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The Art of Money Getting or Golden Rules for Making Money - Use the Best Tools

1. The Art of Money Getting

2. Don't Mistake Your Vocation

3. Use the Best Tools

4. Read The Newspapers

Men in engaging employees should be careful to get the best. Understand,
you cannot have too good tools to work with, and there is no tool you
should be so particular about as living tools. If you get a good one, it
is better to keep him, than keep changing. He learns something every
day; and you are benefited by the experience he acquires. He is worth
more to you this year than last, and he is the last man to part with,
provided his habits are good, and he continues faithful. If, as he gets
more valuable, he demands an exorbitant increase of salary; on the
supposition that you can't do without him, let him go. Whenever I have
such an employee, I always discharge him; first, to convince him that
his place may be supplied, and second, because he is good for nothing if
he thinks he is invaluable and cannot be spared.

But I would keep him, if possible, in order to profit from the result of
his experience. An important element in an employee is the brain. You
can see bills up, "Hands Wanted," but "hands" are not worth a great deal
without "heads." Mr. Beecher illustrates this, in this wise:

An employee offers his services by saving, "I have a pair of hands and
one of my fingers thinks." "That is very good," says the employer.
Another man comes along, and says "he has two fingers that think." "Ah!
that is better." But a third calls in and says that "all his fingers and
thumbs think." That is better still. Finally another steps in and says,
"I have a brain that thinks; I think all over; I am a thinking as well
as a working man!" "You are the man I want," says the delighted

Those men who have brains and experience are therefore the most valuable
and not to be readily parted with; it is better for them, as well as
yourself, to keep them, at reasonable advances in their salaries from
time to time.


Young men after they get through their business training, or
apprenticeship, instead of pursuing their avocation and rising in their
business, will often lie about doing nothing. They say; "I have learned
my business, but I am not going to be a hireling; what is the object of
learning my trade or profession, unless I establish myself?'"

"Have you capital to start with?"

"No, but I am going to have it."

"How are you going to get it?"

"I will tell you confidentially; I have a wealthy old aunt, and she will
die pretty soon; but if she does not, I expect to find some rich old man
who will lend me a few thousands to give me a start. If I only get the
money to start with I will do well."

There is no greater mistake than when a young man believes he will
succeed with borrowed money. Why? Because every man's experience
coincides with that of Mr. Astor, who said, "it was more difficult for
him to accumulate his first thousand dollars, than all the succeeding
millions that made up his colossal fortune." Money is good for nothing
unless you know the value of it by experience. Give a boy twenty
thousand dollars and put him in business, and the chances are that he
will lose every dollar of it before he is a year older. Like buying a
ticket in the lottery; and drawing a prize, it is "easy come, easy go."
He does not know the value of it; nothing is worth anything, unless it
costs effort. Without self-denial and economy; patience and
perseverance, and commencing with capital which you have not earned, you
are not sure to succeed in accumulating. Young men, instead of "waiting
for dead men's shoes," should be up and doing, for there is no class of
persons who are so unaccommodating in regard to dying as these rich old
people, and it is fortunate for the expectant heirs that it is so. Nine
out of ten of the rich men of our country to-day, started out in life as
poor boys, with determined wills, industry, perseverance, economy and
good habits. They went on gradually, made their own money and saved it;
and this is the best way to acquire a fortune. Stephen Girard started
life as a poor cabin boy, and died worth nine million dollars. A.T.
Stewart was a poor Irish boy; and he paid taxes on a million and a half
dollars of income, per year. John Jacob Astor was a poor farmer boy, and
died worth twenty millions. Cornelius Vanderbilt began life rowing a
boat from Staten Island to New York; he presented our government with a
steamship worth a million of dollars, and died worth fifty million.
"There is no royal road to learning," says the proverb, and I may say it
is equally true, "there is no royal road to wealth." But I think there
is a royal road to both. The road to learning is a royal one; the road
that enables the student to expand his intellect and add every day to
his stock of knowledge, until, in the pleasant process of intellectual
growth, he is able to solve the most profound problems, to count the
stars, to analyze every atom of the globe, and to measure the firmament
this is a regal highway, and it is the only road worth traveling.

