I’ve always enjoyed the earthy wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, founding father, statesman, inventor, business owner and the man who adorns our hundred dollar bill. After reading “Ben Franklin: America’s Original Entrepreneur,” I shared his list of 13 virtues in my Working with Wisdom enewsletter.
Here are some of the “aha’s!” that I think deserve reflection. Some are common sense reminders and others seem counterintuitive. Which ones resonate with you?
- Be frugal.
- Speak well of others, even those who caused you misery.
- Check references.
- Don’t hold a grudge.
- Appreciate all your talents.
- Be sincere.
- Hard Work + Patience = Wealth
- Keep reading. (He never graduated from school but instead learned by reading. In fact, he was responsible for establishing the first public library in Philadelphia.)
- Remember the power of the written word to influence others. (He used self-published pamphlets while we might blog.)
- Pay attention to appearances. (He made sure that people saw him working early and late at the print shop to show he was dedicated.)
- Don’t take all the credit for accomplishments.
- Expect (and ask for) even more help from someone who has done you a favor.
- Spread the risk with contingency contracts, like matching funds.
- When it comes to power and politics, convenience often trumps intelligence. (So make it convenient for others to do what you desire.)
- Since hope of gain lessens pain, motivate through rewards and not punishment.
- Search hard for the third way when stuck in a dilemma with an opposing party.