Don't bite at the chance that is offered you to get something for nothing. The biggest kind of a string is always in such a proposition.
Remember this, that people are selfish. Each man looks out for his own interest, and even if he is protecting your interest, it is because his own interest will be better conserved by looking out for yours.
Don't decide on important matters too quickly. Don't get tied up in big contracts with strangers until you have found every strand of the string.
Don't be too suspicious but hunt for the string. It pays to be very conservative on all matters in which others are interested.
Sometimes the string in the proposition is legitimate and the other fellow may be more interested than you are, but it certainly behooves you to see what this string is and to understand exactly where the end of the string is tied.
Don't draw up in your shell and look upon every man with a proposition as trying to take advantage of you, but put down this as a truth—There is a string to every proposition, and you must find that string before you close the deal.
Just how the expression "horse sense" came into use is not known, but the meaning of the combination means good reason, old fashioned logic, simple analysis and actual truth, and the basing of your actions upon simple things rather than complex things.
The man who uses horse sense in his transactions gets along further and faster than the man who uses selfishness and smartness.
To be possessed of horse sense is a most valuable asset. It is something you can use every day of your life.
Horse sense is really one of the things that makes up the law of compensation. The law of compensation itself is the quintessence of horse sense.
Luck is the gambling chance, and horse sense is the investment and security chance.
The man with horse sense may not go as far in a day as the man with luck, but he will progress more days and go further eventually than the lucky man.
Horse sense is one of the most valuable things in the business world, and it is one of the rarest things. It is so valuable because it is so rare.
In the business world today the men who are doing great things are the men who have horse sense. We call these men wonderful and look upon their accomplishments as the result of some mysterious, wonder-working power that they possess. Wonder workers are only flashes in the pan.
Do not hire your employes on account of your preference for a certain color hair or certain colored eyes. Do not hire your employes on account of their physical appearance, or on account of their ability to dress in the height of fashion. Get down to their net worth. Find out how much horse sense they have. Hire employes, as far as possible, who are blessed with old fashioned horse sense.
The good manager is one who commands respect, not through his authority but because those under him appreciate that he has more ability and experience than they have.
The selection of a good manager is very important, for the success of one's business depends upon its management. The proprietor cannot do all the things himself, and he must rely upon his lieutenants.
Give a certain class of work to ten girls. Put them in a room by themselves with no one in authority. Come back next day and you will find that there is one girl who is laying out the work for the others. There is something in this girl that makes her a natural manager, and there is a certain instinct amongst the rest of the girls that makes them acknowledge this one girl as their superior, and the one to go to for advice. This natural leadership is the quality the manager should possess.
Above all, the manager, like the boss, must know how to do things he hires others to do, and the things we have said concerning the boss is likewise true of the manager, for the manager is the next step below the boss. The successful boss would not have obtained his present position if he had not been a good manager previously.
Let the manager read thoroughly our chapter on the boss if he has ambition to be boss some day.
The mistake frequently made by the manager is to take credit himself for the work done by those under him, for such a manager may be sure that sooner or later his position in this respect will be found out, and to his surprise he will find that the employe who has been doing the things for which he has taken credit will take the manager's place. Employes are quick to detect this spirit in the manager. They see that their own efforts are not known to the boss, and it makes them indifferent, because they see no appreciation for what they are doing. On the other hand, if the manager says a good word to the boss concerning an employe who has shown marked ability, it redounds to the manager's credit that he is liberal enough to give credit where it properly belongs.
Truth will out as sure as the sun will shine, and the manager cannot conceal his subordinates' abilities and pass them off as his own for any length of time.
The good manager will say a kind word to the boss about the employe, if he is the right sort. It makes an employe feel confidence in the manager when he knows that the manager is appreciative and ready to tell his superior of good things in the employe's favor. The manager who is bad tempered, suspicious and tries to take credit that does not belong to him is only holding his position temporarily, and some day he will be let out of the institution for which he is working, and will find himself forced to the extremity of getting a place somewhere else back in the ranks from which he had temporarily risen.
Time was when the best salesman was the one who could tell the biggest lies, drink the most whiskey and show his customers the liveliest time.
Today the best salesman is distinguished by the following attributes: Truth, trustworthiness, together with a fine knowledge of the goods he is selling.
The man who sells goods must be prepared to hear from nearly every man that his price is too high. If the buyers would always tell the truth, then the salesman who sold the most goods would simply be the one who actually sold at the lowest price.
Price does not mean anything. Price is high or low only when quality is taken into consideration.
The man who sells merchandise, or advertising, for instance, must be thoroughly acquainted himself with the thing he sells. He must be reliable, he must give good measure, he must keep his word.
We hear a good deal about the live-wire, rapid-fire salesman, who goes out on his initial trip and comes back with a bagful of orders. It must be remembered that ever and always there is the law of compensation to take into consideration. The salesman who bags a lot of orders on the first trip does not get so many the second time. He has colored his picture too highly on the first trip. He has made too many side promises, too many mis-statements, and the customer finds out he cannot be believed, and this smooth article of a salesman is not as welcome in the buyer's office the second trip.
On the other hand and in strict accordance with the law of compensation, the salesman who tells the truth, who moves quickly, who does what he agrees to and knows what he is talking about, who talks convincingly and attends strictly to business will eventually succeed.
The great house of Marshall Field & Co. of Chicago have operated along the line of fairness, good treatment and willingness to right a wrong and correct a mistake quickly. Marshall Field had horse sense when he inaugurated his business.
Wonder workers who start out with a burst of speed and smash records in the matter of selling will still be salesmen at fifty years of age, for you can't go fast far.
Those wonder workers change frequently. They flit from house to house. They work because they need the money to have a good time with, and as soon as they get the money they proceed to have a good time until their little pile runs out, and then they get another job. Business men know this wonder worker well. Go into any wholesale house and you will find them. They are living in the past and relating their conquests. They never speak of the present but always of the past. They have done things they can't do again. The good salesman is doing things now better than he has done in the past.
The permanently successful salesman does not cut much of a figure in the matter of dress. He is not as handsome as the wonder worker. In fact, he may be physically uncouth, but he has a heart under his rough exterior. The customers he mingles with have confidence in him. They know he will do what he promises, and finally this man is the one who builds up a good trade and at fifty years of age he has a place of his own, sends salesmen on the road, and his house does a good business because his policy permeates the institution, and the customers have confidence in the house because he is at the head of it, and they are familiar with his methods and practice.
Some buyers seem to think that it is necessary for them to give the impression to the seller that they are buying at lower prices than the seller quotes. The wonder worker tries to make each customer believe that he is buying at the lowest price. The common sense salesman does not resort to such tactics.
The average buyer does not concern himself so much about being able to buy cheaper as he does to feel sure that his competitor does not get better treatment than he does.
In the matter of selling there is no one thing that ultimately proves so successful as the one price plan. By that we mean the same price to all who purchase the same quantity or the same amount in a given time.
The more elastic and variable your prices, the more ingenuity required to keep these cut prices from getting into the hands of your customers. This matter of cutting prices causes no end of worry. In proportion as you indulge in cutting prices, so in proportion you will receive an increased number of cut price offers.
Let it be known that your prices are subject to reduction at the hands of a smooth buyer, and the news will travel fast.
Let it be known that you don't cut prices, and that news will gain currency in the trade, and you will not have cut prices offered you.
There is something in the matter of selling beyond dollars and cents, and that is dollars and sense.
Remember this, when you sell goods you are also selling reputation. If your goods are bad your reputation will be bad too. You can't have a good reputation and sell bad goods and make a permanent success.
Remember, every sale you make is an advertisement.
Remember, you can take advantage of the buyer once or twice, but if you want to hold his trade you must be fair with him.
Smooth tactics that bring in present money react and lose trade for you later on.
