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Most of us are Ben Franklin fans and admire him for his many contributions to the printing industry. In fact, many of us consider him the father of the American printing industry.

I enjoy reading, and during my lifetime, I estimate I’ve read over 800 business books. Out of those 800+ books, I’ve set aside a small collection of the best of the best that I call my “Management Library.” It consists of a small collection of 26 books that I have found to be head and shoulders above all the others. These 26 books have inspired, motivated, and taught me how to overcome mediocrity and beat average. I’m a rather average guy who learned early in life that the best path was to follow the advice of those much wiser and more creative than I am. As a result, I have attained a small degree of success, but I cannot claim to have done it on my own. Much of my success has been built on the shoulders of those authors who provided the knowledge I discovered in my Management Library.

One of my favorites is The Way to Wealth, a book written by Ben Franklin in 1758. The Way to Wealth was a preface to Poor Richard’s Almanac. In this preface, Franklin summed up all of his previously published thoughts about how to achieve success in business. For this purpose, Franklin created Father Abraham, who liberally quotes from Poor Richard to a crowd waiting for an auction to begin. The essay has become one of the most important and enduring business books ever published. Although it has been printed and reprinted hundreds of times, it’s difficult to find unless you search online. I was lucky enough to stumble on my copy many years ago in the historic Old Fort Mackinac gift shop on Michigan’s upper peninsula. Ironically, the fort was built by the British during the Revolutionary War.

Here are a few quotes from the book…

We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.

God helps those who help themselves.

There are no gains without pains.

He who rises late must trot all day.

Beware of little expenses. A little leak will sink a great ship.

It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.

Those thoughts are just the beginning of the seemingly endless wisdom found in this entertaining little book. I have read The Way to Wealth many times over, and each time it feels completely fresh and new. I love this little book, and I know you will, too. It’s a wonderful gift to give and will leave a lasting impression on the recipients. Might I suggest you purchase a few extras?

My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.

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Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a great USPS marketing tool. Here are the top 10 reasons to use it…

  1. It’s easy. No joke, the post office made this one simple.
  2. Postage is only 17.5 cents for an over-sized sheet. That’s a bargain!
  3. No annual permits to buy.
  4. Easy to use, so you can train your staff and customers to use it.
  5. No addressing is needed… which lowers costs even more.
  6. Printed marketing materials can be delivered to your local post office for next-day delivery. You can provide this service, or customers can do it themselves.
  7. You can choose to mail to every home and/or business on individual carrier routes in any zip code.
  8. The target marketing ability is remarkable, and the post office even has online maps that show you every carrier route with complete demographic details for free.
  9. Only 200 pieces are needed to do an EDDM marketing mailing.
  10. EDDM represents a tremendous sales and marketing opportunity for your printing firm. EDDM can help you sell a lot of printing and help position you as a “marketing services provider.”

You really owe it to yourself to study the potential opportunities that would benefit your company by promoting and using EDDM.

My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.

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How a scale helped make my life better

January 7, 2015

I used to hate weighing myself. For most of my life, my scale has been my enemy. Every time I’d weigh myself, my scale would remind me of my failures. It made me feel like I wasn’t disciplined enough… like I was eating too much… like I wasn’t eating the right kinds of food. As […]

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Are You Sick and Tired…
of All the Endless Messes That Consume Your Free Time After Work?

December 9, 2014

A few years ago, I began to realize I had fallen into a self-destructive bad habit. Every day, I was working hard at the print shop and would often go home tired and fatigued, only to be greeted by “messes” everywhere. Do you ever feel the same way? Do you ever feel like you never […]

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How to print a creative wedding invitation

November 11, 2014

Many of us don’t like printing wedding invitations, but we love to print postcards. Here’s a way to do both! The picture shown above is actually a very creative postcard wedding invitation I recently received in the mail, and it really grabbed my attention for a couple of reasons: First, the picture of the couple […]

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How to save $11,484.00

November 5, 2014

Would you like to save $11,484.00 over the next 22 years? That’s the promise promoted by the manufacturers of some LED light bulbs I recently purchased for my home at the local Fargo Costco warehouse store. I had never heard of LED light bulbs until a few years ago, when my then managing partner, Dave […]

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Every man needs a good pair of socks

October 22, 2014

OK, I never thought I’d be writing a blog post about socks. You see, this all started last year when my mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I answered “socks.” So sure enough, one day in December, a package arrived from her. Inside, I found a Christmas present labeled “To Mike.” It […]

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The day I met the ghost of Babe Ruth

October 2, 2014

Sometimes in life, you experience something unexpected that really causes you to stop and think. I recently experienced a rather emotional “unexpected moment” in Detroit, Michigan. Let me explain. Although I have lived in North Dakota for many decades, I actually grew up in Michigan and graduated from high school there. As a boy, I […]

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Thoughts about employees and their cell phones

September 3, 2014

If there’s a more provocative topic in the printing industry, I’m not sure what could generate more debate and opinion than whether or not employees should be allowed to use personal cell phones on company time. Do you allow employees to use personal cell phones while on the clock at your printing firm? In case […]

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How to have a better brain

August 21, 2014

The LA Times recently completed an interesting four-part series on how learning and memory work. And the New York Times wrote about the importance of physical exercise for neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells). Did you even know it was possible to do something that would help your body create new brain cells? A […]

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