20 Malcolm X Quotes That Apply to Business

Malcolm X

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz is better known as Malcolm X. He was born in Nebraska in 1925, and he was assassinated in 1965. Malcolm X was a human rights activist and an American Muslim minister. He is famous for being a prominent figure during the civil rights movement. He is also known for being a coal spokesperson for the Nation of Islam and for his controversial black racial advocacy. Malcolm X was, and still is, a person that many people consider inspirational. Therefore, many of his quotes are used in a variety of situations to motivate people or to make them see things from a different perspective. Here are 20 Malcolm X quotes that apply to business.

20. On Learning from Your Mistakes

“Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains it own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.”

Goalcast lists this as one of the best Malcolm X quotes that apply to business. As your business develops, you will have lots of different experiences. This will include mistakes that you make along the way. Even when you fail, it is not always a bad thing, as there are things you can learn from the experience. It will help you to make improvements to yourself and the way you work so that you perform better and achieve only positive outcomes in the future.

19. On the Importance of Education

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Learning is an important part of progressing in the future. Malcolm X was a huge believer in reading to learn. However, when applied to business, you can use this quote to include many other forms of learning and not just academic education. Constantly improving yourself, learning new skills, and learning how your business should operate will all contribute to giving you a better future.

18. On Self-Improvement

“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”

Nobody is perfect, as everyone has flaws and areas of weakness. So that you can present yourself in the best manner, it is vital that you can be honest with yourself about your faults. By identifying these, you can become the best person possible and take pride in yourself.

17. On Accepting Criticism

“If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.”

Often, people are afraid of criticism or they are willing to accept any negative comments that people make. You should not see criticism as a negative on every occasion. While some people will criticize you unnecessarily and are expressing an opinion that is intended to hurt you, others are simply highlighting areas for improvement. Think carefully about each criticism and decide if it is accurate rather than simply dismissing the comment. Such criticisms can highlight problems that you were unaware of, thus helping you to find solutions to improve your business.

16. On Accepting Your Mistakes

“Stumbling is not falling.”

Launching or running a business is virtually impossible without making mistakes along the way. It does not matter that you make these mistakes, it is how you handle them that truly matters. Making a simple mistake is not a reason to decide you have failed. Instead, you should see it as a minor hurdle. Look at what caused the mistake and how you can avoid it happening in the future. Then, pick yourself up and move forwards.

15. On Making Things Happen

“So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.”

If you have goals and dreams in life, then the only person who can make them become a reality is you. To get to where you want to be in life, you need to take action. Do not just sit quietly hoping that success will come your way without any effort on your part.

14. On Perseverance

“Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of falling, but to get up and try again.”

Throughout childhood, children make many errors. This is all part of the learning process and what makes them the adult they become. As adults, people take making a mistake too seriously. Instead of moving on like children, they often give up. It is important to remember that adults make mistakes, too, as adults are also still learning. Put your mistakes down to experience, and pick yourself up as a child would.

13. On Motivating Your Team

“You have to wake up the people first, then you’ll get action.”

If you have a team working for you, then you may have high expectations of the contributions they will make to your business. However, you may find that they do not share the same enthusiasm as you. As this Malcolm X quote says, you need to wake them up first if you want to get action. The first step is hiring the right people, as you need a workforce that is passionate about their work. Next, you need to keep them motivated to work towards the goals you set. Some simple ways of doing this are to acknowledge their contributions, make sure they are paid fairly, and to lead by example.

12. On Seeking Inspiration

“Read absolutely everything you can get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from.”

Listed on Awaken the Greatness Within, this Malcolm X quote is all about seeking inspiration. There are many occasions when you will need some inspiration to take your business to the next level. You will find inspiration from all sorts of places, not just directly from your mind. Make the effort to seek out inspiration from different sources.

11. On Learning from Others

“Any time you see someone who is more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren’t.”

Other people who have become a success are potentially useful to you, as they are people you can learn from. Watch how they behave and follow their business successes. This may help you to achieve a similar level of success.

10. On Being Your Own Person

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”

One reason that many people want to start their own business or to become the leader is that it gives them a little more freedom to make their own choices and steer their life in a certain direction. They do not want to just follow the crowd and have their opportunities limited. Make sure that you are always yourself, that you make the right decisions, and you strive to improve yourself. You can then feel at peace that you have done your best in life.

9. On the Importance of Time Management

“In all our deeds, the proper respect for time determines success or failure.”

According to this Malcolm X quote from Brainy Quote, time management is a key part of whether you become a success or failure in life. For every goal you set, you should look at the potential timeframe, including the time needed to achieve each of the steps along the way. You should also consider who will devote the time to each of the tasks, whether it is you or someone in your team.

8. On Flexibility

“I have always kept an open mind, a flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of the intelligent search for truth.”

Having flexibility is an important part of making sure things run smoothly. While having a plan in place makes things clear, it is likely that you will hit bumps along the way and then you will need to change your course of action. Sticking too rigidly to the plan and not having any flexibility can impact on the result. Show a willingness to consider taking different steps to get to where you need to be, even if this means veering from your original plans.

7. On Being Realistic

“I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds.”

Having a dream is what motivates many people in business to keep going. However, it is not all just about dreaming. You also need to take a realistic approach to everything you do. Setting yourself unrealistic goals will only set you up for failure. Make sure all the goals you set are achievable based on the time and resources you have available to hit your targets.

6. On Taking a Hands-On Approach

“Sitting at a table doesn’t make you a diner. You must be eating some of what’s on that plate.”

Sitting at a desk delegating tasks and ordering people around is a bad example to your team, and it could potentially lead to you losing their respect. Take a hands-on approach and get involved in every project in some way. Show your team that you are working alongside them and that you are passionate about what you do.

5. On Learning from Your Competition

“The white man made the mistake of letting me read his history books. He made the mistake of teaching me that Patrick Henry was a patriot and George Washington.”

This Malcolm X quote is about racial segregation, but you can apply it to business to relate to learning from the competition. Identifying your competitors is vital, as you need to know what you are up against. Knowing their company history, what they do, how they work, what their weaknesses are, and how they have achieved success are all important. By doing so, you can learn how to stand up to the competition and put yourself at an advantage.

4. On Preparing for Change

“A new world is in the making, and it is up to us to prepare ourselves that we may take our rightful place in it.”

Accepting change is essential if you want to progress in any field of business. Working in new ways, upgrading to new technologies, and trying new strategies is vital if you want to keep up with the competition. Make sure that any changes you make will have a positive outcome for your business.

3. On Standing by Your Beliefs

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”

This Malcolm X quote suggests that people who do not stand for anything are fools. Successful people know who they are and what they believe in, and this is reflected in their business and the way that they work. This is something that you need to remember if you want to become a success, and it may take some self-analysis.

2. On Making Positive Changes

“Change is only a good thing if you change in a good way.”

Change is something that you must accept as it is inevitable in almost all businesses. This may mean changing to expand your business, adding new lines or services, adopting new strategies, or using new technology. You need to accept that changes are important, but you must not change simply for the sake of change. Before making any changes, you should assess the pros and cons to decide if it is the best course of action to take for your business.

1. On Reaching Your Full Potential

“A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”

According to Keep Inspiring, this is one of the best Malcolm X quotes that apply to business. It highlights the importance of doing whatever is needed to reach your full potential. This often means analyzing yourself to ensure that you utilize your strengths, talents, and experiences to your best advantage.


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