Phineas Barnum, in his day, was known as the greatest showman on earth. He will be remembered as an entertainer, even a scam artist by some, but most importantly he was a shrewd businessman, author, and self-promoter. He brought to the masses previously unseen giants, midgets, mermaids, exotic animals, bearded ladies, the world's largest elephant and other human curiosities.
Barnum was 60 years old when P.T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Circus made its debut. "We ought to have a big show," Barnum said. "The public expects it, and will appreciate it." Appreciate it they did - Barnum grossed $400,000 in his first year of operation.
Barnum wrote a little book (only 50 pages) titled the Art of Money Getting or "Golden Rules for Making Money."
Here is a list of his 20 exact money making rules [and my own "translation" of how each one applies to making money online today]:
- Don't mistake your vocation - [Choose a business subject you are passionate about]
- Select the right location - [Choose a buyer's niche where the prospects are congregated]
- Avoid debt - [Don't buy every new and shiny business product that comes along]
- Persevere - [Take consistent positive action over time and every obstacle]
- Whatever you do, do it with all your might - [Put all your energy into one thing]
- Depend upon your own personal exertions - [You, and only you, are responsible]
- Use the best tools - [Automate, leverage, and work efficiently on your business]
- Don't get above your business - [Don't grow faster than you are capable of handling]
- Learn something useful - [Develop a personal skill that is marketable]
- Let hope predominate but be not too visionary - [Don't spend all your revenue early on]
- Do not scatter your powers - [Focus on one business or operation at a time]
- Be systematic - [Be systematic! not careless, slipshod, unorganized or procrastinating]
- Read the newspapers - [Stay abreast of industry news and events, probably online today]
- Beware of "outside operations" - [Barnum mentioned "gaming" (gambling, speculations)]
- Don't indorse without security - [Don't lend money; also be careful about partnering]
- Advertise your business - [You'll never reap if you don't sow]
- Be polite and kind to your customers - [Nurture and give great value, show kindness]
- Be charitable - [Barnum's quote: "the liberal man will command patronage"]
- Don't blab - [Don't reveal you profits, plans, or ideas for the future]
- Preserve your integrity - [Be honest and forthright. My favorite definition of integrity is this: integrity is what you do when no one is looking.]