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Warren Buffett ‘virtually memorized’ this book when he was 7—and you’ve probably never heard of it

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Minaker’s take on American entrepreneurship in the early 1900s, but I can also understand why it never gained enough momentum to go mainstream. The book had been out of print for some time and, for the most part, the author is uncannily absent from the Internet.

Moreover, the business world has changed dramatically, and the money-making ideas presented in the book (e.g., goat dairying, manufacturing motor-driven chairs, renting out billiard tables to locals) may seem ancient to the modern reader.

But at its very core, “One Thousand Ways” is about how creativity, excellent salesmanship, hard work and resourcefulness can earn you buckets of money. And the book’s underlying fundamentals of business — from marketing and investing to sales and customer relations — remain as relevant today as they were nearly 83 years ago.

Written in an immediate, conversational tone, the book is both entertaining and digestible — so much, in fact, that even your kids can read it (which they probably should if you want them to be grounded, hardworking and smart about money).

Here are three timeless pieces of advice from the book:

1. Make compound interest your best friend.

The chapter about pennyweight scales captivated Buffett the most, he said in the HBO documentary. He figured that if he had one, he’d use it 50 times a day, which made him certain that others would pay to do the same.

“I sat and calculated how much it would cost to buy the first weighing machine, and then how long it would take for the profit of that one to buy another one,” Buffett recalled. “I would create these compound interest tables to figure out how to have a weighing machine for every person in the world.”

He envisioned himself starting with one machine, pyramiding his take into thousands more.

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