The Art of Money Getting - Barnum Book Review Part 4

3년 전

How hard do you hustle for money?



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This is the question we are considering as we work through P.T. Barnum’s book The Art of Money Getting.

This book was originally published in 1880 and is therefore no longer subject to nor protected by U.S. copyright law because the copyrights have expired.

Therefore, this book is found freely available online and the reuse of it here is permitted and may trigger content detection on the excerpts that are included for discussion.

The plan is to include excerpts and discussion through a series of posts, so there will be new content provided by me that include my thoughts on the reading to promote discussion in the comments.


Index of related Barnum Book Review posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



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We will pick up this session with WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT:

THE ART OF MONEY GETTING or GOLDEN RULES FOR MAKING MONEY

By P.T. Barnum

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT:

Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now. The old proverb is full of truth and meaning, "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbor remains poor for life, because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business.

Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself. It won't do to spend your time like Mr. Micawber, in waiting for something to "turn up." To such men one of two things usually "turns up:" the poorhouse or the jail; for idleness breeds bad habits, and clothes a man in rags. The poor spendthrift vagabond says to a rich man:

"I have discovered there is enough money in the world for all of us, if it was equally divided; this must be done, and we shall all be happy together."

"But," was the response, "if everybody was like you, it would be spent in two months, and what would you do then?"

"Oh! divide again; keep dividing, of course!"

I was recently reading in a London paper an account of a like philosophic pauper who was kicked out of a cheap boarding-house because he could not pay his bill, but he had a roll of papers sticking out of his coat pocket, which, upon examination, proved to be his plan for paying off the national debt of England without the aid of a penny. People have got to do as Cromwell said: "not only trust in Providence, but keep the powder dry." Do your part of the work, or you cannot succeed. Mahomet, one night, while encamping in the desert, overheard one of his fatigued followers remark: "I will loose my camel, and trust it to God!" "No, no, not so," said the prophet, "tie thy camel, and trust it to God!" Do all you can for yourselves, and then trust to Providence, or luck, or whatever you please to call it, for the rest.

DEPEND UPON YOUR OWN PERSONAL EXERTIONS.

The eye of the employer is often worth more than the hands of a dozen employees. In the nature of things, an agent cannot be so faithful to his employer as to himself. Many who are employers will call to mind instances where the best employees have overlooked important points which could not have escaped their own observation as a proprietor. No man has a right to expect to succeed in life unless he understands his business, and nobody can understand his business thoroughly unless he learns it by personal application and experience. A man may be a manufacturer: he has got to learn the many details of his business personally; he will learn something every day, and he will find he will make mistakes nearly every day. And these very mistakes are helps to him in the way of experiences if he but heeds them. He will be like the Yankee tin-peddler, who, having been cheated as to quality in the purchase of his merchandise, said: "All right, there's a little information to be gained every day; I will never be cheated in that way again." Thus a man buys his experience, and it is the best kind if not purchased at too dear a rate.

I hold that every man should, like Cuvier, the French naturalist, thoroughly know his business. So proficient was he in the study of natural history, that you might bring to him the bone, or even a section of a bone of an animal which he had never seen described, and, reasoning from analogy, he would be able to draw a picture of the object from which the bone had been taken. On one occasion his students attempted to deceive him. They rolled one of their number in a cow skin and put him under the professor's table as a new specimen. When the philosopher came into the room, some of the students asked him what animal it was. Suddenly the animal said "I am the devil and I am going to eat you." It was but natural that Cuvier should desire to classify this creature, and examining it intently, he said:

"Divided hoof; graminivorous! It cannot be done."

He knew that an animal with a split hoof must live upon grass and grain, or other kind of vegetation, and would not be inclined to eat flesh, dead or alive, so he considered himself perfectly safe. The possession of a perfect knowledge of your business is an absolute necessity in order to insure success.

Among the maxims of the elder Rothschild was one, all apparent paradox: "Be cautious and bold." This seems to be a contradiction in terms, but it is not, and there is great wisdom in the maxim. It is, in fact, a condensed statement of what I have already said. It is to say; "you must exercise your caution in laying your plans, but be bold in carrying them out." A man who is all caution, will never dare to take hold and be successful; and a man who is all boldness, is merely reckless, and must eventually fail. A man may go on "'change" and make fifty, or one hundred thousand dollars in speculating in stocks, at a single operation. But if he has simple boldness without caution, it is mere chance, and what he gains to-day he will lose to-morrow. You must have both the caution and the boldness, to insure success.

