An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 6): The Importance of Principles

An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 6): The Importance of Principles
Why families need to clearly outline their principles and ideals

By Serial Entrepreneur, Co-Founder / Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate & U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year Clay Clark

 This morning I awoke and read Benjamin Franklin’s “13 Principles.” I had heard them before while listening to a very in-depth audio book / biography about his life, but something always happens to me when I see something in print. This morning as I read the words on the page, something profound happened in me. The concept of laying out family principles had never really occured to me before. I had read about the importance of laying out principles and company goals in numerous business books and countless case studies, but I had never thought about laying out principles in the context of my family. How ridiculous is that? What struck me as impressive this morning is that Benjamin Franklin was striving for the ideal. Did he miss the mark at times? Yes. In fact he missed the mark prolifically when it came to his relationship with his wife and numerous other women while living overseas and acting as a delegate for the U.S. to negotiate the initial formation of the post Revolutionary War United States. However, despite being a flawed man (and we all are), he did achieve profound levels of success in his life. Benjamin Franklin was aiming for the stars, and he missed a little, so he just hit the moon. However, most people never leave the ground, because they are so concerned about missing the mark. Consider this idea. During his lifetime on the planet Earth, Benjamin Franklin achieved in the following areas:
SCIENCE – A Noted 18th Century Scientist
INVENTOR – Stove, lightning rod, bifocals and many others…
MEDICINE – Founded 1st U.S. Hospital
BANKING – Well known for maxims on thrift
AGRICULTURE – Introduced several crops to U.S.
PRINTING – Noted Colonial printer – “Patron Saint of Printing”
ELECTRICAL – Experiments and theories – Kite & Key
INSURANCE – Started 1st insurance company
HEATING – Franklin stove
COOLING – Had three methods of cooling
DUCATOR – Involved in founding two colleges
OPTOMETRIC – Bifocal glasses
POSTAL – First postmaster
LIBRARIES – Started 1st circulating library
JOURNALISM – Wrote for several early newspapers
PUBLIC SAFETY – Started 1st police department
PUBLIC SAFETY II – Started 1st fire department
RELIGION – Introduced idea of prayer in Congress
MUSIC – Invented musical instrument – glass armonica
GOVERNMENT – Held numerous positions:
Clerk
Postmaster
J.P.
Alderman
Governor
Ambassador
MILITARY – Colonel in Militia
MASONIC – Grand Master of Pennsylvania
DIPLOMAT – Ambassador to England Minister to France
COMMUNITY SERVICE – Street lighting, paving and cleaning
UNIONS – Started Leather Apron Club
BUSINESSMAN – Owned and operated several businesses
PHILOSOPHER – Started American Philosophical Society
ABOLITIONIST – Started Society to Abolish Slavery
SALESMAN – Expert at marketing and sales
MERCHANT – Operated store as part of printshop
HUMORIST – Considered America’s 1st writer of humor
TRAVELER – Traveled extensively throughout U.S.
FORECASTER – Published Poor Richards “Almanack”
FUND RAISER – Originated matching contributions idea
SAILING – Designed “sea anchors”
CARTOONIST – Drew 1st cartoon in an American newspaper
LINGUIST – Studied several languages and designed a phonetic alphabet
CARTOGRAPHER – Mapped the Gulf Stream and Routes for the post office
PHILANTHROPIST – Organized fund raising and contributed to many worthwhile causes
MENTOR – Acted as a counselor and guide to many of his contemporaries.


 Just reading the list above can be overwhelming to most of us. And Benjamin Franklin did not achieve success by accident. The man was focused. The man was driven. The man aimed to live up to his principles, he despite having missed the mark he achieved more in his lifetime than most people would achieve in 25 lifetimes. How is that possible? Did  Benjamin Franklin possess unbelieveable foot speed? Could Mr. Franklin speed read? Did Mr. Franklin speak more quickly than most? Did Ben have the ability to extend his day to 36 hours per day while the rest of the world was bound by the 24 hour per day limit? Was Benjamin Franklin an Alien? No. Benjamin Franklin simply determined at a relatively young age what his principles and ideals were, then he pursued putting them into practice and living up to them for the rest of his life. Read his principles. Read the virtues he strived to live up to then immediately write out your own. Write out your own principles, and then work to live up to them. Do not worry about the world’s minimal standards. Live up to your own standards. Napoleon Hill once wrote, “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.” This is true. The only cautionary note that I would give you is that we must all set high standards for our life, because most people do not achieve true abundance and prosperity in their lives. You must be INTENTIONAL about setting EXCEEDINGLY HIGHLY STANDARDS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. If you aim low, you will achieve mediocrity as planned. If you aim high, you will achieve.
1. Temperance: Eat not dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.
6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity: Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice: wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents.
12. Chastity: Be chaste in matters with the opposite sex.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
 
By Co-Founder / Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate & U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year – Clay Clark – For more information about Clay Clark, His Various Business Ventures, Employment Opportunities, Recommend Books, the Tulsa Mastermind, the Tulsa Future Young Millionaires, Clay Clark’s Motivational Speaking or Tulsa Commercial Real Estate call Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate Group today at 918-481-2080.

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