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Benjamin Franklin - Entrepreneur (1706 - 1790)

Perhaps best known as an American statesman and scientist, (he signed the Declaration of Independence, flew a kite in a lightning storm, and has his picture on the U.S. $100 bill), Ben Franklin was also a very successful entrepreneur. A printer by trade, he launched several businesses and introduced the concept of a franchise to his printing shops. He was successful enough to retire at age 42.

For your own inspiration, consider the "12 Rules of Management" and the "13 Virtues for Moral Perfection" that Ben Franklin lived by.

Benjamin Franklin's 12 Rules of Management

Following are "Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management" from the book by Blaine McCormick:

  1. Finish better than your beginnings.
  2. All education is self education.
  3. Seek first to manage yourself, then to manage others.
  4. Influence is more important than victory.
  5. Work hard and watch your costs.
  6. Everybody wants to appear reasonable.
  7. Create your own set of values to guide your actions.
  8. Incentive is everything.
  9. Create solutions for seemingly impossible problems.
  10. Become a revolutionary for experimentation and change.
  11. Sometimes it's better to do 1001 small things right rather than only one large thing right.
  12. Deliberately cultivate your reputation and legacy.

Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues for "Moral Perfection"

1. TEMPERANCE.  Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

 2. SILENCE.  Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

 3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

 4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

 5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e.,waste nothing.

 6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

 7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

 8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

 9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

 10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

 11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

 12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery (sex) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

 13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Quoted from "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" which we recommend adding to your reading list.


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