88+ Best P. T. Barnum Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Phineas Taylor Barnum, The Greatest Showman, was an American showman, politician, and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus. From 1841 to 1868, Barnum ran the Barnum American Museum, which featured the “Feejee Mermaid,” “General Tom Thumb” and other oddities. Inspirational P. T. Barnum quotes will motivate you work hard and follow your dreams to achieve anything you want in life.

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Most Famous P. T. Barnum Quotes

There is no such thing in the world as luck. There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street to-day, and another to-morrow, and so on, day after day: He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it. – P. T. Barnum

The show business has all phases and grades of dignity, from the exhibition of a monkey to the exposition of that highest art in music or the drama which secures for the gifted artists a world-wide fame prince well might envy. – P. T. Barnum

The noblest art is that of making others happy – P. T. Barnum

No man ever went broke overestimating the ignorance of the American public. – P. T. Barnum

Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd. – P. T. Barnum

Every man’s occupation should be beneficial to his fellowman as well as profitable to himself. All else is vanity and folly. – P. T. Barnum

Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expressions of humanity. – P. T. Barnum

Energy and patience in business are two indispensable elements of success. – P. T. Barnum

A salary was not sufficient for me. – P. T. Barnum

Men, women, and children who cannot live on gravity alone need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is, in my opinion, in a business established by the Creator of our nature. If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need never feel that he has lived in vain. – P. T. Barnum

The plan of counting the chickens before they are hatchedis an error of ancient date, but it does not seem to improve by age. – P. T. Barnum

Science is the pursuit of pure truth, and the systematizing of it. – P. T. Barnum

Medicine is the means by which we poor feeble creatures try to keep from dying or aching. – P. T. Barnum

I am indebted to the press of the United States for almost every dollar which I possess. – P. T. Barnum

He who is without a newspaper is cut off from his species. – P. T. Barnum

How were the receipts today in Madison Square Garden? – P. T. Barnum

In the United States, where we have more land than people, it is not at all difficult for persons in good health to make money. – P. T. Barnum

Witchcraft is one of the most baseless, absurd, disgusting and silly of all the humbugs. – P. T. Barnum

Politics and government are certainly among the most important of practical human interests. – P. T. Barnum

Money-getters are the benefactors of our race. To them are we indebted for our institutions of learning, and of art, our academies, colleges and churches. – P. T. Barnum

I think it is conceded that I generally do pretty big things as a manager, am audacious in my outlays and risks, give much for little money, and make my shows worthy the support of the moral and refined classes. – P. T. Barnum

The wonders of the ages assembled for your edification, education and enjoyment – for a price. – P. T. Barnum

True economy consists in always making the income exceed the out-go. Wear the old clothes a little longer if necessary; dispense with the new pair of gloves; mend the old dress: live on plainer food if need be; so that, under all circumstances, unless some unforeseen accident occurs, there will be a margin in favor of the income. – P. T. Barnum

Let your motto then always be ‘Excelsior’, for by living up to it there is no such word as fail. – P. T. Barnum

There’s one born every minute. – P. T. Barnum

No man has a right to expect to succeed in life unless he understands his business, and nobody can understand his business thoroughly unless he learns it by personal application and experience. – P. T. Barnum

There is no such thing in the world as luck. There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street to-day, and another to-morrow, and so on, day after day: He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it. – P. T. Barnum

The truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the patronage bestowed upon him. – P. T. Barnum

As a general thing, I have not ‘duped the world’ nor attempted to do so… I have generally given people the worth of their money twice told. – P. T. Barnum

In fact, as a general thing, money-getters are the benefactors of our race. – P. T. Barnum

More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing, than by believing too much. – P. T. Barnum

Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly. The truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be the patronage bestowed upon him. – P. T. Barnum

A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending. – P. T. Barnum

I never liked to work; I mean manual work. – P. T. Barnum

Small does of advertising result in nothing, obviously. It’s like giving a sick person half the medicine he needs. It just causes more suffering. Give the whole dose, and the cure will be certain and decisive. – P. T. Barnum

There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt. – P. T. Barnum

Advertising is to a genuine article what manure is to land, – it largely increases the product. – P. T. Barnum

Instead of spending money, I earned it. – P. T. Barnum

Many persons are always kept poor, because they are too visionary. Every project looks to them like certain successes, and therefore they keep changing from one business to another, always in hot water, always ‘under the harrow’. – P. T. Barnum