The Rothschilds have another maxim: "Never have anything to do with an unlucky man or place." That is to say, never have anything to do with a man or place which never succeeds, because, although a man may appear to be honest and intelligent, yet if he tries this or that thing and always fails, it is on account of some fault or infirmity that you may not be able to discover but nevertheless which must exist.

There is no such thing in the world as luck. There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street to-day, and another to-morrow, and so on, day after day: He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it. "Like causes produce like effects." If a man adopts the proper methods to be successful, "luck" will not prevent him. If he does not succeed, there are reasons for it, although, perhaps, he may not be able to see them.

USE THE BEST TOOLS

Men in engaging employees should be careful to get the best. Understand, you cannot have too good tools to work with, and there is no tool you should be so particular about as living tools. If you get a good one, it is better to keep him, than keep changing. He learns something every day; and you are benefited by the experience he acquires. He is worth more to you this year than last, and he is the last man to part with, provided his habits are good, and he continues faithful. If, as he gets more valuable, he demands an exorbitant increase of salary; on the supposition that you can't do without him, let him go. Whenever I have such an employee, I always discharge him; first, to convince him that his place may be supplied, and second, because he is good for nothing if he thinks he is invaluable and cannot be spared.

But I would keep him, if possible, in order to profit from the result of his experience. An important element in an employee is the brain. You can see bills up, "Hands Wanted," but "hands" are not worth a great deal without "heads." Mr. Beecher illustrates this, in this wise:

An employee offers his services by saving, "I have a pair of hands and one of my fingers thinks." "That is very good," says the employer. Another man comes along, and says "he has two fingers that think." "Ah! that is better." But a third calls in and says that "all his fingers and thumbs think." That is better still. Finally another steps in and says, "I have a brain that thinks; I think all over; I am a thinking as well as a working man!" "You are the man I want," says the delighted employer.

Those men who have brains and experience are therefore the most valuable and not to be readily parted with; it is better for them, as well as yourself, to keep them, at reasonable advances in their salaries from time to time.


My Thoughts:

“Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business.”

This remains true to today. Along with this is an interesting idea that follows from P.T. Barnum that I have heard recently and although not the same as Universal Basic Income (UBI), it is almost close in relation because of the popularization of the idea of redistribution of wealth.

“The poor spendthrift vagabond says to a rich man:

"I have discovered there is enough money in the world for all of us, if it was equally divided; this must be done, and we shall all be happy together."

"But," was the response, "if everybody was like you, it would be spent in two months, and what would you do then?"

"Oh! divide again; keep dividing, of course!"”
The idea or point being that even if all the money in the world was equally distributed, or redistributed, it would only be a matter of time before the industrious among us re-acquire “more than their fair share” and poorer among us easy part with their portion in favor of fulfilling their desires.

Money comes and money goes.

It is what you do with it that makes the difference in growing your purse or slimming your wallet.

Certainly Barnum is right in that “No man has a right to expect to succeed in life unless he understands his business, and nobody can understand his business thoroughly unless he learns it by personal application and experience.”

The importance of at least understanding what it is that you are doing to earn and grow your money matters. You can not just hope to trust into things that you don’t know how to explain if you want it to turn out well.

This reminds me of one of the lessons from The Richest Man in Babylon which has a chapter as follows:

THE FOURTH CURE : Guard thy treasures from loss

“Misfortune loves a shining mark. Gold in a man’s purse must be guarded with firmness, else it be lost. Thus it is wise that we must first secure small amounts and learn to protect them before the Gods entrust us with larger.” So spoke Arkad upon the fourth day to his class.

“Every owner of gold is tempted by opportunities whereby it would seem that he could make large sums by its investment in most plausible projects. Often friends and relatives are eagerly entering such investment and urge him to follow.

“The first sound principle of investment is security for thy principal. Is it wise to be intrigued by larger earnings when thy principal may be lost? I say not. The penalty of risk is probable loss. Study carefully, before parting with thy treasure, each assurance that it may be safely reclaimed. Be not misled by thine own romantic desires to make wealth rapidly.

“Before thou loan it to any man assure thyself of his ability to repay and his reputation for doing so, that thou mayest not unwittingly be making him a present of thy hard-earned treasure.

“Before thou entrust it as an investment in any field acquaint thyself with the dangers which may beset it.

