templeton-planWe continue our exploration of John Templeton’s twenty-one steps detailed in The Templeton Plan by reviewing Step 7: Investing Yourself in Your Work. As the summer vacation season winds down and we all begin to refocus on putting in a good day’s work, Templeton’s advice about work and how to be successful may come in handy.

Our first post about Investing Yourself in Your Work describes a young John Templeton:

“I’ll buy two Roman candles!” said one boy

“Give me a pinwheel!” cried another.

“Three firecrackers for me!” demanded yet another.

Money was changing hands so fast that you might think an experienced adult entrepreneur was hawking fireworks for the Fourth of July. But such was not the case.

John Templeton, at the age of eight, was the salesman who had found the market and was busily raking in the profits. Even in those early days in his hometown of Winchester, Tennessee, he was beginning to make his mark in the world of business. And one of the most striking personal characteristics he displayed, while only a child, was the ability to formulate an idea, plan ahead carefully, and then invest himself totally in the work at hand.

How did hard work pay off for him at such a tender age?

Because there was no fireworks store in Winchester, there was a vacuum in the market and, hence, an opportunity for him. He did some research to see how he could buy quantities of fireworks at cut-rate prices and then sell them at a profit to his classmates. Through diligent detective work, he discovered a mail-order outlet in Ohio, and about a month before the holiday, he was ordering various kinds of fireworks from Cincinnati—Roman candles, pinwheels, sparklers. You name it, he had it. Then, just before the Fourth, he would pack up his wares into his schoolbag, run off to class, and sell them to the other children at a healthy markup in price.

Young John Templeton had learned one of the cardinal success secrets at a tender age: the importance of hard work. In his long life, he has never stopped working hard, and he has never regretted a single moment of it.