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P T Barnum Quotes


P T Barnum was known as America's Greatest Showman and his circus was called The Greatest Show On Earth. Below are quotes from this legendary salesman.


The foundation of success in life is good health… 

Nine out of ten of the rich men of our country today, started out in life as poor boys, with determined wills, industry, perseverance, economy and good habits. 

Money is a pitiless master, but a zealous servant. 

No profession, trade, or calling, is overcrowded in the upper story. 

Advertise your objective, don’t keep it in the dark. 

Every crowd has a silver lining. 

Small doses of advertising result in nothing, obviously. It’s like giving a sick person half the medicine he needs. It just causes more suffering. Give the whole dose, and the cure will be certain and decisive. 

You have to throw a gold brick into the uncertain waters of the future, and faith because there will be many difficult days before you will see the returns start rolling in… 

Whatever you do, do it ardently. 

Energy and patience in business are two indispensable elements of success. 

Stick to it until you succeed… 
 
Every man is the sole craftsman of his fortune 
 
I never liked to work, I mean manual work… 

There’s a sucker born every minute. 

Be confident, without pulling the wool over your eyes - P T Barnum

Prosperity (and I’m mainly talking about sudden prosperity) is a more difficult test for people than adversity. 
 
It is unfortunately too common to see people who acquire sudden wealth to start spending wildly and to eat away their revenue and capital in a short time. 

Ruin is the only thing you win in this kind of ridiculous game of wanting to impress people and have them talk about you. 

When a man is in the right path, he must persevere. 

With the young man starting in business, let him understand the value of money by earning it. 

You must get the first dollars by hard knocks… 

If I shoot at the sun, I may hit a star. 

Instead of spending money, I earned it - P T Barnum

A salary was not sufficient for me. 

Advertise your objective, don’t keep it in the dark. Whatever your occupation, whatever you propose doing, if you need the support of the public then take the steps necessary to let them know about it. It doesn’t matter how, as long as you get their attention. I frankly admit that I owe a large part of my success to the press. Some businessmen will say that their advertising costs are a complete waste of money. That may be, but it’s because the ads were done carelessly and parsimoniously. Small does of advertising result in nothing, obviously. It’s like giving a sick person half the medicine he needs. It just causes more suffering. Give the whole dose, and the cure will be certain and decisive. 

You often hear people say they don’t have the means to advertise. They’re wrong – what they’re lacking is the means not to advertise. In a country where everyone reads the newspaper, you have to be pretty thick-headed not to understand that the press is the best and cheapest medium to communicate with the public - P T Barnum

Businessmen in general do not appreciate the system of newspaper advertising. It’s the surest way to success. But you need nerve and faith to try it. Nerve because you have to throw a gold brick into the uncertain waters of the future, and faith because there will be many difficult days before you will see the returns start rolling in, all because of some well-placed ink on a few sheets of paper. 

Whatever you do, do it ardently. If necessary, get used to getting up early and going to bed late. Never leave any stone unturned. And if you only have one hour to work with, make sure that what you do in that hour is perfectly done. The old proverb makes a lot of sense: ‘What is worth doing is worth doing well.’ Energy and patience in business are two indispensable elements of success - P T Barnum

Don’t disperse your forces. Once occupied with a thing, stick to it until you succeed, or until there is absolutely no hope. By pounding a nail with a hammer, you end up by getting it in, if it can go in. When a man’s attention is totally concentrated on a single object, he will find better ways, better procedures which he wouldn’t have discovered if he’d been thinking about a dozen different projects, splitting his brain and all his senses. More than once, a fortune has slipped through someone’s hands because he undertook too much at the same time. ‘Don’t hunt two hares simultaneously’ says the proverb, and the proverb is right. 

Your success depends on what you do yourself, with your own means. Don’t depend on your friends, and never forget that every man is the sole craftsman of his fortune. 

I never liked to work, I mean manual work; as for head work, on the contrary, I have always enjoyed it, and have always combined my mental pleasure with making money. But manual labor, I repeat, was always distasteful, so while my father considered that I was as suitable as the next person to weed, plough and hoe the garden, I always found ways to get out of the work I was given, or to do it badly - P T Barnum

I was a farmhand, a merchant, a clerk, a boss, a theater director and a bank director; I lived in prisons and palaces, I knew poverty and abundance, I’ve traveled extensively on two continents, I’ve met all kinds of people and seen the human character in all its guises, and time and again I have been in the greatest danger. Amidst such a diversity of events, I had to undergo difficult times, but I’m definitely not complaining, and I believe that my life was a happy one, because I always saw the positive side of things. 

Be confident, without pulling the wool over your eyes. A lot of people have remained poor, or ruined themselves, because of this destructive tendency. These people see a sure success in every undertaking, which is why they stick to nothing, abandoning one business after another. The fable about the hunter who sells the bearskin before he shoots the bear shows that this tendency goes a long way back. Unfortunately, the fable and experience have not cured people of the habit - P T Barnum

The hunter who sells the bearskin before he shoots the bear… 

Prosperity (and I’m mainly talking about sudden prosperity) is a more difficult test for people than adversity. It is unfortunately too common to see people who acquire sudden wealth to start spending wildly and to eat away their revenue and capital in a short time. Ruin is the only thing you win in this kind of ridiculous game of wanting to impress people and have them talk about you. 

Choose the kind of business which suits your temperament and taste. There are people who are purely mechanical. There are others for whom just the thought of machines is repellent. There lies the difference. So, taking myself as an example, I would have never made a good negotiator. Neither could I ever be satisfied with a fixed salary; because my disposition is purely speculative, while so many others are just the opposite. Consequently, let each person be careful to choose the occupation that suits him best. 
 
Money-getters are the benefactors of our race. To them… are we indebted for our institutions of learning, and of art, our academies, colleges and churches - P T Barnum

You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. 

The stock was as dead as a herring! 

It is not at all difficult for persons in good health to make money - P T Barnum

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