22 Powerful Quotes from John D. Rockefeller


John D. Rockefeller is a man of almost mythical proportions. His story has been an inspiration for all those who search for success, both professionally and personally. Growing up in extreme poverty with a con man of a father who would often steal the family money and disappear for months and years at a time, nobody expected that John would one day be worth 336 billion dollars (adjusted to 2016 dollars).

Just for comparison, Bill Gates, who has an hourly income rate of $1.38 million, doesn’t even come close. Bill Gate’s has a net worth of $85.3 billion, which is only 25% of what Rockefeller was worth.

Not only did John D. Rockefeller achieve unimaginable success financially, he somehow managed to be a pinnacle for healthy living. He lived to be 97 in an era where life expectancy was around 50.

On top of that, he did not allow his celebrity-style status interfere with his religious beliefs, or his commitment to helping out the community. In fact, he shaped modern philanthropy in a way that nobody had ever done before. Before he passed away in 1937, John had donated around $9 billion (in 2016 dollars) for universities, libraries, hospitals, and medical research causes.

These numbers are almost too big for many of us to even comprehend. For many people. achieving the millionaire status is daunting enough. He did it around 3,360 times.

If there was ever anyone who could offer advice for both sales, business, and life that we should be paying attention to, it’s John D. Rockefeller.

Here are some of his most famous quotes that have a direct relevance to success, both professionally and personally.


No doubt, if you are on this website, you are looking to exceed your sales goals and make more money. Fortunately, John has some sage advice for all of us to take to heart if we want to achieve success.

1. I believe in the dignity of labor, whether head or hand, that the world owes every person an opportunity to make a living

2. Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

3. I have always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity

4. I don’t think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature

5. If you want to succeed, you must strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn out paths of accepted success

6. The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit, a reputation, character

7. There’s no mystery in business success. If you do each day’s task successfully and stay faithfully within these natural operations of commercial laws which I talk so much about and keep your head clear, you will come out all right

8. The person who starts simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed; you must have a larger ambition

9. The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well.

10. The ability to deal with people is as purchasable as a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other thing under the sun.


John is not your typical billionaire. Sure, he owned a large house and drove one of the first cars ever to exist, but he was also passionate about helping out his community.

11. I think it is a man’s duty to make all the money he can, keep all that he can and give away all that he can

12. Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation, every possession a duty.

13. God gave me money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God, to be used and developed to the best of our ability for the best of mankind

14. Having being endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it’s my duty to make money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience

15. Next to doing the right thing, is to let people know you are doing the right thing

Personal Happiness

With John becoming America’s first billionaire and subsequently becoming the richest individual in modern history, you might imagine that his long life and his happiness were tired directly in to his massive wealth. You’d be wrong. John was an advocate of having a enriching personal life to balance out the troubles and turmoils of the professional world.

16. I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living.

17. Singleness of purpose is essential for success in life

18. I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.

19. If only your goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.

20. It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy

21. I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

22. The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?

John D. Rockefeller will forever remain one of the most inspirational people in world history. His devotion to his craft, as well as his personal life, services as a blueprint for those who want to achieve success.

One last thing: near the end of his life, he penned a short, yet profound poem that sums up his life lessons.

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.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com

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