So in regard to wealth. Go on in confidence, study the rules, and above
all things, study human nature; for "the proper study of mankind is
man," and you will find that while expanding the intellect and the
muscles, your enlarged experience will enable you every day to
accumulate more and more principal, which will increase itself by
interest and otherwise, until you arrive at a state of independence. You
will find, as a general thing, that the poor boys get rich and the rich
boys get poor. For instance, a rich man at his decease, leaves a large
estate to his family. His eldest sons, who have helped him earn his
fortune, know by experience the value of money; and they take their
inheritance and add to it. The separate portions of the young children
are placed at interest, and the little fellows are patted on the head,
and told a dozen times a day, "you are rich; you will never have to
work, you can always have whatever you wish, for you were born with a
golden spoon in your mouth." The young heir soon finds out what that
means; he has the finest dresses and playthings; he is crammed with
sugar candies and almost "killed with kindness," and he passes from
school to school, petted and flattered. He becomes arrogant and
self-conceited, abuses his teachers, and carries everything with a high
hand. He knows nothing of the real value of money, having never earned
any; but he knows all about the "golden spoon" business. At college, he
invites his poor fellow-students to his room, where he "wines and dines"
them. He is cajoled and caressed, and called a glorious good follow,
because he is so lavish of his money. He gives his game suppers, drives
his fast horses, invites his chums to fetes and parties, determined to
have lots of "good times." He spends the night in frolics and
debauchery, and leads off his companions with the familiar song, "we
won't go home till morning." He gets them to join him in pulling down
signs, taking gates from their hinges and throwing them into back yards
and horse-ponds. If the police arrest them, he knocks them down, is
taken to the lockup, and joyfully foots the bills.

"Ah! my boys," he cries, "what is the use of being rich, if you can't
enjoy yourself?"

He might more truly say, "if you can't make a fool of yourself;" but he
is "fast," hates slow things, and doesn't "see it." Young men loaded
down with other people's money are almost sure to lose all they inherit,
and they acquire all sorts of bad habits which, in the majority of
cases, ruin them in health, purse and character. In this country, one
generation follows another, and the poor of to-day are rich in the next
generation, or the third. Their experience leads them on, and they
become rich, and they leave vast riches to their young children. These
children, having been reared in luxury, are inexperienced and get poor;
and after long experience another generation comes on and gathers up
riches again in turn. And thus "history repeats itself," and happy is he
who by listening to the experience of others avoids the rocks and shoals
on which so many have been wrecked.

"In England, the business makes the man." If a man in that country is a
mechanic or working-man, he is not recognized as a gentleman. On the
occasion of my first appearance before Queen Victoria, the Duke of
Wellington asked me what sphere in life General Tom Thumb's parents were

"His father is a carpenter," I replied.

"Oh! I had heard he was a gentleman," was the response of His Grace.

In this Republican country, the man makes the business. No matter
whether he is a blacksmith, a shoemaker, a farmer, banker or lawyer, so
long as his business is legitimate, he may be a gentleman. So any
"legitimate" business is a double blessing it helps the man engaged in
it, and also helps others. The Farmer supports his own family, but he
also benefits the merchant or mechanic who needs the products of his
farm. The tailor not only makes a living by his trade, but he also
benefits the farmer, the clergyman and others who cannot make their own
clothing. But all these classes often may be gentlemen.

The great ambition should be to excel all others engaged in the same

The college-student who was about graduating, said to an old lawyer:

"I have not yet decided which profession I will follow. Is your
profession full?"

"The basement is much crowded, but there is plenty of room up-stairs,"
was the witty and truthful reply.

No profession, trade, or calling, is overcrowded in the upper story.
Wherever you find the most honest and intelligent merchant or banker, or
the best lawyer, the best doctor, the best clergyman, the best
shoemaker, carpenter, or anything else, that man is most sought for, and
has always enough to do. As a nation, Americans are too superficial--
they are striving to get rich quickly, and do not generally do their
business as substantially and thoroughly as they should, but whoever
excels all others in his own line, if his habits are good and his
integrity undoubted, cannot fail to secure abundant patronage, and the
wealth that naturally follows. Let your motto then always be
"Excelsior," for by living up to it there is no such word as fail.


