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Managing Money

How good are you at managing your business's finances?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Benjamin Franklin learned early in life that incentive iseverything in managing money. Specifically, he learned that you arenever as careful when managing other people's money as you arewhen managing your own. During some of his early travels, hereceived a sizable sum of money from an acquaintance of one of hisbrothers. As recipient, Franklin was charged with safeguarding themoney until it was called for by his brother's friend.Following the receipt of the money, Franklin unwisely chose to usesome of the funds to finish financing his trip back toPhiladelphia.

Worse yet, Franklin allowed a friend of his to use some of themoney. This particular friend had a drinking problem and returnedoften for more money, always promising to pay the money back soon.Ultimately, the relationship between the two friends went sour.Franklin's friend departed for Barbados with a promise to repayafter he received money from his new employment, but Franklin neverheard from him again. Franklin later classified this mismanagementof funds as the first great mistake of his life. Fortunately forFranklin, his brother's friend did not call for the money forseveral years, giving Franklin ample time to replenish thefunds.

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management

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