Business Quotes edited by Brad Mager

Quote Topics

Business Basics

Attitude and Belief

Taking Action and
Getting Things Done

Inspiration and Vision

Courage, Fear, and Confidence

The Art of Thinking and
The Power of Thoughts

Conformity, Originality,
and Going Against the Crowd

Innovation, Creativity,
and Imagination


Planning, Setting Goals,
and Making Decisions

The Value of Hard Work


Talent, Skills, and Character

Knowledge and Experience


Marketing, Advertising,
and Making Sales

Solving Problems and
Overcoming Obstacles


Handling Criticism

Risks and Rewards

Success and Failure

Happiness, Satisfaction,
and Enjoying Your Work

Money and Wealth

Quotes - Conformity

All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.
Napoleon Hill

Imagination is the true magic carpet.
Norman Vincent Peale
Clergyman and author

Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that are always there.
Susanne K. Langer
Philosopher and educator

The great gift of the human imagination is that it has no limits or ending.
Jim Rohn
Motivational speaker

Discovery consists in seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi

All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Poet and dramatist

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
Victor Hugo
Poet, novelist, and dramatist

We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we had ever invented — human liberty.
Mark Twain
Humorist and author

It is the unique personal combination of a willingness to do grunt work coupled with the ability to import and apply seemingly unrelated information into the process that produces innovations.
Gary North

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
Arthur Koestler
Novelist, journalist

It’s time to start living the life we’ve imagined.
Henry James

The man who has no imagination has no wings.
Muhammad Ali
Boxing champion

It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date.
Roger Von Oech
Creativity expert and writer

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge.
Daniel Boorstin

The best cosmetic in the world is an active mind that is always finding something new.
Mary Meek Atkeson

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke
Scientist and science fiction author

This world is but canvas to our imaginations.
Henry David Thoreau
Naturalist and writer

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.
Theodore Levitt
Editor and educator

The future is not there waiting for us. We create it by the power of imagination.
Pir Vilayat Khan

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.
William Bernbach
Advertising executive

Everything is always impossible before it works.
Hunt Greene

You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain
Humorist and author

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.
Tuli Kupferberg
Songwriter and musician

Freedom, to me, is imagination, the power of imagination to create what we want and be who we want to be.
Lizzie West

It is the imagination that gives shape to the universe.
Barry Lopez

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it’s the only one we have.
Émile Auguste Chartier
Philosopher and essayist

The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
William Faulkner


“Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.”

“It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.”

“If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.”

“Inventing is a combination of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less material you need.”

“So long as new ideas are created, sales will continue to reach new highs.”

Charles Kettering
Engineer and inventor


I just think it’s bad to talk about one’s present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension.
Norman Mailer

When a distinguished, but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong.
Arthur C. Clarke
Scientist and science fiction author

The secret of all those who make discoveries is that they regard nothing as impossible.
Justus Liebig

The uncreative mind can spot the wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot the wrong questions.
Anthony Jay

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most new discoveries, is not “Eureka!”(I found it!) but “Hmmm … That’s funny …”
Isaac Asimov
Scientist and science fiction author

Where we cannot invent, we may at least improve; we may give somewhat of novelty to that which was old, condensation to that which was diffuse, perspicuity to that which was obscure, and currency to that which was recondite.
Charles Colton
Clergyman, wine merchant, and author

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
Thomas Edison

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams
Cartoonist, creator of “Dilbert”

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
Charles Dickens

Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.
Lou Dorfsman
Graphic designer, creative director for CBS

Some degree of withdrawal serves to nurture man’s creative powers. The artist and the scientist bring out of the dark void, like the mysterious universe itself, the unique, the strange, the unexpected. Numerous observers have testified upon the loneliness of the process.
Loren Eisley
Anthropologist, naturalist, author

Invention, strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory. Nothing can be made of nothing; he who has laid up no materials can produce no combinations.
Sir Joshua Reynolds

The “silly question” is the first intimation of some totally new development.
Alfred North Whitehead
Mathematician, philosopher, author

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
Howard Aiken
Computer engineer

Imagination is the only legal means left to us to gain an unfair advantage over the competition.
Tom McElligott
Advertising executive

All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
Samuel Butler
Satirical poet

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
Frank Capra
Film director

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Erich Fromm
American psychoanalyst

Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday.
Ray Kroc
Founder, McDonald’s Corporation

I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things.
Walt Disney
Film and theme park entrepreneur

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw

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