Wanna make more Benjamins? Then maybe you should consider a career path like the famous Benjamin whose picture is on those hundred dollar bills. Just in case you didn’t already know it, Benjamin Franklin didn’t go to college. And he didn’t go to typical schools. In fact, he learned great skills in apprenticeship programs. But in spite of that (or maybe because of it) Ben was a successful business owner, diplomat, philosopher, scientist, and statesman.
Those apprenticeship programs included indentured servitude to his own brother.
And that’s where he learned the art and science of printing and journalism. His brother, James, founded America’s second newspaper. Second! Can you imagine?
But instead of the boring jobs of letter setting and newspaper sales he was supposed to do, Benjamin wanted to be a writer. And he knew his brother wouldn’t go for it. So, he decided to write some articles to the paper. And he used the pen name, Silence Dogwood.
His brother actually liked the letters and published them in the paper. Benjamin created a whole character background for Silence Dogwood. She was the widow of a rural preacher. And she had to be “an enemy to vice and a friend to virtue.” Plus, she hated certain things about the government like the problems of unlimited power. And that went well…until it didn’t. But that’s another story.
Fast forward a few years and Benjamin gained some valuable skills in printing shops in England. Skills that pretty much no one in America had yet. And he was able to take what he learned, working in those shops, and get work in New Jersey for a shop that printed money.
During his time in that specialized printing shop, young Mr. Franklin did some serious networking. And when I say serious, I mean with men in powerful positions. Like a well-known judge, a provincial Secretary, a surveyor general, and members of the the local Assembly. And those connections proved to be very good for his bank account…so to speak.
After some partnerships and coordinated ventures, Ben bought his own printing company. And he bought the Pennsylvania Gazette from Samuel Keimer, a man who once employed him.
Ben’s skills from those apprenticeship programs and partnerships were priceless.
They helped him pursue and enjoy a successful printing and writing career. And his career helped him get attention from his community as well as from people of the political persuasion.
And you probably know more about what happened after that. Right?
Ben Franklin was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence. Maybe you’ve heard of that? And he experimented with electricity. And he built up a nice enough fortune to be well off during his last years.
All that from a guy who didn’t attend a university.
On an unrelated note (just kidding…it’s related)…
Some people have no desire to spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to go to college. And that’s one of the reasons I developed my monthly RondaReady UNversity (and another option to be announced soon). Because I want to give options to young (and not so young) students who’d like to laser focus their learning to build a business instead of get a degree.
And next week I’ll be talking more about the upcoming monthly lesson, for April. So, be sure to open up my daily emails for those updates. Especially if you don’t wanna end up indentured to somebody else’s dream for the rest of your life.