Chapter XXIV - Things To Remember

  • 1. Don't deceive yourself.
  • 2. Be sure you are not losing.
  • 3. Weeding out old stock.
  • 4. Dropping worthless accounts.
  • 5. Let your wife know.
  • 6. Children and business.
  • 7. Farmers' sons.

If a man is making a living he should not change his business after he has passed middle life, unless, indeed, he has a guarantee that the new venture will be greatly to his advantage.

The best business for the average man is that which affords him the most pleasure in carrying it on, or at least with which he is most familiar.

Happiness in one's work means far more than the accumulation of a fortune in discomfort.


Having made your credit and business standing good, keep them good by an adherence to the same course.

If you can avoid it, do not loan your name to every needy friend that comes along. Your neighbors question your good judgment every time you have to meet a note which you were coaxed into endorsing. You would have saved yourself by loaning the money outright.

Do not deceive yourself into the belief that you are making money when, as a matter of fact, you may be losing.

You buy an article for two dollars and sell it for two and a half, and you say to yourself: "There is fifty cents made." But is it? Let us see.

Before crediting your business with that fifty cents, you should have considered these points.

1. The loss of interest on that two dollars. 2. Your own time or other time paid for. 3. The capital invested in things not sold. 4. The rent. 5. The transportation, insurance, heat, light, bad accounts, unsalable goods, taxes, public donations, and the flood of items that go to swell the outlay of every merchant, whether in the great city or at the country crossroads.


Every man in trade should make an inventory of his stock at least once a year. Having done this, he should give his stock a fresh appearance, whether new goods be added or not, by relegating to the scrap heap, cellar or the garret all the dingy, dirty, disreputable stuff that he could not sell or give away, and which has induced sore eyes whenever seen.

Keep a stock book.

Quite as important as keeping the stock in order is keeping the books in good shape.

At least once a year the books should be weeded out. Why carry as bills collectable accounts which you have been assured, for years, would never be paid?

Wipe them out and charge them to profit and loss.

Where machinery is used, it is a good plan to charge off every year ten per cent of the cost; this to make good the loss from wear and tear.

It is only by annual house cleanings and account clearings that you can tell about how you stand.

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