This month, Major Styles has read the following books:
All of these were great. With Richard Wagner, we read about a man that rose into greatness: how he overcame a myriad of obstacles on his journey. With PT Barnum, we get advice on financial matters – how to increase your wealth and, subsequently, your life. And with Marcus Aurelius, we read about the worldview of a famous Roman leader: and we find how his theories are closely related to Buddhism.
What are you reading this month?
See Related Article: Three Books That I’ve read in September
These are the wise words of PT Barnum in his book, The Art of Getting Money:
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.
The wise employer is overlooking his business. He’s like a parent, observing his child on the playground. He watches with astute wisdom from afar. He takes note of every incident, every moment. And when his child is about to make a mistake, then the parent intercedes.
So it is with a business owner. The minute he goes away, his fortunes begin to fail. For the employee has no real stake in the affair. So while the boss is in Punta Cana, the employee is speaking with a flippancy to the customer. While the boss is in Dubai, the employee is leaving a mess on the counter top.
The eye of an employer is what rules over a business.
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P.T. Barnum gave us great advice (from his wonderful book The Art of Getting Money; Or, Golden Rules for Making Money)
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.
Do what you love. If you love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life. This advice was true yesterday and it’s true today.
The logic is basic. But still, many people cannot follow it. One reason (according to Barnum) is they receive poor advice from their parents:
Parents and guardians are often quite too negligent in regard to this. It very common for a father to say, for example: “I have five boys. I will make Billy a clergyman; John a lawyer; Tom a doctor, and Dick a farmer.”… He does this, regardless of Sam’s [his child’s] natural inclinations, or genius.
Very true. Many parents are concerned with the prestige of a child’s position; sadly, they overlook the natural talents of the child. And so the boy grows up in a job that he hates. And more importantly, he never becomes a GREAT MAN.
Barnum mentions that he, himself, had very few talents. He was not mechanically inclined, and he sucked at mathematics. However, he stumbled into a job that he loved – owning a business. And because of this, he was able to apply his natural talents.
Barnum summarizes the message:
Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed.
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