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The Art of Money Getting or Golden Rules for Making Money - Read The Newspapers

1. The Art of Money Getting

2. Don't Mistake Your Vocation

3. Use the Best Tools

4. Read The Newspapers

Always take a trustworthy newspaper, and thus keep thoroughly posted in
regard to the transactions of the world. He who is without a newspaper
is cut off from his species. In these days of telegraphs and steam, many
important inventions and improvements in every branch of trade are being
made, and he who don't consult the newspapers will soon find himself and
his business left out in the cold.


We sometimes see men who have obtained fortunes, suddenly become poor.
In many cases, this arises from intemperance, and often from gaming, and
other bad habits. Frequently it occurs because a man has been engaged in
"outside operations," of some sort. When he gets rich in his legitimate
business, he is told of a grand speculation where he can make a score of
thousands. He is constantly flattered by his friends, who tell him that
he is born lucky, that everything he touches turns into gold. Now if he
forgets that his economical habits, his rectitude of conduct and a
personal attention to a business which he understood, caused his success
in life, he will listen to the siren voices. He says:

"I will put in twenty thousand dollars. I have been lucky, and my good
luck will soon bring me back sixty thousand dollars."

A few days elapse and it is discovered he must put in ten thousand
dollars more: soon after he is told "it is all right," but certain
matters not foreseen, require an advance of twenty thousand dollars
more, which will bring him a rich harvest; but before the time comes
around to realize, the bubble bursts, he loses all he is possessed of,
and then he learns what he ought to have known at the first, that
however successful a man may be in his own business, if he turns from
that and engages ill a business which he don't understand, he is like
Samson when shorn of his locks his strength has departed, and he becomes
like other men.

If a man has plenty of money, he ought to invest something in everything
that appears to promise success, and that will probably benefit mankind;
but let the sums thus invested be moderate in amount, and never let a
man foolishly jeopardize a fortune that he has earned in a legitimate
way, by investing it in things in which he has had no experience.


I hold that no man ought ever to indorse a note or become security, for
any man, be it his father or brother, to a greater extent than he can
afford to lose and care nothing about, without taking good security.
Here is a man that is worth twenty thousand dollars; he is doing a
thriving manufacturing or mercantile trade; you are retired and living
on your money; he comes to you and says:

"You are aware that I am worth twenty thousand dollars, and don't owe a
dollar; if I had five thousand dollars in cash, I could purchase a
particular lot of goods and double my money in a couple of months; will
you indorse my note for that amount?"

You reflect that he is worth twenty thousand dollars, and you incur no
risk by endorsing his note; you like to accommodate him, and you lend
your name without taking the precaution of getting security. Shortly
after, he shows you the note with your endorsement canceled, and tells
you, probably truly, "that he made the profit that he expected by the
operation," you reflect that you have done a good action, and the
thought makes you feel happy. By and by, the same thing occurs again and
you do it again; you have already fixed the impression in your mind that
it is perfectly safe to indorse his notes without security.

But the trouble is, this man is getting money too easily. He has only to
take your note to the bank, get it discounted and take the cash. He gets
money for the time being without effort; without inconvenience to
himself. Now mark the result. He sees a chance for speculation outside
of his business. A temporary investment of only $10,000 is required. It
is sure to come back before a note at the bank would be due. He places a
note for that amount before you. You sign it almost mechanically. Being
firmly convinced that your friend is responsible and trustworthy; you
indorse his notes as a "matter of course."

Unfortunately the speculation does not come to a head quite so soon as
was expected, and another $10,000 note must be discounted to take up the
last one when due. Before this note matures the speculation has proved
an utter failure and all the money is lost. Does the loser tell his
friend, the endorser, that he has lost half of his fortune? Not at all.
He don't even mention that he has speculated at all. But he has got
excited; the spirit of speculation has seized him; he sees others making
large sums in this way (we seldom hear of the losers), and, like other
speculators, he "looks for his money where he loses it." He tries again.
endorsing notes has become chronic with you, and at every loss he gets
your signature for whatever amount he wants. Finally you discover your
friend has lost all of his property and all of yours. You are
overwhelmed with astonishment and grief, and you say "it is a hard
thing; my friend here has ruined me," but, you should add, "I have also
ruined him." If you had said in the first place, "I will accommodate
you, but I never indorse without taking ample security," he could not
have gone beyond the length of his tether, and he would never have been
tempted away from his legitimate business. It is a very dangerous thing,
therefore, at any time, to let people get possession of money too
easily; it tempts them to hazardous speculations, if nothing more.
Solomon truly said "he that hateth suretiship is sure."

So with the young man starting in business; let him understand the value
of money by earning it. When he does understand its value, then grease
the wheels a little in helping him to start business, but remember, men
who get money with too great facility cannot usually succeed. You must
get the first dollars by hard knocks, and at some sacrifice, in order to
appreciate the value of those dollars.


We all depend, more or less, upon the public for our support. We all
trade with the public--lawyers, doctors, shoemakers, artists,
blacksmiths, showmen, opera stagers, railroad presidents, and college
professors. Those who deal with the public must be careful that their
goods are valuable; that they are genuine, and will give satisfaction.
When you get an article which you know is going to please your
customers, and that when they have tried it, they will feel they have
got their money's worth, then let the fact be known that you have got
it. Be careful to advertise it in some shape or other because it is
evident that if a man has ever so good an article for sale, and nobody
knows it, it will bring him no return. In a country like this, where
nearly everybody reads, and where newspapers are issued and circulated
in editions of five thousand to two hundred thousand, it would be very
unwise if this channel was not taken advantage of to reach the public in
advertising. A newspaper goes into the family, and is read by wife and
children, as well as the head of the home; hence hundreds and thousands
of people may read your advertisement, while you are attending to your
routine business. Many, perhaps, read it while you are asleep. The whole
philosophy of life is, first "sow," then "reap." That is the way the
farmer does; he plants his potatoes and corn, and sows his grain, and
then goes about something else, and the time comes when he reaps. But he
never reaps first and sows afterwards. This principle applies to all
kinds of business, and to nothing more eminently than to advertising. If
a man has a genuine article, there is no way in which he can reap more
advantageously than by "sowing" to the public in this way. He must, of
course, have a really good article, and one which will please his
customers; anything spurious will not succeed permanently because the
public is wiser than many imagine. Men and women are selfish, and we all
prefer purchasing where we can get the most for our money and we try to
find out where we can most surely do so.

You may advertise a spurious article, and induce many people to call and
buy it once, but they will denounce you as an impostor and swindler, and
your business will gradually die out and leave you poor. This is right.
Few people can safely depend upon chance custom. You all need to have
your customers return and purchase again. A man said to me, "I have
tried advertising and did not succeed; yet I have a good article."

I replied, "My friend, there may be exceptions to a general rule. But
how do you advertise?"

"I put it in a weekly newspaper three times, and paid a dollar and a
half for it." I replied: "Sir, advertising is like learning--'a little
is a dangerous thing!'"

A French writer says that "The reader of a newspaper does not see the
first mention of an ordinary advertisement; the second insertion he
sees, but does not read; the third insertion he reads; the fourth
insertion, he looks at the price; the fifth insertion, he speaks of it
to his wife; the sixth insertion, he is ready to purchase, and the
seventh insertion, he purchases." Your object in advertising is to make
the public understand what you have got to sell, and if you have not the
pluck to keep advertising, until you have imparted that information, all
the money you have spent is lost. You are like the fellow who told the
gentleman if he would give him ten cents it would save him a dollar.
"How can I help you so much with so small a sum?" asked the gentleman in
surprise. "I started out this morning (hiccuped the fellow) with the
full determination to get drunk, and I have spent my only dollar to
accomplish the object, and it has not quite done it. Ten cents worth
more of whiskey would just do it, and in this manner I should save the
dollar already expended."

So a man who advertises at all must keep it up until the public know who
and what he is, and what his business is, or else the money invested in
advertising is lost.

Some men have a peculiar genius for writing a striking advertisement,
one that will arrest the attention of the reader at first sight. This
fact, of course, gives the advertiser a great advantage. Sometimes a man
makes himself popular by an unique sign or a curious display in his
window, recently I observed a swing sign extending over the sidewalk in
front of a store, on which was the inscription in plain letters,


Of course I did, and so did everybody else, and I learned that the man
had made all independence by first attracting the public to his business
in that way and then using his customers well afterwards.

Genin, the hatter, bought the first Jenny Lind ticket at auction for two
hundred and twenty-five dollars, because he knew it would be a good
advertisement for him. "Who is the bidder?" said the auctioneer, as he
knocked down that ticket at Castle Garden. "Genin, the hatter," was the
response. Here were thousands of people from the Fifth avenue, and from
distant cities in the highest stations in life. "Who is 'Genin,' the
hatter?" they exclaimed. They had never heard of him before. The next
morning the newspapers and telegraph had circulated the facts from Maine
to Texas, and from five to ten millions off people had read that the
tickets sold at auction For Jenny Lind's first concert amounted to about
twenty thousand dollars, and that a single ticket was sold at two
hundred and twenty-five dollars, to "Genin, the hatter." Men throughout
the country involuntarily took off their hats to see if they had a
"Genin" hat on their heads. At a town in Iowa it was found that in the
crowd around the post office, there was one man who had a "Genin" hat,
and he showed it in triumph, although it was worn out and not worth two
cents. "Why," one man exclaimed, "you have a real 'Genin' hat; what a
lucky fellow you are." Another man said, "Hang on to that hat, it will
be a valuable heir-loom in your family." Still another man in the crowd
who seemed to envy the possessor of this good fortune, said, "Come, give
us all a chance; put it up at auction!" He did so, and it was sold as a
keepsake for nine dollars and fifty cents! What was the consequence to
Mr. Genin? He sold ten thousand extra hats per annum, the first six
years. Nine-tenths of the purchasers bought of him, probably, out of
curiosity, and many of them, finding that he gave them an equivalent for
their money, became his regular customers. This novel advertisement
first struck their attention, and then, as he made a good article, they
came again.

Now I don't say that everybody should advertise as Mr. Genin did. But I
say if a man has got goods for sale, and he don't advertise their in
some way, the chances are that some day the sheriff will do it for him.
Nor do I say that everybody must advertise in a newspaper, or indeed use
"printers' ink" at all. On the contrary, although that article is
indispensable in the majority of cases, yet doctors and clergymen, and
sometimes lawyers and some others, can more effectually reach the public
in some other manner. But it is obvious, they must be known in some way,
else how could they be supported?


Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business.
Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove
unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly. The
truth is, the more kind and liberal a man is, the more generous will be
the patronage bestowed upon him. "Like begets like." The man who gives
the greatest amount of goods of a corresponding quality for the least
sum (still reserving for himself a profit) will generally succeed best
in the long run. This brings us to the golden rule, "As ye would that
men should do to you, do ye also to them" and they will do better by you
than if you always treated them as if you wanted to get the most you
could out of them for the least return. Men who drive sharp bargains
with their customers, acting as if they never expected to see them
again, will not be mistaken. They will never see them again as
customers. People don't like to pay and get kicked also.

One of the ushers in my Museum once told me he intended to whip a man
who was in the lecture-room as soon as he came out.

"What for?" I inquired.

"Because he said I was no gentleman," replied the usher.

"Never mind," I replied, "he pays for that, and you will not convince
him you are a gentleman by whipping him. I cannot afford to lose a
customer. If you whip him, he will never visit the Museum again, and he
will induce friends to go with him to other places of amusement instead
of this, and thus you see, I should be a serious loser."

"But he insulted me," muttered the usher.

"Exactly," I replied, "and if he owned the Museum, and you had paid him
for the privilege of visiting it, and he had then insulted you, there
might be some reason in your resenting it, but in this instance he is
the man who pays, while we receive, and you must, therefore, put up with
his bad manners."

My usher laughingly remarked, that this was undoubtedly the true policy;
but he added that he should not object to an increase of salary if he
was expected to be abused in order to promote my interest.


Of course men should be charitable, because it is a duty and a pleasure.
But even as a matter of policy, if you possess no higher incentive, you
will find that the liberal man will command patronage, while the sordid,
uncharitable miser will be avoided.

Solomon says: "There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is
that withholdeth more than meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Of course
the only true charity is that which is from the heart.

The best kind of charity is to help those who are willing to help
themselves. Promiscuous almsgiving, without inquiring into the
worthiness of the applicant, is bad in every sense. But to search out
and quietly assist those who are struggling for themselves, is the kind
that "scattereth and yet increaseth." But don't fall into the idea that
some persons practice, of giving a prayer instead of a potato, and a
benediction instead of bread, to the hungry. It is easier to make
Christians with full stomachs than empty.


Some men have a foolish habit of telling their business secrets. If they
make money they like to tell their neighbors how it was done. Nothing is
gained by this, and ofttimes much is lost. Say nothing about your
profits, your hopes, your expectations, your intentions. And this should
apply to letters as well as to conversation. Goethe makes Mephistophilles
say: "Never write a letter nor destroy one." Business men must write
letters, but they should be careful what they put in them. If you are
losing money, be specially cautious and not tell of it, or you will lose
your reputation.


It is more precious than diamonds or rubies. The old miser said to his
sons: "Get money; get it honestly if you can, but get money:" This
advice was not only atrociously wicked, but it was the very essence of
stupidity: It was as much as to say, "if you find it difficult to obtain
money honestly, you can easily get it dishonestly. Get it in that way."
Poor fool! Not to know that the most difficult thing in life is to make
money dishonestly! Not to know that our prisons are full of men who
attempted to follow this advice; not to understand that no man can be
dishonest, without soon being found out, and that when his lack of
principle is discovered, nearly every avenue to success is closed
against him forever. The public very properly shun all whose integrity
is doubted. No matter how polite and pleasant and accommodating a man
may be, none of us dare to deal with him if we suspect "false weights
and measures." Strict honesty, not only lies at the foundation of all
success in life (financially), but in every other respect.
Uncompromising integrity of character is invaluable. It secures to its
possessor a peace and joy which cannot be attained without it--which no
amount of money, or houses and lands can purchase. A man who is known to
be strictly honest, may be ever so poor, but he has the purses of all
the community at his disposal--for all know that if he promises to
return what he borrows, he will never disappoint them. As a mere matter
of selfishness, therefore, if a man had no higher motive for being
honest, all will find that the maxim of Dr. Franklin can never fail to
be true, that "honesty is the best policy."

To get rich, is not always equivalent to being successful. "There are
many rich poor men," while there are many others, honest and devout men
and women, who have never possessed so much money as some rich persons
squander in a week, but who are nevertheless really richer and happier
than any man can ever be while he is a transgressor of the higher laws
of his being.

The inordinate love of money, no doubt, may be and is "the root of all
evil," but money itself, when properly used, is not only a "handy thing
to have in the house," but affords the gratification of blessing our
race by enabling its possessor to enlarge the scope of human happiness
and human influence. The desire for wealth is nearly universal, and none
can say it is not laudable, provided the possessor of it accepts its
responsibilities, and uses it as a friend to humanity.

The history of money-getting, which is commerce, is a history of
civilization, and wherever trade has flourished most, there, too, have
art and science produced the noblest fruits. In fact, as a general
thing, money-getters are the benefactors of our race. To them, in a
great measure, are we indebted for our institutions of learning and of
art, our academies, colleges and churches. It is no argument against the
desire for, or the possession of wealth, to say that there are sometimes
misers who hoard money only for the sake of hoarding and who have no
higher aspiration than to grasp everything which comes within their
reach. As we have sometimes hypocrites in religion, and demagogues in
politics, so there are occasionally misers among money-getters. These,
however, are only exceptions to the general rule. But when, in this
country, we find such a nuisance and stumbling block as a miser, we
remember with gratitude that in America we have no laws of
primogeniture, and that in the due course of nature the time will come
when the hoarded dust will be scattered for the benefit of mankind. To
all men and women, therefore, do I conscientiously say, make money
honestly, and not otherwise, for Shakespeare has truly said, "He that
wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends."

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