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Wisdom of John D Rockefeller

20 Apr Success | Comments
Wisdom of John D Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller (Source:

Do not be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.  

I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.

  • As quoted in How They Succeeded (1901) by Orison Swett Marden

It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.

  • Attributed as a statement to his Bible class (1 April 1905) in “The Loneliness of John D. Rockefeller”, Current Literature (November 1906) vol. 41 no. 5,

I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.

  • Random Reminiscences of Men and Events (1906)

Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.

  • Remark to a neighbor, quoted by John Lewis in Cosmopolitan (1908)

The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit—a reputation, character.

  • The Men Who Are Making America (1918) by Bertie Charles Forbes

I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play —
I dropped the worry on the way —
And God was good to me every day.

  • Verses written on his eighty-sixth birthday (8 July 1925) [1]

I believe it is a religious duty to get all the money you can, fairly and honestly; to keep all you can, and to give away all you can.

  • TIME Magazine (21. May 1928) [2]

I believe the power to make money is a gift of God … to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankindHaving been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.

  • Interview with William Hoster, quoted in God’s Gold (1932) by John T. Flynn

The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee, and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.

  • Attributed in How to Win Friends and Influence People (1937) by Dale Carnegie

Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity.

  • Attributed in The Rockefellers (1976) by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.

  • As quoted in Steps to the Top (1985) by Zig Ziglar, p. 16

The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.

  • Attributed in The Fourth — And by Far the Most Recent 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (1990) by Robert Byrne; attributed elsewhere to Nathan M. Rothschild

If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.

  • As quoted in Complete Speaker’s and Toastmaster’s Library (1992) edited by Jacob Morton Braude and Glenn Van Ekeren

Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.

  • As quoted in The Forbes Book of Business Quotations (2007) edited by Ted Goodman, p. 175

I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything.

  • As quoted in Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life (2010) by Bryan Curtis, p. 75



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