Peter J. Jessen

"Goals Per Action" Success Consultant · · 9931 SW 61st Ave., Portland, OR 97219 · Tel: 503.977.3240 · Fax: 503.977.3239

8.  Ben Franklin LIST OF 13 for Achieving Personal and Professional Success
As a young man in the first half of the 18th Century, Benjamin Franklin perceived himself to be a failure, personally and professionally, and badly in debt.  He sought a method that would enable him to acquire the principles of successful living.  He choose 13 topics he felt it were necessary and desirable to work on in order to acquire and master what he needed to succeed and get out of debt.  He studied each for a week, then moved on to the next one for a week, and so on.  After 13 weeks he repeated this.  He did this routinely, four times a year.  In the early part of the 20th century, Frank Bettger found himself in the same place as Ben Franklin was when Ben was young, a failure personally, professionally, financially.  When he read Franklin's autobiography, he found that Franklin spent more time on this method than any other topic.  Bettger then adopted this method for himself.  He became successful beyond his wildest dreams.  He was able to write the book Dale Carnegie call "the most helpful and inspiring book on salesmanship I have ever read":  How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling.   I myself developed my own list in the summer of 1999.  It works.  You are encouraged to develop your own list.  Here are the lists of Franklin and Bettger:

Benjamin Franklin

Frank Bettger

Peter Jessen

1. Temperance –Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.


Kindness Thomas Huxley and William James (father of Modern psychology) agree.

2. Silence –  Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling converstation.

Order: Self-organization

Order. Make daily "To Do Lists" and then take action on.

3. Order - Let all your things have their places, let each have its time.

Think in terms of others' interests

Roles/routines/habits. Peter Berger: "You can't have a role free existence." Therefore "Don't break role."

4. Resolution - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Questions without anger or rage. "Anger kills."

Attitude and enthusiasm - Conduct self talk dialogue for a positive mental attitude ("as a man thinks, so is he.").

5. Frugality - Make not expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

Key Issue Empower others to be leaders.

Leadership. Leaders are made, not born. Leaders are readers. Mentor others or yourself. Be mentorable.

6. Industry - Lose no time be always employed in something useful; cut off unnecessary actions.

Silence - listen, dream, make goals, set deadlines, and carry

Goal setting/executing. Have high Goal Per Action days: set deadlines, and carry out Daily Action Plans.

7. Sincerity - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Sincerity: deserve.

Persevere.  Know when to purposefully change or not when to purpose- fully fight or flee or go with the flow.

8. Justice – Wrong none by doing benefits that are your duty.


Serve.  Albert Schweitzer: "I don't know what you will injuries, or omitting but I do know you won't be happy unless you serve

9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Appreciation and Praise

Equitable justice.  Resolve conflicts. Have an open sense of the future, not a static one.

10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation

Smile: happiness

Reconcile relationships. Keep promises to keep chaos at bay, and forgive as words and deeds are irreversible (Hannah Arendt).

11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents, common or unavoidable.

Remember names and faces

Harvest environmental fruit in your social environment in order to maintain a good organizational/institutional climate.

12. Chastity –   Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness or the injury of your own or another's universal peace or reputation.

Service and  responsibilities,

Recognize the reality of multiple realities, responsibilities, relevancies & accountabilities. In doing so, apply principles and the "wisdom of the ages."

13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates

Closing the sale: prospecting "13."

Read daily on these prospecting "13." Leaders are readers.