine editor recently asked me to sit down on my 40th
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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