Don’t Be Afraid to Give Up the Good to Go for the Great

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“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller (1839 – 1937) was an entrepreneur who founded the Standard Oil Company, making him the richest man who ever lived, amassing a fortune equivalent to $340bn. He was also known as a major philanthropist, donating more than $500 million to various causes and successfully eradicating hookworm disease in the southern United States through the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission.

His assets’ worth is estimated to encompass the wealth of today’s prominent wealthiest people. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise as Rockefeller had first engaged in a business enterprise at the age of seven! In his book “Random Reminiscences of Men and Events,” he recounted that he owned some turkeys and sold them all in businesslike fashion, with the assistance of his mother.

At the age of just 14, he had already put $50 (equivalent to roughly $1,500 today) from his turkey sales and doing chores for his family and neighbors to work by investing it. He then realized that his pay for selling turkey and carrying out chores was less than one third the annual interest on his $50! With that, he resolved to make as much money for him as he possibly could.

Rockefeller attributed his financial skills to his training at home. “I cannot remember when hard work was new or strange to me. We were to taught to work, to save, and to give.” His word of advice: “If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”

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