Every man owes it to himself and to his family to take a vacation each year.
Vacate means to get out or away from, and if you take your so called vacation by a trip to another city and spend your time in the whirl of industry, you are not helping yourself, you are not taking a vacation. Neither are you resting your mind and body if you go to a swell summer resort where white duck trousers in the day and full dress in the evening is the rule.
The real vacation you get is when you take yourself away from the business marts of trade, and go to a place where you can get your feet on good old mother earth. Go where fences are unknown, where there are no "keep off the grass" signs, climb the hills, walk through the forests, fill your lungs with good ozone, say to yourself "all these beautiful things are mine."
Nature has arranged it so that the poorest man in the world can get the most priceless things as easily as the multi-millionaire. The four most precious things in the world are good air, good food, good water and good health. Money cannot buy any one of these things. The man with millions cannot get any better air, or more nourishing food, or purer water, or better health than can the poor man.
The man who goes to the big woods for his vacation, who lives out of doors, who gets near to nature, is putting by a reserve in his constitution and brain that he will draw upon for the remainder of the year. Such vacations will clear the cobwebs from your brain. It will give you ability to do greater things, and make you see the beautiful side of life.
A man should not depend wholly on his two or three weeks in the woods, however. He should take a little vacation every day. He should arrange to get some benefit for his brain and body in each twenty-four hours. He should take a few moments each day and devote it to mental and physical relaxation. And, above all, he can get a good vacation every twenty-four hours if he sleeps properly.
Our good friend Grizzly Pete, of Frozen Dog, understands the real vacation when he says.
Mighty pleasin' sport, you bet, sittin' on a rock; Beats a store or office an' workin' by a clock. Clears away the cobwebs from your weary brain; Gives you inspiration; makes you a man again.
There ain't no medicine I know for the appetite Like a summer mornin', waitin' fer a bite. Lazy summer days are here—ain't you kind o' wishin' That you had your old clothes on, an' was settin here a-fishin'?
There is no misfortune, no real hard luck except sickness and poor health.
If you find your health is becoming impaired, change your methods and vocation. Change before it is too late. A stitch in time saves nine times nine in matters of health.
Get plenty of exercise, good air, good water, sleep with your windows open in winter as well as summer, walk over two miles every day. Avoid worry. Do good deeds. Help others. Eliminate evil thoughts and deterrent influences.
If your health is impaired, forsake dollars if necessary and make health your first concern.
Dollars are worth having, but sense is infinitely better to be possessed of.
If your health will not permit you to get dollars and cents, then make it your object to get health and sense.
Rockefeller would give his millions if he could have the health of nearly any of the thousand of employes who work for him. A good stomach is rather to be chosen than great riches.
Supposin' fish don't bite at first, What are you goin' to do? Throw down your pole, chuck out your bait, An' say your fishin's through? You bet you ain't; you're goin' to fish, An' fish, an' fish, an' wait Until you've ketched a basketful Or used up all your bait.
Suppose success don't come at first, What are you goin' to do? Throw up the sponge and kick yourself? An' growl, an' fret, an' stew? You bet you ain't; you're goin' to fish, An' bait, an' bait agin, Until success will bite your hook, For grit is sure to win.
Patient effort and hard work each day, properly directed, will surely bring success.
Failure comes to those who grow weary in the struggle, and to those who overwork themselves and overtax their abilities.
Such persons hope that by large sacrifices of sleep and happiness, and by extra application and hard work, they will build for themselves fortune, that they may be happy at some future time. They make a great mistake in this respect.
Divide your energies so that each individual day is successful, no matter how much the success may be.
It is the men who are doing little things today who will be picked out to do great things tomorrow.
And while you are making a little success each day, be sure that your heart sings while your hands work.
Men who can do things are discovered. They need not push themselves to the front. Good men are scarce, and the great successful business men of today are the ones who know how to do the work that they are hiring employes to do. Talent in this direction will surely attract the attention of your superiors.
Learn to master the details of your business yourself. Use conscientious effort and painstaking effort. Make a round-up each night of what you have done during the day. See wherein you have been in error and wherein you could have improved the day's work and you will be better fitted for tomorrow's duties. After closing your day's business, devote a part of the evening to your family and friends, and a part of it to some good book.
It is not the clock that strikes the loudest that keeps the best time. The expensive chronometer works steadily along doing its work well and faithfully. It does not attract as much attention as the gilt clock with its sweet chimes, but men who know things are aware that the chronometer has the more real merit. Have the chronometer for your ideal and not the fancy clock, for true merit will certainly receive due reward.
We should all have some ideal which we hope to attain tomorrow, but let us remember that the way to reach the ideal tomorrow is to make today successful.
Patience is a virtue few of us are possessed of, but the story of every successful business has written on every page of its history patience and perseverance.
Do not get discouraged if your rate of progress each day is not as much as you hoped for, but, so long as you are going forward and are patient, you may be sure that you are gaining.
Hard times follow good times with unerring regularity and certainty; this is in perfect accordance with the rule of compensation.
In good times we should prepare ourselves and erect strong guards around our business, so that when hard times come we may find ourselves able to go through the troublous times.
If prosperity ran on unchecked, the ordinary, well-established business would soon be a thing of the past, for people would speculate instead of work.
When the manufacturer has his bills paid and finds a surplus in the bank, that surplus is likely to be turned into speculation. When everyone speculates values rise, and continue to rise until prices reach fictitious altitudes, and then comes about the cashing in. It so happens that the cashing in is a general movement, and when this happens hard times quickly follow.
The successful business man should keep his money where it is get-at-able, and when hard times come and the prices go away down to low water mark, then he should buy. Later on prosperity will return, as sure as the sun will rise, and the things bought during the hard times will greatly increase in value.
Hard times and prosperity rotate several times in a man's business career.
Hard times are necessary to the general scheme, for with continuous prosperity business would increase to such a momentum that there is no telling what the results would be.
In times of prosperity you must make preparations for the hard times that are sure to come. If your pumps are greater than your leaks, your craft won't sink when the storm of adversity and hard times breaks across your ship.
No one can do his best work if his mind is wool gathering. If an employe is thinking about the races, he is cheating his boss, for he cannot give him his best service. If the employe is in the habit of being up late nights, he cannot concentrate his mind nor bring out the best there is in him. Nothing is so good for the hard worker, nothing will stand him in such good stead, as plenty of sleep.
Go to bed early. Get lots of sleep every night and you will be ready and strong for the fray of the morrow. If you get plenty of sleep you are far ahead of your fellow employe who does not get enough sleep.
Sleep smooths out the wrinkles, builds up a storage battery in you and gives you confidence in yourself. You hold your head higher, your step is more elastic, your eyes are clearer, your mind works better, and your stomach does its full duty if you have taken plenty of time for sleep, for sleep is the plan of nature to restore the mind and the body.
Lack of sleep means wilful waste of your energies and a dulling of your abilities.
Business men pay for ability, keenness, alertness and capacity, and in proportion as you limit these qualifications by lack of sleep, so in proportion will your salary be kept down.
Grumbling kills friends. The business man who is ever grumbling and growling about things makes a blue atmosphere about him. People somehow or other seem to prefer a rosy atmosphere to a blue.
There is no good in grumbling. It gains nothing. Grumbling is an evidence that you have not sized things up correctly. That you are laboring under a delusion; that you are looking at the world through blue glasses, that you are not making proper estimates of other people.
Grumbling is an advertisement to the world that you are not well balanced. Grumbling won't help things a bit. The more you indulge in the habit the more firmly it becomes fixed upon you, and later you will find it almost impossible to shake it off. The grumbler grows to be a pessimist; he says disagreeable things; he makes his friends feel ill at ease. The grumbler gradually loses his acquaintances and even his close friends.
