P.T. Barnum’s 20 Rules for Making Money


David Cummings on Startups

Earlier today Kottke published a great list on P.T. Barnum’s 20 rules for making money from the book The Art of Money Getting published in 1880. Every entrepreneur would do well to study and follow these 20 rules:

  1. Don’t mistake your vocation
  2. Select the right location
  3. Avoid debt
  4. Persevere
  5. Whatever you do, do it with all your might
  6. Depend upon your own personal exertions
  7. Use the best tools
  8. Don’t get above your business
  9. Learn something useful
  10. Let hope predominate but be not too visionary
  11. Do not scatter your powers
  12. Be systematic
  13. Read the newspapers
  14. Beware of “outside operations”
  15. Don’t endorse without security
  16. Advertise your business
  17. Be polite and kind to your customers
  18. Be charitable
  19. Don’t blab
  20. Preserve your integrity

While a few aren’t applicable to tech startups, almost all of them are still relevant and useful 130+ years later.

What else? Which one of the P.T. Barnum’s rules is your favorite?

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