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20 Voltaire Quotes That Apply to Business


Francois-Marie Arouet was better known as Voltaire. This French Enlightenment writer, philosopher, and historian was born in Paris in 1694, and he was famous for his criticism of Christianity and for his wit. He was also known for advocating the separation of church and state, the freedom of religion, and the freedom of speech. Voltaire died in Paris in 1778. This historical figure was not afraid to express his thoughts and beliefs. For this reason, his quotes are still used to this day for motivational and inspirational purposes to apply to many different situations. Here are 20 Voltaire quotes that apply to business.

20. On Keeping Going

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them.”

This Voltaire quote highlights the importance of keeping going no matter what challenges you face along the way. You must not give up as you can overcome the hard times and the are better things to come when you make it through to the other side. Facing problems is something that happens in all business, and these can range from minor to major issues. The quicker you work to find solutions, the sooner you will move forwards to better times.

19. On Using Your Time Well

“Life is too short, time too valuable, to spend it on what is useless.”

Time is one of your most valuable assets, so it is essential that you use it well. Assess how you use your time and stop doing anything that you consider a waste of your valuable time. As your business progresses, reassess your processes and systems. It is possible that there are ways you can save time without compromising quality. Another way of using your time well is to delegate tasks to other people as this will help you to focus on the most important tasks and utilize your time well.

18. On Having Focus

“Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively.”

There are some common mistakes that business owners and leaders make, especially when they are very enthusiastic about getting things up and running. One mistake is to try to implement all your ideas at the same time. By doing this, you are not focusing enough attention on each of the ideas, so it is unlikely that you will do them well. Similarly, you can become some absorbed with one particular idea or aspect of your business that you fail to see the bigger picture and skip doing other important things.

17. On Putting in the Effort

“The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it.”

To do something well requires you to put effort into the task. The more effort you put into it, the better your business will be in the end. Regardless of your level of success, you can take satisfaction from knowing that you have put in the effort and always tried your best.

16. On Picking Yourself Up from Your Mistakes

“We are full of weakness and error; let us mutually pardon each other our follies.”

According to Awaken the Greatness Within, this is one of the best Voltaire quotes that apply to business. Everyone makes mistakes, it is a fundamental part of human nature. You must accept that you will not always do everything right and forgive yourself for this. When you make a mistake, pick yourself and learn from the mistakes you have made to make you a better person in the future.

15. On the Importance of Learning from Those with Experience

“Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?”

There are many ways that you can learn in business beyond studying at university or reading books. You will find that there is a lot you can learn from people who already have business experience. Look at those who have become successful and what they have done to get to that position in life. If you have experienced people in your team, you can also use their skills and knowledge to your advantage as they have a lot to offer.

14. On Having Faith in Yourself

“Faith consists of believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

Sometimes, you will find it hard and doubt that you can achieve all your goals and get to where you want in life. However, it is important that you continue to have faith in yourself and your abilities. If you doubt yourself, then why should anybody else have faith in you?

13. On Applying Common Sense

“Common sense is not so common.”

When you find yourself with a problem or in a tricky situation, the simplest solution is often to simply apply some common sense. Many people look too deeply into an issue and try to come up with complex solutions. Often, the solution is right in front of you and you don’t see it until you become rational and apply your common sense.

12. On Taking Responsibility for Your Own Destiny

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”

This Voltaire quote is listed on Wealthy Gorilla, and it is all about making the most of what you have got to reach your full potential. An important part of being able to do this is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths to your advantage and work on your weaknesses to improve yourself. There is only one person who is responsible for your destiny, and that is you. Therefore, it is you that is responsible for doing what it takes to achieve your dreams.

11. On Thinking of Solutions

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

Problems are inevitable in all businesses but putting some thought into the situation will usually result in a solution. Sometimes, you may need to think outside the box and use your imagination to come up with the best solution for a problem.

10. On the Importance of Asking Questions

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

It is only by asking questions that you will find the answers, so this makes the act of asking questions more important than knowing the answer. Asking questions also shows a desire to learn, expand your knowledge, and improve yourself. Therefore, you should continue to ask questions throughout your life.

9. On Overcoming Challenges

“Give me the patience for the small things of life, the courage for the great trials of life. Help me to do my best each day and then go to sleep knowing God is awake.”

Business is filled with hurdles; some large and some small. The small problems are often irritating and can make you feel like you are being delayed in your progress. At these times, you will need patience. When you need to face the bigger challenges in your business, you will need courage to get you through.

8. On Having a Positive Attitude

“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”

Listed on A-Z quotes, this Voltaire quote is all about having a positive mental attitude. Having the right attitude can make a big difference not only to your business success but also to your enjoyment of life. Your attitude is not just a reaction to situations, it is a deliberate decision that you can make.

7. On Getting Over the Low Points

“The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”

Bad things will sometimes happen, and you will experience low points in your business. It is how you handle these misfortunes that will determine whether they have a short-term or long-term impact on your life or your business. Make the decision to move on from the low points without dwelling on them too much and to look to the future instead.

6. On Listening to the Opinion of Others

“It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.”

Not everyone will always have the same opinion as you, and this is something that you need to accept. It is wise to listen to other people’s opinions rather than simply dismissing their beliefs or ideas just because they are different from your own. It can help you to look at things from a different perspective, and it may even highlight some issues you had overlooked and change your opinion. Listening to the opinions of your team is also a vital step to take if you want to make them feel appreciated and remain motivated.

5. On Appreciating What You Have

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

If you have worked hard to build a business and you have achieved things in your life, then you should take the time to step back and appreciate what you have got and everything you have achieved. Many people in business are so focused on taking things further that they forget to appreciate what they have already done. Failing to stop and appreciate your achievements may mean you reach the end of your life without enjoying any of your success.

4. On Ignoring the Haters

“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”

A common problem for people who become successful is criticism from people who are jealous. You may find that the more success you achieve, the more people want to criticize the decisions you make and the things you do. It is important that you recognize that the opinions of these people do not matter and that you can brush aside their criticisms without taking things to heart. Allowing their negativity to impact your life and business will only hold you back.

3. On Nurturing Your Business

“Let us cultivate our garden.”

It is possible to interpret this Voltaire quote in a way that applies to business. Building a business is not something that will happen on its own. Just like a garden, you need to nurture your business to help it grow. This can take a lot of dedication over a lot of years as your business will need constant care and attention. Similarly, if you are a leader in business, the projects for which you are responsible will need ongoing attention as they develop to ensure they are successful.

2. On Representing Your Business Well

“The mirror is a worthless invention. The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes.”

You are a representation of your business. The way you present yourself to others is a direct reflection of your business. Therefore, you should always give the best representation of yourself possible as it can impact on your business. Think not only of how you perceive yourself but also of how you are perceived by others as these are not the same thing,

1. On Thinking for Yourself

“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”

According to Goalcast, this is one of the best Voltaire quotes that apply to business. As you are responsible for your own destiny and whether you reach your full potential or not, it is important that you always think for yourself and do not get swayed by the thoughts and opinions of others. As a business leader, you should also encourage your team to think for themselves as they may bring a different perspective to a situation that is helpful in taking your business forward.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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