B4. How to Push Your Business.
No matter what position you are in, be it clerk, typewriter, porter, bookkeeper, car conductor, an employee in a factory or elsewhere, if you make up your mind or fall into the way of thinking that you are always to remain where you are, and never rise any higher, or receive more for your services, the chances are very largely against your rising. You make those chances against you by keeping in that state of mind in which you see yourself in the future as occupying that same position. You make chances in your favor by seeing yourself in what you call imagination on the rise.
The state of mind you are most in is a force pushing for or against your business and welfare. One permanent state of mind will bring to you success and another failure.
There are those born with minds so lacking in aim, purpose, and method, that they cannot provide for themselves at all. They cannot even keep what is left them by their parents. These are examples of permanent states of mind which bring failure.
There are those born in material poverty, who pile up great wealth almost from the start. These are instances of another permanent state of mind which, putting its thought always on a purpose, brings success, so far as the mere making of money is success.
The pushing of any kind of business always commences first in the mind. The man who is today controlling a dozen railroads, commenced in some relatively humble position. But in mind he was always aiming higher. When he gained a step ahead, he did not in mind stop there, in imagination he was on the next step.
But the man for years a rag‑picker and scavenger, has never looked or aimed any higher. He sees himself always a rag‑picker. In his thoughts he never gets beyond the rag‑picker’s limits. He may envy people who are better off. He may wish for some of the things they enjoy. But he never says in thought, “I am going to get out of this occupation. I am going into something higher, cleaner, and more remunerative.” So he remains always a rag‑picker.
If you keep always in a low, unaspiring state of mind, if you look on the best and most beautiful things in this world as things you never can have or enjoy, if you see yourself always at the foot of the ladder, grumbling at those above you, then at the foot of the ladder you are very likely to stay.
Any state of mind you are in for any length of time will carry you to things in the material world in conformity to that state. If you are very fond of horses, and think of them a great deal, you are very likely to go, when opportunity offers, where you can see the finest horses, and where others fond of horses go. You are then the more likely to be led to talk to some one about horses. You are also the more likely to become engaged in something connected with the buying, or keeping, or caring for horses. But it was the thought that led you first into the kingdom of horse‑flesh.
If your fondness for horses goes no farther than the desire to be among them, and you are always saying in thought, “I can only be a hostler or a driver,” and you hold yourself aloof (in mind) from the wealthy owners of stock, then always a hostler you will be. But if you say, “I am going to get up in this business, I have as good a right to own a stable as anyone else,” you are then very likely to own a stable.
Why? Because that very state of mind brings you nearer the men who do own stables. They feel your thought unconsciously, and when you are alert and civil and as much interested in their business as if it were you own (as you must be when you are in the pushing, aspiring state of mind), they begin to feel an interest in you. You will have more and more opportunities to talk with them. They find you useful. They find, probably, at last, that they cannot get on without you. Out of, this comes friendship. Friendship sets you up in business, or assists you in some way. There is a great deal of “friendship in trade.” Men are dependent on each other for assistance in every branch of business.
If, when among people, you carry always with you the thought of self‑depreciation, and think of yourself as of little value or use, those about you will not treat you with that deference or respect as if you regarded yourself more highly; nor will they feel disposed to help you to any higher position. Now, are you fit for any higher position, so long as you lower yourself in your own mind?
You may find, on searching into yourself, that there are positions in life now apparently beyond your reach, in which you dare not see yourself. Probably nine hotel scrubbing women out of ten would not dare or entertain seriously for a moment the thought that they might some day control the hotel of which they are the humblest part. But occasionally a person does rise from some similar position to one far higher. That person dared to think of him or herself in such higher position. This was the unseen moving force that carried him there.
Wherever you put yourself in mind, and persistently keep yourself, towards such position you will be carried. You may not gain the actual place aimed at, but you will stand somewhere near it, which is better than standing in the gutter of aimlessness and hopelessness.
Dare, then, and live, now in mind as the head of a business, or the head of a department for whose workings you are entirely responsible. You are then attracting to you the unseen forces which will put you in such places. But if you will not aspire above the place of a wage‑worker, you put out the force which will always keep you a mere worker for weekly wages. If you are afraid of taking responsibilities, and desire only what you think the safe corner of sure and steady wages, you will always remain in that corner, more or less a machine moved at the pleasure of others, and obliged, possibly, to see the larger profits of your skill going to others.
It is he or she who dares to take responsibilities that best succeeds. If you dare not, you must remain the poorer paid help of those who dare.
