15 Business Lessons & Principles for Success from John D. Rockefeller

He was the greatest businessman to ever live and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest capitalist and philanthropist in the world. Let’s look at some of John D. Rockefeller Business Lessons as well as his Principles of Success.

Rockefeller Quotes

Every once in a while I like to talk about some business lessons, inspirational quotes, and principles of success from well-known successful entrepreneurs as I believe it will serve as a source of guidance and inspiration to all entrepreneurs and business owners who read our blog- MRKOACHMAN.com.

Today we are going to talk about John D. Rockefeller, the man with ruthless business tactics, exceptional talent, strategic brilliance, and a passion for philanthropy. He was one of the richest oil magnates in the history and as of today (2017), he is still the wealthiest person in modern history.

He was the first man to ever accumulate $1 Billion US dollars and by doing so, showing everyone that creating such wealth was possible. We can all use these lessons to create immense wealth in our own lives.


A Short Bio: About John D. Rockefeller

As a young boy, John D. Rockefeller had two goals in life:

  1. Make $100,000.
  2. Live to be 100 years old.

He set big goals for himself and pursued them with relentless persistence and hard work. He constantly trained himself to be master of his emotions, desires, and schedule so that he could direct all his efforts towards achieving his goals.

  • John D. Rockefeller became an assistant bookkeeper at the age of 16 and went into a business partnership with Maurice B. Clark and his brothers at 20.
  • By age 25 he controlled one of the largest oil refineries in the nation.
  • By age 31 he had become the world’s largest oil refiner – Standard Oil Company (which was eventually broken up by the US government into what would later become ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Amoco)
  • As at the age 38, he commanded 90% of the oil refined in the U.S.
  • By the time of his retirement at age 58, he was the richest man in America.
  • As at the age of 74, his peak net worth was estimated at $340 billion (an inflation-adjusted net worth) in 1913.
  • By the time he died (a the age of 97), he had become the richest man in the world. This was on May 23, 1937.
  • Even though he failed to achieve his second life long goal, he was truly a fulfilled man at the time of his death.
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Let’s now look at some of John D. Rockefeller Business Lessons and principles of success.


15 John D. Rockefeller Business Lessons and Principles of Success

#1. If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.

#2. Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

John D Rockefeller was a prime example of someone who went for the GREAT!


#3. Live within your means. One of the swiftest toboggans I know of is for a young man just starting in life to get into debt.


#4. Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.

#5. I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to the success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.


#6. If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.


#7. I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

John D. Rockefeller Business Lessons


#8. Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.

John D. Rockefeller believed that true giving is more than just money. You must give power to the recipient in the form of skills, knowledge or a simple investment in their goal pursuit.

He believed that giving is useless if the recipient requires more and more ‘cos you’re just creating a dependent.

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#9. There’s no mystery in business success. If you do each day’s task successfully and stay faithfully within these natural operations of commercial laws which I talk so much about and keep your head clear, you will come out all right.


#10. I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.

life lessons from John D Rockefeller

#11. Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.

Also Read: Business Lessons From Theo Paphitis


#12. The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit, a reputation, character.


#13. Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things…fail because we lack concentration—the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else?


#14. It is remarkable how much we all could do if we avoid hustling, and go along at an even pace and keep from attempting too much.

John D. Rockefeller strongly believed in working steadily and consistently, instead of biting off more than he could chew.

John D Rockefeller Quote

#15. Success comes from keeping the ears open and the mouth closed.  It is very important to remember what other people tell you, not so much what you yourself already know.



In addition to his business principles, philanthropy was clearly something John D Rockefeller did with great pleasure and it led to more success.

When he was young, a Baptist preacher encouraged him to make as much money as he could, and then give away as much as he could“. 

This is exactly what John D Rockefeller did, he made so much money in his lifetime and gave away more than half of it before he died.

john d rockefeller

He was also very humble as he believed that pride goes before a fall. From when he was young, he keenly understood that power and wealth can lead to excessive pride, so he consciously trained himself not to be egocentric.

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Now that you’ve learned the business lessons and success principles from the richest man in history, now go forth and achieve success in your life and business.

Till you hear from me again, continue to do well, live well and dress really well.


Yours in Style,

Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
Founder, MrKoachman.com
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Mr. Kobi

I am Mr. Kobi, a professional style consultant, menswear blogger & entrepreneur who uses fashion to change people’s lives. My personal goal is to help gentlemen dress better, live well, do well and develop a unique personal style that matches with their lifestyle and goals. I believe that success can be built through style. I believe that fashion is a tool that can be used to change people’s lives positively. I strongly believe that if you dress well, you look good, and if you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you worry less, and the less you worry the more you are able to stay motivated and focused in your goals pursuit and by so doing you are able to live a more fulfilling and successful life.

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