50 Inspiring, Interesting, and Funny Consulting Quotes

consulting quotes

When you hit a wall on the road to success as a consultant or feel like you’re losing motivation, sometimes all you need is a reminder that hindrances are temporary and you have what it takes to carry on. Other times, a simple phrase can help you understand something seemingly complex deeper — and you can use it to give your clients that “aha” moment, too.

We’ve gathered the best consulting quotes from CEOs, authors, experts, and the icons of (let’s be honest) one of the coolest professions in business and consulting. These thought-provoking and action-inspiring quotes will give you that little push you’ve been looking for and the daily dose of wisdom you need to find new perspectives.

In this article, you’ll find over 50 quotes about:

  • Management consulting
  • Leadership consulting
  • Marketing consulting
  • Financial consulting
  • IT consulting
  • Running a consulting business
  • Motivational quotes and some not-so-typical consulting profession quotes
  • Consulting frameworks
  • Consulting clients
  • And even some funny consulting quotes to lighten up the mood before your next big project

Keep them at hand to stay inspired, stick your favorite on your desk, or use them to rock your next presentation. When overused consulting phrases and buzzwords make you lose your audience, these quotes will get the glint in their eyes back.

Management Consulting Quotes

“Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.”

Joy Gumz

“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.”

Paul Hawken

“A manager is not a person who can do the work better than his men; he is a person who can get his men to do the work better than he can.”

Frederick W. Smith

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

Anne M. Mulcahy

“Management is all about managing in the short term, while developing the plans for the long term.”

Jack Welch

“Learning new systems and processes is not mandatory…but neither is staying in business.”

Bobby Darnell

[ Read: 34 Different Types of Consulting Services (And How to Pick Your Specialty) ]

Leadership Consulting Quotes

“When I was a child, I just assumed that in order for a sailboat to go, say, east, the wind had to be blowing from the west to the east. I was amazed to learn that, no matter which way the wind blew, a sailboat could always get to where it wanted to go—if it had a skilled sailor at the helm. To me, the five forces are kind of like the wind, the direction that competition within an industry is moving. Strategy is about positioning the firm relative to the prevailing winds in a way to make sure that the firm gets to where it wants to go, no matter what direction the wind is blowing.”

Trish Gorman Clifford

“Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”

Peter Drucker

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

Stephen Covey

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

Lao Tzu

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Colin Powell

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”

Chris Hadfield

Marketing Consulting Quotes

“You have a customer, they have a clear and defined problem. Speak to that pain, tell them how you can solve that pain and conversions will increase. If your targeting on your advertising is correct, it will work.”

Shiv Narayanan

“You are everywhere, but you don’t have to be. Strategy is a decision to take a path, to say no.”

Kristina Halvorson

“Sometimes you have to experiment with a lot of ideas and see which one sticks. If you’re unsure, let the market decide.”

Dorie Clark

“If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”

Guy Kawasaki

“Increasingly, mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches.”

Chris Anderson

Financial Consulting Quotes

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”

Benjamin Franklin

“When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.”


“The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios… The idea that you can actually predict what’s going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.”

George Soros

 “To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.”

George Washington

“The only way to permanently change the temperature in the room is to reset the thermostat. In the same way, the only way to change your level of financial success ‘permanently’ is to reset your financial thermostat. But it is your choice whether you choose to change.”

T. Harv Eker

IT Consulting Quotes

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”

Stewart Brand

“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.”

Bill Gates

“The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.”

Steve Ballmer

“Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.”

Ray Kurzweil

“Information technology departments must spend enormous amounts of time and money worrying about integrating big computer systems with billions of pieces of customer data.”

Alex Berenson

Quotes About Running a Consulting Business

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”

Joseph Pulitzer

“As a consultant, if you don’t specialize, then it’s hard to get great at one thing. It’s hard to attract your ideal customer because your message is as diffused as your offer. What I find is the path for new consultants, distill down then when you think you are done, distill down further and get down to your core offering.”

Rob Malec, Clarity Coaching Client

“As consultants, we need to be ruthless in discerning what is important and what is just noise.”

Luk Smeyers

“My job is to help my clients ask better questions. My mentor taught me, `Ask a better question, get a better answer.”

Richie Norton

“In giving presentations, use the 10/20/30 rule….use only 10 slides, take 20 minutes maximum, and use at least 30-point fonts.”

Guy Kawasaki

“The economy is always changing. So your business should always be changing. Managing a business includes adapting to change, evolving with change and sometimes pioneering those changes and evolutions.”

Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr

[ Read: What Does a Consultant Do? (And Why It’s Your New Favorite Career) ]

Motivational Consulting Quotes

“The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.”

Margaret J. Wheatley

“Confidence is contagious; so is lack of confidence.”

Vince Lombardi

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

Warren Buffet

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”


“To win without risk is to triumph without glory.”

Pierre Corneille

“The only person who has the responsibility of leading your thoughts is you, be kind to yourself!”

Maliheh Sadat Razavi

Quotes About Consulting Frameworks

“One of the keys to being extraordinary is knowing what rules to follow and what rules to break.”

Vishen Lakhiani

“New frameworks are like climbing a mountain – the larger view encompasses rather than rejects the more restricted view.”

Albert Einstein

“You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”

Michael Dell

“A conceptual framework is a ‘frame that works’ to put those concepts in practice.”

Paul Hughes

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”

Charles F. Kettering

[ Read: 7 Consulting Frameworks That Win Big Clients ]

Quotes About Consulting Clients

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

Brian Tracy

“If I’ve got a problem with one of my clients that needs to get solved, guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to call them up, and I’m going to say, ‘Hey, here’s what’s going on. This is the situation. This thing went sideways. I didn’t expect it. Now it’s going to take me some more time to get you what you need.’ But I’m going to do that upfront.”

Jocko Willink

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”

Denis Waitley

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”

Don Alden Adams

“We have that illusion that we are ‘deciding’ what to make a character do, in order to ‘convey our message’ or something like that. But, at least in my experience, you are often more like a river-rafting guide who’s been paid a bonus to purposely steer your clients into the roughest possible water.”

George Saunders

“Some people say they have 20 years experience, when in reality, they have 1 year’s experience repeated 20 times.”

Richie Norton

Funny Consultant Quotes

“What do you do if you’re an executive who resigns? You declare yourself a consultant.”

Mo Ibrahim

“Consultant: any ordinary guy more than fifty miles from home.”

Eric Sevareid

“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.”

Peter Drucker

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

Paul Valery

“The only thing certain about any negotiation is that it will lead to another negotiation.”

Leigh Steinberg

Ready to Build Your Dream Business?

Hopefully, these inspiring consulting quotes have given you that boost to get back to crafting a business you love. And you know what else would totally fire you up about working on your consulting business? Automate all your repetitive processes so your clients sign up for your services while you sleep.

Paperbell is an all-in-one client management software specifically built with service providers in mind. It handles all your contracts, payments, bookings, and more and keeps all your client data in one neat place. Get your free Paperbell account now to test out all the cool features this platform can offer.

consulting quotes

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2022 and has since been updated for accuracy.

By Annamaria Nagy
Annamaria Nagy is a Brand Identity Coach and Copywriter. She's been writing for over 10 years about topics like personal development, coaching, and business. She was previously the Head of SEO at the leading transformational education company, Mindvalley.
November 29, 2023

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