Business success lessons from Andrew Carnegie

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There are 3 people I work extremely hard to emulate – Leonardo da Vinci, Andrew Carnegie & Steve Jobs.

In this post, I’ll be talking about Andrew Carnegie.

Andrew Carnegie was a self-made man, and his life depicts a true “rags to riches” one. His wealth in today’s currency is more than the combined wealth of all the top 20 richest men in the world (Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffett…)

He was born into a very poor family, so poor they shared a room with a neighbouring family. He didn’t enjoy a proper education, started working at age 13 for 12 hours a day and 6 days a week. And through self-education, immense hardwork, honesty and a thoughtful lifestyle; he built a business that created wealth enough for him to fund a record number of schools and libraries.

You can read more about him on Wikipedia.

My real aim is to share with you the principles he lived by  (all his own words) –

My hopes were high, and I looked every day for some change to take place. What it was to be I knew not, but that it would come I felt certain if I kept on. One day the chance came. (In his teenage years, while working in a boiler room adjusting the boiler settings to avoid overheating a steam powered engine. A typical dead-end job, and very stressful)

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.

You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.

Aim for the highest.

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.

The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

Do your duty and a little more, and the future will take care of itself.

All honor's wounds are self-inflicted.

The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.

Now, in my own words, all I have learned from Andrew Carnegie can be summarized as –
Hard-work, honesty, determination and self-education will always produce extra-ordinary results and a remarkable person.


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