How The Old Guys Got it Right: Business Lessons from Our Founding Fathers

A lot has changed in the last century (understatement of…well…the century). We can flip on a light, turn on the TV and connect with 650 million of our closest friends simultaneously. Obviously, these technical phenomenons couldn’t have seen the light of day without a surplus of gusto, entrepreneurial spirit, and, most importantly, inspiration and innovation from the creative pioneers of the past.

Today, it’s amazing what you can still learn from these legends that can apply not only to your business but your daily life. Here are some lessons from the guys who brought us lightning rods and Lincoln Logs.

Ben Knows Best

Let’s start with Mr. Franklin. This was not a man who sat all day on the couch or in a library (though, he did establish the first public one). As an inventor, writer, publisher, diplomat and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin was clearly a Person of Action.

Some of his famous quotes include:

  • Well done is better than well said.”
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
  • Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

Spot the theme? Movers and shakers get things done. Great ideas aren’t going to develop themselves. The growth, success and overall life of your business relies on your ability to prepare, produce and persist.


We all know that any job worth doing is worth doing well. So, put your money where your mouth is, make a plan of action and carefully prepare how to attack it. Once you get the ball rolling, keep up the energy and focus! The most successful entrepreneurs share many of the same characteristics, and they’ll be the first to tell you their achievements have very little to do with luck and everything to do with follow-through.


So, take it from Ben. The man invented bifocals. He saw what was up. See what I did there?

The Legend of Lincoln

Though not as many inventions to his credit, Father Abe became the 16th President of the United States, helped abolish slavery, and wrote the most quoted speech in American history. No big deal.


Though his death was untimely, he managed to leave us with some parting words of inspiration for our own successes:

  • Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
  • Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”
  • Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

Finding success in a world as innovative as the Internet and game-changing as social media, means constantly keeping up with the emerging trends; though, Mr. Lincoln would probably advise you to actually be the trend. Don’ t be “that guy” wishing you had “that idea” or started “that business”.


Be the guy that beats everyone to it. And, don’ t lose your cool if/when things don’ t go your way. Many Epic Fails have lead to Serious Successes.


Right, history lesson over. Now, copy, paste and apply these quotes to inspire your business and your life. And, who knows? Maybe, you can one day invent useful specs and toys for tots.


NOTE: Abe didn’t actually invent Lincoln Logs. John Lloyd Wright (Frank´s son), did, and named the toy after him. Not a bad family to inspire, eh?


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