Touchstones of Success


R.A. Long was especially sensitive about granting interviews, and did not offer many until a reporter from the Saturday Evening Post finally caught up with him and got him to talk. The reporter was especially interested in what factors Mr. Long felt contributed to his success.  Below is Mr. Long's response.

Turning back, as it were, through my forty-three years of business experience seeking to ascertain what particular factor or factors contributing to whatever success I may have obtained, remembering that I started with practically no capital, and it was necessary to establish a reputation in order to secure credit, I conclude that I must have impressed at least some others with the fact that I possessed the following characteristics:

Honesty. Industry. Economy.

A keen sense of the necessity of fulfilling my obligations, financial and otherwise.

When I remember the liberal credit extended to me by a banker friend, I must have impressed him with the fact that I possessed all of the characteristics mentioned to quite a degree.  As our business grew, and it became necessary to secure others to assist me in the handling of same, I must have exercised rather good judgement in my selection, and have treated those chosen in the proper manner, for we have made, comparatively speaking, very few changes, and the harmony, cooperation and good fellowship prevailing in our organization has been quite wonderful, and such as to cause our company---The Long Bell Lumber Company---to be known as “The Long Bell Family,” and so, in concluding, I commend for the careful consideration of youth starting in the world:
Honesty at all times and under all circumstances.  Industry.  Economy.
Meeting engagements of every kind and character exactly as agreed.
Treating the people with whom you may be associated, both within your own organization and without, as you would be treated.
Under these conditions, even with very ordinary ability, success is all but assured.

When you think about it, Mr. Long’s observations regarding success in life are true today as it was in the early 1900’s. Sage advice from a man whose wealth exceeded that of Bill Gates in today's dollars.

The Merk

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