"The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell."
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
What does that mean?
Carnegie is the quintessential rags to riches story. Moving to Pennsylvania in 1848, he found work as a bobbin boy changing spools of thread in a cotton mill. He worked 6 days a week, for 12 hours a day and was paid $1.20 per week.
Finding a job that paid $2.50 per week (!) as a messenger boy in the Pittsburgh office of the Ohio Telegraph Company, he jumped right in.
Here is where the quote comes in. As a 16 year old messenger boy, Andrew paid attention to the sounds the telegraph made, learning to translate the sounds into letters and could repeat messages without writing the sounds down.
Impressing his superiors, he moved up from there quickly. Networking, and borrowing money from his family, he made his first investment, and then another and then another.
While working in the railroads, he invested in the things the railroad industry needed - steel, bridges and rails. Eventually settling into the steel industry, he, to quote him, "Put all [his] eggs into one basket, and then really, really nurture that basket."
The rest is history, as they say. In 2007 dollars, his worth at death was $300 billion. That is a few Gates or Buffetts. Carnegie is regarded as the second richest man in history, behind Rockefeller.
1. " To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education one can. "
2. " To spend the next third making all the money one can. "
3. " To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes. "
Carnegie's later years were given to writing and to philanthropy. He especially liked giving money to libraries, educational causes, to schools that were connected with religion and to the education of blacks. His philosophy about money was that it was "debasing" unless one spent his efforts in pursuits of giving it away!
He also developed into quite the writer, contributing often to magazines and newspapers. His most radical work first came out in 1886 called "Triumphant Democracy." His thesis was that American Republicanism, that of voting for political leadership, was superior to the British monarchical system. Democracy allowed people to become all they could be being subject to themselves and their individuality (seeking the oyster and not the shell) and not to the whims of a ruling family.
Later he published "Wealth," in which he argued that a man should first accumulate wealth and then work toward giving it away. Subsequent to that period, he commissioned Napoleon Hill (at no pay) to interview 500 wealthy industrialists, and publish their secrets. In this way he hoped to pick up the "common man," and then have more philanthropy available for "the masses."
Carnegie spent his life utilizing the capitalist system of developing and implementing one's abilities to seek the oyster. He never desired the shell. He never settled for the shell.
And he didn't desire the shell for himself OR others!
AND SO, MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE CONGREGATION, DON'T SETTLE FOR THE WONDERS GUBMENT WANTS TO OFFER! SEEK INSTEAD TO DEVELOP YOURSELVES IN A SYSTEM OF PERSONAL LEADERSHIP AND GROWTH, AND DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT ACCEPT THE EMPTY PROMISES OF SOCIALIST CRUSTS AND THE CONTROLLING OFFERS OF GUBMENT CRUMBS!
DOING SO WILL LEAVE US ONLY SHELLS. AND WE WILL END UP INSTEAD ONLY SHELLS OF OUR POTENTIAL SELVES!