Dare to think of yourself now as a leader in business, and as a handler of great sums of money. So to dare in your own secret mind exposes you to no ridicule from others. It is as cheap so to see yourself as to imagine yourself always at the foot of the ladder. Cultivate the art of expecting success. Confident expectation of success is the most useful habit of mind or method of using your thought‑force you can cultivate. Constant expectation of misfortune, disaster, and bad luck is the most ruinous method of using your thought‑force, and is a sure road to poverty.
Responsibilities need not bring anxiety, fret, and worry. Spiritual or mental power dismisses the thought of responsibilities, until it is proper and profitable to think of them. The lack of it causes the proprietor of a small grocery to lie awake half the night, worrying over his affairs, and getting up in the morning less fitted for business than ever, while the millionaire dealer in the same articles throws care off his mind, and is able to sleep and gather strength for the morrow’s effort.
There is as much actual money in a nation (other than of gold, silver, or legalized bank notes) as there is of paper passing from hand to hand used as money, and accepted as money, bearing the names of private individuals, or issued in the shape of bonds or stocks by companies of individuals. You would readily accept the note of a Gould or Vanderbilt, promising to pay you a certain sum at a certain time, and this piece of paper you can today use as money. So the Gould or Vanderbilt can issue a money of his own. So, to an extent, can any merchant or financier of undoubted credit. Then there is as much money in the nation (other than in coin or legalized bank bills) as there are bits of paper bearing the names of men of sound credit, or of companies or corporations, which pledge themselves to pay certain sums at a certain time. If you believe these individuals or corporations to have a great deal of money, you will readily take their promise to pay, on a bit of paper, as money. There is then no limit to the amount of money which can be and is put out in this way. There is not of gold or silver, coin or regular bank bills, near enough in any of our great cities to carry on all its daily business: The rest is made of men’s names, commanding credit at the bottom of notes, promising to pay at certain dates, or of pieces of paper known as stocks or bonds, which, if in your hands, represents a piece of a railroad, or a line of steamers, or other property.
As the maker of some article of value and use, as the projector of some enterprise which will give people comfort and amusement, you can gain the confidence of others, and with such confidence credit. Your name also on a piece of paper can pass from hand to hand, and have the value of money. The more confidence people have in your honesty and ability, the firmer based is its value. Despite all appearances to the contrary, all business is today based on faith in the honesty and intention, either of men, or corporations, or governments, to act up to their promises.
The world needs better things than it ever had before,—better houses, better foods, better amusements, new recreations, new devices in art. It is constantly wanting, and paying well for the best. Do not in your mind say you cannot devise and push something better before it. You can. To say in your heart you can’t, is to put an impassable barrier between you and your possibilities.
To say you can’t, is to commit one of the violations of the law for using and enjoying the best goods of this world. To say, “I can,” and “I will,” is to put yourself within reach of the thought‑current which will bring wealth to you.
If you are satisfied that the article you offer people, be it your invention, your ideas, your writings, has a certain value, and you do not demand that value, you do an injustice to yourself; and an injustice done to self is an injustice and injury done to many others. For, if by so doing you starve or become sick, you become a care and encumbrance on others. If in your mind you put out continually the thought that your article is justly worth what you ask for it, other minds will feel that thought or force, and rate it and value it as you do. If yours is a good article, and in mind you depreciate it, you send from you the force which makes others depreciate it, and you with it. If you took a tray of genuine diamonds to sell on the street, and you felt, looked, and acted as if you were doubtful of their being diamonds, ninety‑nine out of one hundred who looked at them would, through your own mental action on their minds, take those diamonds for glass or paste; and the chances are very strong that the man who did recognize them as diamonds, would try to cheat you, by confirming your doubt and delusion as to their real value. This, your unjust depreciation of yourself and your work, is another violation of the law for gaining the best the world has for you.
If you are continually improving the article you make, and keep it properly before the world, the world will find out that improvement, and seek it and pay for it. If you make the cheap article, the sham, the counterfeit or imitation, the buying world, which is willing to pay a high price, but insists, and justly, on getting the worth of its money, will at last avoid you. Where does all the cheap trash go? Into the cheapest stores, to be sold at the smallest profit. As you cut down wages to make the article cheaper, you are certain to get the poorer work for such wages. Your work is then done in a hurry. No heart, no love, no interest is put in it. It is the competition for cheapness, the rivalry to undersell others, the desire to pander to buyers who want everything cheap, that makes cheap clothing, which is rotten before being put on; cheap houses, which sometimes tumble to pieces before being finished; cheap food, which is half rottenness; cheap plumbing, which fills houses with foul air, and causes expensive funerals. Could this delusion of cheapness have full sway, and prevail over nature’s laws, this very planet would be made over at a “great reduction in price,” and we should be furnished with second‑rate air and sunshine. Fortunately, the wonderful workings of the eternal power for good is ever toward constant improvement and refinement, as it has manifested itself in the growth of this earth from the chaos, crudity, and imperfection existing countless ages ago, to its present improved condition; and this condition must ripen into one of far greater improvement, as more light and knowledge of more law dawns upon it, and men and women see, as they will, that eternal happiness and eternal prosperity are based on eternal right and eternal justice.
