Benjamin Franklin is best known for being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. Throughout his life, he held many jobs and had an assortment of careers. These included working as a postmaster, printer, writer, politician, political philosopher, inventor, scientist, civic activist, humorist, statesman, and diplomat. Franklin held the position of the 6th President of Pennsylvania from 1785 to 1788. One of the things for which he is remembered is for his support for the abolition of slavery, despite having slaves in his earlier life, says Wikipedia. He was the president of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society that presented their petition for abolition to Congress in 1790. Franklin also wrote several essays supporting the abolition of slavery and integration in American society. He died in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790, but remains an inspiration after his death. Here are the 20 best Ben Franklin quotes that apply to business.
20. On Taking Action
“A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds.”
This Ben Franklin quote is listed on Keep Inspiring Me. It is about not just thinking of or talking about what you want to do in life, but getting on with things and taking actions. In business, actions speak louder than words. If you are not willing to put your ideas into action, then you are unlikely to enjoy success.
19. On Making the Most of Opportunities
“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
Sometimes, you will make your own opportunities in business. On other occasions, an opportunity may come out of nowhere and take you by surprise. Whenever you are presented with an opportunity, it is important that you take it up as you do not know if you will get the same opportunities ever again.
18. Having a Willingness to Learn
“Being ignorant is not so much shame as being unwilling to learn.”
Learning is a never-ending process, and you should take up any opportunities to learn that you can. The process of learning is part of your self-improvement, and it can take your forward to the next level. If you are unwilling to learn, then you are denying yourself the opportunity for self-improvement and preventing your business from developing.
17. On Keeping on Top of the Finances
“Beware of the little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”
How well you keep on top of your finances will make a significant difference to the financial success of your business, so it is vital that you keep track of your income and expenditure. Sometimes, it is the small costs that make the most difference as they soon add up, but these costs are often overlooked. It is a mistake to only think about the big expenses.
16. On Finding Positives from Negatives
“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”
Everyone fails at something at some point in their lives. It is not experiencing a failure that matters, but how you cope with the situation. If you can have a positive outlook and find positives from every negative situation, then you can use them to your advantage. Think of every failure as a learning experience. Use the information you learn to help you decide what you should and should not do in the future.
15. On Getting Plenty of Rest
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
In this quote from Ben Franklin, he highlights the importance of taking care of yourself and getting enough rest. Many people in business think that they will only become successful if they devote every waking hour to work. Similarly, they also work too late and do not get enough rest. This is a mistake as getting plenty of rest and the right work-life balance is crucial to your physical and mental health. You need plenty of rest to avoid burning yourself out and to remain focused on your work.
14. On Putting in Your Best Effort
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
Listed by Everyday Power, this Ben Franklin quote is about giving every task your best effort. Those who become successful are those who have worked hard, put in the effort, and had the persistence to never give up, even when things are hard. If you want to become successful, then it is vital that you are willing to work hard for your achievements.
13. On Balancing the Books
“There are two ways to increase your wealth. Increase your means or decrease your wants. The best is to do both at the same time.”
A common mistake is to concentrate on the income of a business and not to worry too much about the costs. This is particularly the case if the costs are being covered. However, costs can change without you noticing if you do not keep on top of things. The costs can then soon overtake your income. Likewise, you may have unexpected or emergency costs to cover. If you have not kept on top of things, you might not have the funds available to cover these additional costs.
12. On Avoiding Problems
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
According to Ben Franklin, it is better to prevent a problem from arising than to find a cure for the problem. One way of doing this is to anticipate potential problems before they arise. Consider the potential outcomes of your decisions, both good and bad. If there is a possibility of encountering a problem, then plan ahead how you will tackle the problem to nip the situation in the bud before the problem grows.
11. On Taking a Cautious Approach
“When you are testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet.”
Ben Franklin advised taking a cautious approach when you find yourself in a position where a risk is involved. He uses the analogy of not jumping in with both feet. When there are possible risks involved, weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. You should also consider whether there are possibly different outcomes. This will help you to make an informed decision and to limit the risks involved.
10. On Having a Positive Attitude
“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Constantly worrying about what might happen in the future can hamper your progress in the current day. Worrying about things that might never happen is wasted energy. It can make you feel miserable and prevent you from enjoying your successes and the good things that you have in your life. Instead, have a positive attitude and focus on the things that you enjoy and have done well.
9. On the Importance of Preparation
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
There are lots of situations in business where preparation is an essential part of the process. When you are enthusiastic about a project and you are keen to get to the end goal, it is easy to overlook the importance of preparation and dive straight into the main tasks. This is something that you should try to avoid as a lack of preparation may lead to mistakes being made. In some cases, it may even lead to the failure of a project. Therefore, you should take the time to prepare properly so that things run smoothly and there is a good outcome.
8. On Having an Awareness of Your Competition
“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.”
Listed on Goalcast, this Ben Franklin quote is about making yourself aware of your direct competition. When you first start out in business, spend some time researching your direct competition. Find out what they do well, where they are weak, which strategies they use, and any other information you can about them. This will help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your own business. It can also help you to decide how you can make your business stand out. Over the years, assess your competition's situation again, as things may change. You should also identify any new competition as it comes along.
7. On Making Sound Decisions
“When in doubt, don’t.”
Decision-making is a key responsibility for anyone in a leadership position. It is essential that your decisions are sound and have a good outcome as often as possible. You should assess the potential outcomes of your decisions and weigh up the pros and cons of each of your actions. If you have doubts about making a decision, then it is probably a bad decision you are making.
6. On Building a Reputation
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”
Developing a good reputation is a vital part of building a successful business. To achieve this, you will need to make sure your products or services are the best they can possibly be, and that you deliver excellent customer service. If these are not up to scratch, then you may develop a bad reputation. This will impact negatively on your business in the future.
5. On Self-Awareness
“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”
It is vital that you remember that you are a key element of your business and that you are instrumental to the business’ success or failure. Therefore, it is crucial that you are self-aware. You must identify your personal strengths and weaknesses. Once you have identified your strengths, you can use them to the advantage of your business. Your weaknesses are something that you should consider as areas for improvement. Work out how you can improve in these areas so that you can improve your business.
4. On Using Your Time Wisely
“You may delay, but time will not.”
Time is one of your most important resources. However, it is a limited resource so you must use it well. Try to waste as little time as possible as you can never get time back once it has been used. To get the most out of the time you have available, plan your work by allocating time to different tasks. If you do not have enough time to complete all the tasks to the best of your ability, then try delegating some of the tasks to other people.
3. On Making Self-Improvements
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Self-improvements are essential to your personal growth, and also to the growth of your business. In some respects, self-improvements will occur organically as you gain experience and mature. However, there are also steps you can take to make self-improvements that will benefit your business. You can take a course to enhance your skills and knowledge or identify a bad personality trait and work on not behaving in a particular way.
2. On Learning from Experience
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
There are lots of things that you can learn from books and many other things that you can learn from other people. However, some of the most important things in business you will only learn through your own experience. Once you get involved with different tasks and processes, you will learn as you go along. Sometimes, learning this way is better than learning from others or from books.
1. On Not Putting Things Off
“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
According to Brainy Quote, this is one of the best Ben Franklin quotes that apply to business. It is also one of Franklin’s most famous quotes. He talks about not putting things off until a later date. If you can do something now, then take action straight away. If you put it off, then you can delay your progress, or it may be too late to achieve a good outcome. Another point is that putting off multiple tasks to a later date may leave you with a backlog of incomplete tasks and the situation can then become overwhelming as you have to many things to do and not enough time to do them.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson