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Continue to invest in your personal development. Expand your occupational horizons by constant study . . . look to your present job as a stepping-stone along your career path. Take time to think. The dimensions of most jobs are constrained only by the mind of the uncreative worker. I like what one business man counseled: If at first you do succeed, try something harder!!!
[On dishonest business methods:] … frequently the defender of the practice falls back on the Christian doctrine of charity, and points out that we are erring mortals and must allow for each other’s weaknesses! – an excuse which, if carried to its legitimate conclusion, would leave our business men weeping on one another’s shoulders over human frailty, while they picked one another’s pockets.
When the business man who fights to secure special privileges, to crowd his competitor off the track by other than fair competitive methods, receives the same summary disdainful ostracism by his fellows that the doctor or lawyer who is ‘unprofessional,’ the athlete who abuses the rules, receives, we shall have gone a long way toward making commerce a fit pursuit for our young men.
Now, if the Standard Oil Company were the only concern in the country guilty of the practices which have given it monopolistic power, this story never would have been written. Were it alone in these methods, public scorn would long ago have made short work of the Standard Oil Company. But it is simply the most conspicuous type of what can be done by these practices. The methods it employs with such acumen, persistency, and secrecy are employed by all sorts of business men, from corner grocers up to bankers. If exposed, they are excused on the ground that this is business.
What I want is an art of equilibrium, of purity and tranquility, free from unsettling or disturbing subjects, so that all those who work with their brains, and this includes business men as well as artists and writers, will look on it as something soothing, a kind of cerebral sedative as relaxing in its way as a comfortable armchair.
I confess I was surprised to find that so many men spent their whole day, ay, their whole lives almost, a-fishing. It is remarkable what a serious business men make of getting their dinners, and how universally shiftlessness and a groveling taste take refuge in a merely ant-like industry. Better go without your dinner, I thought, than be thus everlastingly fishing for it like a cormorant. Of course, viewed from the shore, our pursuits in the country appear not a whit less frivolous.
Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.
Literary men are being employed to praise a big business man personally, as men used to praise a king. They not only find political reasons for the commercial schemes that they have done for some time past they also find moral defences for the commercial schemers… I do resent the whole age of patronage being revived under such absurd patrons; and all poets becoming court poets, under kings that have taken no oath.
The American business man cannot consider his work done when he views the income balance in black at the end of an accounting period. It is necessary for him to trace the social incidence of the figures that appear in his statement and prove to the general public that his management has not only been profitable in the accounting sense but salutary in terms of popular benefits.