Looking for the best P.T. Barnum quotes? Then look no further.
P.T. Barnum was a 19th century entrepreneur who is remembered as “The Greatest Showman”. The American showman was also an author, publisher, politician and philanthropist.
He is also falsely accredited for coining the adage “There’s a sucker born every minute”.
Barnum had several businesses over the years, including a general store, a book auctioning trade, real estate speculation, and a statewide lottery network. He was even the publisher of a newspaper and the producer of a traveling variety act.
He opened Barnum’s American Museum in New York City in 1842. By 1846 the museum was attracting 400,000 visitors a year.
1865, Barnum’s American Museum burned to the ground from a fire of unknown origin. It was after this he embarked in a career in politics. The Connecticut native served in the state’s legislature for four terms and ran on an anti-slavery, pro-temperance platform. He was also the mayor of Bridgeport, Conn.
When he was 60, entered the circus business and later joined forces with James Bailey to create what he called “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
In December 2017, an American film titled, The Greatest Showman was released. This musical was based loosely on the life of Barnum (portrayed by Hugh Jackman).
The film was released seven months after the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus permanently dissolved, after being in business for 146 years.
P.T. Barnum had some incredible advice for becoming successful in life and this collection of P.T. Barnum quotes are his best quotes on business, entrepreneurship, money and success.
49 Inspirational P.T. Barnum Quotes
1. “The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick.” – P.T. Barnum
2. “Money is in some respects life’s fire: it is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master.” – P.T. Barnum
3. “Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed. I am glad to believe that the majority of persons do find their right vocation.” – P.T. Barnum
4. “Young men starting in life should avoid running into debt.” – P.T. Barnum
5. “Every man should make his son or daughter learn some useful trade or profession, so that in these days of changing fortunes of being rich today and poor tomorrow they may have something tangible to fall back upon. This provision might save many persons from misery, who by some unexpected turn of fortune have lost all their means.” – P.T. Barnum
6. “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” – P.T. Barnum
7. “There is no such thing in the world as luck. There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street to-day, and another to-morrow, and so on, day after day: He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it.” – P.T. Barnum
8. “True economy consists in always making the income exceed the out-go. Wear the old clothes a little longer if necessary; dispense with the new pair of gloves; mend the old dress: live on plainer food if need be; so that, under all circumstances, unless some unforeseen accident occurs, there will be a margin in favor of the income.” – P.T. Barnum
9. “Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly. The truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the patronage bestowed upon him.” – P.T. Barnum
10. “There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt.” – P.T. Barnum
11. “Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself.” – P.T. Barnum
12. “Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now.” – P.T. Barnum
13. “No man has a right to expect to succeed in life unless he understands his business, and nobody can understand his business thoroughly unless he learns it by personal application and experience.” – P.T. Barnum
14. “Let your motto then always be ‘Excelsior’, for by living up to it there is no such word as fail.” – P.T. Barnum
15. “The great ambition should be to excel all others engaged in the same occupation.” – P.T. Barnum
16. “Advertising is to a genuine article what manure is to land, – it largely increases the product.” – P.T. Barnum
17. “The safest plan, and the one most sure of success for the young man starting in life, is to select the vocation which is most congenial to his tastes.” – P.T. Barnum
18. “Dr. Franklin says “it is the eyes of others and not our own eyes which ruin us. If all the world were blind except myself I should not care for fine clothes or furniture.”” – P.T. Barnum
19. “The possession of a perfect knowledge of your business is an absolute necessity in order to insure success.” – P.T. Barnum
20. “Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!” – P.T. Barnum
21. “If you hesitate, some bolder hand will stretch out before you and get the prize.” – P.T. Barnum
22. “The best charity is to help those who are willing to help themselves.” – P.T. Barnum
23. “When a man is in the right path, he must persevere.” – P.T. Barnum
24. “More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing, than by believing too much.” – P.T. Barnum
25. “You must exercise your caution in laying your plans, but be bold in carrying them out.” – P.T. Barnum
26. “If I shoot at the sun, I may hit a star.” – P.T. Barnum
27. “Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience.” – P.T. Barnum
28. “Energy and patience in business are two indispensable elements of success.” – P.T. Barnum
29. “To forgive heals the wound, to forget heals the scar.” – P.T. Barnum
30. “Never attempt to catch a whale with a minnow.” – P.T. Barnum
31. “Your success depends on what you do yourself, with your own means.” – P.T. Barnum
32. “Comfort, the enemy of progress.” – P.T. Barnum
33. “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” – P.T. Barnum
34. “We cannot all see alike, but we can all do good.” – P.T. Barnum
35. “Engage in one kind of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until you conclude to abandon it. A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched. When a man’s undivided attention is centered on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once.” – P.T. Barnum
36. “You know I had rather be laughed at than not to be noticed at all.” – P.T. Barnum
37. “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” – P.T. Barnum
38. “Every man’s occupation should be beneficial to his fellow-man as well as profitable to himself. All else is vanity and folly.” – P.T. Barnum
39. “Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done.” – P.T. Barnum
40. “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.” – P.T. Barnum
41. “There is no class of people in the world, who have such good memories as creditors.” – P.T. Barnum
42. “With the young man starting in business, let him understand the value of money by earning it.” – P.T. Barnum
43. “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.” – P.T. Barnum
44. “A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending.” – P.T. Barnum
45. “Many persons are always kept poor, because they are too visionary. Every project looks to them like certain successes, and therefore they keep changing from one business to another, always in hot water, always ‘under the harrow’. “- P.T. Barnum
46. “No profession, trade, or calling, is overcrowded in the upper story.” – P.T. Barnum
47. “Advertising is like learning – a little is a dangerous thing. If a man has not the pluck to keep on advertising, all the money he has already spent is lost.” – P.T. Barnum
48. “The desire for wealth is nearly universal, and none can say it is not laudable, provided the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities, and uses it as a friend to humanity.” – P.T. Barnum
49. “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.” – P.T. Barnum
Did you find these P.T. Barnum Quotes inspiring?
Which P.T. Barnum quote is your favourite? Let me know in the comments and please share this post to help and inspire others.