The more you spend wisely in any business, the more will you make. The more you expend in making your place of business attractive and tasteful, the more of the better class of customers does it, by a sure‑working law, attract to you. Ornament your business in mind, first, and keep to the determination so to ornament it. You have then set in operation the magnet, the thought‑power which will draw the means to pay for such ornamentation. This law is followed in successful business all about us. The fashionable tailor locates his shop on the fashionable thoroughfare, pays a high rent, imports the most costly cloths, and employs the best skill in his work. By these means he attracts the best paying customers. He charges, and justly, a high price. His profits are proportionately large. That man previously created his business in his mind. He did it, possibly, when a workman on the board of a cheap shop in a squalid street. The force he so generated in that shop, carried him out of it to the better one. His brother workmen, having no such imaginings, envied others richer than they, and so expended force in envy, which lowers, instead of aspiration, which inevitably carries upward, and, as a result, drudge in the cheap shop still. Your thoughts carry you up or down, according as you use them. You must make the thing—the place in life you fill—in your mind years before you fill it.
You are now, in your thought, making some future place for yourself, pleasant or unpleasant.
Keep away from despondent, discouraged people, who are always expecting and thereby courting ill luck. If much in their association, be they whom they may, you will surely absorb of their thought, think it, and unconsciously act it. You will not see successful methods clearly. Your brain will be muddled. You are half them and but half yourself. You are then attracting of their ruinous thought‑element, and in its current.
Men of success gravitate naturally towards other men of success. It is not a “mere superstition” which prompts some to avoid unlucky men. Our powerful corporations are made up of men of like order of spiritual force, confident, bold, hopeful, pushing, determined. They follow this part of the law. Their success is for the most part a one‑sided one, for they do not follow the whole law.
I mean by a “one‑sided success” that success which gains wealth at the expense of health, and in its absorption for money getting only, loses nearly all capacity to enjoy what money can bring.
Absorption of the inferior, despondent thought of another, has ruined many an enterprise. You may see today a clear plan of action. You feel hopeful and confident. Tomorrow all is reversed. You have lost faith in your idea. You see only failure. You are down cellar. Why? Because, in all probability, you have been mingling with aimless, discouraged people. Even though you did not talk to them of your project, their inferior thought has flown to you. It sticks to you like pitch. It has colored, clouded, and befogged all your views. Your mind today is half that of one or more person’s who lives steeped in a thought‑atmosphere of dependence, discouragement, and gloom. It is as true that the thought of others can enter into our being, and become for a time a part of it, as that dampness or foul air can permeate your house or your clothing. It is thus that “evil communications corrupt good manners.” It is difficult to touch the pitch of inferior thought without being defiled.
Why does the chief of American financiers seclude himself so much from people? Because, consciously or unconsciously, he lives up to that law, of which he realizes enough to know that to keep his head clear, he must avoid the confused thought‑atmosphere of the great mass of people. Napoleon got his plans in the seclusion of the closet and the country. In all the varied and wonderful workings of the element of mind upon mind, this law stands of the first importance.
Worse still, through this absorption of inferior thought, you may be enslaved and ruled by inferior minds. Today many a brilliant and powerful mind is so ruled. They feel they know more than those about them, and still follow unwillingly the methods prescribed by the inferior. As a result, they are slaves where they should be masters. In this way is confidence and courage crushed almost out, and by the same crushing of their spirits is physical health lost, also.
Thousands of beggars are made through the brutal dominion of the strong will over minds so enslaved, not always because theirs are the weakest, but because, unconsciously or timorously, they allow such ascendency.
Say to yourself continually, “I will not allow myself so to be enslaved by anyone,” and you are putting out the force which will cut you a path out of slavery, dependence, and beggary.
When you are confident, determined, pushing, hopeful, and buoyant, and, above all, your business is based on RIGHT and JUSTICE, the world will feel you as a rising man. It will feel you before it knows you personally. It is the unseen world of thought which so feels you. Your thought is then in the current of success, the current which constructs, builds up, and accomplishes results. It is a literal unseen force or element acting for success, and acting on and with other minds putting out the same force and with similar motives. Then as more and more you put forward your business, you in turn, your enterprise, the minds who can aid you, and by your effort be aided, are prepared to have confidence in you. Confidence is the basis of credit, and the power which puts loans and bank‑notes in your hands, to use for bringing to you more. To use, and ever use, mind you, in projecting new enterprises; to spend, also, for yourself, for all that makes life bright and happy; to circulate, but not to hoard.
