Saturday, August 01, 2009

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

I recently read Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and it had a lot of meaning and inspiration for me. He talks in detail about his efforts as a young man to improve himself and is training. He spends a large portion of the book on his mid-life and his efforts to establish himself in the community as a business man and the mis-steps he made and the keys to his success.

The route the Franklin took in building his business and then profiting from it as it grew beyond himself and in his later years seem to me an excellent pattern for encouraging entrepreneurship and instilling a sense of ownership in the front line of our productive efforts as a society.

One of the elements that had the greatest effect on me was that Franklin consistently pointed out the importance of his relationships to his business activities. He made friends with lots of people and as friends they each found was to help each other mutually. The repeated examples in his life really helped drive home the need for me to reach out and really connect with other people. Not in a sleazy marketing way, but make a really effort to extend my circle of friends. My nature is to have a small circle of very deep friendships, so have a looser circle of less frequent friendships is something that I have to work on.

My marketing professor said, "All things being equal friends buy from friends. All things not being equal, friends still buy from friends." That has stuck with me as I've read many sources and it has really helped me understand the direction I need to take to be a successful business person.

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