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Rudyard Kipling's Poem "If" -
guiding your business and your life...

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream and not make dreams your master,
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And which is more you'll be a Man, my son!

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Published in 1909 - perhaps the basis for all modern business guidance?

Nothing's new. This poem, penned by this genius of British literature, seems the basis from which all modern guidance for personal and business improvement is developed. To succeed, you must learn and improve. Take "If" as your starting point, your personal statement of intent, and you won't go wrong.

The first verse tells us, "Stay calm!" Trust in yourself, your business and your ideas, even when others (including your family) don't. Understand, they will have their fears, but your determination to succeed will overcome all.

Your path will be long. Be patient.

If your competitors lie about you, even hate you (your success, because of their jealousy), rise above them. Good, strong, hard work is the way forward, the way that you will prosper long term. Lying and cheating your way through life will usually come back to haunt you one day.

But don't look too good, nor talk too wise, unless you use your persona of achievement as your selling point.

Richard Branson uses publicity and his image of success to breed more success. The public believe that anything owned by him must be good - after all, its owned by Richard Branson.

Former President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, a genius of a man, kept some of his abilities to himself. He spoke fluent Japanese, yet kept this secret. This combined with his (also hidden) dual nationality, gave him an escape route to Japan when the actions to force him from office became too dangerous. His downfall was when he became over confident, visiting next door Chile. There he was arrested and extradited to Peru. Now he is serving a long sentence in a Peruvian prison. At his age a sentence from which he may never emerge.

Dream of what you will achieve, what you will have. This will keep you focused through the many roadblocks of life until your dreams come true. Yet if you do nothing but dream, all you will have is dreams.

In verse three, we see the truth that many millionaires have failed and lost all several times before they made it rich. But they didn't dwell on their bad luck - they just kept on trying and made their own good luck.

The final verse knits together the lessons imparted in the first three. Flexibility, the ability to relate to people at all levels. A thick skin, rising above what others (including loved one) do to hurt you. Readiness that some will be with you, but not all the way. For you it could be hard - going the whole distance.

Through your endeavors, when you succeed, the world will be yours. For our purposes, if only the verse would still have scanned, read, "You'll be a Man, my son!" as, You'll be a BUSINESSMAN, my son!"


Lets get rich, rich, rich together!

The above is offered as advise. Risk often leads to failure. Most millionaires have been bankrupt several times before they make it. But they keep coming back. It is for this reason that the author does not accept responsibility for loses made by anyone who has read this page or any part of this site.

© Peter Smith 2009