Timeless Wisdom On Getting And Keeping Money

getting money and keeping it

John, never get trusted; but if thee gets trusted for anything, let it be for ‘manure,’ because that will help thee pay it back again

American history is fascinating, particularly the entrepreneurial mindset and work ethic that abounded before, yet seldom seen in our modern day. 

I ran across a real treat the other day, a “golden” book written by P.T. Barnum concerning money, work, and ethics. It is a short (24 pages) yet profound read, and a great collection of insights from a fascinating period of time (around 1880).

Sure, some of it may be outdated, but the principles are timeless and I think anyone who reads it will walk away, AT THE LEAST, encouraged. Here is what Gary North had to say about P.T. Barnum and this particular book:

“This is one of the finest essays ever written on the art of getting
and keeping money. It is practical, sensible, and ethical. It first appeared in 1880.

One of the greatest calumnies in American history is the attribution to Phineas T. Barnum of the vicious slogan, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” He never said it. The idea is wholly opposed to his view of man and especially his customers.

Barnum created the greatest circus of his day. He gave delight to hundreds of thousands of people in an era before television had jaundiced us all. The legacy lives on with Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey. (No, I am not related to John Ringling North, although I wish I were, for he saved the circus in the 1930s.)

He was a great promoter. But he gave customers full value for their money. They came back, year after year.

In this essay, his examples are old fashioned. But his principles are timeless. They will still work a thousand years from now.

I wish I had read this at age 18. After you read it, so will you.” 

I know our modern culture says the opposite, but America still is a land of opportunity. It helps to go back and look at those in the past who took full advantage of that truth (often in much, much harder times) and find encouragement in their habits and not our current culture of dependency. 

Take a half hour and read this book. Be encouraged!

The Art of Money Getting by P.T. Barnum


If you take the time to read this short book, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. What other books have influenced you in this area?

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