Thomas Paine was a political activist, political theorist, philosopher, and revolutionary who was born in England in 1737. He emigrated to Philadelphia in the United States in 1774 after he met Benjamin Franklin, who wrote him a letter of recommendation. Paine is best known for his involvement with the American Revolution and for his Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights. Although Thomas Paine died in 1809, his words are still used to motivate and inspire people. Here are 20 Thomas Paine quotes that apply to business.
20. On Reaping the Words of Your Hard Work
“The more we bestow, the richer we become.”
This Thomas Paine quote, which is listed on Quote Tab, is about getting out of life what you put into it. In terms of business, if you put in the hard work and effort, then you will get more out of your work. While this quote specifically refers to becoming richer, it is not only financial gain that is important. You will also have a greater sense of fulfillment.
19. On Putting All Your Effort into a Task
“When it becomes necessary to do a thing, the whole heart and soul should go into the measure, or not attempt it.”
If you commit to completing a task, then you should also commit to putting in your best effort to complete the task well. This is something that you should apply to every aspect of your business. If you are not willing to put in the effort to make sure things are done well, then you might as well not bother doing them at all.
18. On Making the Right Decisions
“It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.”
Decision-making is an essential part of running a business. As a leader, you are the one who makes all the serious decisions, and it is important that you make the right choices. Weigh up the pros and cons of the different options before making any decision.
17. On Recognizing Your Weaknesses
“The abilities of man must fall short on one side or the other, like too scanty a blanket when you are abed. If you pull it up on your shoulders, your feet are left bare; if you thrust it down to your feet, your shoulders are uncovered.”
It is a mistake to believe that acknowledging your weaknesses is a weakness in itself. Nobody is perfect as people have skills and weaknesses in different areas. It is these that make you a unique individual. Recognizing your weaknesses gives you something to work towards improving.
16. On Rectifying Your Mistakes
“The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.”
Everyone makes mistakes in business, some small and some major. In most cases, a mistake is not the end of the world, and here are things that you can do to rectify a situation. You just need to look at the mistake, understand why it happened, and identify what you need to do instead. Use your mistakes as a learning experience for what you should not do in the future.
15. On Finding a Positive in Every Negative
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.”
This Thomas Paine quote is listed by Brainy Quote. It highlights how there are many negative situations that you may face in life, but you can often find a positive from these situations. Looking for the good in every situation will make you a stronger person. Your optimistic outlook may also rub off on other people. Furthermore, adopting this approach can benefit your business as you will spend less time dwelling on the bad things and more time trying to make things good.
14. On Being a Good Leader
“One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.”
Being a good leader is vital if you want to get the most out of your team. If your team respect you as their leader and enjoy working for you, then they are more likely to put their best effort into every task and they will remain motivated to work towards the goals you set. Showing your appreciation of them and giving them opportunities are just two of the ways that you will earn their respect. It is also important to lead by example.
13. On Achieving Success Through Hard Work
“Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.”
It is rare that people become successful without putting in a lot of hard work first. Most successful people have worked exceptionally hard to get to where they are in life. If you wish to emulate the same level of success, then it is vital that you are willing to put in the hard work necessary from the start.
12. On Striving for More
“A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be.”
Those who are successful do not aim for moderate success. Successful people aim higher because they want to achieve more. Do not settle for what you know you can already do. Set yourself goals that you will have to work hard towards so that you will achieve more.
11. On Assessing Your Strategies
“A long habit of thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”
It is important to constantly assess and evaluate your strategies and systems. Take a realistic look at what is working well and what you could improve. Sometimes, people think that because something is not causing them a major problem that things are working well. However, it is possible that they could work better and that you simply have not considered other possibilities. It can help if you compare what you are doing to any competition that is achieving better results than you.
10. On Making Your Own Choices
“My mind is my own church.”
This Thomas Paine quote is included in a list on Success Stories. It is about you having full control of your thoughts, ideas, and actions. As an individual, you are fully responsible for yourself and your choices. This means that you are the master of your own destiny. Nobody else can have control of what you want to do with your life unless you allow them to do so.
9. On Building a Good Reputation
“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.”
A reputation can make a big difference in how people perceive your business, and it can impact on whether people buy your products or use your services. Building a good reputation gives your business the best chance of success. Do not forget, that you are a representation of your business, so your personal reputation can impact on your business reputation. The reviews of former customers play a big part in your reputation, so aim to get the best reviews possible. If you get bad online reviews, it is not the end of your world. How you deal with any complaints will show potential customers that you are reliable and trustworthy. Respond to any bad reviews online as soon as possible. Apologize for their bad experience and offer to rectify the situation in some way.
8. On Getting Through the Tough Times
“There are times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.”
Although Thomas Paine talks about soldiers in this quote, you can apply the same principles to yourself and business. Running a business can seem easy when everything is going right. It only becomes tough when things are not going the way you wanted or expected. It is at these times that you must show a strength of character. You will need the determination to get you through the tough times, but you should not just give up at the first sign of trouble.
7. On the Importance of Honesty
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
On many occasions, honesty is the best policy. If you are not honest, then you cannot identify issues, resolve problems, give your employees opportunities to develop, or take your business forward. Sometimes, honesty can offend other people. Apologize if their feelings are hurt, but explain that your honesty is important if you want to improve matters and move forward.
6. On Overcoming Your Fears
“The slavery of fear had made men afraid to think.”
This Thomas Paine quote is listed by A-Z Quotes. It is about the impact that fear can have on your life. He gives a specific example of how fear can hinder your thought processes. More importantly, it can also prevent you from taking action. Fear is one of the biggest causes of people who have excellent ideas not putting them into action and starting a business. They fear failure or the unknown, so they do nothing about their ideas. It is essential that you can face your fears and overcome them so that you can fulfill your dreams.
5. On Working Hard for Your Achievements
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”
Working hard means you are more likely to achieve your goals. If you do not work hard, you may still meet your goals eventually, but you will not value your achievements as much. There is a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that you worked hard to achieve your dreams.
4. On Overcoming Challenges
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection.”
In almost every business, it is inevitable that you will face a variety of obstacles and challenges. It is vital that you do not let these challenges deter you from continuing with your business. If you are having trouble finding solutions to the problem, look at the situation from a different perspective or ask for the opinion of a trusted member of your team who may have a different view and new ideas.
3. On Taking Risks
“The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture.”
If you have worked hard to get where you are in life, then you may fear taking risks in case you lose what you have worked hard for. On the one hand, taking a risk can lead to bigger and better things. On the other hand, you could risk damaging your business. When you are faced with risky decisions, make sure you spend some time thinking about the potential outcomes and weighing up the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. This way, your risks are calculated risks.
2. On Starting Over
“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
People do not always get it right the first time when starting a business. There is so much to learn and not understanding everything you need to know may lead to failure. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are at the end of your journey. If you are strong enough to pick yourself up from the failure, you can learn from your mistakes and rise like a phoenix second time around.
1. On Learning from the Mistakes of Others
“From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom.”
According to Bookroo, this is one of the best Thomas Paine quotes that apply to business. It is about how you can use the mistakes of others to your advantage. Look at the journeys or people in business in similar industries. Research what they have done well to get them to where they are, and what they have done badly. Use any of their mistakes and failures to learn how you should do things differently in your own business.