The object of this work is to help people who are out of employment to secure a situation; to enable persons of small means to engage in business and become their own employers; to give men and women in various lines of enterprise ideas whereby they may succeed; and to suggest new roads to prosperityby the employment of capital. The author has been moved to the undertaking by the reflection that there exists nowhere a book of similar character. There have indeed been published a multitude of books which profess to tell men how to succeed, but they all consist of merely professional counsel expressed in general terms. We are told that the secrets of success are “industry and accuracy,” “the grasping of every opportunity,” “being wide awake,” “getting up early and sitting up late,” and other cheap sayings quite as well known to the taker as to the giver. Even men who have made their mark, when they come to treat of their career in writing, seem unable to give any concrete suggestions which will prove helpful to other struggling thousands, but simply tell us they won by “hard work,” or by “close attention to business.”
The author of this book has gone to work on a totally different plan. I have patiently collected the facts in the rise of men to treasure and power, have collated the instances and instruments of fortune, and from these have sifted out the real secrets of success. When as in a few cases, the worn-out proverbs and principles are quoted, these are immediately reinforced by individual examples of persons who attributed their advancement to the following of these rules; but, in general, the suggestions are new, and in very many cases plans and lines of work are proposed by the author which are entirely original, and so far as he knows, absolutely untried. Hence, the work becomes of incomparable value to business men who are constantly seeking new means to interest the public and to dispose of their goods.
Of course, the vast field of action treated of in this work lies beyond the experience of any one man, but the author has talked with business men in every walk in life and gleaned from them the essential facts in their career; in many instances these facts are not the things they have done, but the things they would do if they could begin again, thus giving the reader the benefit both of their success and failure. As a book offering opportunities to the ambitious; presenting openings to those seeking a wider scope for their faculties; affording stimulation to persons of sluggish blood; and giving away trade and business secrets never before divulged; the author feels confident that the little work stands unrivaled, and as such he modestly offers it to the public for its approval.