Ben's 12 Rules

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 1,001 small things right than only one large thing right.

12. Deliberately cultivate your reputation and legacy.

Few realize that long before Benjamin Franklin became a patriot and a founding father, his success as a business owner, money lender and entrepreneur allowed him to retire at the age of 42(*) and pursue other interests -- interests that benefited his community (Philadelphia), his province (Pennsylvania), his country (the 13 colonies), and the world at large.

Franklin is not only looked up to for his scientific, political and humanitarian contributions, but, according to Blaine McCormick of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, Franklin was also one of America's stellar business leaders, as attested to by the business leaders who followed him in his footsteps. Some noteworthy examples of those who have adopted Franklin as their model include: Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Mellon, Warren Buffet, Dale Carnegie and Stephen Covey.

In addition, Franklin and his wife, Deborah, owned a mercantile store that included the sale of wines, medicines, Franklin soap, lottery tickets, iron stoves, mariner's instruments, Rhode Island Cheese, quills, ink, pencils, Bohea tea, coffee, candles, watches, maps, lightning rods, barrels of cod, sperm oil, and purchased rags for paper production. It should be noted that Deborah, for many years, oversaw and managed many of the Franklin enterprises while her husband was away in England as a business/political agent (lobbyist) for the colonies of Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Thus, Deborah Franklin can be considered one of our country's first successful business women.

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