While on a trip across country, My wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham Alabama.
It was heart wrenching to see both the discrimination and hatred of individual‘s due to the color of their skin. It was a sad and disgraceful time in our country’s history. Sorry to say that this type of discrimination has always been, and will most likely always will continue, due to the fallen nature of men & women. It doesn’t seem to matter the race or what part of the world it exists it is all wrong. But in spite of the circumstances there are those who prosper.
One such example was A.G. Gaston. Arthur George Gaston born in 1892 in Alabama was one of those individuals.
Mr. Gaston’s father died while he was still an infant. He grew up in a log cabin with his mother and grandparents. A.G. Gaston’s formal education ended with the 10th grade. After WWl he went to work in the mines and according to Wikipedia while working in the mines, he decided there was a need to feed the workers and came up with the idea of selling lunches to his fellow miners and then branched into loaning money to them.
Overtime Mr. Gaston had become a wealthy businessman in spite of the discrimination and poverty that surrounded him. His success included a business college, insurance company, a home for senior citizens, a bank, savings and loan association, motel, funeral home, bottling company, construction company, two radio stations, and a boys and girls club. He was a tremendous success by any standard of measure.
What were some of the principles that Mr. Gaston practiced and live by that allowed him to ascend to this level of success?
A.G. Gaston had 10 rules for success which he followed;
- Pay yourself first and save a part of all you earn.
- Save at an established institution such as a bank or savings and loan and stay away from loan sharks.
- Take no chances with your money.
- Never borrow anything that if forced to it, you can’t pay back.
- Don’t get big headed with regular people. It you take care of their needs they will make you big.
- Don’t have so much pride and wear the same suit for a year or two. It doesn’t matter the kind of suit if there is no money in it.
- Find a need and fill it. Successful businesses are found on the needs of other people. Keep good books and hire the best people you can find.
- Never run around with people that you can’t compete with. Stay in your own class.
- Once you get money or a reputation for having money people will give you money.
- Once you reach a certain bracket it is very difficult not to make more money Mr. Gaston famously said, “I never went into anything with the idea of making money. I thought of doing something, and it would come up and make money. I never thought of trying to get rich” Mr. Gaston’s net worth was estimated to be more than $130 million dollars at the time of his death..
I have learned over the years that when it comes to finances that good principles are necessary to follow. No matter your background or environment, if you follow sound financial principles not only will you find a way to earn money, but you will more than likely be able to keep it.