No profession, trade, or calling, is overcrowded in the upper story. – P. T. Barnum

Advertising is like learning – a little is a dangerous thing. If a man has not the pluck to keep on advertising, all the money he has already spent is lost. – P. T. Barnum

The orthodox faith painted God as a revengeful being, and yet people talk about loving such a being. – P. T. Barnum

The desire for wealth is nearly universal, and none can say it is not laudable, provided the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities, and uses it as a friend to humanity. – P. T. Barnum

Your success depends on what you do yourself, with your own means – P. T. Barnum

Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing! – P. T. Barnum

I am a showman by profession… and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me. – P. T. Barnum

A lovely nook of forest scenery, or a grand rock, like a beautiful woman, depends for much of its attractiveness upon the attendance sense of freedom from whatever is low; upon a sense of purity and of romance. – P. T. Barnum

Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done. – P. T. Barnum

Money is the excellent slave and a horrible master. – P. T. Barnum

Constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched. When a man’s undivided attention is centered on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once. – P. T. Barnum

Every man should make his son or daughter learn some useful trade or profession, so that in these days of changing fortunes of being rich today and poor tomorrow they may have something tangible to fall back upon. This provision might save many persons from misery, who by some unexpected turn of fortune have lost all their means. – P. T. Barnum

I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right. – P. T. Barnum

I would rather hear the pleased laugh of a child over some feature of my exhibition than receive as I did the flattering compliments of the Prince of Wales. – P. T. Barnum

To forgive heals the wound, to forget heals the scar. – P. T. Barnum

Never attempt to catch a whale with a minnow. – P. T. Barnum

I risked much, but I made much. – P. T. Barnum

Every crowd has a silver lining. – P. T. Barnum

But however mysterious is nature, however ignorant the doctor, however imperfect the present state of physical science, the patronage and the success of quacks and quackeries are infinitely more wonderful than those of honest and laborious men of science and their careful experiments. – P. T. Barnum

The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick. – P. T. Barnum

With the young man starting in business, let him understand the value of money by earning it. – P. T. Barnum

If I was not a remarkably modest man, I should probably brag a little, and say that I had done what no American ever before accomplished by visiting the queen at her palace twice within eight days. – P. T. Barnum

I am prouder of my title ‘The Children’s Friend’ than if I were to be called ‘The King of the World’. – P. T. Barnum

The possession of a perfect knowledge of your business is an absolute necessity in order to insure success. – P. T. Barnum

Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed. – P. T. Barnum

You can fool most of the people most of the time. – P. T. Barnum

There is a fool born every minute – P. T. Barnum

The common man, no matter how sharp and tough, actually enjoys having the wool pulled over his eyes, and makes it easier for the puller. – P. T. Barnum

Many people are gullible, and we can expect this to continue. – P. T. Barnum

We cannot all see alike, but we can all do good. – P. T. Barnum

Without publicity a terrible thing happens: nothing. – P. T. Barnum

Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself. – P. T. Barnum

Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now. – P. T. Barnum

The bigger the humbug, the better people will like it. – P. T. Barnum

To me there is no picture so beautiful as smiling, bright-eyed, happy children; no music so sweet as their clear and ringing laughter. – P. T. Barnum

The best kind of charity is to help those who are willing to help themselves. – P. T. Barnum

You must exercise your caution in laying your plans but be bold in carrying them out. – P. T. Barnum

Engage in one kind of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until you conclude to abandon it. A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched. – P. T. Barnum

If you hesitate, some bolder hand will stretch out before you and get the prize. – P. T. Barnum

When a man is in the right path, he must persevere. – P. T. Barnum

If I shoot at the sun, I may hit a star. – P. T. Barnum

There is no class of people in the world, who have such good memories as creditors. – P. T. Barnum

There is no greater picture than that of 10,000 smiling children. No brighter music than their clear-ringing laughter. That I, with my small amusements, have created such precious art is my life’s proudest achievement. – P. T. Barnum

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master. – P. T. Barnum

Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung. – P. T. Barnum

Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience. – P. T. Barnum

Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant. – P. T. Barnum

You know I had rather be laughed at than not to be noticed at all… – P. T. Barnum

There’s no such thing as bad publicity. – P. T. Barnum

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