It’s All About The Benjamins, Baby

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It’s a catchy blog post title and an even catchier song from the 90’s.

I’m not talking about hundred dollar bills in this post per se, but I am talking about the man on the “Benjamins” — Mr. Benjamin Franklin.

Over the weekend I attended a great conference and one of the sessions was led by best-selling author and the ultimate “Go-Giver”, Bob Burg. Bob is an expert at teaching entrepreneurs how to build their businesses by cultivating an endless supply of referrals. One of the things he discussed is how Benjamin Franklin – at the young age of 20 – developed a list of virtues to live by. He had 13 virtues and focused on an individual virtue for an entire week, tracking and noting his progress.

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues to live by were:

  • Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • Order: Let all your things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.
  • Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; a penny saved is a penny earned
  • Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothing, or habitation
  • Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  • Humility: Imitate Jesus or Socrates.

If you’re an American history buff, you probably know that Benjamin Franklin often fell short of these virtues throughout his lifetime, but nevertheless, he provided an excellent model that we can use as real estate investors and professionals.

Bob Burg took us through his own personal list of 13 virtues and shared how he developed into a better person and a better businessman by focusing exclusively on one virtue at a time.  If you have a list of only 13 virtues and focus on them one week at a time, at the end of a year, you’ll have 4 focused weeks (enough time to build habits!) across 13 key things of importance to you.

Following Ben and Bob’s lead here is a great idea, choosing your own 13 virtues for personal development.  Another angle you may want to take is to choose 13 things that you struggle with in your real estate business and focus on them in the same manner.  For example:

  • Keeping organized records
  • Developing systems for your marketing
  • Building new relationships
  • Following up and maintaining relationships
  • the list goes on….

People are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and improve their businesses.

Good ol’ Benji just provides us with one more way to get there.  It’s not all about the Benjamins, but developing yourself as a person is sure to get you more of them!


About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog,, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!


  1. Shae!

    You are such a good writer. I always enjoy reading your articles, because they have a nice flow.
    Your last article on keeping a journal helped me realize, that I will benefit from doing just that.

    Today’s article is interesting as well.

    I think focusing on one Virtue at a time, is a smart and interesting idea. Often we all try to do so much, and end up in a scenario where perhaps, we did not end up doing what we thought we were going to do.

    However, if we simply focus on one area at a time, one virtue, this provides focus, and makes it much easier for us to accomplish.

    Thanks again for the great content Shae!

    Neil. 🙂
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..4 Lessons from a real estate investor Superstar =-.

  2. Le Jon Ratchford on


    I agree building a strategic plan for your business and your life makes you that much better of an entrepreneur. Professionalism, a positive attitude and modeling yourself after Jesus Christ , how could you fail? I would like to thank you also for all the help you have given me. Great Post!!!!

  3. WOW – thank you, Shae, both for an excellent teaching article (you ALWAYS do that so well) and for your kind mention. I’m honored to be in your post. And, with two of my heroes; you and Ben. I can’t imagine my day starting off better! Thank you again!

  4. Wow to think that Benjamin Franklin came up with these virtues, even at the age of 20. That is very admirable. I really appreciate this post Shae. As Neil said, you have a talent for making your words flow and it really shows in this post.

    I too have focused on too many of my own personal virtues and have found it difficult to maintain the accountability. By focusing on one virtue at a time, it’s like taking small steps toward your ultimate goal. Very interesting concept, that I will take in now that you’ve made me aware of this Shae. Thanks!

    Oh and I love the title. Really grabbed my attention! 🙂
    .-= J. Lamar Ferren´s last blog ..(Part 2) Warning: Don’t spend another Dime with Google until you see this… =-.

  5. Shea,

    All the best principles and advice can always stand the tests of time. My favorite is resolution. Wasn’t Ben Franklin an alcoholic and a huge womanizer?


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