Page images

are not doing all you can. Do you get out in the morning and fill your lungs with fresh air; breathe in the sunshine and rejoice that you are alive? If so, your health is probably all right. Are you lazy? If you are lazy and don't know it, I'll tell you how to discover it. If you find yourself putting off till to-morrow things that ought to be done to-day, you are lazy. There's no other name for it. The person who isn't lazy is the one who does it to-day, whether he likes to do it or not. This doesn't mean the over-worked person who is carrying the burdens of half a dozen who ought to be working, but it does mean the one who thinks he is overworked but isn't.

Do you make friends readily and keep them? If not, you are not doing your best to develop your personality. It pays to have a good personality and a winning way. Have you had severe discipline, both mental and physical? If not, you may have done your best, but you have been unfortunate. Your best can't be very much without discipline; without having done the thing that was hard. Do you read the best books, and the best articles, associate with the best men, think the best thoughts, and

strive for the highest ideals? Who are the men you think about and try to be like? Wild Bill, Idaho Ike, prize-fighters, tight-rope walkers, stage heroes, or the great and magnificent men in every calling? Can you point with pride to some of the leading men of affairs and determine to be like them? If not, you are not doing your best. Are you doing all that you can to keep yourself in trim? To be in the pink of condition physically and mentally, and ready and willing to do anything that needs to be done, is a great substitute for genius.


THERE is a difference between being businesslike and being suspicious. You may have the utmost confidence in a man's integrity and yet not trust him. Your acquaintance may be limited, or you may lack confidence in his judgment. You don't refuse to trust him because you are suspicious, but because to trust him would be unbusinesslike. One of the greatest mistakes that a business man can make is to place his business in such a condition that he must depend upon others carrying out their good intentions in order to make his success possible. Business men are making contracts every day, but no contract should ever be signed that hasn't in it everything that ought to be in it, or that has anything in it that a man can't perform. No man should make a verbal agreement not in harmony with his written contract. Let a contract be such that neither party will have to trust to the honesty, judgment, or memory of the other.

I wrote to one of our representatives the other day to ascertain whether or not a certain man, with whom we wished to have business dealings, was responsible. He wrote back: "He is a splendid Christian gentleman and will do anything that he agrees to do." That is a most admirable commendation for a man; nothing could be better, so far as the commendation itself is concerned, but it doesn't say that the man is financially responsible. It doesn't say that a business house would be justified in trusting him with goods and money and know that they could make him pay, whether he wanted to or not. Responsibility in business, in addition to integrity, means financial responsibility. It means that that man has a sufficient amount of property, so that you could force, if necessary, the performance of the contract which he has entered into with you. It would be unbusinesslike to make a contract with a man to supply him with goods and money and then not be in a position to force him to comply with his part of the contract. He might be perfectly honest, but conditions might arise over which he had no control; he might get sick; he might die, or he might not think he owed it. There might

be some misunderstanding. If any of these contingencies should arise, your business is tied up with that man who has your money, your goods, or both; and you can't succeed unless he does, if you have made an unbusinesslike contract. There's no reason in the world why you should be responsible for this man's misfortunes. If he gets sick, it is not your fault; if he uses poor judgment, you are not to blame; and if he misunderstands, you should have protection. You have already performed your part of the contract, and he has agreed to perform his; if he gets sick, it's his own lookout. If any of his friends cause him financial embarrassment, he alone is responsible. Therefore, when you make a contract with that man, if he is not financially responsible himself, if he is not in a position himself so that you can force the performance of his part of the contract or force him to return your goods, then you must get that man to give security making you safe. Otherwise, you yourself are not businesslike; your success is tied up in another man's hands; you are not free to act; you don't know what is going to happen, and you don't deserve the credit and support of business institutions.

« PreviousContinue »