What do the wealthy know that average people do not? What can average people learn to become unaverage in their financial results in life?
Franklin could afford his early retirement because he had conceived of an ingenious plan to aid journeyman printers, helping them to own their own businesses. In a true spirit of win-win, the 26 year old Franklin, in 1731, was offered the position of South Carolina’s official printer for its public records, an opportunity that he declined because he didn’t wish to leave Philadelphia. But, instead of rejecting the offer outright, Franklin suggested an alternative plan, proposing to the Charleston officials that they hire one of his journeyman, Thomas Whitmarsh. Franklin would sponsor the project, helping the journeyman with the press equipment, fonts, funds, not to mention mentorship, while Whitmarsh would run the day to day operations in Charleston. All parties profited by this unique arrangement. South Carolina received a top notch journeyman, trained under the tutelage of Franklin; Whitmarsh received capital and mentorship, both factors in short supply in the colonies, allowing him the opportunity to own a business; lastly, Franklin, received one third of the profits for six years, after which, Whitmarsh could either buy out Franklin’s ownership interest or continue with his current financial arrangement. Since Franklin had capital, but little time, while the journeymen had time, but little capital, this arrangement benefitted both sides of the partnership, providing to each other, what each on their own lacked, a true example of a win-win trade. Franklin’s
franchise marketing program expanded across the colonial cities, he looked for hungry, sober, hard working journeyman to be his long distant proxies, helping to build many sister newspapers, that dotted the colonial landscape, following the leadership of his Pennsylvania Gazette masthead. Over time, Franklin’s expansive printing empire reached all the way from Hartford in the north, and as far south as Antigua, with Lancaster, New York, and New Haven, too mention just a few, in between the two poles of influence, an impressive accomplishment in this largely agrarian society. In fact, by 1755, eight of the fifteen newspapers printed in colonial America were part of Franklin’s powerful conglomerate. Although not all his partnerships made money, most of them prospered under his leadership.
Franklin forged partnerships for over fifty years, creating a residual income stream that left him free to pursue his purpose, no longer enslaved to monetary want.
An entrepreneur himself, Benjamin Franklin partnered with other aspiring entrepreneurs in relationships that benefited all concerned, for the most part. His positive and profitable partnerships gave him the passive income stream to allow him to retire at a young age, to pursue the life of a scholar, inventor, diplomat and eventually statesman. Benjamin Franklin’s example is a model that would be wise for any aspiring person to follow.