“Good Old Books” download: “The Optimistic Life” and “Every Man a King”

The New Thought Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries had a great impact on self-help and personal achievement writers and speakers throughout the 20th century. If you study New Age writers, you’ll find its influence there. Furthermore, if you pay attention, you’ll find plenty of early 21st century writers on success and achievement espousing New Thought ideas.

Start with nothing and pull yourself up by your bootstraps? New Thought. Positive attitude wins the day? New Thought. Change your life with affirmations? New Thought. Find your passion to find your best work? New Thought. Reiterations of “sound mind in a sound body?” New Thought. Why not? These are also much older ideas and ideals. New Thought added new spiritual twists on them. But that was the culture of the day.

So, if you read the original New Thought writers, you might think them a little preachy. You might think them a little naïve. Yet, you’ll find the roots of much of our current self-help and entrepreneurial success literature in them.

I’ve been reading some of New Thought writer Orison Swett Marden, in search of a good “old book download” for you. He was the founder of the publication “Success Magazine,” and seemed to be a logical choice.

While I find a lot of his writing too much like following the mind of someone with ADHD, I have found a couple of his books that I think most people can benefit from.

“The Optimistic Life, Or in the Cheering Up Business” is a bit on the Pollyanna-ish side, but is a good demonstration of early works in positive thinking and in the idea of “laughter as the best medicine.” Not to mention that it does have many ideas that have been validated by later science. Even if it does have comments that are a bit too “cute.” I think you’ll find it a lot more cheerful that watching the current news on TV.

“Every Man a King; or, Might in Mind-Mastery,” is one of Marden’s more straight-forward and practical behavior-oriented books. The advance of science since his time has shown that what he wrote is considerably more complicated than his simple descriptions. Nevertheless, a great deal of his thinking can still be found in current self-help, success and personal achievement literature.

As you read, remember that he was a self-made success who worked his way through Harvard(!) to earn an M.D. degree as well as a degree in law. He also studied public speaking and theology. You can see the influences of his studies in his various writings.

If you want more books by Marden, go search on Archive.org.

Good Old Book Review and Download: Benjamin Franklin’s “The Way To Wealth.”

Here’s an excellent addition to my continuing feature of “good old books” that are relevant and helpful today.

“The Way To Wealth,” (subtitled “Poor Richard Improved,”) was first published (not by that title) in Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1758. If you’ve read any of “Poor Richard’s Almanack” issues, you’ve undoubtably noticed the number of old sayings that Benjamin Franklin contributed to American culture. This particular book contains enough familiar old adages to make your eyes pop.

As you might expect, Franklin holds forth on the value of working with vigor, enthusiasm and ambition to earn money and the value of frugality to keep what you earn. He does it pleasantly and with humor. It’s easy to see why so many people of his era thought him witty and charming. And, since he wrote much for the common man, it’s easy to see why his words are so extensively quoted.

He made his fortune and became famous by being a printer. Having one’s own press allows for easy self-publishing in addition to publishing others. I’m sure that if he were starting out today, he’d have dozens of websites and blogs, thousands of ebooks, books, videos and audios. He’d also end up owning at least one movie studio and he’d film uncountable documentaries.

Because of its title, more people want “The Way To Wealth” from Benjamin Franklin than his more interesting and informative autobiography. I think I learned more about growth and creativity from the autobiography. I recommend you read them both. I’ve actually uploaded both for you, despite my title for this post.

As I’ve been doing so far, I’ve provided scanned copies of the actual old books rather than a cleaned up Gutenberg edition. I want you to get the feel of what readers of the original books saw. It may create a virtual atmosphere of the thinking and culture of the times and put the old books in better context.

Here are the links to the pdf’s:

“The Way To Wealth”
“The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”

Website and ebook recommendation

Yesterday, I published an article by Nancy Marmolejo, “Facebook Finesse: 3 Tips to Keep You on the Winning Side.” It’s good advice on avoiding some big mistakes entrepreneurs make in trying to sell on the Facebook platform.

Now, you may or may not have noticed that I’ve published several articles by Ms. Marmolejo, and I’ve referenced a few of them here on the blog. If you’ve read any of my explanations about how I choose guest articles, you’ll know that I don’t just look at the articles before I publish them, I look at the entire website. I want to be confident that I’m linking to a site that I can reasonably trust to offer good content. Nancy Marmolejo’s site offers very good content. Primarily on the subject of social media marketing.

After publishing the most recent article, I decided that it was about time I give her an extra plug. So, I also took the time to sign up for her list in order to be able to review a copy of her little ebook “21 Online Visibility Tips Every Entrepreneur Must Know.”

Obviously, as a freebie to reward you for signing up for a list, it’s not an in-depth study of the market. It’s not supposed to be. But it is very well done and of high value. If you are not an expert on social media marketing, you’ll learn a lot from it. If you are hesitant about signing up for lists without a substantial inducement for doing so, here’s a worthwhile incentive.

An added benefit is that the ebook is that it’s an excellent example for you if you are planning to use an ebook in building your own list. It gives good tips in and of itself, but also ties strongly into her site. It links back to relevant articles to her discussions within the book. In fact, it’s such a good model of how to make a sign-up inducement ebook that if I were in the market, I’d pay her good money just for the education of how to put together such an ebook. Go get it.