If you are starting on the grumbling path, pull yourself together and cut the habit quick and short. Grumbling and indigestion go hand in hand. If you have indigestion, square yourself against it, make up your mind you will not indulge yourself and vent your ill feelings in grumbling.
If you can start out each day with a resolve not to grumble you will find the proposition not difficult. The first two or three hours of the day is the time when your resistance is called into play. There is no better antidote or cure for the poisonous grumbling disposition than the following, which has been for many years a pet sermonette of the writer: Be pleasant in the morning until ten o'clock, the rest of the day will take care of itself.
"Birds of a feather flock together." "A man is known by the company he keeps." "Like begets like." "We are creatures of environment."
All these truthful sayings have been preserved as proverbs simply because they are simon pure truths.
The matter of associates is most important for the business man or employe to consider. The young man who spends his time in gambling, drinking or dissipation cannot do his best work. He can no more hide these practices than the clouds can obscure the sun permanently, for evil, as well as truth, is sure to come out.
One of the best attributes a man can possess is character. Character gives him credit at the bank, it gives him a standing among men. If the employe ever expects to be a boss he must have character, and he must associate with men of ideas who will be helpful to him.
A man will never improve his game of billiards if he always associates and plays with an inferior. He may satisfy himself for the time being that he is a big toad in a little puddle, but if he plays with a poorer player than he is he is bound to retrograde.
The only way we can advance is to surround ourselves and associate with uplifting influences and healthful individuals. Our eyes should be turned forward and not backward.
It will make several seconds difference in the speed of a horse whether he is running against a horse he can beat or running against a horse that can beat him. Race horse men have reduced this truth to actual practice. They have what is called a pace maker. When they want a horse to trot fast they mount a boy on a running horse just ahead of the trotter.
If a man associates with his inferiors, the association will surely keep him from progressing.
If you want to make money, if you want to progress in the business world, go where money is being made and mix with people who are making money.
No man is naturally bad. No man gives himself over to criminal acts or hurtful habits solely upon his own instincts. These actions and habits come about through associations.
Go to the criminal court any day and you will see evidences of the man who is pulled down on account of his associates.
Mix with your superiors in matters of business and morals and you will unconsciously absorb qualities and ideas that will push you to the front.
Hitch your wagon to a star. Aim high. Pick out ideals in business, and eliminate from your path all deterrent influences. There is no hold-back like harmful associations. You will be judged by the company you keep.
Old dog Tray was really a good dog, but he suffered because of his propensity to associate with bad dogs.
Fixed charges are sums you have to pay out regularly, week after week, or year after year. When you buy materials and supplies, when you lease property or hire employes, or pay interest on borrowed money all such things are fixed charges, and it calls for the best there is in a man to keep these fixed charges down as low as possible. When you buy a single item, such as a desk or a chair or a waste basket, do not lose a lot of valuable time trying to save too much on those articles.
When you go to New York once a year, do not stay at a second class hotel for the several days you are in New York, when by the expenditure of fifty cents a day more you could stop at a good hotel.
It is false economy to spend five dollars' worth of time to save fifty cents.
When you are buying single articles that are not fixed charges you have a little more leeway in the matter of price than when you are buying things that come under the head of fixed charges.
In the matter of fixed charges the penny you save on the unit assumes vast proportions in the many multiples.
Some men will deny themselves a respectable desk because they can buy a cheaper one for ten dollars less, and this same person will lose a thousand dollars through laxity in buying things that come under the head of fixed charges.
If you buy one lead pencil never mind whether the price is five or ten cents, but if you buy great gross lots every few weeks you can afford to be very circumspect and painstaking in the matter of price.
If you are buying a shirt, fifty cents one way or the other does not make much difference, but if you are in the furnishing goods business and buying thousands of shirts at a time, twenty-five cents a dozen means quite a lot.
The matter of stationery and printing comes under the head of fixed charges. If you are buying letter paper for your personal use and you require but three or four hundred sheets in the course of a year, don't bother very much about the price per quire. The stationery you use in your business, which you buy in large quantities, you should be careful of. Plain, respectable, good quality letter paper is the kind used by successful concerns. The fancy-colored, freakish paper is nearly always used by the four-flusher in business. He is trying to put on a good front. He uses hand made paper and hand made envelopes. All the get-rich-quick people use fancy, high-priced stationery.
The successful house uses a good quality of linen or bond paper, and a medium grade, regular stock size envelope. Envelopes are thrown away; letters are saved. That is why an envelope does not require to be as good quality as the letter. It is the letter and what you put on the letter that cuts the ice.
Fixed charges usually hide a lot of little leaks. Stop them. Many little leaks make a big aggregate in the course of a year, and there is no place where these leaks start as easily as in the matter of fixed charges.
We cannot call to mind a single instance where the habitual cigaret smoker got to the top of the ladder and held his position. We see heads of large establishments smoke cigarets, but the habit was acquired after the position was attained.
The cigaret smoker suffers from lapses of memory, his nerves are shattered, his judgment is not good, he forgets things and is irritable. He cannot hope to compete with the clear-brained individual who does not smoke cigarets.
It is not the cigaret itself that does the harm, it is the smoke inhaled into the delicate lung tissue. This smoke covers the lungs with yellow nicotine, carbon and poisonous gases.
Some men smoke pipes because they wish to escape the criticism to which the cigaret smoker is subject. The pipe smoker who inhales does himself more injury than the cigaret smoker who inhales, because the pipe smoker takes in more smoke.
Go to the medical college dissecting room and see the lungs of a man who inhaled smoke, and you will quit the habit if you have been guilty.
Don't burn your lungs with cigaret smoke, or pipe smoke either.
The fight to get to the front is hard enough anyway, and if you want to win, do not poison your blood with tobacco smoke.
Return Good For Evil
One of the first laws was "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," but as time went on and man developed mentally his animal instincts were subordinated and the law was changed, and the new law was this: "return good for evil."
Nearly every man who has an injury done him tries to repay the injury. He must either repay it with good or with evil. If he repays it with evil he does not get satisfaction. If he repays it with good he gets happiness. It is certain that payment of evil with good can satisfy a man who is looking for revenge, while it has always been a question whether there is any satisfaction in paying evil with evil.
If a man does you a mean turn he is expecting you will repay him in like manner. He guards himself against this. He is ready for your revenge, but if you repay him with good you attack him in a weak spot and make him feel like thirty cents, and this is all the revenge you can ask for.
It is all right to get square with a man who does you a wrong, and the best way to get square is by doing him a good turn.
You should keep mental ledger accounts with all of your friends and all your enemies. When a person does you an injury, debit him until you have a chance to credit his account with some good turn; when you credit his account be sure you overpay what you are owing him, so you will have a balance coming to your credit.
We have been taught to return good for evil, but we have heard the saying so many times that few of us pay any attention to it.
It's worth while testing, this rule of returning good for evil. The next time someone harms you, repay him by doing him a kindness, and see if you don't feel happier, and at the same time get all the satisfaction you are looking for. It matters not whether the person to whom you have done a kindness appreciates it; you have been benefited and received happiness by your own act, for virtue is its own reward.
The man who returns good for evil, has the satisfaction of the man who has on clean underwear, the world may not know it but he does, and that is all that is necessary.
Learn to Play
Nature has given us many positives and negatives. It has given us the ability to work hard, and it has given us the ability to play hard. Work while you work and play while you play. The man who is successful is the man who works hard during business hours, and then goes home and leaves his office behind him and takes up play.
A man should devote a part of each day to recreation, to outdoor exercise, to frivolity and to frollicking with his children at home. If he does not care to play, worry will take the place of play.
Worry and hard work together will kill a man. Work and play will make him live.
No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. These brains of ours are always busy, and we should be careful what we give the brain to act upon.