Every man should make his son or daughter learn some useful trade or
profession, so that in these days of changing fortunes of being rich
to-day and poor tomorrow they may have something tangible to fall back
upon. This provision might save many persons from misery, who by some
unexpected turn of fortune have lost all their means.


Many persons are always kept poor, because they are too visionary. Every
project looks to them like certain success, and therefore they keep
changing from one business to another, always in hot water, always
"under the harrow." The plan of "counting the chickens before they are
hatched" is an error of ancient date, but it does not seem to improve by


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. When a man's undivided attention is centered
on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of
value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen
different subjects at once. Many a fortune has slipped through a man's
fingers became he was engaged in too many occupations at a time. There
is good sense in the old caution against having too many irons in the
fire at once.


Men should be systematic in their business. A person who does business
by rule, having a time and place for everything, doing his work
promptly, will accomplish twice as much and with half the trouble of him
who does it carelessly and slipshod. By introducing system into all your
transactions, doing one thing at a time, always meeting appointments
with punctuality, you find leisure for pastime and recreation; whereas
the man who only half does one thing, and then turns to something else,
and half does that, will have his business at loose ends, and will never
know when his day's work is done, for it never will be done. Of course,
there is a limit to all these rules. We must try to preserve the happy
medium, for there is such a thing as being too systematic. There are men
and women, for instance, who put away things so carefully that they can
never find them again. It is too much like the "red tape" formality at
Washington, and Mr. Dickens' "Circumlocution Office,"--all theory and
no result.

When the "Astor House" was first started in New York city, it was
undoubtedly the best hotel in the country. The proprietors had learned a
good deal in Europe regarding hotels, and the landlords were proud of
the rigid system which pervaded every department of their great
establishment. When twelve o'clock at night had arrived, and there were
a number of guests around, one of the proprietors would say, "Touch that
bell, John;" and in two minutes sixty servants, with a water-bucket in
each hand, would present themselves in the hall. "This," said the
landlord, addressing his guests, "is our fire-bell; it will show you we
are quite safe here; we do everything systematically." This was before
the Croton water was introduced into the city. But they sometimes
carried their system too far. On one occasion, when the hotel was
thronged with guests, one of the waiters was suddenly indisposed, and
although there were fifty waiters in the hotel, the landlord thought he
must have his full complement, or his "system" would be interfered with.
Just before dinner-time, he rushed down stairs and said, "There must be
another waiter, I am one waiter short, what can I do?" He happened to
see "Boots," the Irishman. "Pat," said he, "wash your hands and face;
take that white apron and come into the dining-room in five minutes."
Presently Pat appeared as required, and the proprietor said: "Now Pat,
you must stand behind these two chairs, and wait on the gentlemen who
will occupy them; did you ever act as a waiter?"

"I know all about it, sure, but I never did it."

Like the Irish pilot, on one occasion when the captain, thinking he was
considerably out of his course, asked, "Are you certain you understand
what you are doing?"

Pat replied, "Sure and I knows every rock in the channel."

That moment, "bang" thumped the vessel against a rock.

"Ah! be-jabers, and that is one of 'em," continued the pilot. But to
return to the dining-room. "Pat," said the landlord, "here we do
everything systematically. You must first give the gentlemen each a
plate of soup, and when they finish that, ask them what they will have

Pat replied, "Ah! an' I understand parfectly the vartues of shystem."

Very soon in came the guests. The plates of soup were placed before
them. One of Pat's two gentlemen ate his soup; the other did not care
for it. He said: "Waiter, take this plate away and bring me some fish."
Pat looked at the untasted plate of soup, and remembering the
instructions of the landlord in regard to "system," replied: "Not till
ye have ate yer supe!"

Of course that was carrying "system" entirely too far.

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