Famous, Funny and Inspiring Business Quotes

What some famous people have said about getting ahead

W. C. Fields funny quote
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American culture revolves around the retail business. Our government structure is politically influenced by it, our economy is dependent on it, and shopping is something of a recreational pastime. It's easy to take the retail business a little too seriously under these circumstances, but not everyone does so.

Take a break from all the seriousness of these funny and inspiring quotes about business from famous leaders, writers, entertainers, and experts.

Famous, Funny and Inspiring Quotations About Business

  • "Right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I’d have to throw myself in front of a train." Jim Halpert, The Office Season 1, "Health Care"
  • "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." Vidal Sassoon
  • "Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?Steve Jobs
  • "Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity." Karl Marx

Fun and Funny Quotes About Politics, the Economy, and Capitalism

  • "The politicians say 'we' can't afford a tax cut. Maybe we can't afford the politicians." Steve Forbes
  • "Democracy is an awful way to run a country, but it's the best system we have." Winston Churchill

Funny and Inspirational Quotes About Competition and Anti-Capitalism

  • "There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there." Indira Gandhi
  • "Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." David Sarnoff, pioneer of American commercial radio and TV
  • "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Napoleon Bonaparte

Fun and Funny Quotes About Lawsuits, Litigation, and the American Legal System

  • "Litigation is the basic legal right which guarantees every corporation its decade in court." David Porter, Microsoft corporate vice president of retail sales
  • "There are more lawyers in just Washington D.C. than in all of Japan. They've got about as many lawyers as we have sumo wrestlers." Lee Iacocca, former president and CEO of Chrysler

Funny and Inspirational Quotes About Setbacks, Comebacks and Overcoming Adversity

  • "You hear about how many fourth quarter comebacks that a guy has and I think it means a guy screwed up in the first three-quarters." Peyton Manning, record-breaking NFL quarterback
  • "Making a comeback is one of the most difficult things to do with dignity." Greg Lake, musician with Emerson Lake and Palmer
  • "If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it." WC Fields
  • "If at first, you don’t succeed, take the tax loss." Kirk Kirkpatrick

The Fun and Funny Side of Jobs, Unemployment, Working and Not Working

  • "An acceptable level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job." - Unknown
  • "The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form." Stanley J. Randall, Canadian businessman and politician 

Funny and Inspirational Quotes About Reputations—Good and Bad

  • "Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street."  Elbert Hubbard, American writer and philosopher, 1856-1915
  • "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Henry Ford

Inspirational and Funny Quotes From Oprah Winfrey on Success, Work, and Business

  • "Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”
  • "You can have it all. You just can't have it all at one time."

Inspiring Quotes and Wisdom From Famous Retail Founders

  • "Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get." Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's
  • "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

Inspiring Quotes About Growth—Business, Societal and Personal

  • "The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." Harvey S. Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
  • "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Edward Abbey, American author and environmental advocate

About Technology and Computers—Funny and Inspiring Quotes

  • "The factory of the future will have only two employees: a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment." Warren G. Bennis, American scholar and author, 1925-2014
  • "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three." Alice Kahn, American writer

Fun and Inspirational Quotes About Twitter, Social Media, and Social Business

  • "When you've got five minutes to fill, Twitter is a great way to fill 35 minutes." @mattcutts
  • “The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful.” Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School