If we work hard all day, the tendency is that in the evening the brain revolves the things that have been going through it during the day. A review of these thoughts produces worry, especially if our occupation has been a strenuous one and if things have not been to our liking. When we devote ourselves to play, then worry and brain rack will be absent all the time we are playing. Play was made to rest the brain. Your sleep will be better if you have indulged in recreation, and your mind will be clearer the next morning.
Call a man a fellow and he will resent it, call him a good fellow and he feels complimented.
The good fellow is ever found where pleasures abound. He shines at the dinner. His knowledge of mixed drinks is a revelation.
The good fellow spends his time where the glasses clink, where the horses run, and where the revelers congregate. His earnings go for dinners, bottles and shows, and while these occupy his mind he imagines he is having a good time, that his actions evidence "good fellowship."
Go to the clubs and you will see the "good fellow." He is spoken of by all the other "good fellows" as a "good fellow." And they are all good fellows together.
Some day the good fellow is taken sick and dies. He has not a cent to his name, and the other good fellows take up a collection to bury him. The only persons at the funeral are the other good fellows, and the only requiem he receives is "Well, he was a good fellow."
The good fellow at fifty is working for the good business man. The good fellow is like the butterfly, and sips life's pleasures, and shows off his fancy colors, living for today only.
The successful man is like the ant, he works and puts something away each day, where he can get at it in the future.
When winter comes with its chilling blasts, the butterfly has nothing in reserve and it starves to death, while the ant keeps himself alive on the product of his own labor.
Some day the good fellow finds himself in need. He goes to other good fellows, but they can't help him because they are in the same boat themselves. Then our good fellow grows pessimistic, and finds out too late that it does not pay to be a good fellow.
Good fellows don't get good jobs very often. When they do get them they don't hold them very long.
It is a mighty poor recommendation to be referred to as a good fellow. People seem to think that the words "good fellow" cover a multitude of sins, and when a man has done wrong, or makes a mistake, or uses bad judgment, the other good fellows try to excuse his faults by saying—"Well, he is a good fellow, anyhow."
The good fellow bursts upon us with his halo about him. As time passes the halo dims and the good fellow peters out.
The good fellow who is so popular at the Club today is found tomorrow trying to eke out an existence selling books and life insurance to other good fellows.
There is nothing in good fellowship that can be negotiated at the bank. The credit man of the wholesale house does not give credit on good fellowship.
It is a mistaken idea that hard work kills men. Hard work never killed a man. It is the improper care of oneself when he is not working that does the damage.
The more a man does with his brain the less his hands will have to do. The better a man's reasoning and common sense are, the more successful he will be. It requires hard work these days to keep up in the race.
You cannot make a success unless you work hard. Hard work will be much easier if you keep worry out of it.
Hard work brings success, but to do hard work, the machinery must be in good order. You must keep your constitution up, you must have plenty of sleep and you must learn to eat and breathe properly.
No story of success has ever been truly written that did not depict hard work in every line.
Success comes by inches, not by leaps or bounds. Success is the pushing forward each day by hard work.
Burn the candle at one end only and you replace each day what you have burned, by rest, sleep and recreation. By burning the candle at one end only and replacing it fully each day, your candle will not burn out.
"A little word in kindness spoken, A motion or a tear, Has often healed the heart that's broken And made a friend sincere."
There's nothing in business that pays so well as kindness. A man may spend his money, and in proportion as he spends it he reduces his principal. With kindness the matter is different, for in proportion as you spend kindness your principal increases.
Lincoln said "You can catch more flies with a drop of honey than with a gallon of vinegar."
Kindness is beautiful. It brings round you many persons who are ready to say kind words to you. This subtle, potent influence of having lots of friends to help you by their actions and showing their hearts is a great blessing. It is surprising that people know so little of the value of kindness.
The word "gentleman" is really a compound word, meaning gentle-man, and these words together in their simplicity are the true definition of the word gentleman.
Kindness means gentleness. No man is a gentleman who is not kind.
People are glad to recognize goodness and kindness in an individual. No one can act the part if he is not sincere. We must cultivate kindness, if there is little of it in our makeup. We must take an inventory of our qualities, and if the weeds of mean impulses are crowding out the delicate flowers of kindness, we should pull out those weeds and give the flowers a chance to grow.
Lincoln was a kind man, kindness was his chief delight, and his examples of kindness have been of untold benefit to millions of people. You remember he said, "When they lay me away let it be said of me that as I traveled along life's road I have always endeavored to pull up a thistle and plant a rose in its stead."
Life at best is short, and the only things we really get out of life are happiness, health and love. Money cannot buy these things.
The trouble with many business men is that they imagine good examples and kindness have no place in business. They think the time to be kind is after they have attained success financially. They think the time to show kindness is outside of business hours.
The real way to be happy is to do the thing now, live each day for itself. Get kindness in each day.
The man who is grave, austere, the man who tries to skin the other fellow, who devotes all his energies to money-making alone, finds as the years go by and he has attained his goal, but that he does not know how to enjoy himself.
There are three periods in a man's life—the future, the now and the past. When we attain old age our life is largely made up of reminiscences, or looking back over the past. If our past life has been one of struggle, worry and getting the best of the other fellow, then there is little happiness in looking back over such a life.
The true philosopher does the thing now, he lives each day. He puts kindness into his action, and when he grows old, he can look back through a life that was pleasant as he lived it, and pleasanter now in living it over again.
One of the Greek philosophers expresses the following beautiful thought: "If there is any good deed I can do, or kindness I can show, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
The trouble is that some of us keep our kindnesses, or rather the expression of it, until it is too late.
We should remember—"Do not keep the alabaster box of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness, speak approvingly cheerful words while their ears can hear them; the kind things you mean to say when they are gone say before they go. The flowers you mean to send for their coffins send to brighten and sweeten their homes before they leave them. If my friends have alabaster boxes laid away full of fragrant perfumes of sympathy and affection which they intend to lay over my dead body, I would rather they would bring them out in my weary and troubled hours, and open them, that I may be refreshed and cheered by them while I need them. I would rather have a plain coffin without a flower and a funeral without an eulogy, than a life without the sweetness of love and sympathy. Let us learn to anoint our friends beforehand for their burial. Post-mortem kindness does not cheer the troubled spirit. Flowers on the coffin cast no fragrance backward over life's weary way."
Selling goods or soliciting requires careful study. The salesman who makes the greatest success in the long run is the man who has practiced truth and established himself in the confidence of his customers.
The whirlwind makes a good showing on the start, but, by the law of compensation, what a man gains in speed he loses in power.
Some customers are slow to open up and extend their confidence to a salesman. Others make up their minds quickly and express their preferences.
A great deal of preliminary work can be avoided if the salesman is tactful on the start. First impressions are lasting, and a salesman should study carefully his first appearance. He should be neatly but not flashily dressed. He should be a gentleman above all things. The gentleman dresses so that later we can not accurately describe the clothes he wore. It is the flashily dressed salesman we can describe later on, for his clothes are so out of the ordinary that they are remarkable in this respect. The flashily dressed salesman is remembered by his clothes rather than by his personality.
The solicitor should never smoke in the presence of the customer on first acquaintance. The matter of smoking in a customer's presence has prejudiced many a man against a salesman who has this practice. Business men have prejudices, and to some smoking is highly obnoxious. Under no circumstances smoke in a customer's presence unless the customer is smoking, or until at least you are well acquainted with him, and have received his permission to smoke.
Times without number the writer has left his half-finished cigar in the hall-way before entering the customer's presence.
Story telling is like a two-edged sword; sometimes it helps and sometimes it is a distinct disadvantage to tell stories. You must know when to tell stories, and, above all, do not tell stories to your customer that he could not repeat in his home.
Above all things, the salesman must know his man. If the customer gives evidence that he is fond of a story, then remember a good story and tell it to him. No salesman ever made a distinct hit by telling vulgar stories. While a customer may laugh, he forms an opinion of you that is not complimentary, and, if you are always telling stories that you would not repeat where women were present, the customer forms a very low estimate of your character.
