andrew carnegie quotes

27 Powerful Andrew Carnegie Quotes

Last Updated on June 8, 2024 by The Unbounded Thinker

Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) was a successful Scottish-American entrepreneur who’s networth, according to The Carnegie Foundation, was approximately $309 billion. It is claimed that, at the height of his career, Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest men in the world. 

Andrew Carnegie made his fortune through the mass production of steel. His firm, The Carnegie Steel Company, earned approximately $18.25 billion annually.

Besides being good at business, Andrew Carnegie was a generous man. He gave away around $350 million because he believed all wealthy men should share their wealth with the needy.

I read Andrew Carnegie’s books to discover his secrets to success, and I collected these nuggets of wisdom.


  1. “The concerns which fail are those which have scattered their capital, which means that they have scattered their brains also. They have investments in this, or that, or the other, here there, and everywhere. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is all wrong. I tell you to ”put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.”
  2. “Is any would-be business man before me content in forecasting his future, to figure himself as laboring all his life for a fixed salary? Not one, I am sure.”
  3. “And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret: concentrate your energy, thought, and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged.”
  4. “I do know that permanent success is not obtainable except by fair and honorable dealing, by irreproachable habits and correct living, by the display of good sense and rare judgment in all the relations of human life, for credit and confidence fly from the business man, foolish in word and deed, or irregular in habits, or even suspected of sharp practice.”
  5. “Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.”
  6. “The business man pure and simple plunges into and tosses upon the waves of human affairs without a life preserver in the shape of salary; he risks all.”
  7. “There is no fortune to come from salary, however high, and the business man pursues fortune.”
  8. “You can scarcely name a great invention, or a great discovery, you can scarcely name a great picture, or a great statue, a great song or a great story, nor anything great that has not been the product of men who started like yourselves to earn an honest living by honest work.”
  9. “He is the happy man who feels there is not a human being to whom he does not wish happiness, long life, and deserved success, not one in whose path he would cast an obstacle nor to whom he would not do a service if in his power.”
  10. “I can confidently recommend to you the business career as one in which there is abundant room for the exercise of man’s highest power, and of every good quality in human nature.”
  11. “One of the chief sources of success in manufacturing is the introduction and strict maintenance of a perfect system of accounting so that responsibility for money or materials can be brought home to every man.”
  12. “Be King in your dreams.”
  13. “Assuming that you have all obtained employment and are fairly started, my advice to you is, aim high. I would not give a fig for the young man who does not already see himself the partner or the head of an important firm.”
  14. “The first and most seductive, and the destroyer of most young men, is the drinking of liquor.”
  15. “I say to you that you are more likely to fail in your career from acquiring the habit of drinking liquor than from any, or all, the other temptations likely to assail you.”
  16. “One great cause of failure of young men in business is lack of concentration. They are prone to seek outside investments. The cause of many a surprising failure lies in so doing. Every dollar of capital and credit, every business thought, should be concentrated upon the one business upon which a man has embarked.”
  17. “When a young man, in any position or in any business, explains and complains that he has not opportunity to prove his ability and to rise to partnership, the old answer suffices : “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
  18. “It is the fashion nowadays to bewail poverty as an evil, to pity the young man who is not bom with a silver spoon in his mouth; but I heartily subscribe to President Garfield’s doctrine, that “The richest heritage a young man can be born to is poverty.”
  19. It is not the poor young man who goes forth to his work in the morning and labours until evening that we should pity. It is the son of the rich man to whom Providence has not been so kind as to trust with this honourable task. It is not the busy man, but the man of idleness, who should arouse our sympathy and cause us sorrow.”
  20. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”
  21. “Everyone agrees that it is the first duty of a young man to so train himself as to be self-supporting.”
  22. “Common sense is the most uncommon and most valuable quality in man or woman.”
  23. “Whatever I engage in, I must push inordinately.”
  24. “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.”
  25. “This policy is the true secret of success. Uphill work it will be for a few years until your work is proven, but after that it is smooth sailing.”
  26. “There is one sure mark of the coming partner, the future millionnaire; his revenues always exceed his expenditures. He begins to save early, almost as soon as he begins to earn. No matter how little it may be possible to save, save that little. Invest it securely.”
  27. “It is well that young men should begin at the beginning and occupy the most subordinate positions.”

I believe you’ve learned a thing or two from Andrew Carnegie, and you’ll implement what you’ve learned.


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