If you overtask body and brain to gain money (as so many do), it does you no good. You have not lived up to the highest applications of the law. The mortality among the leading retail dry‑goods merchants of New York City for the last ten years has been remarkable. The strain caused by the competition of cheapness, and the necessity which binds them year in and year out to one business, with so little of variation or recreation, has cut them off, even in their prime. To gain money at the expense of health, is to cut off your feet and sell them for a pair of boots.
Business can be pushed successfully without fagging or making yourself its slave. If you are fagged, it is evidence of an unsound part in your business. When mind and body work harmoniously together, the greatest force is developed. That force, properly placed two hours a day in a business, will accomplish more than ten hours of “puttering” and “pottering” about.
You cannot push a business you do not love. You cannot push a business in which you put no heart. You cannot push or succeed in any business unless you take a continual interest and pleasure in improving it, expanding it. Love for a business brings continually new thoughts, plans, ideas, and devices for so improving it. Love for a business brings new force ever to push that business.
You cannot succeed in a business unless in mind you are ever increasing and expanding that business. All great enterprises are thought over and lived over and over again in thought by their projectors, long before the material results are seen. The thought or plan in advance is the real construction of unseen element. When firmly held to, it is adding ever to itself of more force, idea, device; and when so held to, draws to itself material things and results, by the same law by which the lump of metal in solution draws to itself crystallization of the same metal out of that solution.
The man or woman who succeeds in any business is always in mind living ahead of their business of today. What is being accomplished today was planned, thought over, and lived in, months, possibly years, before. That plan, steadfastly adhered to, was the force that carried the business ahead. It was the power that pushed it.
If you are in a small business, and always in mind see yourself in that small business, you will always remain in a small business. Live in mind in the larger store, workshop, or office, the better cultivated farm, and you will find the better and larger, be it what it may, gradually moving in upon you. If you keep a peanut stand, see yourself, in imagination, the proprietor of a fruit store, and into the fruit store you will go.
When you cease planning expansion and improvement in a business, that business begins to die. It will for a time seem to flourish, but the newer enterprise in the same direction, born of some other energetic brain, is growing and going ahead of it. Fifty years ago there were prosperous dry‑goods merchants in New York City, who imagined that their business would be done by the same methods in which they had all their lives been accustomed to do it. A. T. Stewart came, developed a new method, and the old firms went out of sight. Stewart applied but a part of the law. Therefore his was but a partial success. He gained money, it is true; but the mere gain of money is not the perfected success of the business of the future.
Important business plans should be often talked over, but should be talked only with those whose interests and motives are like your own. They should be so talked or discussed at a regular time, and always, if possible, in one place or room. If you talk them out in promiscuous places, in the street, the restaurant, the railway station, you will lose power, and give away your secrets, even though no physical ears hear you. The quotation that “walls have ears,” involves a truth. Agencies unseen, busy, prying, meddlesome, are always near in public places or any other room than your own, and will snatch from you your secrets, and impress them in the minds of others.
When you have a room devoted to the peaceful discussion of your plans, and this room is long used, you make in that room a thought‑atmosphere, or a force favorable to your business. It will become stronger and stronger. You will in that room, when you so talk, get new ideas quicker than elsewhere. You make, then, a place, also, where new ideas and suggestions can be dropped in your mind. But if you indulge in heated or angry argument with others, or your mind in secret is angered, you create a force injurious to your welfare in any direction.
Your real wife is your best “partner” in your business. Your real wife, your complement or completement (for the divinely wedded man and woman form the complete whole) is, if not now by your side physically, in existence somewhere, either in the material or spiritual world. If she be with you here materially, she will prove herself, by taking a live interest in your business, and in all that concerns your welfare. If you heed her intuitions, her impressions for good or ill regarding individuals with whom you deal, her feelings for or against your proposed acts, her suggestions regarding future advancement, things will go well with you. If you sneer at her impressions, opinions, or suggestions, as a “woman’s fancies,” if you take the reins entirely in your own hands, assuming, as some men do assume, that women “know nothing about business,” and that her place is entirely within the domain of the house, if in so doing you repress her speech and snub her into silence, you cripple your strongest aid, you blur and blind the feminine eye, which, if rightly used and trained, will always see in advance farther than the masculine, and in so doing give to her husband the idea, plan, or suggestion, which he alone can work out.
Since we have to think anyway, Think Happy Thoughts!
The Luxury Travel Expert (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://theluxurytravelexpert.com/2018/05/21/best-resorts-maldives-for-couples/
Mulford, P. (1886-1887). How to push your business. Your forces and how to use them (pp.297-309). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09