John D. Rockefeller is an iconic American business industrialist who was born into a large family of modest means in upstate New York in the 1800’s, and would go on to become one of the wealthiest people in modern history. He was entrepreneurial, innovative, and savvy with his money, and he knew a thing or two about achieving success and riches on scale. As such, we’ve rounded up some of the best John D. Rockefeller quotes on these subjects.

We hope these insightful Rockefeller quotes will both inspire and move you to strive for, and achieve lasting success just like Rockefeller. So, if you’re ready for some of his best quotes about success and money, let’s dive right in:


rockefeller quotes on success

1. “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” – John D. Rockefeller

2. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

3. “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

4. “I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.” – John D. Rockefeller

5. “The secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well.” – John D. Rockefeller

6. “A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.” – John D. Rockefeller

7. “If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.” – John D. Rockefeller

8. “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” – John D. Rockefeller

9. “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” – John D. Rockefeller

10. “Success comes from keeping the ears open and the mouth closed.” – John D. Rockefeller

11. “The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability.” – John D. Rockefeller

12. “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” – John D. Rockefeller

13. “I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” – John D. Rockefeller

14. “I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything.” – John D. Rockefeller

15. “Oh, how blessed young men are who have to struggle for a foundation and beginning in life.” – John D. Rockefeller

16. “The man who starts out simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed, you must have a larger ambition.” – John D. Rockefeller

17. “The only thing which is of lasting benefit to a man is that which he does for himself. Money which comes to him without effort on his part is seldom a benefit and often a curse.” – John D. Rockefeller

18. “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, and obligation; every possession, a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller

19. “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit… a reputation, character.” – John D. Rockefeller

20. Get rich by taking something common and making it uncommon.” – John D. Rockefeller

21. “I was early taught to work as well as play, my life has been one long happy holiday; full of work and full of play — I dropped the worry on the way — And god was good to me every day.” – John D. Rockefeller

22. “There is no feeling in this world to be compared with self-reliance — do not sacrifice that to anything else.” – John D. Rockefeller

23. “Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.” – John D. Rockefeller

24. “To see what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.” – John D. Rockefeller

25. “It is only efforts the man himself puts forth that can really help him.” – John D. Rockefeller

26. “I believe thrift is essential to well-ordered living.” – John D. Rockefeller

27. “I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.” – John D. Rockefeller

28. “The success of each is dependent on the success of the other.” – John D. Rockefeller

29. “I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.” – John D. Rockefeller

30. “The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.” – John D. Rockefeller

31. “I cheat my boys every chance I get. I trade with the boys and skin’em and I just beat’em every time I can. I want to make’em sharp.” – John D. Rockefeller

32. “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.” – John D. Rockefeller

33. “The man will be most successful who confers the greatest service on the world.” – John D. Rockefeller

34. “Only fools get swelled up over money.” – John D. Rockefeller

35. “When work goes out of style we may expect to see civilization totter and fall.” – John D. Rockefeller

36. “Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things … fail because we lack concentration — the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else?” – John D. Rockefeller

37. “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money.” – John D. Rockefeller

38.  “I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” – John D. Rockefeller

39. “I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth.” – John D. Rockefeller

40. “He who works all day has no time to make money.” – John D. Rockefeller

41.“It is one thing to stand on the comfortable ground of placid inaction and put forth words of cynical wisdom, and another to plunge into the work itself and through strenuous experience earn the right to express strong conclusions.” – John D. Rockefeller

42. “A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds.” – John D. Rockefeller

43. “A man’s wealth must be determined by the relation of his desires and expenditures to his income. If he feels rich on ten dollars, and has everything else he desires, he really is rich.” – John D. Rockefeller

44. “It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.” – John D. Rockefeller

45.  “God gave me my money.” – John D. Rockefeller

46.  “I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.” – John D. Rockefeller

47. “Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”  – John D. Rockefeller

48. “I had no ambition to make a fortune. Mere money making has never been my goal. I saw a marvelous future for our country, and I wanted to participate in the work of making our country great. I had an ambition to build.” – John D. Rockefeller

49. “I believe the power to make money is a gift from God — just as are the instincts for art, music, literature, the doctor’s talent, the nurse’s, yours — to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money, and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.” – John D. Rockefeller

50. “The common denominator for success is work.” – John D. Rockefeller


There you have it, some of the best Rockefeller quotes on success, money, and getting rich. If you’ve enjoyed any of these quotes please do us a favor and share them with someone who could use a few of Rockefeller’s insights for success.

That said, we hope you come back soon.

So, till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed these John D. Rockefeller quotes then you’ll probably enjoy reading up on these Andrew Carnegie quotes considering he was a billionaire as well.

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