Dr. Seuss was a children’s author, political cartoonist, and animator. His books are some of the bestselling children’s books of all-time and over 600 million copies have been sold around the world. At the time of his death in 1991, his work had been translated into 20 languages. Some of his most famous books include ‘The Cat in the Hat’, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, ‘Horton Hears a Who’, and ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. There are many lessons about life that children can learn from reading these books. It is also possible to apply many elements of the books to the business world. Here are 20 Dr. Seuss quotes that are perfect for business.
1. On Having Confidence in Yourself
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” (via Trish McFarlane)
In business, it is important to have confidence in yourself and not worry too much about what other people think about what you are doing. Worrying about what others think is wasting time that you could spend focusing on your business. There is only you who knows which is the right path to take. Nobody else can mold you or your business, and you will gain respect by staying strong and having self-confidence.
2. On Working Through Problems
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
There are many times in business when you will face a challenging situation. At first, you may not see the way forward. This quote encourages you to look for simple answers, even if the situation seems complicated. Often, breaking down a problem into smaller more manageable pieces will help you to find your way through a difficult time. The solution is not always as complicated as it may seem.
3. On Expanding Your Business
“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew. You'll start happening too."
Business is full of highs and lows. Sometimes things go slowly and seem hard work, and at other times, your business might suddenly take off. As your business expands, you may feel like things are moving too fast and that you have lost a little control. This Dr. Seuss quote advises you to go with the flow when things start happening and not to worry about it too much. You should just enjoy the ride and revel in your business success.
4. On Appreciating Your Team
“Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small! And you very small persons will not have to die if you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!”
This is the ideal quote for highlighting the importance of appreciating your team and valuing what they add to your business. Every individual will have different skills, experience, knowledge, or personality traits that can contribute to the success of your business. Therefore, you need to value the attributes they bring to the team and make sure that each person is aware of how much you value their contributions.
5. On Using Your Creativity
“Think left & think right, think low and think high, oh the things you can think up if only you try." (via Miki Strong)
Even in the least creative businesses, there are times when you need to apply a little creativity in your thinking and approach to certain tasks. Sometimes you need to think outside the box when applying new ideas in your business. This applies to all types of tasks, including marketing, customer service, brand design, and delivery of your product or service. Applying a little creativity and adopting a new approach can make your business stand out and increase the likelihood of you achieving success.
6. On Taking Control of Your Future
“Only you can control your future.”
There are no truer words said than these in relation to successfully running a business. It is completely true that there is only you that can control what will happen in your future, both personally and professionally. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can start focusing on where you want to get to and what you need to do to get there.
7. On Finding Your Niche
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
When you set up your business, it is important not to just follow in the footsteps of other businesses. You need to find your own niche in the market so that you do not just blend in with the competition. As your business begins to grow, you should find your own identity so that you stand out against the competition. This Dr. Seuss quote stresses the importance of being yourself and not setting up a copycat business.
8. On Trusting Your Intuition
“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own and you know what you know, and you are the one who'll decide where to go."
Often, you can begin to doubt your own business decisions. This is especially the case if you have hit a rough patch or you feel that you are not making enough progress. This quote motivates you to trust your own intuition. You know what you need to do, and you have the brains to achieve your goals. It is your decision to make and it is you that will reap the rewards of following your own intuition.
9. On Aiming High
“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting: so get on your way!"
While it is important to set yourself some goals that are achievable and easily within your reach, it is just as important to push yourself. This will keep you motivated and give you something to work towards. This quote tells you to get on your way climbing your mountain. In relation to business, you can apply this aiming high and making an immediate start on working towards your goals.
10. On Juggling Commitments
"You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left." (via Forbes)
Running a business is definitely a balancing act. You need to juggle lots of different commitments and keep track of everything that is going on. From the day-to-day minutiae to planning long-term goals, everything is your responsibility. At times, you may need to juggle finances, staff, marketing, project planning, and many more things all at the same time. Furthermore, you may also have family and personal commitments to balance in your life. This quote advises you to take a flexible approach to juggling your various commitments, but also to tackle each task separately to avoid confusion and mistakes.
