60+ 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.

If you’re searching for insightful business quotes and profound entrepreneur quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Milton Hershey quotes, powerful Ratan Tata quotes, and inspirational Gary Vaynerchuk quotes.

Most Famous P. T. Barnum Quotes

I will loose my camel, and trust it to God!

The possession of a perfect knowledge of your business is an absolute necessity in order to ensure success.

No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.

The best kind of charity is to help those who are willing to help themselves.

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.

Young men starting in life should avoid running into debt. There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt. It is a slavish position to get ill, yet we find many a young man, hardly out of his ‘teens,’ running in debt. He meets a chum and says, Look at this: I have got trusted for a new suit of clothes. He seems to look upon the clothes as so much given to him; well, it frequently is so, but if he succeeds in paying and then gets trusted again, he is adopting a habit which will keep him in poverty through life. Debt robs a man of his self-respect and makes him almost despise himself.

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.

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

The great ambition should be to excel all others engaged in the same occupation.

The noblest art is that of making others happy.

The history of money-getting, which is commerce, is a history of civilization, and wherever trade has flourished most, there, too, have art and science produced the noblest fruits. In fact, as a general thing, money-getters are the benefactors of our race. To them, in a great measure, are we indebted for our institutions of learning and of art, our academies, colleges, and churches?

Let your motto then always be ‘Excelsior’, for by living up to it there is no such word as fail.

To forgive heals the wound, to forget heals the scar.

Be cautious and bold.

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

In my temperance speeches, I have frequently been interrupted and sometimes interrogated by opponents. I always take things coolly, let them have their say, and endeavor to give them a ‘Roland for an Oliver.’

Writing lives forever, while you may not.

There’s a sucker born every minute.

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

The greatest humbug of all is the man who believes—or pretends to believe—that everything and everybody are humbugs.

Inspirational P. T. Barnum Quotes

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.

Comfort is the enemy of progress.

Energy and patience in business are two indispensable elements of success.

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.

The old proverb is full of truth and meaning, Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.” Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbor remains poor for life because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business.

We agreed that many a human life is sacrificed in sudden anger because one or both the parties carry deadly weapons.

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.

Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung.

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.

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

Remember the proverb of Solomon: He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand, but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

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.

The public very properly shun all whose integrity is doubted. No matter how polite and pleasant and accommodating a man may be, none of us dare to deal with him if we suspect ‘false weights and measures.’

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.

Science is the pursuit of pure truth and the systematizing of it.

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

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

Every crowd has a silver lining.

Money is, in some respects, like fire. It is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master.

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.

Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!

Politics and government are certainly among the most important of practical human interests.

Your success depends on what you do yourself, with your own means.

When a man is in the right path, he must persevere.

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 worldwide-fame, princes well might envy.

Those who really desire to attain independence, have only to 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.

The safest plan, and the one most sure of success for the young man starting in life, is to select the vocation which is most congenial to his tastes.

You must exercise your caution in laying your plans, but be bold in carrying them out.

Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.

Fortune always favors the brave and never helps a man who does not help himself.

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

Witchcraft is one of the most baseless, absurd, disgusting and silly of all the humbugs.

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.

Dr. Franklin says, it is the eyes of others and not our own eyes which ruin us. If all the world were blind except myself I should not care for fine clothes or furniture.

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

Work hard, think hard, be honest, and spend little – this will ‘make common gold.’

Exposing an illusion is not the same as revealing a truth.

Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expressions of humanity.

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

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT Work at it, if necessary, 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.