The facts are the world is full of good stories, and good stories help your case, while vulgar stories hurt it.
Drinking is another method used by many salesmen to gain favor with a customer, and what we have said about vulgar stories may be applied to the matter of drinking.
Years ago it was a general practice to take the customer out and get him half seas over before trying to sell him.
The customers who are most susceptible to influence through whiskey are the ones who are most likely later on to cause you trouble, either through failure in business or through their preference for some other individual who can outdo you in the matter of drinking.
You must get your customer by the heart and not by the stomach. You must make your customer believe in you.
In these days the business man likes to deal with a salesman who is business from the start. He only buys goods because he expects to make money on them, and the sooner the transaction is over, the sooner he can turn his attention to other matters.
The best advertising solicitors and best salesmen are those who get business on business grounds and through their knowledge of their business, rather than through their ability to tell stories, order dinners and drink liquor.
The good salesman studies the other side of the question. He acquaints himself with the method used by the customer in disposing of his goods. He does not talk his own side of the case all the time. He works with the customer, tries to give him good advice and shows an interest in the customer's business. Such a salesman gets close to the customer, and retains his patronage long after the good fellow has passed away.
Be wise, be patient, and above all things, acquaint yourself thoroughly with the goods you are selling. Know more about them than your customer does. Live up to your obligations. Keep your appointments. Study your customers' welfare. Help them when opportunity offers.
The life insurance solicitor who gets the most turn-downs is the one who writes the most policies, because the fact he gets so many turn-downs is owing to the fact that he has seen so many people.
Hard work, cheerfulness, honesty, patience, sobriety and knowledge of good goods will make a man a successful salesman.
Under this caption we are expected to say "Honesty is the best policy." This expression is as old as the hills, and if it were not good it would not have obtained so long, for honesty certainly is the best policy.
Many a man in business practices absolute honesty and integrity, because honesty is the simplest and best method he knows of for doing business.
No man can succeed permanently, who is dishonest in his practices. The successful business man is the one who practices honesty in all actions and dealings during his business experience.
Honesty begets honesty. The man who is honest in his dealings with his fellowman has a subsidy which money cannot buy. He gets honest treatment at the hands of others.
The merchant who cuts a bolt of silk in the middle and puts different prices on each piece, may figure he is making money by his action, but retribution is sure to follow.
Honesty is a slow road to wealth, but, in accordance with the law of compensation, in proportion as the business built up on honesty is slow, so in proportion will it last longer.
Honesty is the best advertisement a man can have in his business.
If after the employe strikes a balance each day, he finds that he is moving forward, then he is on the road to success. And so it is with the business man, only the proportions are greater.
One cent put at four per cent. interest per annum nineteen hundred years ago, with interest added to the principal every twenty-five years, would represent today more money than there is in the world. It would have taken twenty-five years before the original investment of one cent was doubled.
If a man had started that plan his grandchildren would have said the scheme was no good because it was too slow.
The boy goes to school regularly and shows little advance in his mentality if you measure from day to day, but the boy is gaining every day. He is going ahead slowly but certainly.
The gambler and the foolish man like success to come quickly and with great strides. It is because there are many foolish men and gamblers that the get-rich-quick fake thrives.
The man who gets rich suddenly usually indulges in such sports as lighting cigars with ten dollar bills, and his wind-up is in the pauper's grave.
No man knows the true value of money unless he has worked for it. The man who has earned his dollars through the penny route knows the value of the penny, and he gets mighty good value when he spends a dollar.
The man who walks steadily in one direction does not appear to be making much progress. The ship on the ocean seems to be standing still. When night comes the man who has been walking steadily has disappeared, and the ship that seemed to be standing still has vanished beyond the horizon.
The law of compensation says, The more haste the less speed, and so in the matter of success, we must not feel discouraged because the speed at which we are traveling forward does not seem noticeable when compared with the rapid pace of some of our friends.
Be not impatient. Learn to wait. Be a good stayer. Do not let the success of the get-rich-quick creature deter you from your resolve to move forward slowly. You will get there in the long run.
And when your hair is silvered and cares rest easily upon your shoulders, the long road you have traveled will be a source of infinite satisfaction to you. Your retrospection will be pleasant, and the very things that were hard in your youth, are sources of satisfaction to you in your old age.
Do not use the yard measure in counting your progress, but use the inch rule that has fine fractions on it.
"I did not think" is an excuse offered by many. Thinking is the thing in business.
The trunk railroad, the trans-Atlantic cable, the steam engine, the electric light, the wireless telegraph, the very republic in which we are living, came about through thinking.
Every man should take from five to fifty minutes each day to divorce his mind from the strenuous activity surrounding him, and devote that time to thought, and good will come out of it.
The brain is like a muscle, it must be exercised or it becomes flabby.
Cultivate concentration of thought; study your sphere of usefulness; cut out the weeds that grow in your brain; get out of the mental rut you are in; stop drifting; keep your brain healthily active.
Men are paid either for what they think or for what their muscles do. Man's muscles have a limit; he can move just so much matter by physical force. But his capacity from a mental standpoint is unlimited.
The world offers golden prizes to the man who thinks. Therefore we should cultivate our brains and make them expand. The brain is like a plant. If you nourish and cultivate it and care for it, it will grow too.
Excitement, striving for pleasures, indulging in reading light, frothy literature, excessive daily newspaper reading are all weeds and thought killers.
Don't act on impulses. The get-rich-quick man or the fake mine promoter says, "Buy today, the price goes up tomorrow." These fakirs don't want you to think. Thinking is an enemy to their persuasive arguments. If you think, and think rightly, the fakir does not get you.
When you get a nasty letter don't answer it right away. Think it over. Think carefully. If your thoughts of revenge are so strong that you cannot calm yourself down, then write a letter and express yourself in the fullest degree. Leave the letter on your desk. Do not look at it for three hours. Then when you look at it you will instantly determine to tear it up, because in the meantime you have been thinking.
Thoughts expressed on paper have a different sound than if they are uttered verbally, therefore you should think carefully when you write.
Cultivate poise, calmness, and practice careful thought before you speak or write.
In proportion as you master difficult problems through thought, your brain will be ready for greater conquests.
Here are some things to think about during these times when business is so good.
These prosperous times are dangerous times. In times of prosperity we build up false idols, and raise our hopes and ambitions beyond the safety point.
Prosperity makes most of us careless. We don't give our business the careful consideration we should. We run to extremes during prosperous times.
We should make the most of prosperity while it is here. We should enjoy it to the fullest, but we should remember that for every high tide there is a low ebb.
Prosperity should enable us to put away a reserve for the hard times.
We should be careful that prosperity does not turn our heads or cause us to lose our vigilance.
After all we say and do, the real pleasure of this world comes from the home. The gilded palaces we see in our travels abroad are beautiful to look upon presently, but later on they serve their purpose to make a contrast with the sweet simplicity of home.
When you go home, cut business out, and let play and sociability and love occupy your time.
A married man should be in partnership with his wife. The man being fitted with sturdier physique, with strong ability to combat, should take up the heavy burden of business, for those are the things he can do the best. The wife should take up the home part of the duties of the firm, and when evening falls each member of the firm should try to lessen or take away the cares to which the other has been subject during the day.
The best place in the world is the home, and in proportion as home life is unsatisfactory or uncongenial, so in proportion are the Clubs filled with dissatisfied and unhappy men. If you want to hear pessimistic talks on home life, talk with those derelicts who spend most of their time at the Clubs.
Learn to make much of little things. Learn that smiles and good humor in the home bring happiness, and iron out the frowns and check the mean impulses arising within us. Be pleasant every morning until ten o'clock, and the rest of the day will take care of itself. Start out in the morning right and happiness will be home at night.
