austinkleon:

P.T. Barnum, The Art Of Money Getting (1880)

“Golden rules for making money.” The table of contents alone is awesome:

  • The art of money getting
  • Don’t mistake your vocation
  • Select the right location
  • Avoid debt
  • Persevere
  • Whatever you do, do it with all your might
  • Depend upon your own personal exertions
  • Use the best tools
  • Don’t get above your business
  • Learn something useful
  • Let hope predominate, but be not too visionary
  • Do not scatter your powers
  • Be systematic
  • Read the newspapers
  • Beware of “outside operations”
  • Don’t indorse without security
  • Advertise your business
  • Be polite and kind to your customers
  • Be charitable
  • Don’t blab
  • Preserve your integrity

Like most prescriptive books (including my own) you could probably write a whole book simply stating the opposite, but there’s so much in this book I love, especially the very simple message of “living below your means” stated in the beginning, which is not stressed enough these days:

True economy consists in always making the income exceed the out-go. Wear the old clothes a little longer… live on plainer food if need be; so that, under all circumstances, unless some unforeseen accident occurs, there will be a margin in favor of income.

Great read.

Files under: my reading year 2012