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Andrew Carnegie, who died in 1919 at the age of 83, was a titan of the American steel industry. He was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in American history, and known as a great philanthropist. The essay presented in this book is about Business and ingenuity, and the development of oneself as a person of Business. Carnegie encourages Business people to have a narrow focus, stating, "Subdivision, specialization, is the order of the day." Carnegie's lecture is sweeping and broad, and covers many topics of interest to entrepreneurs and businesspeople.As one of the world's great businessmen, Carnegie's words are authoritative. This was a man who understood the world of Business better than most, and it is a pleasure to read his opinions on the subject. While certainly not a textbook or a how-to guide, Carnegie's essay rather serves as a motivational piece, encouraging the reader to strive for their goals. The tips provided are useful and applicable, and this text should be required reading for any student of Business.Business is a short book and one that should be read by anybody interested in the world of Business and entrepreneurship. It is a book that can easily be digested in one sitting but will likely stick with the reader for a lifetime. Carnegie was a master, and interested individuals would be wise to heed his advice.
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Original edition 1916 Withman Publishing - Chicago
1st eBook edition 2014 by David De Angelis (c) - All rights reserved
No apology is needed for presenting this famous lecture very early in this series for the perusal of business students. Rather may we congratulate ourselves and our readers on the privilege we have of using and studying Mr. Carnegie's words of practical wisdom. For there is a world of wisdom in what he has to say to young men about their careers and their conduct in business life.
Mr. Carnegie occupies a unique position in American business history. He is the one American business man par excellence who has shown us how to retire from business gracefully and enjoy life in retirement. In this he has set an example worthy of emulation. For there is nothing more absurd in the business creed than the belief quite commonly accepted that a business man should "die in the harness" and that no man can be happy in retirement after an active business life. The trouble is that few men know how to retire gracefully and happily, because they have not prepared themselves by cultivation of the mind for congenial occupation of their leisure by avocations—call them hobbies, if you will—that serve as a substitute for the cares and responsibilities of business.
In his retirement Mr. Carnegie is well employed, and the world has been enriched by his career both before and since he retired from active participation in the great steel industry. He divides his time nowadays between his native land and the country of his adoption, in which he gained his wealth and lasting fame. He came to this country a poor boy, having borrowed the money for his passage from Scotland. He toiled hard for his start in business and made his money largely by his wonderful judgment of men and skill in the selection of his lieutenants. Many of these young men too—became millionaires under his leadership, and some of them remain today at the top of the ladder of American industry But Mr. Carnegie worked and worked hard. His life has long been an open book to the American public, and few there are who do not wish the "Laird of Skibo" well in the happy enjoyment of his remaining years on the Scottish estate near the humble home of his youth, where his success is an inspiration to every young man and the most notable example of the opportunities afforded by business life in America
Every word of Mr. Carnegie's lecture is worth study. He speaks out of a ripe experience to young men, with a heart brimful of kindness and human sympathy. He shows the steps that must be mounted in a regular advance to business success, and insists that there is no lack of opportunities today for those who learn how to find them or to make them. He advocates the business career for young men rather than artistic or professional careers, for reasons that to an open mind are good and convincing, and commends it as the one vocation in which "there is abundant room for the exercise of man's highest power and of every good quality in human nature."
I have never had any patience with those who spend their time envying the successful rich, especially when the envied rich man was once a poor young man and made his way in the world by his own efforts in legitimate business. To the envious I would say: The road is open to you, as it was to them; go thou and do likewise ! And I commend the example of Andrew Carnegie in his business life to all young men entering business, as I commend his example in retirement to business men who lack the ability to retire. Both classes will find food for thought in this lecture.
T. H. R.
Business is a large word, and in its primary meaning covers the whole range of man's efforts. It is the business of the preacher to preach, of the physician to practice, of the poet to write, the business of the university professor to teach, and the business of the college student, one might sometimes think, from the amount of attention bestowed upon it, to play football. I am not to speak of "business" in this wide sense, but specifically as defined hi the Century Dictionary:
"Mercantile and manufacturing pursuits collectively; employment requiring knowledge of accounts and financial methods; the occupation of conducting trade; or monetary transactions of any kind."
The illustration which follows is significant, and clearly defines this view of business. It reads:
"It seldom happens that men of a studious turn acquire any degree of reputation for their knowledge of business."
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