It is well that the young men should begin at the beginning and occupy the most subordinate positions. Many of the leading bussinessmen of Pittsburgh had a serious responsibility thrust on them at the very threshold of their career. They were introduced to the broom, and spent the first hours of their bussiness lives sweeping out the office. I notice we have janitors and janitresses now in offices, and our young men unfortunately miss the salutary branch of a business education. But if by chance the professional sweeper is absent any morning, the boy who has the genius of the future partner in him will not hesitate to try his hand at the broom. The other day, a fond fashionable mother in Michigan asked a young man whether or not he had ever seen a young lady sweep in a room so grandly as her Priscilla.He said no, he never had, and the mother was gratified beyond measure.But then said he, afer a pause,"What I should like to see her do is sweeping out a room". It does not hurt a newest comer to sweep out the office if necessary. I was one of those sweepers myself.
Assuming that you have all obtained employment and are fairly started, my advice to you is "aim high". I would not give a fig for the young man who does not already see himself the partner or the head of an important firm. Don't rest content for a moment in your thoughts as head clerk, or foremen, or general manager in any concern, no matter how extensive. Say to yourself "My place is at the top".Be king in your dreams.
And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret: concentrate your energy, thought, and capital exlusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun in one line, reslove to fight it out on that line, to lead in it ,adopt every impovement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.
And the concerns which fail are those which have scattered their capital , which mean that they have scattered their brain too. They have investments in this ,or that, or the other, here, there, and everywhere. "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" is all wrong, I tell you "put all your eggs in one basket and watch the basket." Look around yourself and take notice, men who do that not often fail. It is easy to watch one basket and carry it. It is trying to carry too many basket that breaks most eggs in this country. He who has three baskets must put one on his head, which is apt to tumble and trip him up. One fault of American businessmen is lack of concentration.
To summarize what I have said: aim at the highest, never enter a bar room; don't touch liquor, or if at all only at meals; never speculate; never indorse beyond your surplus cash fund; make the firm's interests yours; break orders always to save owners; concentrate; put all the eggs in one basket and watch the basket; expenditure always within revenue; lastly be not impatient, for as Emorson said: no one can cheat you out of your ultimate success but yourselves.