Friday, September 28, 2012

Passages from PT Barnum's The Art of Money Getting

I recently read "The Art of Money Getting," which was written by PT Barnum in 1880.  Although 132 years old, many of its passages still ring true today.  Below were some highlights worth re-posting.  Overall the quotes paint a picture of a man who would argue that there is no such thing as overnight success.

  • "The safest plan, and the one most sure of success for the young man starting in life, is to select the vocation which is most congenial to his tastes."
  • "No man has a right to expect to succeed in life unless he understands his business, an 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."
  • "Engage in one kind of business only and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until your experience shows that you should abandon it.  A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched...Many a fortune has slipped through a man's fingers because he was engaged in too many occupations at a  time."
  • "So the young man starting in business; let him understand the value of money by earning it...Men who get money with too great facility cannot usually succeed.  You must get the first dollars by hard knocks, and at some sacrifice, in order to appreciate the value of those dollars."
  • "The reader of a newspaper does not see the first mention of an ordinary advertisement; the second insertion he sees, but does not read; the third insertion he reads; the fourth insertion, he looks at the price; the fifth insertion, he speaks of it to his wife; the sixth insertion, he is ready to purchase, and the seventh insertion, he purchases."
  • "He must of course have a really good [product], and one which will please his customers; anything spurious will not succeed permanently because the public is wiser than many imagine."

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