We’ve all seen the classic representation of the wealthy constantly monitoring their wealth and always trying to make a buck. In such depictions of the wealthy, one could believe that the rich are actually a very small-minded, unintelligent group. But I think that real history proves otherwise, and today I’m going to discuss my top financial hero “Benjamin Franklin“:
Benjamin Franklin was a hard-working entrepreneur that gave us many quotes that we use and admire today:
- A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned
- Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
- Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
- You may delay, but time will not.
- Well done is better than well said.
- By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
- I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.
- Hide not your talents, they for use were made, What’s a sundial in the shade?
- Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.
- Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.
- When you are finished changing, you’re finished.
- If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.
While Ben’s quotes are awesome, they are just words, fortunately he was a man who lived by his words!
At the age of 42, Mr. Franklin retire from his working life. He retired one of the richest men in the United States during that time period. So what do you think he did with the rest of his remaining 42 years of life (noting that he died when he was 84)?
Do you think he sat in a corner throwing his money up in the air exclaiming “I’m rich, woo hoo” over and over again?
No, instead he become a great inventor and then later an incredible politician! In fact, many believe that without Ben’s influence in helping to recruit France into the war with England, the United States wouldn’t have become a separate country back then! Who knows, with such a timeline change evils (such as slavery) still might exist in the United States today (think no? it exists still in other parts of the world…, it’s just not an industry like it formerly was).
Here is the thing that many of us forgets (especially big media?, or do they…) Benjamin Franklin wasn’t working a 9 to 5 job everyday, he was wealthy. In fact, Ben was one of the richest men in America at the time.
Instead of choosing to go sit at a beach sipping a Margarita, he continued being what he has always been… and that is an overachiever and a friend to society! Oh he still enjoyed life to its fullest, but part of this enjoyment was inventing things and helping others. Being rich and not having to work anymore enabled him to do these incredible things after the age of 42.
In the past, I’ve mentioned what I would do if I were rich, and I always have an element of giving back to the community and helping others. In fact, when I posted the article of comments on “How Money Can Increase Happiness“, practically everybody mentioned helping others in some fashion. Based on the results, I would conclude that most rich people like to help others and society in general.
If you were wealthy, wouldn’t you try to help others and society, while still enjoying life at the same time?