Home Thinking Aloud A Timeless Lesson You Can Learn From Benjamin Franklin

A Timeless Lesson You Can Learn From Benjamin Franklin


by Mladen Pupovac, founder and CEO of Web Marketing Hub

benjamin-franklin Looking at the amount of advice and seemingly crucial tips being published on countless business and entrepreneur websites these days, one begins to wonder how people even managed to do anything at all in the times passed, if there is so much previously unknown knowledge which we keep discovering just now. Every day brings with it articles, guides and infographics giving us important new rules to follow, but once you start paying closer attention, you might be surprised at how much of that info is anything but new.

With that in mind, we’ll delve some 300 years into the past in an attempt to learn from Benjamin Franklin, an author, businessman, scientist, inventor, activist and politician widely regarded as one of the most colorful and influential characters in American history.

Iron sharpens iron.

At one point during his childhood, Franklin started engaging in debates with a friend of his, an activity which continuously pushed him to be better at both thinking through and formulating his arguments – both of those skills would later serve him well throughout his life. Since his friend was more eloquent than him, he was forced to improve his vocabulary and his writing skills in order to convey his points more clearly and persuasively. He read more, wrote more and paid attention to the clarity of his thoughts more. He was being pushed and he grew stronger because of it.

A club of mutual improvement.

Some years later, he was involved in a similar endeavor but this time on a much larger scale. In an effort to further sharpen his mind and broaden his horizons, he gathered a group of his smartest friends into what he described as “a club of mutual improvement”, which they named the JUNTO. They met on Friday evenings, discussed prechosen subjects related to morals, politics and philosophy and each member had to write and present an essay once in every three months. Later on, the JUNTO members started borrowing books (which were hard to come by at that time) from one another and the small group eventually evolved into one of the first public libraries in the United States.

So, as both of these examples show us, Franklin understood that two heads are better than one and although he learned and achieved many a thing on his own thanks to his own creativity, discipline and perseverance, he nevertheless sought to utilize the power of teamwork whenever the opportunity presented itself. And if the JUNTO concept sounds familiar to you, that might be because it’s practically the same concept as the one which Napoleon Hill called a “mastermind group” and popularized in his bestseller, Think And Grow Rich approximately 200 years later.

Emulate the masters to become a master.

Just as Benjamin Franklin undoubtedly profited in numerous ways from being a member of the JUNTO, so can you, from being a member of your own mastermind group! And as we’ve seen in the first example, you don’t have to start with an entire group of brilliant people. If you’re surrounded by enough friends and acquaintances to form your own JUNTO, great, but even if you’re not, you can still go down that road. All you really need in order to get the thing going is just one other person with interests similar to yours.

Set some basic rules, pick a day of the week for your meetings (or even Skype calls), choose a theme and you’re ready to go. Use the opportunity to explore new business ideas and marketing strategies. Once you get the ball rolling, you can start looking for new members and voila, you’ve got yourself your own mastermind group. And then, while you’re successfully networking and learning new things, remember to keep your eyes open for other old ideas which have proven their usefulness, stood the test of time and are simply waiting to be re-discovered.


mladen-pupovacMladen Pupovac is the founder and CEO of Web Marketing Hub, an online marketing services company. He is a search engine optimization expert, with years of experience in Web marketing.