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!