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Financial Quotes

Mistakes Quotes

  • "Keith Richards … was once asked how he came up with all those amazing guitar riffs. His answer? He just starts playing until he makes the right mistake. In other words he’s optimistic he will create something good by virtue of getting something “wrong.”"
    Mark Stevenson (1971–), British author, comedian, and futurologist
    Source: The School of Life blog (January 16, 2013)
  • "You will get something wrong today, and tomorrow, and every day of your life. So will I, and everybody you know. You don’t have a choice about being wrong sometimes: mistakes will be your life-long companion. But you do have a choice about whether to approach your error in terror so you suppress, ignore, and repeat it—or to make it your honest, open ally in trying to get to the truth."
    Johann Hari (1979–), British journalist
    Source: Independent (London) (August 13, 2010)
  • "Of all the things we are wrong about, error might well top the list … We are wrong about what it means to be wrong. Far from being a sign of intellectual inferiority, the capacity to err is crucial to human cognition. Far from being a moral flaw, it is inextricable from some of our most humane and honourable qualities: empathy, optimism, imagination, conviction, and courage. And far from being a mark of indifference or intolerance, wrongness is a vital part of how we learn and change. Thanks to error, we can revise our understanding of ourselves and amend our ideas about the world."
    Kathryn Schulz, US journalist and author
    Source: Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error (2010)
  • "Business is like war in one respect. If its grand strategy is correct, any number of tactical errors can be made and yet the enterprise proves successful."
    Robert E. Wood (18791969), US soldier and businessman, chairman of Sears Roebuck
    Source: Quoted in What’s Your Game Plan: Creating Business Strategies that Work (Milton C. Lauenstein, 2004)
  • "You can’t live life without an eraser."
    Tom Peters (1942–), US management consultant and author
    Source: The Circle of Innovation (1998)
  • "We became uncompetitive by not being tolerant of mistakes."
    Roberto Goizueta (19311997), US CEO of Coca-Cola
    Source: Fortune (May 1995)
  • "I've always been able to make erroneous decisions very quickly."
    Herb Kelleher (1931–), US businessman, founder of Southwest Airlines
    Source: The Nation’s Business (October 1991)
  • "We are built to make mistakes, coded for error."
    Lewis Thomas (19131993), US academic, physician, and writer
    Source: “To Err Is Human,” The Medusa and the Snail (1979)
  • "The better a man is, the more mistakes will he make—for the more new things he will try. I would never promote a man into a top level job who had not made mistakes, and big ones at that. Otherwise he is sure to be mediocre."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: The Practice of Management (1954)
  • "Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied."
    Pearl S. Buck (18921973), US writer
    Source: What America Means to Me (1943)
  • "If a man is both wise and lucky, he will not make the same mistake twice. But he will make any one of ten thousand brothers or cousins of the original."
    Jesse Livermore (18771940), US stock trader
    Source: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (writing as Edwin Lefèvre, 1923)
  • "Give me fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections."
    Vilfredo Pareto (18481923), Italian economist and sociologist
    Source: Mind and Society (1916)
  • "The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."
    E. J. Phelps (18221900), US diplomat
    Source: Speech, Mansion House, London (January 24, 1899)
  • "Man errs as long as he strives."
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (17491832), German poet, playwright, novelist, and scientist
    Source: Faust (1808), pt. 1
  • "A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday."
    Alexander Pope (16881744), English poet
    Source: Thoughts on Various Subjects (1741)
  • "The first chance you have to avoid a loss from a foolish loan is by refusing to make it; there is no second chance."
    Charlie Munger (1924–), US investor
    Source: Attributed
  • "You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself."
    Sam Levenson (19111980), US humorist
    Source: Attributed
  • "If all else fails, immortality can always be achieved by a spectacular mistake."
    J. K. Galbraith (19082006), US economist and diplomat
    Source: Attributed
  • "It is a good thing to make mistakes so long as you're found out quickly."
    John Maynard Keynes (18831946), British economist
    Source: Attributed

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