An Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, Plato was the founder of the Platonist school of thought. He was also the founder of the Academy, which was the Western World’s first institution of higher learning. His teacher was Socrates, and his most famous student was Aristotle. Many of the things that Plato believed and said have made people look at things from a different perspective, Therefore, his words are often used for inspiration and motivation. Here are 20 Plato quotes that apply to business.
20. On the Importance of Hard Work
“I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”
According to Brainy Quote, this is a good example of a Plato quote that applies to business. It is difficult to become successful in business unless you are willing to put in the effort and work. There are very few people who become successful without working hard.
19. On Doing Things to the Best of Your Ability
“Better a little which is done well than a great deal that is done imperfectly.”
This Plato quote highlights the importance of always putting your best effort into everything you do. In their haste to get things done and to move on to the next task, many people in business do not pay attention to the details. This can lead to mistakes or a bad representation of a business. You may then waste time rectifying situations. It is better to take your time and to do everything well.
18. On Enjoying Your Work
“Life must be lived by play.”
You are likely to spend a large proportion of your life at work, so it is important that you are passionate about it and find it enjoyable. Not enjoying what you do will not only make you miserable, but it will also cause you to lack motivation at work.
17. On Self-Awareness
“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.”
To become successful in business, you need to become self-aware. This involves analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. It is important that you are honest about these so that you can work on your weaknesses and use your strengths to your advantage. Having self-awareness will allow you to fulfill your potential.
16. On Having Courage
“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
Listed by Gecko and Fly, this quote is all about having courage from knowing that you should not fear. Having fears is the factor most likely to hold people back in business and prevent them from launching a new business or from progressing or expanding an established business. The two most common fears are the fear of failure and the fear of the unknown. To become successful, you need to face those fears.
15. On Meeting a Consumer Need
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
The businesses that become the most successful are those that meet the needs of the consumer. This applies to both products and services. There are some fantastic inventions around that fulfill a purpose, but they are little more than novelty items that do not necessarily meet a need. These are unlikely to achieve long-term success. If you deliver products or services that consumers need in the long-term, then you are more likely to enjoy long-term success. Make sure you do your research on the needs and expectations of consumers.
14. On Acting on Your Ideas
“Ideas are the source of all things.”
Lots of people have amazing ideas that have the potential to become a successful business. However, this is not reflected in the number of people who act upon their ideas and launch a business. An idea alone is not enough to succeed, you must have the courage to put your ideas into action. Having the courage to take action on your ideas is the first step to success.
13. On Continuing to Learn
“If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.”
This Plato quote is about how a lack of education will hinder you in life. Continuing to gain an education will give you more knowledge, skills, and experience. If you have an education, although not necessarily an academic education, you will find that you have more opportunities. A lack of learning will mean that windows of opportunity remain closed to you and you have limited chances of progressing and achieving your full potential.
12. On Using Your Power Wisely
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”
Many people consider getting into a position of power as the greatest accolade. However, becoming powerful is not as important as how you use your power. You should only use your power for the good of yourself, your business, and others. Using your power for destruction and harm is a poor use of your position. People will have greater respect for you if you use your power wisely.
11. On Facing Your Fears
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Everyone has fears, and these are something that you will need to face at various points in your life. This Plato quote highlights how having fears that you do not face can prevent you from enjoying the good times and becoming successful. The perfect example is that of a person who is fearful of failure and does not put their ideas into action to launch a business. Their fear has prevented them from fulfilling their potential and becoming successful.
10. On Finding Good Strategies
“There is no harm in repeating a good thing.”
According to Your Story, this is one of the best Plato quotes that apply to business. There is often a focus on implement changes to progress in business. While this is a worthy point, you should not make a change for the sake of change. If you find a strategy or process that works well, then it is possible that you will not improve on this. You should go with what you know works well for your business, as repetition of what works well is to your advantage in this situation.
9. On Making Logical Decisions
“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”
When making important decisions, it is important to assess the situation properly. You should not simply base your decisions on one set of figures. Or react in an impulsive or reactive way. Instead, consider all the potential outcomes, the pros, the cons, and information from your own experience and knowledge. This will help you to make a sound, informed, and logical decision rather a reactive or impulsive decision that is not based on fact or evidence.
8. On Leading by Example
“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”
The way in which you want your team to behave is how you should behave yourself as you must lead by example. You should treat people with respect, give them encouragement, and work alongside them as a team. If you behave in this way, then your employees will respect you and you will inspire them. This also increases the likelihood of you getting them onside to work together with you towards the goals you set. Think carefully about how you act in the workplace.
7. On Surrounding Yourself with the Right People
“People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person, or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.”
The people who you surround yourself with can make a significant difference to whether you achieve your goals. People who are negative and those who lack ambition can potentially bring you down. Rather than finding the positives in your progress or achievements, they will only find fault. This can lead to you lacking motivation and feeling as though you are not doing well enough. In turn, this may lead to you giving up on your dreams. On the other hand, people who are positive and supportive can help you to achieve your dreams by offering encouragement and recognizing your achievements.
6. On Honing Your Skills
“Excellence is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act ‘rightly’ because we are ‘excellent’, in fact we achieve ‘excellence’ by acting ‘rightly’.”
Listed on Goalcast, this Plato quote applies to business because it talks about practicing to perfect your skills to achieve excellence. Even if you have a talent or a particular area of skill, it will still take practice to get the most out of this for your business. This is something that can develop over time.
5. On Training Staff Well
“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
Training your staff is a vital aspect of your business running smoothly and efficiently. It is essential that your team has the knowledge and skills to fulfill their roles effectively. How you train your staff will depend on what it is they need to learn and how they will best take on board new information. Some staff will learn better from an official training session or an academic course, while others may have better learning outcomes if they take a hands-on approach and learn by direct experience.
4. On Motivating a Team
“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
The motivation of your team can make the difference between success and failure. Therefore, keeping your team motivated is a big issue. One way of doing this is to encourage them whenever possible for the progress they are making towards reaching goals. If the progress is only slow, then motivate them with encouragement rather than criticizing the pace of the progress. Find ways to help them improve their efficiency to progress faster rather than hampering their progress with negativity.
3. On Ignoring the Haters
“As there are misanthropists or haters of men, so also are there misologists or haters of ideas.”
Those who are successful often face criticism from others, and this is often derived from jealousy. They may criticize our ideas, processes, or even you as a person. If you want to succeed, then it is important that you can rise above those who criticize the things you do. Focus instead on your own thoughts, beliefs, and goals. Do not allow others to deter you from the path you have chosen to follow.
2. On Having Role Models
“The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better than himself.”
Having a role model can give you something to aspire towards. Seek out people who are successful in business, especially those who have worked in your field. They can give you a lot of inspiration and you can learn a lot from their experience and their journey to success.
1. On the Importance of Education
“Better be unborn than untaught, for ignorance is the root of misfortune.”
According to Forbes, this is one of the best Plato quotes that apply to business. It highlights the importance of education in your ability to progress and reach your full potential. When speaking of education, people often assume this refers to academic education. However, there are many ways that you can learn beyond the classroom. Your learning through experience is often just as relevant as your learning from books. What is most important is that you are open to continuing to learn from a variety of sources so that you can continue with self-improvement and improving your business.