Quote Me On This by Coleman Cox
edited by Karl W. Palachuk
Available at SMB Books and Amazon.com.
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Believe it or not, I read a lot. A lot. Luckily, I can hide my book budget inside my company budgets. So I spend some money each month from the family budget on books. Plus more via KPEnterprises. And even more via Great Little Book.
Among my favorite kinds of books are Quotations. I love to read through quotations and mark up all the ones that inspire some point in my life or work.
Well, you can't get very far in Bartlett's or Yale Quotations or Quotationary without coming across some great quotes by Coleman Cox.
Cox was a businessman and salesman in the early part of the 20th Century. His quotes cover business and sales generally, with a generally positive attitude toward life throughout.
Cox’s writing started in 1921 when he decided to print up a small paper booklet with a thick paper cover. As he tells it, this booklet consisted of “a few hundred paragraphs telling something of my experiences and observations during thirty years of active business life.”
He gave away a few thousand of these booklets. After that he received hundreds of letters requesting multiple copies of the booklet. So he printed a second edition, which sold out before the printing was complete.
After that the booklet quickly went to a third, fourth, fifth printing, and beyond.
Within ten months, “Take It From Me,” the first booklet, had sold millions of copies. So, in 1922 Cox came out with another brilliant collection of witticisms. Every copy was sold out before the printing of the first edition was complete.
It didn’t take long for Cox to realize that these millions of little booklets were being purchased by business owners as gifts for their employees and clients. Because Cox could easily print off small runs, he offered to print up booklets with a customized message in the front. These messages are often quite heartfelt and are obviously written by business owners striving for a better world.
In one customized copy of “Just Plain Talk,” O.R. Peterson writes to his clients:
- We have come to realize that we owe each other some expression for whatever success we have attained and possibly this little book will mean quite as much to you as it does to us.
Cox’s little paragraphs are inspiring and entertaining. Turn to any page and you’ll find yourself flipping through several more. You’ll be asking yourself “What will he say next?”
At the same time, although these words are from eight decades ago, they ring true today. Other than the fact that business is no longer completely dominated by men, almost nothing here is outdated.
I’m sure you’ll find a great deal to enjoy here. And you’ll be quoting Coleman Cox for a long time to come.
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Here are a few samples from Coleman Cox:
- There never was a better piece of advice than, “Don’t make customers of your friends, but make friends of your customers.”
- You never hear a busy man complaining about his lot in life. It’s always the loafer who does the kicking.
- The surest, quickest and best way to disrupt an organization is to put a few personal friends and relatives on the payroll.
- Walk fast. A fire department looks just as much like business when answering a false alarm as it does when going to a real conflagration.
- I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
- Suppose you were your employer, would you keep a man on the payroll at the salary you are getting for the work you are doing?
- You are paid for doing what you are expected to do. Increases come from doing more than is expected of you.
- When you get an order without an effort it is always a good idea to consult Mr. Dun or Mr. Bradstreet before making shipment.
- Too many men looking for work quit looking for it when they find jobs.
- The best time to get another order is right after you have gotten one.
- What you don’t know won’t hurt you. But I get tired listening to it.
- While the optimist is seeing the future, and the pessimist the past, is a good time for a real salesman to get out and see prospective buyers.
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Open to any page right now and you'll find yourself flipping through several more.
This book is a wonderful resource you'll come back to again and again.
And, of course, this little book makes a GREAT Mother's Day or Father's Day gift.
Or a great graduation gift.
Or Summer Solstice Gift.
You get the idea.
Buy two. One for yourself and one for a friend.
Buy Quote Me On This