“The Business Man” by Edgar Allan Poe
This essay investigates the literature on the works of Edgar Allan Poe about work and business. It particularly focuses on methodology as one of the most effective tools often used in pursuit of success in business and work. According to Edgar Poe, people should only apply methodologies that they fully understand. However, they should bind themselves fully to implementing these methods, both in letter and spirit. In addition, the essay focuses on Edgar’s views on geniuses and intellectual superiority as a competitive advantage in business. According to the poet, this basis of argument is a certain recipe for business errors.
Methodology is a critical tool in business that helps people to keep record of their commitments. In the article “The Business Man” by Edgar Allan a fictitious businessman, Peter Proffit, talks about simple commitments to methodology that have made a huge impact on his life. According to him, it all started during his encounters with a nurse whom he bumped with his head on a bedpost. This particular event gave him the determination to remain dedicated to a set of principles and follow them at all times. Essentially, the boastful businessman was trying to reveal the origin of his dedication to methodology. Although his argument has little sense in a real world of business, it gives a glimpse of what staying focused on a set of principles can help to achieve. In fact, it is a typical example of what a successful businessman should do. For instance, through methodology, businesspersons draw their business plans and commit funds towards the achievement of these plans. In many cases, some aspects of the plan may be altered in the course of time. However, the overall goals and methods of executing the plans remain the same. Indeed, methodology is not only important in businesses, but even for individuals in the workplace. Employers often prefer people who understand what they need to do and why they have to do it. Such people are always dedicated to their duties and are never late with any jobs assigned to them. In the end, they just don’t keep their jobs, but also get constant appraisals for their good work (Meyers, 1992).
According to Peter Proffit, methodology should be followed both to the letter and spirit for it to yield meaningful success. This is particularly important in the sense that many companies usually draw up plans that they hrdly follow. In case they follow them, they only do it to save face. Although they have different reasons for going against their set of ideas and methodologies, it makes no sense that they should draw plan that they cannot stick to. This brings the nature of the plans and how achievable they really areforward. In most instances, businesses only draw plans as a matter of formality. As such, they hardly find any reason to implement them or follow the stipulations of their plans. According to Peter Proffit, these kinds of people have no place in successful business. In fact, he emphasizes that he detests persons who use methods that they hardly understand. In business, such people do not just waste their precious time, but misuse their valuable resources trying to implement their ideas haphazardly. In the workplace, it is known as procrastination, whereby individuals have long lists of things they want to do and end up doing none of them. Basically, it is an attitude that can only thwart one’s progress at work. There is no single employer who would give a salary rise to an employee who hardly finishes his or her duties on time. And if they do, the work is improperly done such that it does not conform to the set goals of the company that they work for. Essentially, the most effective attitude towards work is one that draws up realistic goals and commits to the set of methodologies that will enable them meet these set goals (Meyers, 1992).
According to Proffit, geniuses are not the type who can make it in business. In fact, he stresses that the more one begins to think of themselves as a genius, the more useless they become in as far as managing a business is concerned. For instance, such people will never accept to be corrected whenever they go wrong, due to their false beliefs that they know everything. Besides, geniuses are always looking for a perfect opportunity or time to start their businesses. According to Proffit in Edgar’s article, such opportunities will never come if they are not pursued. On his journey to business success, Proffit was forced into labor at the age of fourteen, where he worked till he was sixteen. Unlike other boys of his age, he could persevere the tough working conditions in his job as a merchant. Eventually, his efforts paid off when he decided to start a business for himself. From Proffit’s personal story, one gets an impression that success is reserved for ordinary people who set out to try extraordinaary things. For instance, he emphasizes that he did his things like any other ordinary person. Essentially, the choice to remain “small” is very significant in any kind of business. For one, it keeps one close to people he or she deals with as they feel that you are a part of them. As such, they learn to treat your property with utmost respect. Moreover, this idea helps people to relate better with their colleagues at the work place. This is due to the fact that they always accommodate divergent views and accept to be corrected in case they go wrong. In the end, they develop a perfect rapport with almost everyone at the workplace (Poovey, 1998).
However, there are Proffit’s attitudes that are not healthy for success in business. The most conspicuous one is the idea of intimidating colleagues in order to get favors from them. Although this did not come out explicitly in the article, the fact that Proffit participated in Assault and Battery business gives a gloomy picture about his morals. According to him, he would pick up fights with anyone in the streets and then later sue them for violently attacking him. At other instances, he would threaten people with splashing them with mud so that they can pay him. These events are typical in the world of business where people would use any tricks to intimidate their business competitors into quitting. In fact, it is the reason that people would kill one another at work so that they can secure a promotion for themselves. In spite of the fact that some success could be realized in the short term, it is the kind of attitude that would certainly kill all business. Nonetheless, these things portray Proffit as a creative businessman who can invent a viable venture out of a remote idea (Meyers, 1992).
In conclusion, Proffit portrays an ideal figure of a person with the right attitude for business success. For instance, he sets himself realistic goals and employs workable methodologies to achieve them. Besides, he strictly works within the methodologies to ensure that his plans are executed in letter and spirit. Moreover, the simple personality adopted by Proffit would certainly land him to business success. This is because it would make him quite easy to work with in business partnership or just at the workplace. These are the ideal attitudes that job seekers and potential businesspeople should find in themselves before they set out for the market.
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