John D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist and philanthropist who revolutionized the oil industry in the late 19th century. He was a visionary leader, a brilliant strategist, and a man of great ambition and determination. Throughout his life, Rockefeller shared his wisdom and insights on success, work, and life through his speeches and writings. His words continue to inspire and motivate people to this day, as they offer a glimpse into the mind of one of the greatest entrepreneurs and humanitarians of all time. In this collection of inspirational John D Rockefeller quotes for work and success, you will find wisdom that can help you achieve your goals, overcome obstacles, and live a fulfilling life.
Inspirational John D Rockefeller Quotes
1. Quotes on Effective Leadership and Success:
1. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
This quote means that you shouldn’t hesitate to leave behind something that’s okay or decent if you have the chance to achieve something that’s much better. Sometimes, to achieve big success, you need to let go of smaller achievements.
2. “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”
This saying suggests that if you wish to do well in life, it’s better to explore new and unique ways of doing things instead of following the same old methods that everyone else is using. Trying new approaches might lead to greater success.
3. “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.”
This quote means that being skilled at interacting with people is just as valuable as buying things like sugar or coffee. The speaker is willing to pay a lot for this skill because it’s one of the most important abilities someone can have.
4. “Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”
This saying explains that being a good leader involves teaching ordinary or average people how to perform tasks at the level of excellence achieved by those who are exceptional. A great leader helps others reach their full potential.
5. “Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”
Similar to the previous quote, this one means that effective management involves guiding regular people to perform tasks as skillfully as those who are exceptional. A good manager helps their team members improve.
6. “I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.”
This quote reveals that the speaker’s approach was to find the potential for something positive even in difficult situations. When things went wrong, they saw a chance to make things better and learn from setbacks.
7. “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.”
This saying suggests that having a clear and focused goal is crucial for achieving success in life, regardless of what you’re aiming to achieve. When you concentrate your efforts on one main objective, it increases your chances of success.
8. “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit… a reputation, character.”
This quote highlights that for a young person, building a good reputation and character is more important than anything else. It’s about gaining trust and respect from others through your actions and behavior.
9. “The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?”
This saying means that the real concern when it comes to having a lot of money is how you use that wealth. It’s not just about having money, but about the positive impact you can make with it.
2. Quotes on Business and Wealth:
10. “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.”
This quote means that the speaker, Rockefeller, feels happy when he receives the money he earns from his investments. Seeing his profits increase brings him joy.
11. “I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.”
Rockefeller is saying that he prefers to earn a small portion of the effort from many people (like from investments or businesses) rather than doing all the work by himself and getting all the profit. He believes this approach is more efficient.
12. “The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.”
This quote suggests that when there’s a lot of fear and chaos (like during hard times in the economy), that can be a good opportunity to invest or buy things at a lower price. Rockefeller is using a strong image to emphasize the idea.
13. “Competition is a sin.”
Rockefeller is expressing the idea that focusing too much on competing against others might not be the best way to achieve success. He believes cooperation and collaboration are better than constantly trying to beat others.
14. “I have ways of making money that you know nothing of.”
Here, Rockefeller is saying that he has special methods or strategies for making money that others are not aware of. He’s implying that his approach is different and successful.
15. “Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.”
This quote means that giving to charity is only helpful when it empowers the person receiving help to eventually stand on their own without needing constant assistance. Just giving without helping people become self-sufficient can be harmful.
16. “If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”
Rockefeller is saying that if your sole focus is just to get rich, you might not succeed. He’s suggesting that having a deeper purpose or goal can lead to greater success.
17. “It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.”
Rockefeller is pointing out that being very wealthy doesn’t guarantee happiness. He’s challenging the idea that money alone brings joy.
18. “I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.”
Here, Rockefeller is saying that a life focused only on seeking pleasure isn’t satisfying to him. He believes there’s more to life than just seeking enjoyment.
19. “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to making money for money’s sake.”
Rockefeller is expressing strong disapproval for people who spend all their time just trying to make money without any other purpose or meaning in their lives. He finds this attitude unappealing.
