Shakespeare's 20 most Inspirational Quotes

Readers might be surprised to learn that I’m a big fan of William Shakespeare. I regularly attend Shakespeare plays all around the UK, and I was recently at Manchester Opera House watching Sir Ian McKellen (one of the UK’s most famous actors) play Falstaff in Henry IV parts 1 and 2.

While watching these two plays in Manchester, it occurred to me that there are many quotes within Shakespeare’s plays that could be applied to business - giving inspiration and insight to entrepreneurs and people working in a corporate environment.

So I have put together a list of my 20 favourite inspirational quotes by Shakespeare, and nearly all of these are based on plays that I have seen performed live over the last few years.


Darren Bugg, Editor, The Customer Service Blog



1. “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor


2. “Brevity is the soul of wit.”



3. “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

 All’s Well That Ends Well


4. “Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.”



5. “All that glitters is not gold.”

The Merchant of Venice


6. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

All’s Well That Ends Well


7. “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

Measure For Measure


8. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Twelfth Night


9. “This above all: to thine own self be true.”



10. “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.”

Henry V


11 “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”



12. “O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.”

Measure For Measure


13. "Men at some time are masters of their fates.”

Julius Caesar


14. "Action is eloquence."



15. “Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.”

Romeo and Juliet


16. “No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.”

The Taming of the Shrew               


17. “Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.”

Troilus and Cressida


18. “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”

Twelfth Night


19. “Strong reasons make strong actions.”

King John


20. “How poor are they that have not patience? What wound did ever heal but by degrees?”


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