Straight talks on business - PDF by William Gamble

Straight talks on business 

Straight talks on business



From the introduction

These articles were hurriedly prepared in the all too few spare moments of strenuous business life; and often as a relief to the mind after a day of mental strain and worry. They accordingly may bear traces of hasty thought and work. It is not pretended that there is anything essentially new in these ' Talks.' It is the old, old philosophy of many succeeding generations of businessmen.

 All that can be claimed is that it has been put into a new form, better suited, perhaps, to present-day ideas. If it serves to make young businessmen think a little more deeply about their duties in life, the Author feels his work will not have been in vain. Whatever shortcomings there may be, let them be excused as words spoken from the heart, in all earnestness.


To achieve success it is not the machinery that is needed, but men, in the highest sense of the word, who can shake off the slipshod indifference which besets so many today; men who are keenly alive to the trend of things around them, and who feel that they are in business not as a pastime, nor as an unpleasant necessity, but as a human duty, to fulfil a useful position in the world; to do something, if possible, which will leave it, if only in their own little circle, better than they found it.


We want men eager to improve, eager to prevent their fellowmen from making a single false step, eager to help their employers, if they are in employment, and eager to help those under them if they are employing others. These are the men to whom the ' Talks ' are addressed; but it is hoped others may be stimulated to shake off their dullness and indifference and be encouraged to regard their business life more hopefully, more ambitiously and more strenuously.

Contents of the book

  • About business itself. 7
  • On advertising ii
  • On making a show l6
  • About competition i9
  • About prices 21
  • About profit 24
  • Keeping time 28
  • About economy 32
  • About giving credit 35
  • On failure 39
  • On taking stock 42
  • Money back if not satisfied 45
  • Try to please the customer 49
  • About extras 52
  • About method 55
  • Knowledge 60
  • Persistence 64
  • Don't worry 69
  • The man we want 74
  • Principle 79
  • On being practical 85
  • On contracts and agreements 90
  • On observation 96
  • About luck 101
  • Differences of opinion 104
  • Haste 108
  • Self-reliance 113
  • Everlasting waiting 119
  • About writing letters 124
  • The craving for business 128
  • Machinery versus labour 134
  • Earnestness 139
  • Hesitation 144
  • Opportunity 148
  • Brains 152
  • Good resolutions 155
  • A good conceit 159
  • Don't be afraid of work 164
  • Old men versus young men 168
  • Staying power 173
  • Reading character 176
  • The indispensable man i81
  • The minimum wage 187
  • Wasting time i92
  • Expedients i96
  • Someday 199
  • Shifting the blame 204
  • On men who have mistaken their
  • Vocation 207
  • The business instinct 212
  • Facing trouble 2l6
  • The strenuous life 221
  • The essence of business 225

Author: William Gamble
 Publication Date: 1907


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