There is nothing in your old age that will be such a comfort to you as retrospection, or looking back over a long life of happiness in the home. The happy little incidents which today seem trivial will be remembered in the future, and a thousand and one occurrences which are happening in the home are being put away in the store-house of memory, later to be called upon and enjoyed again.
In the evening of life when you and your silver-haired partner sit before the fire place, when you have retired from active participation in your respective branches of the business, which is bread winning on the part of the man and bread making on the part of the woman, then you will have a happiness and satisfaction which all the gold in the world could not buy. The pleasures of the old who have had happy homes during their lives are the greatest pleasures in the world.
The sunset of your life will not be beautiful unless your home life was pleasant during your day of work.
The man who is an optimist may be laboring under a delusion, but certain it is that he is happy while under the delusion.
Every man should have ideals. He should see the beauty and good in things. He may not accomplish his ideals, but the anticipation and working out of them is a mighty pleasant vocation.
The pessimist is always unhappy, and when no definite thing is before him to worry about, the very fact that there is nothing to worry about makes him unhappy.
The pessimist says "Business is not half as good as it would be if it was twice as good as it is." The optimist says "Business is twice as good as it would be if it was only half as good as it is."
Grizzly Pete, of Frozen Dog, Idaho, is an optimist, and Webb Grubb, of the same town, is a pessimist. A short time ago they had a big rain storm in Frozen Dog. Webb Grubb kicked about the rain. Grizzly Pete, all wreathed in smiles, said "Rain is a mighty good thing to lay the dust." A few days later the sun came out oppressively warm. Webb Grubb kicked about the warm weather. Grizzly Pete, again all smiles, said "Hot weather and sunshine are mighty good things to dry the mud."
The pessimist goes about with a dark lantern peering into out-of-the-way places, ever looking for meanness and things to find fault about.
The optimist goes about in the bright sunlight looking for the beautiful things, and sees more things by the aid of the great sunshine than the pessimist can find with his little dark lantern.
The optimist rises in the morning with gladness in his heart, sunshine in his face and smiles upon his lips. The mere privilege of living and enjoying nature is a priceless satisfaction to him. He gets good out of life every moment he lives. He is a man to be envied, if envy is ever allowable.
The pessimist warps his mind and his physique, and his influence on others is decidedly bad.
The optimist raises the average of the world by his presence, the pessimist lowers the average.
The optimist is in the majority, however, and the world is growing better.
Learn to see beauty in the small things. Study nature. Watch the processes of plant life and animal life. Surround yourself with helpful influences; books, music, friends.
There is no investment a man can make that yields such unbounded returns as optimism.
Optimism cannot be bought with money. It is as free as the air we breathe. That is why poor people generally are optimists.
The man whose memory allows him to play four games of chess blindfolded is good for nothing else.
Book-keepers who can name every folio page and every customer's balance are good for little else.
There is nothing in mental gymnastics from the dollar standpoint.
The good lawyer or the good business man does not rely on his memory, but rather his ability to find out things and get at results.
If you remember only the customers who are slow pay or shaky, it will be a lot easier than to remember the names of all the customers who pay promptly.
If your wife wants you to get something down town tomorrow, write her request on a little piece of paper, roll it up in a ball, put it in your pocket with your loose change. Forget the incident, let the paper do the memory act.
Next day when you reach in your pocket for change you will find the little ball with the reminder on it.
If there is something you want to attend to at home, drop yourself a postal card.
Carry a little pad of paper in your pocket. Write down the little things you are to do. Don't store your mind with these temporary matters. Let the tab remember for you.
Let your mind be like a sieve, and have the meshes coarse enough to keep in the big things and let the little things go through.
Have your business figures written down, your comparative sales, increases or losses. Study the written figures. Have system. Do things methodically. Don't trust to your memory. If the thing you see or hear is worth keeping, write it down on the little tab.
The orator who commits his speech to memory is in a sorry plight if he forgets a sentence.
If you are to speak at a dinner, lay out your plan, divide your topic into several parts. Jot down the catch lines, and just before you speak look over the ticket. Charge your brain with the points or ideas and build the words around them.
Don't remember things with verbatim correctness. Remember the skeleton thought, the idea.
When you quote a price or figure, jot it down. Confirm the verbal statement by a written memorandum.
Memory is a bad servant sometimes. You remember a thing one way and the other fellow remembers it another way. You are both honest, but one of you is wrong. If you had made a memorandum in duplicate or jotted down the figures, what trouble it would have saved you.
Where dollars are concerned it is good sense to trust to a written memo., and not to any mental memo.
No use to cram your brain with transient things, when lead pencils and paper are so cheap and so easily obtainable.
The employe who trusts to his memory hurts the business, and after he quits a lot of misunderstandings will come up.
Insist on your employes making memorandums of things and prices, for when the employe goes he takes his memory with him. If he has a memorandum you know the facts.
Nothing will prevent effective work like worry. If you are given to introspection and worry, and allow these things to go unchecked, they become habits with you, and while your sleep, in a measure, is an antidote for worry, yet the more worry you have the less soundly you will sleep, and consequently the less effective sleep will be in correcting the injury caused by worry.
Sunshine and darkness cannot be present at the same time, for in nature one of the first rules we find is that no two objects can occupy the same place at the same time. No matter how much one is given to the worry habit, he experiences reflex moments when he does not worry. Some of our pessimistic friends who are given to the worry habit say it is impossible for them not to worry. You are thinking of what you are reading, and if your mind is interested in it you are not worrying while you are reading these articles, and this shows that if you are interested in reading there is little chance for worry to get in; for your mind is occupied.
Men have tried all sorts of things to escape worry. Some of them frequent places where gaiety and mirth abound, so that they are for the time being banishing worry, but in proportion as these things keep one from worrying, the reaction is stronger when it does come, and the individual who tries to escape worry by going the pace and occupying his time with light things, suffers more keenly from worry when it does come. Some men turn to drink to kill worry. Many a man imagines while he is drunk and his brain is clogged with alcohol that he is the happiest man in the world, and some of them go to the extent of imagining their finances are in a flourishing condition. The alcohol fills the brain with fancy pictures, and for the time being the mind forgets to worry. When the alcohol wears away the brain takes up the worry again in an increased degree.
To kill worry by the active process is like trying to cure rheumatism by external application. The only thing you do is to stop the pain temporarily. The best way to cure rheumatism is to go at it through the blood. Eradicate the uric acid from the system, and then the rheumatism will disappear. The best way to cure worry is not by local applications, but by getting at the root of things. Eliminate as far as possible the things which cause worry. Remember that as long as you live there will come things across your path that are not to your liking. You should be philosophical, and make the best of things that are about you. Look at the bright side rather than the dark.
There are only two things in the world to worry about. First—the things we can control or change; second, the things over which we have no control. Now, it is manifestly useless to worry over the first kind; for we can correct the thing and there will be nothing to worry about.
It is manifestly useless to worry over the things we cannot control, for, as set down in the second proposition, we cannot change the things. It therefore behooves us to eliminate from our calculations the second kind of worry, for no amount of worry can possibly change that kind. We must therefore confine our attention to the first kind, the kind we can change, and when we have changed the thing there is no cause to worry.
Nothing helps a man's health so much as contrasts in climate or habits. When the doctor tells you it is necessary to go to California or Arizona, or some other distant point, he knows that fifty per cent. of the good you will get by the change is from the water, air, sunshine and surroundings, and the other fifty per cent. of the good you will get is because you have been taken away from the very things that have been causing you worry. If you can't get contrasts by trips to other distant points, you can get the contrasts right where you live. If your mind is occupied in the day with deep thinking and hard business problems, you should occupy your evening with something that will contrast with it. Take up some light literature, play with your children, or work at some hobby in which you are interested.
