Sometimes you need to take a more lighthearted approach than treating everything as serious business all the time. Take inspiration from our list of funniest quotes about business that we compiled to remind you to find the humour in all aspects of business. Each one contains an important lesson to be learnt if you’re willing to read between the lines. It may just give you a fresh perspective…
“The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
Lilly Tomlin, actress/comedian/writer
Don’t get so caught up in a pointless pursuit of power and wealth if it means sacrificing yourself. It can be exhausting and self-defeating and, at the end of the day, you won’t be any happier.
“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”
Adlai Stevenson, former Vice President of the United States
If you’re going to be a leader, do so with confidence. A self-conscious, nervous leader is one who leads his men to failure.
“If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late.”
James Goldsmith, financier/tycoon/politician
Always be one step ahead of your competitors. Either pull the wagon or get in front of it; never simply succumb to doing what everyone else is doing or nothing will set you apart from the rest.
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader
Watch and learn from your competitors’ mistakes, especially if they’re slow to realise what it is. Their loss can be your gain.
“Always drink upstream from the herd.”
Will Rogers, actor/columnist/social commentator
Smart animals drink further upstream from the herd, where the water is clean and clear. The lower downstream you are, the more pollution and waste you’ll be drinking tainted by the rest of the herd. Similarly, a good business person will know to stay ahead of the crowd.
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United States
Remember the reason that you picked your team: because they are experts in their field. The moment you interfere with their work, it stops becoming a product of their expertise.
“Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.”
Karl Marx, philosopher/economist/sociologist
A talented entrepreneur is able to recognise available opportunities, and understand the value of supply and demand.
“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”
Robert Frost, American poet
It’s easy to be filled to the brim with new ideas when we are in the comfort of our own home and space. But those ideas and creativity seem to fall away as soon as you step into a stressful environment. If you want to be just as thoughtful at work, eliminate the stress-inducing factors.
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
Bertrand Russell, philosopher/logician/mathematician
Anyone who takes themselves too seriously or places too much importance on their work is dooming themselves to anxiety, as they struggle to maintain impossible standards.
“I don’t want yes-men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.”
Samuel Goldwyn, film producer
The trouble with having subordinates is that they feel pressured to tell you what they think you want to hear and not what they think you should know. If you want the truth, you have to eliminate the threat of firing them for it. You can have complete transparency or you can have complete complacency. You can’t have both.