“My own first investment was a tragedy to me at the time. The guarded savings of a year I did entrust to a brickmaker, named Azmur, who was traveling over the far seas and in Tyre agreed to buy for me the rare jewels of the Phoenicians. These we would sell upon his return and divide the profits. The Phoenicians were scoundrels and sold him bits of glass. My treasure was lost. Today, my training would show to me at once the folly of entrusting a brickmaker to buy jewels.

“Therefore, do I advise thee from the wisdom of my experiences: be not too confident of thine own wisdom in entrusting thy treasures to the possible pitfalls of investments. Better by far to consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is freely given for the asking and may readily possess a value equal in gold to the sum thou considerest investing. In truth, such is its actual value if it save thee from loss.

“This, then, is the fourth cure for a lean purse, and of great importance if it prevent thy purse from being emptied once it has become well filled. Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.”

It is wise to know and understand what it is that your are considering to invest your hard earned money in before you quickly part ways with it.

Barnum advises that "you must exercise your caution in laying your plans, but be bold in carrying them out."

This speaks to me in the sense that taking the time to learn what it is that you intend to go about doing is a valuable use of your time in order to ensure that you are successful.

However, at a point you must not only continue to learn, but must take action!

The idea that rings true today is “ship before you are ready, because you will never be ready”.

Waiting until something is “just perfect” will never come about and the loss from the delay is too great. Without the delay you can start earning something and make improvements as you go along. Also, delaying is just a way of stalling and not actually taking action and makes all your work worth nothing if you don’t at least try.

This ability to make mistakes also gives you the chance to learn from your mistakes and know how to do better next time going forward.

You’ve probably heard the phrases “fail fast” and the like which are analogous.

But don’t forget what P.T. Barnum also added: “A man who is all caution, will never dare to take hold and be successful; and a man who is all boldness, is merely reckless, and must eventually fail.”

Barnum then name drops some wisdom from The Rothschilds, of great internet conspiracy fame, the maxim: "Never have anything to do with an unlucky man or place."

“That is to say, never have anything to do with a man or place which never succeeds, because, although a man may appear to be honest and intelligent, yet if he tries this or that thing and always fails, it is on account of some fault or infirmity that you may not be able to discover but nevertheless which must exist.”

Seems reasonable enough…

Alas, Barnum doesn’t believe in luck!

This makes me think of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams where he advocates using systems over goals to achieve success.

It is this use of “systems” as a tool for success that brings us to the next section: USE THE BEST TOOLS

Unfortunately, despite what job applications might request, the experience of workers is not as highly valued as it may have once been.

Mass layoffs show just how little value corporations see in keeping on people who have years worth of industry knowledge.

P.T. Barnum thought this about employees:

“If you get a good one, it is better to keep him, than keep changing. He learns something every day; and you are benefited by the experience he acquires. He is worth more to you this year than last, and he is the last man to part with, provided his habits are good, and he continues faithful. If, as he gets more valuable, he demands an exorbitant increase of salary; on the supposition that you can't do without him, let him go. Whenever I have such an employee, I always discharge him; first, to convince him that his place may be supplied, and second, because he is good for nothing if he thinks he is invaluable and cannot be spared.”

I think you see this mostly in professional sports where players say they are going to hold out for higher contracts and their refusal to sign ends in their release from the team.

And the big business that pay these professional sports stars seem to understand well The Art of Money Getting.

Hence, this lesson seems to be in effect today.

The difference being in the position you find yourself in and if you have the option of being an employee or employer.

Mr. Barnum suggests valuing “brains” or what we would call “knowledge” when he remarks “Those men who have brains and experience are therefore the most valuable and not to be readily parted with; it is better for them, as well as yourself, to keep them, at reasonable advances in their salaries from time to time.”

This has long held true, but with the growth of Artificial Intelligence, this may soon change the face of the workforce from one of flesh to one of computer code.

Knowledge will still hold value, but perhaps not in the ways we once thought.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!


Next time we will pick up with and continue on with DON'T GET ABOVE YOUR BUSINESS.


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


Michael

Created by Michael Paine


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very important article i think normally people searching shortcuts to earn money and the searching of shertcuts lost his time and money also so we should start the business that we can handle and manage better, then the work will give us the experience and off-course experience give a way to strengthen the business toward success. little drop of water make ocean. so we should go through our experience and we will success and earn a money for a long time . thank you very for this great article i follow you keep it up , and kindly visit my post thanks.

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thanks!

it looks like you got the right idea!