The trouble with those who worry most is that they have worked themselves up to such a frenzied state they can't read anything excepting startling newspaper articles and freakish, frothy books.
The man with rheumatism cannot cure himself in a day, neither can the man with the worry habit eradicate worry from his make-up in a day or so.
The man who worries should make up his mind he is going to read and get interested in the reading. Let him set apart ten minutes the first day, and agree that he will devote those ten minutes honestly, intently to the subject before him. The next day he can add a minute or two, and so on until he can read one or two hours at a time. Finally, the wrinkles will be ironed out and the horizon will be brightened.
As we are, so is the world to us. The most familiar objects change their aspect with every change of the soul. When you worry, everything is distorted, everything appears unnatural, the world looks dark, our friends seem far off. The jokes we hear fall flat. We indulge ourselves in pessimism.
When the whole matter is summed up philosophically, there is no bad luck in the world except sickness. All other so-called hard luck is simply temporary. If you lose your money, don't worry about it, make some more. If you lose a friend, don't worry; show him his mistake. If you lose an opportunity, do not worry; be ready for the next one.
Life is short. The end of life is death. What's the use of worrying.
Worry is like drink. The more you give it the more it fastens on you.
Cultivate a cheerful disposition. Mix with people who are cheerful. Do not allow the garden of your mind to grow up with worry weeds.
Occupation kills worry. If your mind is filled with uplifting work or brain training it will have little time to worry.
A business man may be rated as worth a million, but if he breaks his promises regarding payments or fulfillments of contracts, he will find later on those who deal with him will insist upon cash transactions.
Keeping promises is the basis of credit. Let it be said of you that you always keep your promise; that you have never been known to break your word, and you will need little persuasion to get the credit man's O.K.
If you purchase for cash right along, some day you can ask for and will receive a small credit, if you promise to make your payments on a certain date. If you keep your promise you can repeat the operation. Later on you will be given larger credit, because you have been keeping your promises. You can increase your credit step by step to amazing proportions if your promises are always kept.
The business world places much confidence in promises. The note in the bank is a written evidence of the promise. The note says on the face of it "I promise to pay." The Government of the United States issues bank notes on the face of which is a promise.
When you make promises as regards dates, jot down the promise in your memorandum book. Whatever you do, keep that promise. The man who breaks his promise in little things will break them in greater ones.
When you make a promise to meet a man it is just the same as promising to pay a man money. In either instance you are in the man's debt, and the obligation is not cancelled until the debt is paid. In other words, until the promise is fulfilled.
Just so sure as the sun sets, the man who habitually breaks his promises will surely break his business.
It seems to be the rule rather than the exception that the moment a business man attains success he grows independent.
There is no such thing as independence within the full meaning of the word. Every creature in the world is dependent more or less.
The man who takes delight in his so-called independence and forces it to the front, soon receives knocks.
The constant tapping and knocking hurts anyone. Boosts beat knocks. The man who has a reputation for being independent never gets boosts.
Some business men forget the obligations they are under. They forget the help that was extended to them in time gone by. They furnish up a fine mahogany office, with an outer room, and outside of this another room with an information desk. They cultivate coldness and independence. They make it difficult for their friends to see them. They put a lot of red tape around their business, and by these acts they get out of touch with the pulse of the business. They look at things through colored glasses. Their judgment gets warped.
In proportion as a man cultivates independence and autocratic ideas, just so in proportion is he nearing the brink over which many have fallen to destruction. When an independent man has a fall, his enemies glory and loud are the shouts that arise from them, and if we listen closely we will hear the multitude say: "Serves him right."
There is nothing like democracy in business. By this it must not be understood that the head of the concern is to see every pedler, or every life insurance agent. But if the business man is accessible, and greets you with a glad hand, and in the pleasant manner turns you over to the proper department head, you go away from the office satisfied, and you give this man a boost instead of a knock.
The late P. D. Armour was a good example of the point we are making, he did not waste time in social visits during business hours, but anyone who had business with the Armour Institution could get an interview with Mr. Armour. It has often been remarked by business men that they would rather have a turn-down from Mr. Armour than an order from some of the other houses, for Mr. Armour always made one feel good.
No one can be independent. The larger one's business is the more the proprietor is dependent on those around him.
It takes many months to build a sky scraper, yet a wrecking company can tear a sky scraper to the ground in a few days, and so it is with a man's reputation. It takes years to get good credit in the commercial world, but if success spoils a man and makes him independent, he has created enemies, and there is no telling where these enemies will get in their work. It is like the worms eating through the bottom of a ship. Some day the craft goes down because of the silent attacks made in it, which were not visible from the surface.
Some day the independent man is surprised to have the bank call him in and insist that he take up his loans. He is astonished; he does not know why this sudden change has happened, but like as not some secret enemy in the bank, or some secret competitor who has a friend in the bank, has gotten in his work, and then this independent man finds out how really dependent he is.
The safer a man is from attacks, the safer his business is from the financial standpoint, and the more generous this man should be in his consideration for others.
No man can afford to be independent. Men who have built up their business slowly are not the ones whose heads are turned and who affect this independent air. The independent man is nearly always the newly rich or the suddenly successful business man, and the moment he sets himself up as independent he is made the target for an army of enemies who are waiting for a chance to injure him.
Most business men make much ado about nothing in the matter of correspondence. They use a wilderness of words to express themselves. They write at such length that the original meaning runs into so many by-lanes that the meaning is lost.
The man who writes long letters usually deals out high sounding phrases and customary paragraphs such as he has picked up through his perusal of others' letters.
The average business man seems to glory more in his ability to use euphonious sentences than to talk to the point.
Letters should be like telegrams, they should be short and to the point, so there will be no misunderstanding on the part of the recipient.
There is one business man that we have been in close touch with for over fifteen years. We have heard from him an average of once a week, and in all that time he has never written a letter of over twenty-five lines. Our records show there is no customer with whom we had so much business dealings and so little misunderstanding as this one.
Write short letters. Use small words. Don't be blunt, but be short.
No matter what one's aspirations may be, success will not come without perspiration. It is well this is so, otherwise success would not be appreciated. That which a man earns by perspiration he appreciates and knows how to enjoy.
If success were something that could be drawn by chance, like a prize, success would not be worth anything.
The measure of any valuable thing, or condition, or relationship is the amount of work, energy, trouble and sacrifice that has been expended to obtain it.
None is to be more pitied than the rich idle-born, who have every comfort around them. They do not know that perspiration must be added to aspiration before they get success.
How little the average business man understands this word "friends."
In everyday conversation we hear one man say to another "Mr. Blank is a friend of mine."
As a matter of fact the word acquaintance could be substituted in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred where the word friend is used.
Real friends are few and far between. A real friend is never determined until a test has been made, and this test is usually troublous times, adversity or the loss of a loved one.
When afflictions come to our families, or reverses come to our business, when the dark clouds hang over us, when stormy seas are about to swamp us, when we need help, then is the time we find who are our true friends. When such calls for friendship arrive it is surprising to see how we have been mistaken in individuals. Those upon whom we counted most shrug their shoulders, draw their skirts about them and give us good advice, while those whom we had never counted as friends come to the front and lend helping hands.
The word friend has been greatly abused. Around places of gaiety, where drinks and good fellowship abound, we frequently hear the word friend, but in the time of trouble those who pose as friends will not help us, and the few who would help us cannot because they have squandered their substance and have not the ability to help us. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
There is no relationship more sacred than friendship.
Friendship carries with it love. The true friend is not one made in a hurry. There is no friend like the old one with whom you went birdnesting in your youth, the friend that has plodded along life's road with you shoulder to shoulder.
When you have a friend who has proven himself such, never let up so long as you live in your evidences of gratitude for the kindness he has shown you. Repay him with interest for his good offices, and let your actions towards him ever be a source of happiness and pleasure to him.
