The Benjamin Franklin Story
In my opinion Ben Franklin was the most influential of the founding fathers. He did a lot more than just help found our nation though. He was also a scientist, diplomat, businessman, and philosopher. I can't think of any person who is more quoted than he is, and he lived 200 years ago!
Benjamin Franklin, born January 17, 1706, was the 10th son of 17 children. He was born and grew up in Boston. Even though he was considered by most to be extremely intelligent, he only attended grammar school for 2 years. When he was just 10 years-old, Ben began to work for his father as a candle maker (Sahlman).
In 1717, he began to regain some of the knowledge that he was deprived when he was pulled out of school to work for his father. Franklin began reading writings from such authors as: Plutarch, Defoe, and Mather ("The Electric Franklin"). This education obviously became very important later in his life to him and our country. It is like he said, "Genius without education is like silver in the mine (Glenn)."
Ben Franklin grew up extremely quickly by today's standards. At the age of 17, he ran away from his home in Boston and moved to Philadelphia. Franklin slipped a letter, signed "Silence Dogood," under the door of his brother's newspaper, the New England Courant. That letter and the next 13 written by Franklin were published anonymously. The essays were widely read and acclaimed for their satire (Sahlman).
Once in Philadelphia he got a job as a printer. He established a friendship with the Pennsylvania governor, Sir William Keith. Franklin took Keith's suggestion and decided to go into business for himself. Franklin proved himself to be a great businessman (Sahlman). These are Ben Franklin's "Top 10 Business Maxims:"
1. Your first ambition should be the acquisition of knowledge, pertaining to your business.
2. During business attend to nothing but business, but be prompt in responding to all communications, and never suffer a letter to remain without an answer.
3. Never fail to met a business engagement, however irksome it may be at that moment.
4. Never run down a neighbor's property or goods and praise up your own. It is a mark of low breeding and will gain you nothing.
5. Never misrepresent, falsify, or deceive; have one rule of moral life, never swerve from it, whatever may be the acts or opinions of others.
6. Be affable, polite and obliging to everybody. Avoid discussions, anger, and pettishness, interfere with no disputes the creation of others.
7. Endeavor to be perfect in the calling in which you are engaged.
8. Make no investments without a full acquaintance with their nature and condition; and select such investments as have intrinsic value.
9. Never form the habit of talking about your neighbors, or repeating things that you hear others say. You will avoid much unpleasantness, and sometimes serious difficulties.
10. Be economical; a gain usually requires expense; what is...