20. “The secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well.”
Rockefeller is sharing a piece of advice: to be successful, you should focus on doing everyday tasks exceptionally well. This attention to detail and quality can set you apart.
21. “I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything.”
Rockefeller values hiring people who are excited and passionate about their work over those who claim to know everything. Enthusiasm and a positive attitude are important to him.
22. “Success comes from keeping the ears open and the mouth closed.”
This means that you can succeed by listening and observing more than by talking too much. Rockefeller suggests that learning from others is valuable for success.
3. Quotes on Values and Beliefs:
23. “A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.”
This quote means that it’s often better to start a business relationship with someone you become friends with along the way, rather than starting a friendship just to do business together. It suggests that genuine friendships can lead to better business partnerships.
24. “Every right implies a responsibility; Every opportunity, an obligation, Every possession, a duty.”
This saying tells us that when we have certain rights or chances, we also have a responsibility to use them wisely. It’s like saying that having something or being able to do something comes with a duty to do what’s right.
25. “Giving should be entered into in just the same way as investing. Giving is investing.”
This quote explains that when you give to others, like through charity or help, you should approach it like you’re investing your resources. Just like investing can bring rewards, giving can also create positive outcomes.
26. “I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Here, Rockefeller is saying that he thinks every person is extremely valuable and has the right to live freely and try to find happiness. He values individual freedom and well-being.
27. “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.”
This quote means that when we have certain rights or chances, we also have a duty to use them well. It’s similar to saying that with privilege comes responsibility.
28. “I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.”
Rockefeller is saying that all types of work are important and dignified, whether it involves thinking or using your hands. He believes that everyone has the chance to earn a living but nobody is owed a living without effort.
29. “I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.”
This quote means that being careful with money and resources is important for a well-organized life. Rockefeller believes that managing money wisely is crucial, whether it’s in personal life, business, or even government.
30. “I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.”
Rockefeller is saying that honesty and fairness are really important for society to last a long time. He thinks that a stable and strong society is built on truth and fairness.
31. “I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth.”
This quote tells us that promises are important and should be kept. Rockefeller values having a good character and integrity, believing it’s more valuable than money, power, or status.
32. “I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.”
Rockefeller is saying that it’s the duty of everyone to help others in meaningful ways. He believes that by making sacrifices for others, people can overcome selfishness and become better.
33. “I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual’s highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.”
This quote shows that Rockefeller believes in a wise and loving God, and he thinks that people find their best lives and happiness by living according to God’s wishes.
34. “I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.”
Rockefeller thinks that love is the most powerful force, stronger than hate. He believes that what is right and just will always be more successful than using force or power.
4. Quotes on Personal Development and Reflection:
35. “It is one thing to stand on the comfortable ground of placid inaction and put forth words of cynical wisdom, and another to plunge into the work itself and through strenuous experience earn the right to express strong conclusions.”
This quote is saying that it’s easy to talk smartly from a distance without really doing anything. But it’s a different story when you dive into the actual work, face challenges, and earn the knowledge to speak confidently.
36. “It is very important to remember what other people tell you, not so much what you yourself already know.”
This saying means that listening to what others say is really important. It’s more valuable to learn from others than to just focus on what you already know.
37. “After it is all over, the religion of man is his most important possession.”
Rockefeller is saying that when everything in life is done and finished, a person’s faith and what they believe in are the most important things they have.
38. “And we are never too old to study the Bible. Each time the lessons are studied comes some new meaning, some new thought which will make us better.”
This quote is telling us that no matter how old we are, it’s always a good idea to keep learning from the Bible. Every time we read it, we can find new ideas and thoughts that make us better people.
39. “We can never learn too much of His will towards us, too much of His messages and His advice. The Bible is His word and its study gives at once the foundation for our faith and an inspiration to battle onward in the fight against the tempter.”
Rockefeller is saying that we can’t learn too much about what God wants for us, His teachings, and His advice. He believes the Bible is a guide for our faith and gives us the strength to fight against negative influences.
Source: Goodreads, Image from Getty Images