Nothing is so much appreciated between friends as gratitude, and nothing will kill friendship like ingratitude.
Genuine friendship is such a rare jewel that when you have a positive demonstration of it, let it be your great concern that you will do nothing to mar this friendship, for broken friendship is a source of grief to both friends so long as they live.
The success of any business depends upon the hearty cooperation of the employes.
We have often heard that a corporation has no soul. A corporation probably has no soul but most of us forget that the officers of the corporation have souls and hearts, and in proportion as the individual at the head of a corporation or private enterprise treats his employes just so he will be repaid.
We are paid back what we pay out. If we are harsh and mean to others, ever suspicious, ever looking for evil motives, those who work for us will be suspicious of us and look for evil motives behind our every act.
The employer who shows consideration, cultivates respect and sets a good example will find it pays from a monetary standpoint, as well as in the satisfaction he has in knowing that he is doing the right thing.
Lincoln said "A house divided against itself must fall." If the employes of an institution spend their time in wrangling and quarreling, it means a divided house, and the house will certainly suffer.
Set a good example to your employes. Take them into your confidence. Recognize ability. Advance worthy ones, and you will find everyone from the office boy to the officer pulling on the rope in the same direction, and you will get full measure of ability from everyone who works for you.
It is impossible to suddenly get a perfect working force. A good organization comes through the process of evolution and elimination.
Whenever an employe does all he is hired to do and a little more, that employe is in a position to occupy a place of greater responsibility.
If an employe is a sluggard or a four-flusher, he may be sure these things will be found out and he cannot hope for advancement.
Employes should remember that the most successful institution is the one whose managers are developed from the rank and file. The best houses do not hire high class help from other concerns. The most successful men are those who started in at the bottom of the ladder, and by perseverance and pluck and aptitude they climbed the ladder until they reached the top.
Employes should remember that the most difficult problem the employer has to solve is that of good employes.
A small want ad. in the metropolitan daily will bring an army of cheap help. The market is full of cheap help, but good employes that are worth over $2,000 a year are very scarce. The high priced employes are generally the best money makers of the institution, for they are selling their brains rather than their hands. The hands are limited, the brains are not.
Employes, there are golden opportunities before you. Disregard the clock. Bend your energies toward doing your work well. The advancement will be sure to follow.
The trouble with many employes is that their minds are filled with outside matters of a frivolous nature.
In every large city there are thousands of dude employes, the kind who wear high collars, the kind who spend all their salary for clothes.
The dude employe stands in his own light. He wears a higher priced tie than the boss; he is immaculately neat; he looks like a fashion plate, but at the same time his tailor bill is not paid, he is owing money right and left. He spends his evenings in the cafes, and at odd moments during the day he dodges out to look over the racing form and smoke a cigaret. This dude employe sits up late at night. He spends his salary, and more too, in the gay life. He is tired next morning when he comes down.
The dude employe who wears a high collar is not the one that knuckles down to hard work. Perspiration and high collars do not go well together. The dude employe does not like perspiration, so he sees to it that he does not exert himself enough to perspire.
Employes should remember that very truthful axiom: "The employe who never does more than he is paid for is never paid for more than he does."
The employe should remember that the boss takes large chances in hiring help, for there is not one employe out of ten that is a good investment. The employes should remember that it is necessary for the boss to make a good margin of profit on each employe, else he could not maintain his business.
Every employe who studies how much he can do is a help to an employer. Every employe who sees how little he can do is a hold-back to the institution.
Employes should remember that prosperity goes in cycles, that it is but three generations from shirt sleeve to shirt sleeve.
Over ninety per cent. of the bosses today started in and worked their way up from the ground. The young man who inherits a partnership in his father's business really has a handicap on him, and is not as likely to succeed as an employe who starts in at the bottom of the ladder.
Employes should remember that responsibilities only come to those whose shoulders are broad enough to bear them, and when additional responsibility comes to an employe that employe should look upon the responsibility as a distinct advantage to him, for it gives him an opportunity to show the stuff he is made of.
When young men start in business their thoughts are all prospective. They look forward to the time when they will attain success. They work hard. They put enthusiasm and long hours into their business. As years pass they attain success and cash in this world's goods. They buy beautiful homes and surround themselves with luxury. They indulge in high living. They have country places. They take things easy. They sit back in their chairs and imagine their business will go on forever because they are so well established.
The hard worker is entitled to slacken up a little as success comes to him, but the moment his energies commence to wane, he should see to it that he gets the right sort of young material in the institution to keep up the enthusiasm and hard work which he himself has had.
In the very nature of things it is impossible for a man to keep up his youthful pace in his mature age, for, as we have frequently observed, you can't go fast far.
One of the principal elements in Marshall Field's success was that he got enthusiastic, hard workers around him. The moment he saw signs of laxity in any of these individuals, he let them out and got new material.
Laxity means loss of power, and with loss of power the machine does not do as good work.
Laxity in business is a waste.
In these days of keen competition and wonderful activity it is necessary for the business man to have enthusiasm. If he lacks in this, his business will be at a stand-still, while his enthusiastic competitor goes forward.
Enthusiasm should not be carried to an extreme any more than any other good thing should be carried to an extreme, but at that it is better to be over-enthusiastic than not enthusiastic enough. No one can be truly enthusiastic who does not believe in his business. Enthusiasm is a form of advertising. It shows the people you deal with that there is something going on and that you believe in your own medicine.
Nearly every one in this business world seems to be engaged in the occupation of "catching up." Nearly everyone is a little behind in the matter of finances.
As soon as one gets across the stream and is on dry land and has his bills all paid, then he takes on new responsibilities and goes deeper in debt.
It is a very hard game, this catching up. The game of existence is very easy to play when you are caught up.
We have tramped through the forests of the great West, and we have invariably found that the pace-makers or leaders are the least tired at night, while the followers or those who are behind trying to catch up, are the ones who are most fatigued.
Some people are habitually behind "with their hauling," as the Missourians say. No matter how their salaries may increase they are proportionately behind with their hauling all the time. When an employe gets $50.00 a month he is owing $75.00, he is working hard at the catching-up game all the time. He figures that if he only got $75.00 a month, he could apply the $25.00 extra and could catch up in three months. The theory is all right but the practice is not, for when this individual gets $75.00 a month, instead of applying that $25.00 extra to catching up, he finds that he wants better neckties and better underwear, and makes greater expenditures all along the line, so instead of wiping out that $75.00 debt he had when earning $50.00 a month, he finds himself $150.00 in debt on his $75.00 salary.
This catching up has a bad influence. It worries the individual; he does not do his best work.
When you have all your bills paid and a surplus of $500 in the bank, your head is higher, your chest is broader, your backbone stiffer, and you have a confidence that helps you take on greater responsibilities.
To be in debt is to be under obligations to your friends, and it kills off those strong qualities which you naturally possess but which warp when you are catching up. The man who is catching up cringes instead of standing erect, he is suppliant instead of dominant. He is disturbed by little things, and in the meantime the catching up process is tearing down his nervous system.
Get caught up with your hauling. Whatever your income is, save a percentage of it. Do not mistake us in thinking that we are preaching the old sermon of the savings bank, which is, save your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves, for our friend Grizzly Pete of Frozen Dog, Idaho, says: "Save your pennies, the dollars will be blown in by your heirs."
No man gets rich through mere saving, but it is the training the man gets in saving the pennies that gives him a good idea of values of things and shows him the importance of having a reserve.
If the boss is extravagant in little things, the employe multiplies the extravagance.
If you are always catching up while you are an employe you will always be catching up while you are boss. If you are always saving and putting by a reserve while you are an employe, you will be doing the same thing when you are a boss. The principle is the same. It is merely a question of figures.