This advice was written by Max Aitken, also known as Lord Beaverbrook. He was a business tycoon, politician, newspaper proprietor, writer and influential figure in British society during the first half of the 20th century. He had a gift for making money and was a millionaire by 30, later owning The Daily Express and London Evening Standard.
1. Choose the Right Profession
In the first place, never take a safe job simply because it is safe and carries a good salary. Don’t ask what it is, ask rather what it will lead to.
2. Show Loyalty
If a young man is not loyal to his firm he will never rise in it. Think well of your firm, and then you will speak well of it. How many men drift without any real bad intent into a kind of subconscious attitude of hostility towards their employer? This leads to crabbing the business outside and to friction in the working of it inside.
3. Work, Don’t Wait
The next rule is – do not waste your time watching the clock. The clock watcher is learning not to concentrate on the matter in hand, and concentration is the key to success in business, as it is in war.
4. Be Optimistic
Man is human, and therefore all men grumble at times – but a persistent grumbler is a terror to a business and a curse to himself. Chiefs do not like to believe in men who are always full of grievances.
5. Do What You Must
Never say: “That’s not my job.” If you are wrong, it is inexcusable: if you are right, it is all the more irritating. Your job is to make the firm a success; how the work is distributed is a matter of small importance.
6. Enjoy Your Work
The man who does his work only because he is afraid of being sacked should leave his business and find another job at once. If he does not leave, his firm should fire him – it would be a real act of mercy to him.
Source: Lord Beaverton. “The Making of a Merchant”. Forbes, April 15 1922, pp. 24
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