John Wanamaker, who lived from 1838-1922, was known as a pioneer in marketing and he founded some of the first department stores in the United States (it later became a part of Macy’s).
He’s notorious for being an advertising legend who left profound thoughts on customer service. In his space, he was a titan that led the way for the rest of the industry.
The facts are clear that John knew how to build a winning business and by reading these quotes, you will learn from him.
John Wanamaker Quotes
1. “You can never ride on the wave that came in and went out yesterday.” – John Wanamaker
2. “When a customer enters my store, forget me. He is king.” – John Wanamaker
3. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
4. “A man’s not doing much until the cause he works for possesses all there is of him. Desire, when harnessed, is power.” – John Wanamaker
5. “Confidence! Confidence! Confidence! That is your capital.” – John Wanamaker
6. “Many persons have an idea that one cannot be in business and lead an upright life, whereas the truth is that no one succeeds in business to any great extent, who misleads or misrepresents.” – John Wanamaker
7. “Nothing comes merely by thinking about it.” – John Wanamaker
8. “Keep up the old standards, and day by day raise them higher.” – John Wanamaker
9. “Any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled.” – John Wanamaker
10. “No mistake or failure is as bad as to stop and not try again.” – John Wanamaker
11. “One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.” – John Wanamaker
12. “Almost everyone loves to hear his own voice. It is so easy, too! Yet if we could say less and do more for each other’s good, not alone would every home be happier, but communities would be enriched thereby.” – John Wanamaker
13. “In writing advertising it must always be kept in mind that the customer often knows more about the goods than the advertising writers because they have had experience in buying them.” – John Wanamaker
14. “Courtesies cannot be borrowed like snow shovels; you must have some of your own.” – John Wanamaker
15. “I cannot too greatly emphasize the importance and value of Bible study – more important than ever before in these days of uncertainties, when men and woman are apt to decide questions from the standpoint of expediency rather than the eternal principles laid down by God, Himself.” – John Wanamaker
16. “If we could only make our hands move as actively as our tongues, what wonders we could accomplish!” – John Wanamaker
17. “Courtesy is the one coin you can never have too much of or be stingy with.” – John Wanamaker
18. “Instead of criticism by speech, to show someone a better way to do a thing would be of much greater value.” – John Wanamaker
19. ”I learned 30 years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.” – John Wanamaker
20. “It’s easy to work for somebody else; all you have to do is show up.” – John Wanamaker
21. “People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.” – John Wanamaker
22. ”Gratitude takes three forms: a feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and a giving in return.” – John Wanamaker
23. “Let those who follow me continue to build with the plumb of honor, the level of truth, and the square of integrity, education, courtesy and mutuality.” – John Wanamaker
There’s no doubt this dude gets marketing. What was your favorite one in this list?
If you get inspired by blog posts like this, then check out other quotes from successful people to stay motivated.