Ben Franklin's guide to wealth and savvy living

By Will Chen on 29 December 2006 1 comment

Benjamin Franklin was probably America's first "self-help" author. His advice was so good that his friend James Madison claimed he "...Never passed half an hour in Franklin's company without hearing some observation or anecdote worth remembering."

John Wesley from Pick the Brain collected an impressive collection of some of Franklin's finest advice. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Priorities

He that hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor.

2. Positive Thinking

For industry pays debts, while despair encreaseth them.

3. Perseverance

Little strokes fell great oaks.

4. Industry

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. Do you imagine that sloth will afford you more comfort than labor?

5. Wisdom

Learning is to the studious, and riches to the careful, as well as power to the bold, and Heaven to the virtuous.

6. Balance

Drive thy business, let not that drive thee.

7. Time Management

One today is worth two tomorrows.

8. Finances

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.

9. Self Reliance

Ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.

10. Debt

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.

11. Wise Bread Philosophy

Disdain the chain, preserve your freedom; and maintain your independency: be industrious and free; be frugal and free.

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Andrea Karim's picture

Is that true? Because if those are the pick-up lines of legend, then it's time we start looking at this bits of wit and wisdom in a whole new way.

In: Drive thy business, let not that drive thee.

Out: Do your jeans have mirrors on them? Because I can see myself in your pants....