Quotations by Hubbard, Elbert


If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him! If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him — speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of the time, and the rest of the time work against him. I would give an undivided service or none.
If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
“Get Out or Get in Line,” Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard (1928)
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Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
“J.B. Runs Things,” Elbert Hubbard’s Selected Writings, Part 14 (1923)
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The graveyards are full of people the world could not do without.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
“The Philistine” (May 1907)

Full text.

Sometimes quoted as:

  • "The graveyards are full of indispensable men"
  • "The cemeteries are full of indispensable men."
  • "The cemeteries are filled with people who thought the world could not get along without them."

Also attributed to Charles DeGaulle, Georges Clemenceau, and many others.  More information.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Nov-11
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I have carried a dinner pail and worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Message to Garcia (1899)

Full text.

Added on 30-Aug-10 | Last updated 30-Aug-10
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Life is just one damned thing after another.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)

Variant: "Life is just one damn thing after another."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 6-Apr-11
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Don’t make excuses — make good!

Hubbard - make good - wist_info quote

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)
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Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)
Added on 19-Oct-10 | Last updated 19-Oct-10
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Logic: an instrument for bolstering a prejudice.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)
Added on 21-Jul-11 | Last updated 21-Jul-11
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The only sin is to be unkind.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)
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Anyone who idolizes you is going to hate you when he discovers that you are fallible. He never forgives. He has deceived himself, and he blames you for it.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
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Impossible things are simply those which so far have never been done.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
Added on 21-Dec-11 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Responsibility is the price of freedom.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
Added on 29-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Work for yourself by working for the good of all.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
Added on 2-Sep-13 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Complete success alienates a man from his fellows, but suffering makes kinsmen of us all.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
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Success is ten percent opportunity and ninety percent intelligent hustle.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
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Anyone who idolizes you is going to hate you when he discovers that you are fallible. He never forgives. He has deceived himself, and he blames you for it.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
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Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it — so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success. As the tide goes clear out, so it comes clear in. In business sometimes prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
Electrical Review (c. 1895)

Original source not found, but as such in Evelyn Briggs Baldwin, The Search for the North Pole (1896). Later published in various works by Hubbard, including FRA Magazine : A Journal of Affirmation (1915), and An American Bible (1918) (ed. Alice Hubbard).

Added on 6-May-11 | Last updated 6-May-11
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If you would escape moral and physical assassination, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing — court obscurity, for only in oblivion does safety lie.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
Little Journeys to the Homes of American Statemen, “William H. Seward” (1916)

Full text.

Variants, elsewhere in Hubbard's writing and quote epigrams:

  • To escape criticism -- do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
  • To avoid unkind criticism: do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Aug-10
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Never Explain — your Friends do not need it and your Enemies will not believe you anyhow.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Motto Book (1907)
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A man who marries a woman to educate her falls victim to the same fallacy as the woman who marries a man to reform him.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard (1927)
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There is no such thing as success in a bad business.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard (1927) [ed. Elbert Hubbard II]
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The best service a book can render you is not to impart truth, but to make you think it out for yourself.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard (ed. E. Hubbard II) (1927)
Added on 2-Jan-09 | Last updated 1-Aug-10
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There is no end to education.  We are all in the Kindergarten of God.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
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The newspapers print what the people want, and thus does the savage still swing his club and flourish his spear.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
Added on 13-Sep-10 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Men who marry for gratification, propagation or the matter of buttons or socks, must expect to cope with and deal in a certain amount of quibble, subterfuge, concealments, and double, deep-dyed prevarication.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
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Perfume: Any smell that is used to drown a worse one.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
Added on 27-Sep-10 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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The great Big Black Things that have loomed against the horizon of my life, threatening to devour me, simply loomed and nothing more. The things that have really made me miss my train have always been sweet, soft, pretty, pleasant things of which I was not in the least afraid.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
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The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
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The Reformer is a savior or a rebel, … depending largely upon whether he succeeds or fails.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
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I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Notebook of Elbert Hubbard [ed. E. Hubbard II] (1927)
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Piety is the tinfoil of pretense.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philistine (Sep 1908)

Full text.
Added on 29-Apr-11 | Last updated 29-Apr-11
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The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philistine, Vol. 13, #5 (Nov 1901)

Full text.

 

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Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philistine, Vol. 23, #4 (Sep 1906)
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Every man is a dam fool at least ten minutes a day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philistine, Vol. 29, #6 (Nov 1909)

Full text.

Sometimes given: "Every man is a damn fool at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit."

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We credit ourselves for our successes; we blame others for our faults.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard [ed. Edward Hubbard II] (1930)
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Nobody knows what the goal is — we are sailing under sealed orders.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard [ed. Edward Hubbard II] (1930)
Added on 6-Sep-10 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones of genius.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard [ed. Edward Hubbard II] (1930)
Added on 11-Oct-10 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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When we are pleased with ourselves, we are pleased with others.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard [ed. Edward Hubbard II] (1930)
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Every life is its own excuse for being, and to deny or refute the untrue things that are said of you is an error in judgment. All wrong recoils upon the doer, and the man who makes wrong statements about others is himself to be pitied, not the man he vilifies. It is better to be lied about than to lie. At the last no one can harm us but ourselves.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams (1923)
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Dogma: A hard substance which forms in a soft brain.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
Added on 23-Oct-09 | Last updated 23-Oct-09
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Failure: A man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
Added on 9-Mar-10 | Last updated 9-Mar-10
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Fear: A club used by priests, presidents, kings and policemen to keep the people from recovering stolen goods.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
Added on 11-May-10 | Last updated 11-May-10
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Ideal: An excuse for murder, tyranny, or for self-aggrandizement. Any theory that justifies our secret itch.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
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Rightous Indignation: Your own wrath, as opposed to the shockingly bad temper of others.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
Added on 27-Sep-11 | Last updated 27-Sep-11
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Orthodoxy: A corpse that does not know it is dead.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
Added on 18-Nov-11 | Last updated 18-Nov-11
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Forecast: To observe that which has passed, and guess it will happen again.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1914)
Added on 18-Apr-12 | Last updated 18-Apr-12
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Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1923)
Added on 13-May-11 | Last updated 13-May-11
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If your religion does not change you, then you had better change your religion.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Roycroft Dictionary (1923)
Added on 27-May-11 | Last updated 27-May-11
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It is a curious fact (or it isn’t) that of all the illusions that beset mankind none is quite so curious as that tendency to suppose that we are mentally and morally superior to those who differ from us in opinion.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard [ed. Ben Hubbard] (1922)

Full text.

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