11. On Facing Challenges Head-On
“I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
It is almost unheard of for a business to survive without facing challenges at some point along the way. Sometimes the problems are small, and at other times the problems are big. Accepting that you will experience problems along the way is important. It is also worth noting that challenges are not always a negative thing. It can help you learn what you did wrong and identify weaknesses. This will help you to learn from your mistakes and to avoid facing similar situations again in the future.
12. On Having a Positive Mindset
“And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”
Nothing in life is 100 percent guaranteed, but Dr. Seuss advises that having a positive mindset can give you a boost towards achieving your dreams. Having some self-belief and determination to succeed in your goals will set you on the right path for success. A defeatist attitude can only lead to failure.
13. On Having Aspirations
“It’s not about what it is, it's about what it can become."
Most businesses start small and then gradually develop. How you start out is almost irrelevant. What is more important is the potential the business has and what you can become. This is something that you should always aim towards and to continue looking forward and not back. Your business can become anything you want.
14. On the Importance of Continuous Professional Development
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go."
Establishing a business is not the end of the story and you still have a whole journey ahead of you. Just because you are leading that business does not mean that you know everything there is to know. It is important to remember that there are always more things to learn. Some of these are skills and knowledge that you will pick up along the way, but others you will have to make a conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Seuss says, the more you learn, the more you will know and this can lead to bigger and better things.
15. On Self-Evaluation
“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
Dr. Seuss highlights the importance of learning from yourself and not just from teachers. Self-evaluation is something that all leaders in business should do if they want to progress and succeed. Taking the time for critical self-evaluation will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. In turn, you can then assess how you can use your strengths to your advantages. In terms of your weaknesses, you need to decide whether self-improvement will eliminate your weakness, or if you need to accept the weakness and delegate certain tasks to others.
16. On Putting in the Effort
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Succeeding in business requires putting in a lot of effort. You also need to feel passionate about what you are doing and to really are. This Dr. Seuss quote reminds you that things will not get done if you do not care enough about what you are doing to put the effort into each and every element of your business.
17. On Valuing Employees
"I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights!"
As the leader of a business, you should not spend all your time focusing on what you have achieved and enjoying the view from the top. There are a lot of people who have helped you along the way and who are continuing to contribute to your success. Your team of employees is an invaluable asset to your business, and it is essential that you remember this. They deserve your respect and for you to value their contributions and the vital role they play in your business.
18. On Learning from Your Mistakes
“Whenever things go a bit sour in a job I’m doing, I always tell myself, ‘You can do better than this."
Making mistakes is an inevitable part of business life as running a business is often a learning process and you will face new and challenging situations almost daily. This quote encourages you to move past the mistake and to just do better next time. A mistake is not the end of the world, and you should simply see it as a learning curve. Analyze what the mistake was, why it was made, and what you should have done instead. This will help you to avoid another similar mistake and to make self-improvements, too.
19. On Reaching Your Full Potential
"There’s no limit to how much you’ll know, depending how far beyond zebra you go."
This quote comes from ‘On Beyond Zebra’ and it tells you to aim high to reach your full potential. Sometimes, people set themselves limits that are too low, so they settle when they reach this goal without trying to push their own limits. By aiming high, you can push your own boundaries and achieve more. If you are willing to take on the challenge, you can unlock your true potential. Therefore, you should set yourself high goals to give yourself something to aim for in the future.
20. On Acknowledging Your Personal Achievements
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to great places. You're off and away!"
The grind of running a business day in and day out can make it easy to forget how far you have come. Every now and then, you should take a step back to look at how much you have achieved. Congratulate yourself and take pride in what you have done. Acknowledging your success can motivate you to keep going and give you the determination to achieve even greater things.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn