Lift a few business tips from Ben Franklin – they’re as relevant today as they were in 1776. We give Ben credit for flying a kite in a storm, discovering that lightning is electric, and not killing himself in the process. What we don’t often remember is his incredible talent for doing what it takes to get the job done.
- Ben didn’t stop at the lightning and the kite episode. He took that information and invented the lightning rod, which is still in uses today. Take your talents and take the next step – improve lives with what you know.
- Be generous with you knowledge. The lightning rod was a big winner, protecting property and saving lives. It could have made Ben a business mogul. But it didn’t. He refused to patent it, so that everyone, rich or poor, could benefit.
- Know what you don’t know. As a printer and businessman, he assembled his friends regularly to discuss and analyze the wealthy people of his day. What did they do? Why were they successful? Ben was brilliant, and much too smart to go it alone.
- Analyze the market. The group Ben assembled were students of success. They invested their time to think before acting. Wasting time and wasting effort is a waste.
- Use everything you have. Ben was tasked with winning French support for the Revolution. As the ambassador from a desperate speck on the political scene, his clout was, shall we say, limited. Instead, he banked on his international fame as a scientist, and was warmly welcomed. Don’t despair on what you lack. Use what you have.
- In aristocratic France, Ben’s homespun clothes became the talk of the country. In a land of lace, silk and brocade, Ben was decidedly different. He caused a stir. He caused buzz. And buzz builds notice. Be remarkable, be different. Cause buzz.
- Ben didn’t just rely on his scientific and homespun reputations. He was outgoing, he was charming. This slightly chubby, balding, elderly statesman became the heartthrob of the female aristocracy, and all the talk in the homes of the rich and powerful. When planning strategy, consider every angle .
Smart business is smart business, and the author of Poor Richard’s Almanack had a wealth of business smarts. Learn from the best. Be like Ben!